Subject: Free Software Conference in Washington DC on October 10
From: "tony stanco" <>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2001 09:41:10 -0400

We are having a Free Software Conference in Washington DC on October 10 at
the George Washington University. I wanted to personally invite everyone
here to attend. There is no cost, but registration is required, because
seats are limited. Details follow.

Best regards,



Dr. Richard Stallman, founder and President of the Free Software
Foundation, and Eben Moglen, Professor of Law at Columbia Law
School and General Counsel for the FSF, will speak at George
Washington University's Cyberspace Policy Institute in Washington,
D.C., October 10, 2001 at the CPI's Free Software Conference:
"Free Software: the Free Market/Free Speech Solution to the
Microsoft Antitrust Problem."

The Free Software Foundation promotes the development and use
of Free Software - particularly the GNU operating system and its
GNU/Linux variants - and Free Documentation for Free Software.
GNU/Linux is the integrated combination of the GNU operating
system with the kernel, Linux, written by Linus Torvalds in 1991.
The various versions of GNU/Linux have an estimated 20 million
users worldwide.

"If code is law, then the real question we must face is: who should
control the code?" says Dr. Stallman. "Can it be left to a few
companies to secretly do whatever they please with the code,
regardless of the interests of the public at large?

"Software today can control the way the world lives, communicates
and does business," Dr. Stallman continues. "Proprietary software
is typically secret - you can't change it, or even see what it really
does. You can't tell if it has back doors, or sends your personal
information to a server on the net. You cannot even prevent
changes that are detrimental, such as a future version unable to
access the files you are saving today.

"A choice of proprietary programs is just a choice of masters.
Should the code you use be under the control of Microsoft, or any
other private company? Or should you control the software you

"Free Software provides a democratic alternative. The GNU
General Public License, or GPL, was specifically designed to make
sure the public's right to the software freedoms we feel are vital in a
free society are defended and upheld for everyone. I use the
expression 'free society' deliberately in this context, so there will be
no misunderstanding about the meaning of the word 'free' in 'Free
Software'. It refers to freedom--the freedom to use, study, copy,
modify, and redistribute computer programs. We are not opposed
to profit or to business, but business must respect the public's
freedom and community if it is to be legitimate."

Dr. Stallman will explain what Free Software means, briefly give its
history, explain how software freedoms are currently being
threatened by software patents, the DMCA, and the Hague Treaty,
and show how Microsoft can use such tools to create a new
monopoly, as well as make clear how government agencies,
researchers, schools, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and all
users can benefit by switching from proprietary to Free Software.

Professor Moglen will speak about copyright and patent law and
how proprietary software restricts the freedoms of software
developers and of users, as well as speaking on the impact of the
Free Software Movement.

"Free Software is an ethical movement that establishes the
constructive alternative to corporate globalization," says Professor
Moglen. "It is a technical movement that has changed the software
industry and can make monopolization impossible forever. And it is
the centerpiece of the New Economy. Microsoft and its allies will
spend tens of millions of dollars this year telling lies about Free
Software. On October 10, you can learn the truth about Free
Software from the people who made it happen."

Eben Moglen holds a Ph.D. in history and a J.D. from Yale
University. Moglen is currently a professor of law and legal history
at Columbia University Law School and serves as general counsel
for the Free Software Foundation. His homepage is

Tony Stanco, Esq., Founder of and Senior
Policy Analyst of the Cyberspace Policy Institute says, "The moral
question between Free and proprietary software ultimately revolves
around this issue: Is software more like law? (Which ought to be
Free and open to public inspection, so that the public can
participate in the formation of the social contract by which they will
be governed). Or is it more like literature? (Which has been
traditionally viewed as the creator's private property). It's
increasingly clear that with the Internet, software has begun to
supplement the traditional function of law and that digital machines
are fast becoming a nonhuman, cyberpolice force watching and
directing everything people do.

"The Cyberspace Policy Institute decided to sponsor this
conference so that policymakers in Washington, their staff, the
press, students, and all who are interested in how software can
affect them, can be introduced to Free Software and meet those
who began the Free Software Movement.

Tony Stanco will also say a few words on: Why the world's richest
company is attacking the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL)
by calling it a "cancer", a "destroyer" of innovation,
"anti-American"? Whether this is true, or whether Microsoft
dislikes the GPL because the four freedoms it establishes for
computer users make monopolies hard to sustain? How Free
Software created products, like the GNU/Linux operating system,
that compete with Microsoft's Windows on heavy-duty servers in
the back office? Why the principles of the new Intellectual Age are
fundamentally different from those of the previous Industrial Age?
Whether Software Freedom can restore innovation and creativity to
the software industry and provide a way to solve the Microsoft
antitrust question? Whether Microsoft's .Net initiative will
inevitably continue its monopoly? Or will Free Software's DotGNU
project break the Microsoft stranglehold and liberate computer
users to control the software they use?

Tony Stanco said, "We invited Microsoft to send a representative
to join in the conference, because it seemed unfortunate that Craig
Mundie, VP of Microsoft, has not yet had the opportunity to debate
on the subject of the GPL face to face with Dr. Stallman, the man
who created it. He has not accepted our invitation to date, but he is
still welcome. It's an open invitation."

The event will be held Wednesday, October 10, 2001 in the George
Washington University Marvin Center Ballroom (800 21st Street,
NW, Washington, DC 20052), beginning at 12:00 noon and ending
at 5:00 PM. There will be a break at midpoint, with light
refreshments served.

For more information and to register for this free event, please go to
the Cyberspace Policy Institute website [].

Tony Stanco, Cyberspace Policy Institute: 202-994-5513 (phone);

Bradley Kuhn, Free Software Foundation:  617-542-5942,

About GNU:

GNU is a Free Software Unix-like operating system. Development
of GNU began in 1984. The site, at, explains the
GNU project in detail.

GNU/Linux is the integrated combination of the GNU operating
system with the kernel, Linux, written by Linus Torvalds in 1991.
The various versions of GNU/Linux have an estimated 20 million
users. Some people call the GNU/Linux system "Linux", but this
misnomer leads to confusion (people cannot tell whether you mean
the whole system, or the kernel, which is one part), and spreads an
inaccurate picture of the system's history and origin. Making a
consistent distinction between GNU/Linux, the whole operating
system, and Linux, the kernel, is the best way to clear up the

About the Free Software Foundation:

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to
promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and
redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the
development and use of Free (as in freedom) Software - particularly
the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants - and Free
Documentation for Free Software. The FSF also helps to spread
awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use of
software. Their web site, located at, is an important
source of information about GNU/Linux. They are headquartered in
Boston, MA, USA.

About Cyberspace Policy Institute:

The Cyberspace Policy Institute is a center at George Washington
University to promote the analysis of policy problems that have a
significant computer systems component. Inside GW, the Institute
brings together researchers with interests in these areas, bridging
discipline barriers, much as the new information age is bridging
cultural and geopolitical barriers. Outside of the University, it
works with government and private organizations to examine
important issues in computer and communications systems policy.
The Institute carries out studies and hosts seminars and conferences
that move society towards rational and informed discussion of these
critical changes. CPI's mission is to encourage, promote, facilitate,
and execute interdisciplinary research in areas related to the nexus
of society and the Internet. The site is

About DotGNU:

DotGNU, a joint FreeDevelopers and GNU Project, will be a
complete Free Software replacement for the Microsoft .NET
initiative. Unlike the centralization of important Internet functions
on Microsoft-controlled servers, DotGNU will use a decentralized
paradigm with personal information and
authorization/authentication functions on the user's own home or
corporate machines, or other distributed network of trusted
intermediaries, like existing Internet service providers or financial
institutions. The site is


FreeDevelopers is an international self-regulatory organization of
Free Software developers for the development of Free Software.
The purpose of FreeDevelopers is to create a viable, for profit,
business model for Free Software development. The commercial
principles of the new Intellectual Age are substantially different
from those of the Industrial Age, because intellectual products are
most efficiently produced by an inclusionary paradigm, not the
exclusionary one of the previous epoch. FreeDevelopers was
founded by Tony Stanco, Esq., a former Senior Attorney with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, Internet and software group.
Tony Stanco has a LL.M. in securities regulation from the
Georgetown University Law Center. He is also a Senior Policy
Analyst with the Cyberspace Policy Institute at George Washington
University. The site is