Monday, April 12, 2010

European Legal Network (ELN) Workshop Amsterdam Day-2

Once again another interesting and informative day at the ELN Workshop in Amsterdam.

The topics of discussion in the final day were compliance, risk, patents and industry development. Different organizations made presentations in the morning regarding licensing compliance and how it pertains to the internal part of the organization, as well as, through to distribution. Intra-organization compliance systems were discussed in short and the various mediums that could be used in order to insure that the vendor(s) is complaint. Most all were in agreement that it was vital for an organization to integrate a compliance policy into the supply chain. Different measures on how this compliance policy could be constructed were discussed also.

The second topic discussed was Risk and how to evaluate and contain it. A balanced discussion on risk from both the legal and business sides of things gave a realistic case view on what open source companies are facing in the current and expanding market. Members of the ELN have also created and are developing a Risk Grid to address procurement of F/OSS and it's function within the supply chain. This grid aims to assist professionals in the field to regulate their actions with their suppliers and buyers by allocating  risk to the appropriate actor within the supply chain.

A patent panel also discussed briefly about the pro's and con's of patents within the organization and argued how these patents can hinder, as well as, support innovation within an organization. The affects of patents on licensing and the various complications that arise were also discussed, but agreed that another workshop will be set aside to discuss patents in more detail.

Finally, Future developments were discussed and their impacts on the F/OSS industry. Technological innovations and shifts were discussed and weighed against the developments of the F/OSS movement in the past. We are seeing quite a shift from software as a product to more of a service driven industry with such developments as the cloud and embedded MID's. Awareness must be made now that assists professionals in evaluating legal risk in accordance to licensing and procurement, through educating professionals on the importance of compliance and how to properly implement a compliance policy within their respective organizations. Moreover, it is generally agreed that there must be more interaction with developers/engineers and management/legal counsel to work together and build a "best case" practice that incorporates the developer/engineers issues and needs together with the organizations compliance. The most sound method of accomplishing this is through working together to reach our common goal with special emphasis on proper education and documentation.

I would like to thank the Free Software Foundation Europe and everyone who attended the ELN workshop and especially thank them for allowing me to participate in this closed discussion. It definitely opened  my eyes to topics in which I have only scratched the surface on. The complexities of the topics discussed were just another confirmation that we need to work even harder together to meet the ever growing issues faced by all levels of the F/OSS movement. I look forward to working together with you at the ELN and sharing the knowledge and contributions from the unique position I hold between industry and community.

Friday, April 9, 2010

European Legal Network (ELN) Workshop Amsterdam Day-1

I was invited by the FSF Europe to take part in the ELN Workshop in Amsterdam for a discussion between industry professionals, lawyers and engineers with how licensing impacts their respective organizations. The workshop presentations consisted of highly recognized F/OSS industry professionals from Europe and the US. The first day of the event was well organized and quite refreshing since there were many open minded discussions that are leading up to implementation and management of governance in F/OSS projects, as well as, working towards a collaborative grid/matrix for developers/engineers to use when choosing a license to release their code under with a view to compliance.

Moreover, it was nice to hear presentations of up to date casework of GPL violations, casework from professionals about industry adoption of F/OSS and how the OSS industry is gathering momentum and legitimacy at lightning speeds ;-) Also, it was nice to hear the current information about the recent legal developments on a country by country level in Europe and also the recent development at the EU parliament level. Thank you especially to the small, but hard working group of lobbyists that attended!!

The organizers and presenters did a great job of keeping theoretical concepts to a minimal and successfully explained their issues and topics in layman terms. I thank you all for your openness and collaboration and must say I have never experienced an event quite like this with legal council and industry professionals that was so open, free flowing and transparent without having the feeling or worry of those luring second agendas.

I look very much forward to continuing our discussion and developments on Day 2.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

After Chemnitzer LinuxTage 2010

All in all, Chemnitzer Linuxtage 2010 was a very successful event.

I, including some of the Ambassadors from the Benelux/Western German Region , arrived on Friday evening to be greeted by J. Simon in Chemnitz.

We checked into our hotel after a 7 hour drive from Southern Netherlands and quickly headed off to a restaurant to meet other ambassadors and FOSS community contributors. The weather was cold and snowing, but not quite as cold as the Netherlands, due to the fact that we were in a landlocked region of Europe. After a bite to eat, we met other contributors at a local brewery to discuss our respective projects and what our plans were for the event which started the next morning.

CLT Overview:


Facilities:

The event was held at the Technical University of Chemnitz (a.k.a Karl Marx stadt) in their modern building which was spacious and properly equipped with a fast Internet connection and modern rooms for presentations and lectures. There were benches and tables set up on the top floor of the exhibition room where visitors could have a place for meeting and working on their laptops. Next to the entrance was a full wardrobe facility for visitors and also a childcare facility which had places for children to rest and a massive Lego set-up with various toys to keep young children busy while their parents attended the event.

Purpose and Focus:

The purpose and focus of CLT 2010 was a little different than other events I have attended in the past. Most events were geared towards the technical aspects of the various communities where CLT had a user focus of curious people, newbies, and those contemplating on switching to Linux. There were a wide diversity of projects at this event from distro' s and desktops to 3D modeling programs, DAW' s and music labs set up for recording and mastering music, as well as, academic projects. There was even a PC doctor where you could drop off your laptop if it had problems and the technicians would try and solve the problem while you were attending the event. A nice little touch, I thought ;-)

Operations:

Day 1:

From initial observations, we entered the event and were met by a member of the event organizing team who was pleasant and professional in manner and immediately escorted us to the main booth where we were issued our event passes and meal passes. Thereafter, he escorted us to the location of the Fedora booth. Initial observation showed that the booths were very well evenly placed within the building without excessive overcrowded areas. This provided plenty of space for exhibitors and visitors alike to walk by and stand in front of the booths without interfering with the flow of traffic in the aisles of the event. It was also worth noting that the cords and cables were well organized and covered with carpet and secured with tape around all of the walking areas of the exhibition hall.

Day 2:

Throughout the day we were in contact with the event organizers which were happy to answer our questions and discuss the planning involved with the event. After the initial impression from day 1, I could confirm that the event and it's organizers were well informed, professional and highly organized. There was security present at the event 24 hours a day for both days and event personnel present 24 hours a day at the entrance who were attentive and checked all people entering and leaving the event at all hours of the day and night.

Catering:

The catering for the event was split into two sections. There was catering in the main hall for visitors and where a hot lunch was served both days in a timely fashion. The second section was in a private room and for event exhibitors and employees. I did not have a chance to try any of the visitors catering meals, but could observe that it was a nice sized meal for the price and generally people looked content. The catering for the exhibitors was well thought out with a good variety of hot and cold dishes, coffee and tea, candy, cakes and pastries, and a variety of juices and soft drinks. The staff was very cordial and efficient at always having food and drink available no matter how busy the lounge was at times;-)


Fedora Activities:

The weekend consisted of various meetings in which I had with ambassadors which I have not already been acquainted with and finally had the pleasure to meet with and talk about various topics and issues within the Fedora project. It was nice for me to discuss with others what their feelings were about Fedora and what they viewed as needed to be improved within the community. In addition, I spend time at the Fedora booth speaking to various ambassadors and other community members while informing and answering questions that visitors had about the Fedora project. It was a nice balance of the internal and external aspects of the Fedora community and how it interacted with other communities and the macro environment.

Social Event:

On Saturday evening the event organizers planned a social event for exhibitors, volunteers and staff of the event on the top floor of the building. Long tables and benches were arranged (german beer garden style) and a nice buffet consisting of a nice balance of fish, meat and vegetarian dishes, pasta and various canap├ęs, fruit and desserts. In addition, there was a wide variety of local beer, soda, juice, wine, coffee and tea served. The food was excellent, fresh, and the caterers had plenty of food and drink available for all.

During the social event there was also entertainment provided. During dinner there was a jazz band playing and after the dinner a magician who traveled around to each table to give a personal show to people with a mix of comedy, magic tricks and balloon animals for the children.

We had a very nice time at our table with members of the Fedora ambassador team and our sister community of centOS.


Conclusion:

In conclusion, I would be comfortable in recommending this event to anyone. It was a very pleasant event with a relaxed atmosphere that was focused for all Linux users and contributors, possible adopters, and those just curious, as well as, their friends and families :-)

The planning and operations of this event were far superior to any other FOSS event I have attended and the organization skills were almost impeccable. Everything was thought out to the last detail and the planning yielded a good balance for the different types of people attending the event.

The ambassador team present at the event were professional and well organized also. It was especially nice to see those involved in cross/supporting project helping out and switching "hats" to help their fellow community members.

All in all, I would like to thank the event organizers of CLT 2010 for their superb event, Joerg Simon the event owner for his excellent organization skills and the extra special effort that he has made to make us ambassadors feel taken care of, and our fellow contributers who made this event possible.


From my personal and professional viewpoint, I believe the Chemnitzer LinuxTage should serve as THE example of the standard that ALL Fedora events should strive to be!!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Chemnitzer LinuxTage

In just a few short days, I will be attending Chemnitzer LinuxTage in Chemnitz, Germany. We have been very fortunate to have the FAmSCo chair Kital arrange everything for us before arrival. And I must say, he has done a very nice job at keeping clear channel of communication to all of us attending the event. A great thanks to you Kital!!! I am looking forward to meeting more members of our community, as well as, other FOSS community members, but cannot feel bad that Hiemanshu could not attend due to Visa problems. We will definitely keep him up to date as well as others during the event.

Looking forward to making this a great event where we cultivate innovation and creativity to further the development of the Fedora Project and it's contributors. See you there ;-)

Monday, February 8, 2010

After FOSDEM

Wow...What a really interesting and fulfilling event in so many ways. Being my first, my mind is still running in circles about the amount of meetings and presentations I attended through the course of the weekend. I had the chance to meet many of the founding members and proven leaders of the open source community and hear their experiences and better yet their ideas for the future. A truly amazing power networking event!!

I look forward to putting those plans into action which many of us agreed to collaborate on and to also continue to innovate new ideas and concepts that will allow our community to grow and expand into new areas.

In addition, it was great to finally meet those members of the Fedora community where up until now I only knew a name. It was excellent to meet in person and put faces to those names.

Most of all, I would like to thank the ambassadors for the fun time we had and look forward to doing it all again next year :-)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

FOSDEM Beer Event

Directly after the Fedora Activity Day,another exciting and necessary social event, from what I hear ;-) is the FOSDEM Beer event located here. This event will start on Friday the 5th at 18:00 and will be home to many of those from different projects and organizations whom are attending FOSDEM. I look forward to this activity to get a chance to see the F/OSS industry and it's members.

See you all there! And hope we survive to see Saturday morning:-)

Fedora Activity Day at FOSDEM

FOSDEM will offically start on Saturday February 6, but the Fedora Ambassador team will be meeting here starting at 13:00 to discuss various topics on Friday February 5 at our Fedora Activity Day at FOSDEM. I will be attending and look forward to meeting those I know, but especially those I have not met yet since this is a new year with new initiatives. One of our project leaders whom spent some time developing the Fedora Project in the EMEA will be there as well as many others involved in board positions, as well as, various teams within the project. I look forward to seeing you all there and discussing future opportunities to support the Fedora community as well as the greater "Open" movement.

Monday, January 25, 2010

FOSDEM 2010

Just 9 Days away from the start of FOSDEM. The start of a new year and with it the start of new opportunities. This will be my first FOSDEM and my first big event with Fedora...

The Ambassador team in the Netherlands has been preparing for a number of months for this event and the opportunities that it will yield for us and more importantly for the greater FOSS community. I can only expect great new ideas and projects, since now Industries and Governments are starting to see the big picture of FOSS and Open source due to access to resources, as well as, the value-added factors of low-cost and organizational sustainability.

Recently, there have been a lot of changes and focus on "All things open" where many public authorities are finally admitting that they "Do not have all the answers" or "Enough Human Resources" to sustain their systems. In addition, many non-profit and for-profit organizations are adopting communities to enhance and or jump start innovations to contribute to their long-term sustainability.

I believe that 2010 will be the year of "All Things Open" and look forward to sharing ideas, initiating projects, promoting and supporting the development of a better society, world and planet, not only for ourselves, but for our future generations.

See you at FOSDEM!!