The Politics of Cooption in Open Source and Free Software

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Thursday, June 23, 2016 from 10:00 – 10:45am in B204


The Open Source and Free Software community is no longer simply a patchwork of hobbyist communities. Our change and growth brought many advantages, but some disadvantages too. We now operate in a microcosm not unlike the larger USA and international political climates. Hear the story of how it operates from an political insider.


Historically, Free Software was an alternative endeavor directly in opposition to the software industry, which until the last five years, was primarily concerned with the production and marketing of proprietary software.

Due primarily to a huge interest in recruitment of developers, for-profit companies have coopted the traditional message of software freedom to their own ends. Most Open Source and Free Software written today is under the direct control and direction of companies rather than the individuals who do the work.

This keynote will introduce the audience to the complex political climate and interactions between charities, trade associations, and companies in the Open Source and Free Software community, and discuss the striking parallel our microcosm has to the larger corruption and undue for-profit corporate control found in the broader political system.


politics freedom community

Speaking experience

Bradley is a regular speaker at many software freedom related conferences.


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