Presentation on the Free Software community and legal aspects


G-POPAI promotes the presentation "The Ironic Rise of Free and Open Source Software and the Making of a Hacker Legal Consciousness", by Gabriella Coleman, New York University.

The presentation will be in English, at anfiteatro 3 (bloco didático) - EACH (USP Zona Leste).


In the span of just two decades, free software hackers and enthusiasts successfully secured a domain of legal autonomy for software production during an era of such unprecedented transformations in intellectual property law that critics describe them with ominous terms like the "second enclosure movement" and "information feudalism". Not only did this movement first arise and consolidate while largely unaware that it was in the midst of this second enclosure movement, but it also survived and flourished, only later to cultivate an accentuated consciousness of the legal transformations driving these enclosures. This dynamic should make us pause to reassess and reappraise the historical relationship between these two countervailing legal trends in the digital era. This chapter addresses this relationship by presenting these trends as two related but initially independent historical trajectories that over the last decade have become intimately intertwined. The first trajectory pertains to free software's maturity into a global techno-social movement and the second turns to the globalization of intellectual property provisions that led to the types of enclosures so famously covered and critiqued in the work of a host of legal thinkers.

June 19th, 2008