[fosscom] 4th July meeting

parminder at itforchange.net parminder at itforchange.net
Thu Jul 2 20:48:54 PDT 2009

> On Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 2:12 PM, prabir<prabirp at gmail.com> wrote:
> <snipped>
>> If we want the software tools and platforms to be Free and Open, DRM,
>> patents and other froms of restriction have to be addressed -- if not
>> today,
>> then tomorrow. Even if we do not bring it in to the CMP right now -- if
>> some
>> people are not convinced -- I do not think it should be kept  out of all
>> our
>> discussions. CMP should not set the limit of discussions but only of
>> united
>> action.
> Thanks Prabir for articulating this. I feel it is more important to
> focus on what we in the FOSS community need to do. There are many
> issues that we feel passionate about and if we dilute that to broaden
> the coalition, there may be nothing left that keeps us together. The
> core will not hold.
> I hope that this meeting will help us in the FOSS community
> collaborate with each other to build a stronger community in India.
> Venky

This is an interesting discussion - what we want to do and how can we best
achieve it. It will never be completely consensual, but keeping this
discussion alive is important. My email tried to make a case that without
a larger socio-political engagement and constituency our gains will at the
best will be limited. Venky argues that trying to achieve this may confuse
the 'core' of what he calls as the 'foss community' and handicap our
capacities for effective action. Both sides of the argument may hold. I
would think that it is best to try to build a larger case and
constituency, but proceed carefully in manner that doesnt confuse the
'core' and make it ineffective. And develop a viable working networked
relationship between these different groups. There are structural issues
on how such a 'system' can work, and these, I understand, bothers Venky.
However, it is best to keep revisting these structural issues - analyzing
them and proceeding on appropriate action and advocacy paths accordingly.

I for instance never consider myself as a part of a 'foss community' in
any serious and abiding manner. 'Community' to me seem to represent a
self-representing and self-justifying group. And that can become a
problem. There are not correspondingly 'right to education community' or
'RTI community', or 'public health community' though these terms may
loosely be applied to represent groups of people interested in and
promoting similar issues. However the centrality of the fact that these
groups have no 'interests of their own' but are involved (only) in wider
space of social change and public action is clear.   I think there is good
case, perhaps even the opportunity, today to try and build such a broader
'open ICT' advocacy/ action group.


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