CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, USA -- Tuesday, March 20, 2018 -- This weekend, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and the Student Information Processing Board (SIPB) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) present the tenth annual LibrePlanet free software conference in Cambridge, March 24-25, 2018, at MIT. LibrePlanet is an annual conference for people who care about their digital freedoms, bringing together software developers, policy experts, activists, and computer users to learn skills, share accomplishments, and tackle challenges facing the free software movement. LibrePlanet 2018 will feature sessions for all ages and experience levels.

LibrePlanet's tenth anniversary theme is "Freedom Embedded." Embedded systems are everywhere, in cars, digital watches, traffic lights, and even within our bodies. We've come to expect that proprietary software's sinister aspects are embedded in software, digital devices, and our lives, too: we expect that our phones monitor our activity and share that data with big companies, that governments enforce digital restrictions management (DRM), and that even our activity on social Web sites is out of our control. This year's talks and workshops will explore how to defend user freedom in a society reliant on embedded systems.

Keynote speakers include Benjamin Mako Hill, social scientist, technologist, free software activist, and FSF board member, examining online collaboration and free software; Electronic Frontier Foundation senior staff technologist Seth David Schoen, discussing engineering tradeoffs and free software; Deb Nicholson, community outreach director for the Open Invention Network, talking about the key to longevity for the free software movement; and Free Software Foundation founder and president Richard Stallman, looking at current threats to and opportunities for free software, with a focus on embedded systems.

This year's LibrePlanet conference will feature over 50 sessions, such as The battle to free the code at the Department of Defense, Freedom, devices, and health, and Standardizing network freedom, as well as workshops on free software and photogrammetry, digital music making, and desktops for kids.

"For ten years, LibrePlanet has brought together free software enthusiasts and newcomers from around the world to exchange ideas, collaborate, and take on challenges to software freedom," said Georgia Young, program manager of the FSF. "But the conference is not purely academic -- it works to build the free software community, offering opportunities for those who cannot attend to participate remotely by watching a multi-channel livestream and joining the conversation online. And this year, we're proud to offer several kid-friendly workshops, encouraging earlier engagement with fun, ethical free software!"

Advance registration is closed, but attendees may register in person at the event. Admission is gratis for FSF Associate Members and students. For all other attendees, the cost of admission is $60 for one day, $90 for both days, and includes admission to the conference's social events. For those who cannot attend, this year's sessions will be streamed at https://libreplanet.org/2018/live/, and recordings will be available after the event at https://media.libreplanet.org/.

Anthropologist and author Gabriella Coleman was scheduled to give the opening keynote at LibrePlanet 2018, but was forced to cancel.

About LibrePlanet

LibrePlanet is the annual conference of the Free Software Foundation, and is co-produced by MIT's Student Information Processing Board. What was once a small gathering of FSF members has grown into a larger event for anyone with an interest in the values of software freedom. LibrePlanet is always gratis for associate members of the FSF and students. Sign up for announcements about the LibrePlanet conference here.

LibrePlanet 2017 was held at MIT from March 25-26, 2017. About 400 attendees from all over the world came together for conversations, demonstrations, and keynotes centered around the theme of "The Roots of Freedom." You can watch videos from past conferences at https://media.libreplanet.org, including keynotes by Kade Crockford of the ACLU of Massachusetts and Cory Doctorow, author and special consultant to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

About the Free Software Foundation

The FSF, 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, and its Web sites, located at https://fsf.org and https://gnu.org, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at https://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

More information about the FSF, as well as important information for journalists and publishers, is at https://www.fsf.org/press.

Media Contact

Georgia Young
Program Manager
Free Software Foundation
+1 (617) 542 5942
campaigns@fsf.org

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