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Wizards of OS #1: Open Sources and Free Software

Jun 29, 1999, 18:00 (1 Talkback[s])


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

July 16 - 17, 1999
House of World Cultures, Berlin


The rise of free software -- notably GNU/Linux -- is the most astonishing recent development in the computer world. The consequences can hardly be forseen. Is the Linux boom ringing in the sell-out of free software? Or are we now witnessing the challenging of information capitalism which is based on "intellectual property"? Is a truly new economy taking shape or is open source simply the software business model of the flexible service society?

Whether free software is only about the freedom of programming code, or -- as GNU founder Richard M. Stallman puts it -- also about the question what kind of society we want to live in, is the subject of the conference "Wizards of OS" that will take place on July 16 and 17, 1999 in the House of Worlds Cultures in Berlin. Wizards of OS #1 is the first event in Germany to focus on the culture, philosophy, politics and economics of free software. The overriding theme is: Free software between a social movement and the market economy. Two worlds meet. In the encounter of cooperative and corporate cultures, there is more at stake than the question of who is developing the better software.

The Wizards of OS offer presentations and public discussions on the following subjects:

  • Free Software Licenses versus copyright, patent and trademark law; what sort of license models are available and what are there advantages and disadvantages?
  • Open source cryptography versus "security through obscurity": which model is safer?
  • Free software and the fair exchange of knowledge between richer and poorer nations.
  • Free software in education.
  • What is the strength of open standards setting like on the Internet, where are its limits?
  • How can the mechanisms of free software be applied to other forms of knowledge, to text, images, music and multimedia art?
  • What kind of parallels to the privatization of public knowledge can be found in the other digital revolution, in genetics? Seeds have also been exchanged and further developed by farmers since the beginning of agriculture, but today, chemical and pharmaceutical companies such as Monsanto -- which likes to refer to itself as the "Microsoft of biotechnology" -- claim property rights on the source of life.
Furthermore, prominent free software projects will be introduced by their developers: the free implementation of the X-Windows System XFree86, the user interface KDE, the Web server Apache, the script language Perl, and the other free Unix BSD.

This will be followed by presentations of companies that do business with free software: the Linux distributor SuSE, medium-sized Linux support firms such as Lunetix and Innominate, the publishing house O'Reilly, the commercial software company Intershop that offers its eCommerce solutions under Linux, the daily newspaper "die tageszeitung" that is being produced on a Linux-based editorial system, the equipment maker for building materials, process engineering and wood processing technology Babcock that utilizes Linux in its networks, and Apple and Sun that have recently begun to allow people to peek into their source code.

May the Source be with you!


one day DM 30 / two days DM 50
reduced fee: one day DM 15 / two days DM 25

In order to register, please make over the fee to: mikro e.V., Berliner Sparkasse, Account No. 720007038, Intn'l Bank Code (BLZ) 100 500 00, purpose "WOS" and send an e-mail with your name and registration to: info@mikro.org


Volker Grassmuck <vgrass@rz.hu-berlin.de>

financial organization and execution:
Thorsten Schilling <info@mikro.org>

press contact:
Tilman Baumgaertel <tilman_baumgaertel@csi.com>


mikro e.V. -- Institute for Computer Science, Working Group for Computer Science in Education & Society of Humboldt University Berlin -- Institute for Aesthetics of Humboldt University Berlin -- Center for Art and Media Technology (ZKM), Karlsruhe

in cooperation with:
House of World Cultures Berlin -- Telepolis -- Individual Network Berlin -- Berliner Linux User Group -- Berliner NeXT User Group -- Interface 2000 -- V2_Lab, Rotterdam -- context m. mind.media.development, Berlin


Berliner Senatsverwaltung fuer Wirtschaft und Betriebe -- Zentrum fuer Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe -- Oracle Deutschland GmbH -- O'Reilly Verlag Deutschland - - Intershop Communications GmbH -- Technologiestiftung Berlin/Protime -- Midat Maerkische Informatik & Datentechnik GmbH -- Lehmanns Fachbuchhandlung GmbH -- V2_Lab, Rotterdam

Media Partners:
Telepolis -- Mediacube GmbH

Florian Cramer <paragram@gmx.net>, PGP public key ID 6440BA05
combinatory poetry site: <http://permutations.home.ml.org>