ownCloud and free software in the cloud: Meet Frank Karlitschek in Open Space Aarhus

I’m co-organizing this event, involving our hackerspace and the FSFE local group in Aarhus:

Frank Karlitschek, creator of ownCloud, will give a talk centering on ownCloud, free software in the enterprise and data protection in a post-Snowden world.

The talk will be followed by a discussion with the audience and a discussion panel consisting of:

  • Frank Karlitschek, Debian developer and creator of ownCloud
  • Christian Orellana, CEO of Cabo, a company that build enterprise clouds from free software
  • Carsten Agger, local group coordinator in Free Software Foundation Europe and software developer in Magenta, a company that specializes in free software mainly for the Danish public sector.

The event will take place in Open Space Aarhus on

Wednesday, October 1 at 18:00 hours

Do bring  a friend, this is going to be interesting!


Opening reception at Open Space Aarhus

Open Space Aarhus is the venue for our FSFE Fellowship meetings i Aarhus, and it just moved to a new location just opposite the university’s departments of computer science and digital design.

The site’s chairman Flemming started the event by explaining the meaning of the term “hacker” in “hackerspace” and its value in modern society, and that meant explaining the value of free software.

Flemming Frandsen speaks about Free Software

Among other things, including of course the ins and outs of the hackerspace itself.

Open Space Aarhus: The Rules

As can be seen, quite a lot of people showed up for the reception – many of which we had never seen before (this was of course the whole point of having the opening reception).

The new hackerspace has lots of working space

… electronics room, dirty room, even a home-built laser cutter and CNC machine

… people doing fun and geeky stuff who like to tell people how they did it …

… all in about 200 square meters of semi-industrial building bang in the middle of the university’s computer science campus and the related science park with many startup companies.

I’m quite excited about the possibilities of this new hackerspace, both as a regular member and as a coordinator of the local FSFE group. And so is everybody else. It seems like the right place at the right time, and the location can hopefully attract many new and interesting free software and freedom-in-general related activities here in Aarhus.

Update: I uploaded some more photos from the event to a Flickr set.

FSFE in the news

I’ve been quoted in the Danish newspaper Arbejderen (“The Labourer”) under the headline “IT Employees Launch Campaign Against the Patent Court“. The campaign is  about the upcoming referendum on the Danish accession to the new EU-wide Unified Patent and the related Unified Patent Court. The work of the FSFE and especially our Fellowship group is mentioned.

It is very important to campaign for a “no” in this referendum, since the Unified Patent will make the current problems with software patents from the European Patent Office much worse. If Denmark votes no, its businesses will be at least partially shielded from European-wide enforcement of software patents. The campaign is organized by PROSA and the IT-Political Association of Denmark.

This is more relevant than ever, as the EPO now openly admits that “technical software” can be patented.

See this, and this.

The quote is:

Carsten Agger is active in the IT-Political Association of Denmark and in  Open Space Aarhus, an association of people interested in technology[1].

He is also a coordinator in the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) which fights for the right to develop and distribute software freely.

This Friday, the FSFE joined a campaign to ask all  candidates for the upcoming elections for the European Parliament to join a pact which states that free software is a common good which is worth fighting for.

If you want to read the rest of the article, I propose you use Google Translate, as I don’t have the time to translate all of it.

Tonight, there’s going to be a public meeting in Aarhus to launch the new campaign against software patents and the Unified Patent. I hope there’s going to be a lot of people and that we can get the “no”. That could also help get the movement against software patent going in all of Europe.

Our local group in Aarhus will contribute as much to the campaign as it can. The patent court and the referendum will be the subject of our next fellowship meeting on February 20.


[1]: Also called a HACKERSPACE. That’s the term we prefer.

[2]: Actually, the original article states that the FSFE launched that campaign. This is wrong and is not what I told the journalist. APRIL has launched it, the FSFE and specifically our local group wants to join it. The journalist has now fixed this in the online edition.

Fellowship meetings in Aarhus resumed

On Thursday the 20th, we had our second FSFE Fellowship meeting in Aarhus, Denmark, this year. Our group is new; we had three Fellowship meetings in 2012, after which we had to take a year’s break until we resumed them in May this year. The plan is to have one meeting monthly on the third-ish Thursday of each month.

The meetings take place in Open Space Aarhus, which is the local hackerspace featuring a large and well-equipped meeting room.

We were twelve people that day, which so far is a record. I gave a talk on BibOS, which is a customized Ubuntu installation which my company Magenta ApS is developing for the public libraries in Denmark. In the beta phase, the libraries were  using Canonical’s proprietary Landscape product, but found it too expensive per seat and wanted a Free/Open Source replacement – so about half of my talk was dedicated to the Landscape-like remote admin system which we are also building.

The talk was part of a deliberate strategy – we want to attract visitors by always having an interesting talk so people who don’t necessarily sympathize with (or care much about) the idea of software freedom will have a reason to come and hear about it anyway.

Afterwards, we talked about an idea our member and co-coordinater Benjamin has  about building a new web site in Danish to showcase free software success stories.  Benjamin has lots of experience building nice sites in Drupal. We may be allowed to replace the current (nice, but unmaintained) content of  OpenSource.dk. There was some discussion whether such a site should refer to the political and philosophical advantages of free software; in the end, it was decided to concentrate on the business aspects but include a well-rounded section on the concept of free software, which I offered to co-write.

All in all, the meeting went very well, and I have a good feeling about this reboot of our Fellowship meetings. Our next meeting will be on Thursday, August 22, and if you’re going to be anywhere near Aarhus, Denmark that day, you’re most welcome to show up.

Link: Official Minutes of Meeting on the Wiki (Danish)