Monday, June 11, 2007

Eben, Kerala and other issues

I had a very long chat with Eben Moglen last week and had gone down to Delhi in this heat wave to meet with him. On Saturday morning, when the temperature was 45 degrees centigrade, around 50 people turned up to hear him talk about the issue of software patents and Microsoft's claims that Linux violates its patents. Eben is a combative force-of-nature and I am glad he is on our side!

We spoke about a number of things that will become common knowledge once the Software Freedom Law Center unveils its plans for India. Before, coming to Delhi, Eben had spent three days in Kerala. We agreed that it was important that Kerala succeeded with Free and Open Source Software because it is one place where there is both, political will as well as grassroots support for FOSS. The plans to set up an academic center of excellence for FOSS in Kerala was another thing that we spoke about. This academy is a wonderful idea and I would love to teach there. Incidentally, I will now be speaking on open source at the IIT Bombay's course on ICT for Development.