LibrePlanet: Conference/2012/Speakers

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Who's speaking at LibrePlanet 2012?

Bradley M. Kuhn


Bradley M. Kuhn is President and Executive Director of the Software Freedom Conservancy and on the Board of Directors of the Free Software Foundation (FSF). Kuhn began his work in the Free, Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) Movement as a volunteer in 1992, when he became an early adopter of the GNU/Linux operating system, and began contributing to various FLOSS projects. He worked during the 1990s as a system administrator and software developer for various companies, and taught AP Computer Science at Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati. Kuhn's non-profit career began in 2000, when he was hired by the FSF. As FSF's Executive Director from 2001-2005, Kuhn led FSF's GPL enforcement, launched its Associate Member program, and invented the Affero GPL. From 2005-2010, Kuhn worked as the Policy Analyst and Technology Director of the Software Freedom Law Center. Kuhn holds a summa cum laude B.S. in Computer Science from Loyola University in Maryland, and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Cincinnati. His Master's thesis discussed methods for dynamic interoperability of FLOSS languages. Kuhn has a regular blog at and a microblog (@bkuhn on

Brett Smith


Brett works in the Licensing Compliance Lab as our compliance engineer and licensing guru. He joined the FSF in August 2006 and handled the GPLv3 process. He was introduced to free software in high school and immediately became an advocate for the idea, writing papers and giving speeches on the subject.

John Sullivan


John started working with GNU Press and the Free Software Foundation in 2003 and then became the FSF's first Campaigns Manager, working on outreach efforts like Defective by Design, BadVista, and PlayOgg. In 2011, John became the Executive Director after four years as Manager of Operations.

His background is mainly in the humanities, with an MFA in Writing and Poetics and a BA in Philosophy, but he has been spending too much time with computers and online communities since the days of the Commodore 64. He's become a dedicated GNU Emacs user after first trying it around 1996, and contributes code to several of its extensions.

Prior to the FSF, John worked as a college debate team instructor for both Harvard and Michigan State University.

Josh Gay


Josh Gay is our newest campaigns manager. He comes back to the FSF from working on free textbooks in California.

He is a programmer, activist, and community organizer whose interests revolve around technology, government, education, and computer user-freedom.

Matt Lee


Matt Lee is our campaigns manager. He was previously a GNU Webmaster, with a two-year position as the GNU Chief Webmaster.

Away from the FSF, Matt makes noises with his band, wrote the book "Exploring Freedom" and is the founder of, and GNU social

Ward Vandewege


Ward discovered GNU/Linux in 1995 and never looked back. He likes to do both system administration and programming work and doesn't mind wielding the occasional soldering iron. He became Chief Technology Officer at the Free Software Foundation in September 2011, and worked previously as a system administrator since 2005, and was a volunteer before that.

Alison Chaiken

Alison Chaiken.jpg

My interest is in Event Data Recorders in cars and how they (and other proprietary software) will affect the privacy of drivers and the safety of vehicles.

I was extremely impressed by the FSF's identifying cars as an area of concern in the Holiday Gift Buying Guide, as few in our community are paying attention to vehicles yet.

Chris Webber


Chris Webber, senior software engineer at Creative Commons, talks about how CC uses free software, but more importantly how Creative Commons grew out of the free software movement, what lessons CC has learned (and maybe hasn't yet learned) from free software. How can we strengthen the bridge between our communities? What sort of general user freedom overlap exists, and what kind of overlap might we see in the future? What could CC learn from free software, and what could free software learn from Creative Commons?

David Sugar

David sugar.png

David Sugar is an active maintainer for a number of packages that are part of the GNU project ( and work on free software for telecommunications

Deb Nicholson (freedeb)


Deb Nicholson works at the intersection of technology and social justice. She has over fifteen years of non-profit management experience and got involved in the free software movement about six years ago. She currently splits her time between the Open Invention Network, MediaGoblin and Open Hatch. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts where she is slowly pursuing a graduate degree in Information Technology at Harvard University.

Eben Moglen


Professor of Law and Legal History at Columbia University Law School. Professor Moglen has represented many of the world's leading free software developers. Professor Moglen earned his PhD in History and law degree at Yale University during what he sometimes calls his “long, dark period” in New Haven. After law school he clerked for Judge Edward Weinfeld of the United States District Court in New York City and for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States Supreme Court. He has taught at Columbia Law School since 1987 and has held visiting appointments at Harvard University, Tel Aviv University and the University of Virginia. In 2003 he was given the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer Award for efforts on behalf of freedom in the electronic society. Professor Moglen is admitted to practice in the State of New York and before the United States Supreme Court.

Eben Upton

Evan Prodromou


Evan Prodromou is the founder of StatusNet Inc and the creator of the StatusNet software. His 20 years of software development experience began at Intel, then at Microsoft in the early 90s, which he left in 1996 to concentrate on the growing Web.

In 2003 Prodromou founded, a free, up-to-date world-wide travel guide with a Creative Commons license. Prodromou created the StatusNet software in 2008 and launched the community in July of that year.

ginger coons

Ginger coons.jpg

ginger "all-lower-case" coons is a designer, artist, sometimes-academic and all-round trouble maker. She is a member of the Libre Graphics magazine editorial team, serving as copy editor, fill writer and general editorial grunt. In addition to her activities with Libre Graphics Magazine, she gives talks and workshops introducing designers and artists. In addition to all of the above, she is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto.

ginger has spoken (notably) at Libre Graphics Meeting 2009 in Montreal, Libre Graphics Meeting 2010 in Brussels, Make Art 2010 in Poitiers and FOSDEM 2011 in Brussels. She has lectured to students about the merits of incorporating F/LOSS into design workflows and has spoken about her own art and design work at various galleries and artist-run centres.

Joel Izlar


Joel Izlar is a graduate student at the University of Georgia's School of Social Work focusing on community empowerment, program development and non-profit management. His interests include radical social work, poverty reduction, social, economic and digital justice, community organizing, technology, art and free culture. Izlar is particularly interested in how free frameworks and technology can be used to empower communities and promote radical social change. Izlar is currently sitting board president of Free IT Athens, an Athens, Georgia based non-profit organization that seeks to provide low-cost computer equipment and services to those in need. Izlar also resides on the Whatever It Takes initiative's technology team, an intitative that aims to ensure every child in Athens-Clarke county Georgia obtains a college education. Izlar has spoken on the topics of digital justice, technology and community change, technology and community organizing, and technology and domestic violence prevention.

Jonathan Nadeau

I'm a father, husband and a blind GNU/Linux user. Being a advocate of Free software and accessibility, I worked with Ruben Rodriguez from Trisquel during my internship at the FSF. I brought awareness of accessibility to Ruben and he worked with me to make sure that Trisquel was accessible to blind and low vision users.

Karen Sandler

Karen M. Sandler is the Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation. Prior to joining GNOME, she was General Counsel of the Software Freedom Law Center. Karen continues to do pro bono legal work with SFLC and serves as an officer of both the Software Freedom Conservancy and SFLC. Before joining SFLC, she worked as an associate in the corporate departments of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in New York and Clifford Chance in New York and London. Karen received her law degree from Columbia Law School in 2000, where she was a James Kent Scholar and co-founder of the Columbia Science and Technology Law Review. Karen received her bachelor’s degree in engineering from The Cooper Union.

Matthew Garrett

A former fruitfly biologist, Matthew now spends his time making sure that the kernel Linux works on modern hardware, and is involved with the UEFI and ACPI standards bodies so you don't have to be. He's also a strong believer that vendors who ship GPLed code should actually conform to the license requirements, and is willing to sit outside their offices until they do.

Mike Linksvayer

Mike Linksvayer has served as Vice President and CTO at Creative Commons, where he started in 2003. Previously he co-founded Bitzi, and worked as a web developer and software engineer. He lives in Oakland, California.

Richard Fontana

Richard Fontana is a lawyer at Red Hat, responsible for advising developers, managers and fellow lawyers about free software licensing, copyright and patent issues, educating non-developers about free software culture, and promoting open standards and legal reform.

Before joining Red Hat, Fontana was Counsel at the Software Freedom Law Center, where he principally worked on drafting GPL version 3 for the Free Software Foundation.

Rubén Rodríguez (quidam)


Rubén is a 29 year old computer engineer from Spain, founder and main developer of the Trisquel GNU/Linux project. He also started two small IT companies which are still working to offer services towards free software, and he currently works as CTO for Activity Central, helping educational free software deployments in development countries.

Asheesh Laroia


Asheesh loves growing camaraderie among geeks. In the past, he has chaired the Johns Hopkins Association for Computing Machinery and taught Python classes through community spaces in San Francisco and Boston. He realizes that most of the work that makes collaborative projects successful is hidden beneath the surface. Professionally, he has engineered software at Creative Commons and the Participatory Culture Foundation. Today, he works as project lead for OpenHatch, a non-profit making collaborative code communities more welcoming.

Michael J. Flickinger

Michael J. Flickinger has been involved with GNU Savannah since 2004, and presently acts as Savannah's maintainer. Michael discovered GNU/Linux over twelve years ago and hasn't ever looked back since. Michael currently resides in Indiana, Pennsylvania.

Masayuki Hatta

Masayuki Hatta (八田 真行) is an assistant professor of Economics at the Facaulty of Economics, Surugadai University in Saitama, Japan. Trained as an economist/organizational theorist, Hatta writes and talks extensively about the so-called intellectual property issues and software licensing in particular. He is also a journeyman hacker (a GNU and Debian developer), an avid supporter of the Free Software cause and a vocal advocate for hacktivism and the freedom of internet in general.

Yukihiro Matsumoto

Yukihiro Matsumoto (まつもとゆきひろ) a.k.a. Matz is a Japanese computer scientist and software programmer best known as the chief designer of the Ruby programming language and its reference implementation, Matz's Ruby Interpreter (MRI).

Jeremy Allison

Jeremy Allison is one of the lead developers on the Samba Team, a group of programmers developing a Free Software Windows compatible file and print server product for UNIX systems. Developed over the Internet in a distributed manner similar to the GNU/Linux system, Samba is used by all Linux distributions as well as many thousands of corporations and products worldwide. Jeremy handles the co-ordination of Samba development efforts and acts as a corporate liaison to companies using the Samba code commercially.

Jeremy is a member of the Board of Directors of the Software Freedom Conservancy, a not-for-profit organization that helps promote, improve, develop, and defend Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects.

He works for Google, Inc. who fund him to work on improving Samba and solving the problems of Windows and GNU/Linux interoperability.