Free Software Movement of Karantaka (FSMK) organizes annual week long technical camps for students, with a special emphasis on Free & Open Source Software (FOSS), its significance, benefits, and contribution towards an internet ecosystem that is free (as in Freedom) and accessible to all. was a proud co-organizer of the FSMK Camp, 2016 held from 18th to 24th July, 2016 and had the opportunity to conduct workshops with the young students on the broad themes of privacy, creative commons, and software patents. These workshops gave us the platform to interact and initiate conversations with students on topics  that are intrinsic for developing rights, practices, and laws  that foster growth of knowledge and freedom for the use of the abundant resources being offered via the internet.

Particpants at the Camp

The team representing at this Camp conducted activities on three specific topics: Creative Commons, Software Patents, and Terms of Service & Privacy Policies. These topics were each chosen to represent ideas and principles that are fiercely advocated by, namely freedom to innovate, open access to knowledge, and privacy.

  • Creative Commons: This workshop was an effort to introduce the concept of licensing of creative works under creative common licenses that integrate more freedom in their terms of use as opposed to the traditional copyright regime. As a part of this presentation, the various features of a creative common license, such as attribution, non derivative, non commercial, share alike, public domain, were discussed in detail. These features were then practically implemented through a group activity by the students where they created their own original work, in the form of a story by using items licensed under creative commons and licensed it under a Creative common license. This activity was a short introduction to Copyleft, where we tried to explain the various features of the creative common licenses, their ability to be customized as per the author's needs, and the sharing of knowledge through a common pool of resources.
Nehmat Kaur speaking about Creative Commons Licenses
  • Software Patents: This activity was of particular importance for the students participating at the FSMK Camp as these camps are designed for students from a computer science and technical background. The one and a half hour workshop on this topic was designed by way of an activity that asked the students to design various parts of an e-commerce platform to demonstrate how software developers would have difficulties with even simple coding solutions if software patents are permitted. Further, we elaborated on the laws and the current legal system around granting patents to softwares, and the debate around this issue in India. This exercise, was an eye opener for the future software developers about the patent land mine in the way of innovation, that already exists around the world, and could be a possibility in India as well.
  • Terms of Service & Privacy Policy: This session aimed to dissect a few key provisions in a social media platform's terms of service and privacy policy and through that, have a conversation about digital privacy, its representation in the physical world, the digital footprint being created every moment, and importance of privacy for enabling freedom of expression. We touched upon Aadhaar and the importance of a solid foundation for the scheme that guarantees the protection and security of our personal information, and the imperative need of a data protection law for the country.

Creative Commons ActivityStudents learning FOSS technologies on the Camp GearAll Participants

Camp Website