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. SFLC.in 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.
The team representing SFLC.in 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 SFLC.in, namely freedom to innovate, open access to knowledge, and privacy.
- 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.