Nathan Haines
Growing Up Free

Nathan is an instructor and a computer technician who has been using Linux since 1994. In addition to occasional programming projects, he is a member of Ubuntu and is involved with the Ubuntu California Local Community Team, where he helps spread the word about Ubuntu and Free Software.


The Free Software movement has finally produced a complete software stack from operating system to applications. Today it's possible to grow up using nothing but Free Software. What would it mean to grow up learning about the rights that Free Software grant us all? Combined with the Open Content movements such as Creative Commons, how does this change how kids think about others' creative works and the power of collaboration? The ideals and goals of the Free Software and Open Content groups have never been more concrete. The lessons of the Free Software movement have never been more teachable than now.

In this presentation I'll touch on how magazines with source code listings disappeared in favor of commercial proprietary software, then explain that the computer is programmable once again. With Free Software such as GIMP and Blender combined with ideas like Creative Commons, the ability to create anything you can imagine is now at the fingertips of any child. I'll discuss what people are doing with Creative Commons works, why collaboration is more fun and powerful than guarding works, and why the ideals of Free Software are worth teaching even in a world where proprietary software cannot always be avoided or ignored.