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Re: [Fsfe-uk] What the treasurer did... (early Feb 2003)

From: Alex Hudson
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] What the treasurer did... (early Feb 2003)
Date: 11 Mar 2003 21:15:52 +0000

On Tue, 2003-03-11 at 14:49, Nick Mailer wrote:
> > Apologies for any misconstruction about how much AFFS does ... clearly
> > this should have centred on perceptions rather than reality, as you seem
> > to suggest.
> What? You mean the AFFS isn't just a useless talking shop? Someone needs
> to sort out the PR in that case ;-)

Actually, no, I think we would all recognise that as a valid criticism -
our PR has been pretty woeful. As an example, we generally have at least
one person at every free software related event in the UK, but you
wouldn't have known it from this list - and, often events have been very
useful for us: I know of a fair few people on this list who have got
here by talking to one of us in person, and that then has often put us
in contact with others. 

There are a number of reasons why this has been the case, including the
changing of personal circumstances for a number of us, but obviously
this is something we do need to address. I guess the immediate answer is
just more discipline - I don't see the point of assigning someone the
task of 'PR' at the moment, because there are more useful things they
could do. 

I think the Birmingham meet is going to be important to us for a number
of reasons. One is PR - and, if there were ever good agenda items for
the AFFS AGM, PR would be one of them - and the other is volunteers. I
don't think we've ever really made a big drive for volunteers, it's
always been more of a side-effect of other stuff we've been doing, but
that probably needs to change: we need more help.

The coming year is probably going to throw a lot at us on a number of
fronts. I believe (actually, know) we will see a law enacting software
patents very soon, or attempting to enact them. When it actually
happens, we need people to help make a big noise about it - PR would
definitely be the order of the day. We still have EUCD looming (er..
does anyone know what's going on with this atm??). Is there going to be
other stuff? You bet - at least, though, the Americans tend to enact
their laws first and give us a good idea of what to watch out for.
CBDPTA (?) is a good example of something we need to watch for, and this
is just 'law' stuff: of course, AFFS does exist to make sure people are
aware of things that could affect the legality/existance of Free
Software in this country, but we're also supposed to be doing positive
stuff to promote Free Software. Thus far, I'd say we'd done more
promotion than defence, but it's likely the balance may have to change

So, anyone with spare time, consider donating it to us - we could use
it, definitely. And while we do have a set of ideas and tasks to
perform, if other people have ideas don't hesitate to contribute them.
The thing about this list is that it's often quiet, but usually chat
begets chat, and it perks up. And yes, people like myself doing stuff in
the name of the AFFS need to tell people more about what we're doing -
that is definitely true. 



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