Time for Coders to Get Political?

This LinuxJournal article by Glyn Moody discusses some recent political activity by Richard Stallman in France, and ends by asking whether more coders should step up and be political.

I think we will always need both code and people protecting the rights of those who author and use this code. Some people have better skills with what Lawrence Lessig called (US) "West Coast Code" (software) and others more on (US) "East Coast Code" (policy, laws, etc). We need to ensure that we have enough coders working on each at all times.

I will be hosting a Birds of a Feather session at the upcoming 2006 Ottawa Linux Symposium on Digital Copyright and GOSLING. I noticed on the program that there were other more political BOFs being hosted, and contacted their organizers. I have been in conversations with David Hellier (Bridging the digital divide and educating the children) and Christine L.E.V. Hansen (Closing the Gates on Closed Source: Competing for Africa with no holds barred)

Christine has suggested that we may want to dedicate part of each of our sessions towards collaboratively working with participants on a declaration that can come out of the event. My hope is that it can be something that we can bring to politicians and let them know what this software development community feels on some critical policy issues.