[FOSDEM] more problems with visa letters

Daniel Pocock daniel at pocock.pro
Thu Jan 21 10:00:34 CET 2016

On 21/01/16 00:36, Ludovic Brenta wrote:
> Daniel Pocock <daniel at pocock.pro> writes:
>>> That would void the point of the whole "invitation letter" system,
>>> and could put the legal entity behind FOSDEM at risk.
>> I'm not sure what you mean by that
>> As far as I understand it, FOSDEM is a free event where everybody is
>> welcome,
> But Belgium and the Schengen area are *not* free countries where
> everybody is welcome.  At least, that's what the law says and that is
> the reason why the law mandates invitation letters.  Sending invitation
> letters to "everybody" would defeat the purpose of Belgian law.

I feel (or at least, I hope) that our grandchildren will look back on
such behavior with the same disgust that people feel today about
antisemitism (which wasn't just limited to one country/dictator),
discrimination against homosexuals (which is still a problem, but much
less than it used to be) or the discrimination against women (100 years
ago they couldn't vote[1] in most countries).

Think about it for a moment, wouldn't such racist behavior look out of
place in other domains, e.g, "developers in country `X' can only join
the mailing list if they submit their fingerprints"?  To
turn the tables on that, what would happen if free software developers
in the rest of the world put a clause in all their licenses and
contributor agreements stating that their software can only be used by
people/countries who do not impede the freedom of the developers to
participate in events?  It would be controversial like the GPL, but
could it be worded in such a way that it would meet the definition of a
"free" license and would it catch on?

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women's_suffrage

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