"Copyright vs Community in the Age of Computer Networks" is the title of the lecture Richard Stallman(bio) will be giving at WVU on February 17th, 2010. This is a free lecture open to the public which has been generously sponsored by the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. The WVU Free Software Group and Association for Computing Machinery chapter have worked jointly to present this lecture.


This event was recorded and is available to download for viewing. The total run time of the lecture is 146 Minutes (2:26:16).

Formats Available

Having problems with the files? Try a using VLC. It's Free Software and will play almost any type of file.


Copyright developed in the age of the printing press, and was designed to fit with the system of centralized copying imposed by the printing press. But the copyright system does not fit well with computer networks, and only draconian punishments can enforce it.

The global corporations that profit from copyright are lobbying for draconian punishments, and to increase their copyright powers, while suppressing public access to technology. But if we seriously hope to serve the only legitimate purpose of copyright–to promote progress, for the benefit of the public–then we must make changes in the other direction.


The coordinators of this lecture may be reached below for questions.

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This lecture is located in room 113 of the Mineral Resources Building on the WVU Evansdale campus. It is scheduled to run from 7:00pm until 9:00pm. Signs will be posted throughout the building directing guests to the room.

Directions from Interstate 79

  • Take the Star City exit to get off of I79 (Exit 155).
  • From the exit ramp, turn left if you came from I79-South or turn right if you came from I79-North.
  • Follow the road as it merges with US19 / WV Route 7. Cross the Star City bridge which crosses the Monongahela River.
  • Go through the first light after the bridge and drive up the hill towards the WVU Coliseum which will be on your right.
  • Pass through the stop light at the Coliseum and get in the left turning lane for the next stop light.
  • Turn left towards the WVU Creative Arts Center and go up the hill.
  • After passing the WVU Creative Arts Center, stay on the windy road. The Mineral Resources Building is the first on the left.

Directions from Interstate 68

  • Take the Pierpont exit off of I68 (Exit 7).
  • From the exit ramp, turn left if you came from I68-East or turn right if you came from I68-West.
  • At the base of the four-lane road is a stop light, get in the left turning lane.
  • Travel up the hill to the next stop light. Go straight through this stop light. The Morgantown Airport will be on your left at this stop light.
  • Drive through the Mileground to the next stop light where you will turn right. This will be Hwy 705.
  • Travel on 705 through four stop lights. At the fifth stop light, turn left on to Van Voorhis Road. BB&T Bank will be on your right at this stop light.
  • Follow Van Voorhis Road until it merges with Patteson Drive. You should be able to see the WVU Coliseum on the far horizon.
  • Stay on Patteson Drive until you come to the stop light at the WVU Coliseum. Turn left at this light.
  • Stay in the left lane and turn left at the next light.
  • After passing the WVU Creative Arts Center, stay on the windy road. The Mineral Resources Building is the first on the left.

Alternate Directions for Interstate 68

  • Travel I68-West until it intersects I79.
  • Travel I79-North until the Star City exit (Exit 155).
  • Follow the directions given above for I79.


Richard Stallman launched the development of the GNU operating system (see www.gnu.org) in 1984. GNU is free software: everyone has the freedom to copy it and redistribute it, as well as to make changes either large or small. The GNU/Linux system, basically the GNU operating system with Linux added, is used on tens of millions of computers today. Stallman has received the ACM Grace Hopper Award, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer award, and the the Takeda Award for Social/Economic Betterment, as well as several honorary doctorates.