This talk is more about the coercion of labor into open source software. So I want to take a critical look at how we can engage businesses and other stakeholders in technology companies to begin to create a more equal and sustainable environment for all people contributing to open source.
Quite often when we’re asking these difficult questions we’re asking about questions where we might not even know how to ask where the line is. But in other cases, when researchers work to advance public knowledge, even on uncontroversial topics, we can still find ourselves forbidden from doing the research or disseminating the research.
Generally people don’t see the skirmishes that are always always always going on in the background to preserve where we are now in terms of laws against sex discrimination or laws that would promote sex equality. But compared to where we were when the ERA came out of Congress in 1972, we are very much better off in terms of equality of rights being guaranteed by the law, because so many laws that did discriminate on their face are off the books as a result of the struggle for the Equal Rights Amendment.