Windows by Day, Linux by Night


11 Dec 2003

Aula QA

Windows by Day, Linux by Night. On Thursday the 11th of December 2003 Rector Ben Van Camp introduced the VUB CROSSTALKS network – initiated by VUB Vice Rector Research Jan Cornelis - for a public of about 200 people. As well students, VUB professors, industry people and representatives of political and non-profit organisations had gathered in Aula QA to listen to the opposing viewpoints and economical and social models associated with Free & Open Source Software and Proprietary Software.


INTRODUCTION: Jan Cornelis and Marleen Wynants
MODERATOR: Frank Gielen


Speaker 1: Armin Medosch (10') - Austrian artist, writer, journalist and copyleft culturist.
Speaker 2: Talal el Sayyed, manager of Linux in IBM EMEA - West Region (10')
Speaker 3: Wilfried Grommen (10') - General Manager Business Strategy for Microsoft EMEA (Europe-Middle East-Africa)
Speaker 4: Kaj Arnö (10') - Vice President Training program MySQL, former founder and CEO of the Finnish solution provider Polycon Ab.
Discussion among panel members : (20')


Speaker 5: David Ellard - responsible for the Software Patents program at the European Commission (10')
Speaker 6: Angel Vaca - spokesperson from Centro de Fomento de Nuevas Iniciativas Consejería de Educación, Ciencia y Tecnología for the Spanish Region Extremadura that choose for Open Source Software for its administrative and other services and clients
Speaker 7: Peter Strickx (10') federal ICT government
Discussion among panel members: (20')


Bios / Slides



received a Master degree in Telecommunication System Engineering from
the Royal Military Academy in Brussels (1985) and has a Ph.D. in Computer
Science from the Free University of Brussels (1993).

From 1993 untill 2002, he held a number of
technical and management positions in the software industry . He started as a
software architect and technical manager with AT&T Bell Labs in the USA and
was also Director of Software Technology at Alcatel. In 1998 he joined Telliu m,
a US based startup company in optical network technology, as the VP of Software
Engineering. He returned to Europe in 2001 as the CEO for Tellium EMEA.

In 2002 he was appointed Technology
Transfer Officer for the interface cell of VUB and joined the University of
Ghent as a professor in Software Engineering.


is a writer, artist
and curator born in Graz in 1962. He was co-founder of the online magazine
Telepolis - The Magazine of Netculture which he co-edited from 1996 to 2002.
With Telepolis he was awarded the European Online Journalism Award and the
Grimme Online Award. Together with Janko Röttgers he edited "Netzpiraten", a
collection of essays which portray the Internet's underworld. As a co-curator of
the online project "Kingdom of Piracy" (2001 - ongoing) he produced DIVE, a
collection of essays and a CD ROM with free software and copyleft works by
digital artists (FACT, Liverpool, 2003). His latest book on "Free Networks -
Freie Netze" (Heise, October 2003) tells the worldwide success story of wireless
community networks. Medosch currently writes and edits a publication for the DMZ
London Media Art Festival and prepares an exhibition about games culture by
artists for the Ya Buena Vista Museum, San Francisco.

Some related links:

ABSTRACT of talk: "Linux by
day, dynebolic by night "
Huge numbers of people
are involved in what has been called 'commons-based peer production', i.e. the
production of goods and services based on resources that are held in a commons
and organised by peers. Young computer workers, programmers and artists, are
challenging the perception that Linux is for serious geeks only. New software
such as the boot CD Linux distribution dynebolic and applications such as FreeJ,
Muse, PD and GEM facilitate new channels for creativity and media freedom. Live
mixing and multi-channel streaming of audio and video make Linux appear not only
very useful but also funky. When everybody with a PC and a broadband connection
becomes a pirate radio/tv station - is this the final nail in the coffin of the
entertainment industries? While most participants would not knowingly subscribe
to any one particular ideology, they are making an implicit choice in joining a
hybrid of gift-based and service economy rather than producing intellectual
commodities. By making this choice they show that they no longer buy into the
capitalist philosophy of ownership and scarcity of resources. Neoliberalism
wants to reduce us to a Social Darwinist world view. People decide that they
prefer to receive less money for the privilege of being able to define their
work themselves. On an intuitive level, people express their desire to be
cooperative rather than competitive or, more explicitly, put the common good
above individual wealth. This work of love is now done not just by a few from
the ranks of the art and the hacker elite but by millions. Without explicitly
formulating itself as oppositional, this nondescript movement of movements
slowly but inevitably changes society from within.

has trained more than 2.000 IT users and developers at about
200 training classes across Europe, the US and Asia. With successful track
record in consulting assignments, often serving customers in their respective
native languages, Anrö leads the localization efforts of MySQL AB. Prior to
joining MySQL AB in June 2001, Kaj Arnö was founder and CEO of the Finnish
solution provider Polycon Ab. At present, Kaj Arnö is the Vice President of
MySQL and the creator of the MySQL training program.

ABSTRACT of talk: A Dual
Licensing Business Model, or "Open Source both Day and Night"
over 4 million installations, MySQL has the ubiquity of a successful Open Source
project. With over 4.000 customers, a partnership with SAP AG and a business
model that has earned a 19,5 million dollar investment by leading American
Venture Capitalists. How can MySQL succeed at being a commercial business and an
Open Source project, both day and night? And is the business model of MySQL a
role model for the industry in general? Can you build a successful business on
Free Software, using the GPL license? Does society have an interest in promoting
an Open Source model over the Closed Source model?

Wilfried GROMMEN
holds a
B.S. in civil engineering and electro-mechanical engineering with a
specialization in microelectronics from the University of Louvain.

expertise was developed at Cimad Consultants/IBM Professional Services, where he
headed the technology competencies. This included the Internet, middleware,
software, and systems management, each of which was applied in several large
projects for the financial sector. From Cimad, he became Industry Services
Executive for Capital Markets Region West at IBM, where he managed a consulting
team of over 300 people. He was a Founding Partner of CAPCO - Capital Markets
Company - a Belgium Financial Services software company and responsible for
alliances, technology thought leadership, and delivery. He was the strategist
for the Software Factory, the internal laboratory for Capco component-based
software solutions for the developing e-finance marketplace. He served as
Strategic Marketing and Technology Director at BIM, a Benelux systems
integrator, and as Product Marketing Manager for the information systems group
at Motorola. He also served as an auditor for European Union research programs

Wilfried Grommen joined Microsoft as
General Manager of .NET Platform Strategy Group for EMEA - Europe, Middle East
and Asia.


The software industry is a key industrial sector within a
local country's industrial activity. Moreover the Lisbon declaration aims at
positioning the EU as the WW "knowledge industry" leader at the end of this
decade. However a vibrant software industry assumes guiding principles like
intellectual property recognition, freedom of choice, open standards, skills
development, research investment, neutral procurement rules etc. This
presentation will highlight MS vision on these criteria for success.


holds a M. Sc in Computer Science with a specialization in
Artificial Intelligence from the Free University of Brussels, where he graduated
in 1987. From 87 till 89 he worked as a research assistant with Prof. Luc Steels
(VUB). During his 10.5 years at Sun Microsystems Belgium he held various
management positions in Sales & Marketing as well as in more technical areas
such as sales support.

ABSTRACT of talk:
"Open Source: Back to the Future?"

Do you know where your "vendor dependencies" are and how
they limit your organization's flexibility ? The choice for Open Source should
be based on business requirements and ROI. Several Open Source projects are
leading edge (Apache, Tomcat/JBoss, OpenOffice)but the real issue is when/where
and how do you use them. We believe in open/standard, published interfaces
(APIs)and competing implementations for strategic initiatives but sometimes
time-to-market and cost considerations lead to different "tactical" options.

Back to

holds a M. Sc. in
Computer Science from the University of Seville, where he graduated in 2001. He
was a member of the RedIris PTYOC initiative during 2001, in which he worked in
the design and development of a distributed FTP protocol based on free software
solutions. In 2003 he joined the Centro de Fomento de Nuevas Iniciativas as a
technician, researcher, developer and tech-advisor.

ABSTRACT of talk
" GNU/LinEx: Extremadura takes the lead. A further step
towards free software"
Extremadura's Information Society
strategic project is founded on the fundamental principles of connectivity and
technological literacy. Its aim is to improve extremadura citizen's quality of
life, from a perspective of equality and freedom. Thus, some actions have been
carried out in Extremadura that have lead to the development of a powerful
communications network (the Regional Intranet), capable of interconnecting as
many as 1,400 nodes, scattered all over the 383 municipalities of Extremadura.
On the other hand, several projects are currently working to achieve both
educational and socio-economic goals. This lead to the design and implementation
of the following networks and centers: an Educational Technological Network, a
Technological Literacy Plan, New Centres of Knowledge, Vivernet or the breeding
ground for IT-related business and a Centre for the Promotion of New
Initiatives. These form the background for the GNU/LinEx project (Programas
Libres - Free Software), which has been born as a way to satisfy our region
IT-related needs without having to depend on outside factors which are out of
the reach of the public sector (such as proprietary

has been an
official of the European Commission since 1995 and has worked in the fields of
information technology, competition and now industrial property. His
responsibilities currently include the proposed directive on patentability of
software inventions, international exhaustion of trademarks, the proposed
directive on enforcement of intellectual property rights and questions related
to economic and competition aspects of industrial property, including patent
litigation insurance. Previous to his current position in the Internal Market DG
of the Commission, he worked in anti-trust policy in the information technology
sector and in the EC's information technology research program, Esprit. Prior to
the European Commission, he worked in the information and communications
technology sector as a sales engineer for voice and data networking

ABSTRACT of talk: "The
European Commission's proposed directive on computer implemented
'The European Commission's proposed directive on
computer implemented inventions has recently been undergoing intense discussions
in both the European Council and Parliament, who are co-responsible for passing
the directive into law. The draft directive, originally proposed back in
February 2002, would harmonize the way in which national patent laws deal with
inventions using software. Such inventions can already be patented by applying
to either the European Patent Office (EPO) or the national patent offices of the
Member States, but the detailed conditions for patentability may vary. A
ignificant barrier to trade in patented products within the Single Market exists
as long as certain inventions can be protected by patent in some Member States
but not others. A key aim of the directive is to maintain and clarify the
existing distinction between, on the one hand, the exclusion of patents for pure
software and, on the other, the possibility of granting patents for inventions
implemented by computer programs which make a "technical

Talal EL

Manager of Linux for EMEA west region , in charge of linux
for France , Belgium , Luxembourg , covering all the IBM proposal including
Hardware software , services , relationship with linux dedicated business
partners , relation with the linux community in both countries ,personnally
early adopter of linux platform for personnal and professional usage.

ABSTRACT of talk: "Linux and
IBM, the OSS and Linux adoption in Europe"

is Vice-Rector
Research of the VUB - Vrije Universiteit Brussel - and head of the department
"Electronics and Information Processing - ETRO". He graduated in 1973 as a
mechanical & electrotechnical Civil Engineer and has a PhD in Applied
Sciences. He is professor of electronics, digital image processing and medical
imaging at the VUB Faculty of Applied Sciences. He is the oordinator of the
"Image Processing Systems" research community (FWO - National Foundation for
Scientific Research) and member of the Board of Directors of IMEC
(Interuniversity Micro Electronics Center) and chairman of the VUB Incubation
Fund BI 3 . He is a scientific collaborator of the ULB - Université Libre
Bruxelles - and consultant professor at North-Western Polytechnical University
in Xi'an, China. He is the main inspirator behind the VUB CROSSTALKS Industry
and University Network and his main research interests lie in the domain of
Image processing and Machine Vision.

Visit Jan's personal homepage here.


is an independent
journalist and publicist working and living in Brussels. She graduated in
linguistics and literature, with a Masters in audio-visual communication
sciences (KULeuven) and started working as content producer for the official
Belgian Radio and Television in its pre-commercial stage. Writing as a free
lance journalist on art and music, she was the editor of the post-punk magazine
Fabiola, leaving the scene in 1988, the year that Hillel Slovak, Chet Baker,
Divine, Sylvester and Roy Orbison died. Since 1992, the birth of her two
daughters and the breakthrough of the internet and ICT reoriented her focus
towards learning processes, the emergence of creativity and the relevance of
gender in a cognitive, technological, artistic or scientific context. In recent
years, she focuses her activitities on the communication and dissemination of
science and interdisciplinary scientific projects. She published articles for
the major media groups in Belgium, books for children and creates workshops on
creativity and technology in primary schools and interdisciplinary contexts. At
present she is the operational manager of CROSSTALKS, the university and
industry network of the Free Brussels University.