Vitaly Repin

Dare to know!

Vitaly learnt PDP-11 assembler at the age of 13, completed his university studies in Saint Petersburg and started his carrier at Nokia Open Source Operations in 2007. Now he is the founder and CEO of Metida Print, young and energetic Finnish startup company. During his carrer he managed to deliver multiple complex, free software projects such as Meego Email client and rose to become the Product owner of Productivity related applications. His last project was award winning N9, the last Nokia phone build using open source & free technologies. Vitaly is passionate cyclist, loves weird music a true global citizen and his personal credo is "Sapere Aude!" - "Dare to be Wise". He believes the world should be open and free by collaborating and understanding each others strengths and weaknesses.

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Our world is full of exciting opportunities delivered to us by the information technologies. We live in a digital age. As an example, our parents in 80s were shocked by live TV broadcasts from one continent to another. Today anybody can do the same (it's called live streaming) using his or her smartphone. It made citizen journalism possible. You can order the book or article in several clicks and it will be instantly delivered to your e-book reader, mobile phone and soon to the cars and refrigerators.

However, this digital ocean is full of dangers which most of us are not aware of.  What are the software licenses? What "works of authorship" mean and which licenses can be applied to them? What is the proper balance between our security and privacy? Should the understanding of human rights itself change because of the new technologies?

This course is focused on these questions. It is made with cooperation of Richard Matthew Stallman who is the founder of Free Software Foundation. He is the most famous expert in the field of digital freedom. Dr. Stallman is not only a theorist but also a practitioner. A living legend that has dedicated his life on liberating source code and making it available for all.

Welcome to our course! We are eager to share the knowledge with you! Make a step on the road to freedom!

Keywords: GNU, GPL, Creative Commons, Copyleft, FSF, Freedom, Licensing, Sharing


Road to the Free Digital Society. Introduction from Vitaly Repin on Vimeo.


Week № Subject
Wk. 1 Introduction to the course. Human rights in Computing, Four Essential Freedoms. How do we define Software Freedom? What is GNU/Linux history? Why GNU? Introduction to the computational ideas patents.
Wk. 2  Threats to the Free Digital Society. We will go through the most dangerous threats to the Free Digital Society: SaaSS, Universal Backdoors, Censorship, Sharing, Precarity and more.
Wk. 3 Copyright and Copyleft: How to make software free? Discussion on software licenses to select for your project.
Wk. 4 Works of Authorship in the Free Digital Society. History, Philosophy, Practice. Discussion on the licenses to select for your works of authorship (including documentation)
Wk. 5 Digital lifestyle to support freedom. How can we contribute to the Free Digital Society? Practical steps on the way to the Free Digital Society.

Learning objectives and outcome

The objective of this course is to help participant understand the threats introduces to the modern society by the informational technologies of the day. It includes but not limited to the threats introduced by malicious and proprietary software, patented software, e-books and cloud computing.

By the end of the course participant will be aware of these threats and will have understanding on a practical and philosophical levels of the ways to contribute to the free digital society.

Course requirements

No recommended background. Everybody is welcome!

Assessment criteria

The course contains five quizzes (one per week). In order to get the Statement of Accomplishment, the student should get the passing grade 60% or more.

Course duration

Five weeks.

Start date: 04 May 2015

End date: 07 June 2015

About the Instructor

This course is based on the lectures by Dr. Richard Matthew Stallman and are done in cooperation with him.

Richard Matthew Stallman is a software developer and software freedom activist. In 1983 he announced the project to develop the GNU operating system, a Unix-like operating system meant to be entirely free software, and has been the project's leader ever since. With that announcement Richard also launched the free software movement. In October 1985 he started the Free Software Foundation.

Since the mid-1990s, Richard has spent most of his time in political advocacy for free software, and spreading the ethical ideas of the movement, as well as campaigning against both software patents and dangerous extension of copyright laws. Before that, Richard developed a number of widely used software components of GNU, including the original Emacs, the GNU Compiler Collection, the GNU symbolic debugger (gdb), GNU Emacs, and various other programs for the GNU operating system.

Richard pioneered the concept of copyleft, and is the main author of the GNU General Public License, the most widely used free software license.

Richard graduated from Harvard in 1974 with a BA in physics. During his college years, he also worked as a staff hacker at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab, learning operating system development by doing it. He wrote the first extensible Emacs text editor there in 1975. He also developed the AI technique of dependency-directed backtracking, also known as truth maintenance. In January 1984 he resigned from MIT to start the GNU project.

Course content

  • Week 1. Introduction to the course. Human rights in Computing, Four Essential Freedoms.

  • Week 2. Threats to the free digital society

  • Week 3. Copyleft: How to make software free?

  • Week 4. Works of Authorship in the Free Digital Society. History, Philosophy, Practice.

  • Week 5. Digital lifestyle to support freedom

  • FSF campaigns

Interested? Enroll to this course right now.

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