Jul 30 • 16M

Ep 16: Matthias Kirschner wrote a Children's Book about the Right to Repair (and Free Software, too!)

Paul talks with Matthias Kirschner, president of the Free Software Foundation Europe and author of a new children's book: Ada and Zangemann which celebrates the right to repair...and free software.


Appears in this episode

Paul Roberts
Weekly dispatches from the front lines of the global fight for the right to repair, including interviews with repair warriors on the front lines hosted by Paul Roberts, the founder of SecuRepairs.org and The Security Ledger and Jack Monahan.
Episode details

In this week’s podcast, I interview Matthias Kirschner, the President of the Free Software Foundation Europe and, more recently, author of Ada and Zangemann: a Tale of Software, Skateboards and Raspberry Ice Cream, a children’s book that explores questions about repair, free software and (if you ask me) even bigger questions about software, technology and human expression. 

Ada and Zangemann explores the adventures of Ada, a young girl with a passion for tinkering  and her encounter with Zangemann, a black turtleneck-and-jeans-wearing tech entrepreneur (sound familiar?) with a penchant for creating cool connected devices, but some pretty noxious ideas about controlling how his creations should and shouldn’t be used. 

The book is a celebration of technology and software as acts of creation and expression. It also dives into some of the biggest issues facing societies and economies as smart, connected devices become ubiquitous. Namely: what does it mean to “own” something? And where do the rights of owners and creators (aka “copyright holders”) pick up and leave off?

In this conversation, Matthias and I talk about what inspired him to write Ada and Zangemann, the process of creating the book (with contributions from his own children), the role of free software in a software-driven world, and what he hopes younger generations will learn from his book about the role of free software and repair in a world of smart, connected stuff. 

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Video Podcast and Transcript

Below, find a video of my interview with Matthias as well as the text transcript of our conversation.

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