Free Culture

Dear reader,

Thanks for stopping by here. Today I would like to talk about a book Free Culture written by Lawrence Lessig. He essay’s is available there and it seems that his work has been quite popular in U.S. and it also seems that he has influenced a lot of people, on subject related to copyright.

I wonder whether Lawrence Lessig is known in Europe or in Asia. At least for sure he is not known by most of people, even if he went to study at Cambridge University around two decades ago according to Wikipedia. I am currently reading work and it’s really interesting to understand the impact of the copyright ideas into our world. Despite the title the author does not promote a piracy and is not against any form of the copyright. He explains the impact of the miss use of the copyright, and how it could affect the creativity in general.  Even if it’s available free of charge it doesn’t mean he promotes a culture where everything should be free. Unfortunately a lot of people miss understand the mean of Free Software. His book was heavily influenced by Richard Stallman work in which he wrote the foreword of his unique essay. You can find it there. Because Richard Stallman seems to be an activist, a lot of people have criticised Richard Stallman who wants to apply the use of free software to the extreme. (I shall discuss this on another post)

In the computing world would the people gather the same way and creates innovative software without the “Free Software Fundation” ideas ?  In the computing world I can names so many successful fundations (I will not list them as the list would way to long, and I may forgot/not know many them…) In my opinions one of the companies to pay tribute is RedHat. They have successfully set up their open source business since many years now. When Marc Ewing and Bob Young started this open source business they were taken of dumb and people taught they would disappear very quickly. People did not believe in the open source business model. Several years later their company is successfully established the open source model in the computing world is likely to be key player in the software industry for the servers for a long time.

The ideas beyond “Free Software” is that it enhance exponential the possibility of creativity and innovation, could then benefit the vast majority of us, instead of benefit a minority of us. People on vast majority does not acknowledge Richard Stallman nor Jimmy Wales, which I consider also of visionary.

Earlier the vast majority of us payed a tribute to this CEO who passed away recently,  but Jimmy Wales is not acknowledge by the vast majority of us. Why? To some extent that what makes me sad because this person has also influenced the world beyond much more in my view than this iconic CEO which have been elected by the Time magazine “The person of the year”.  If you ask people on the street if they know Jimmy Wales, or this CEO? I am going to bet that the majority know this CEO, but they don’t know who is Jimmy Wales. If you do not who is Jimmy Wales, you should know that you’re using all the time, and almost every day what he has launched in 2001: Wikipedia.

To conclude this post I would express my belief: The Free Software ideas have opened doors and made things possible which was not before and contribute to innovation and creativity much more that patent in the software industry.  Moreover the open source community have proven it was possible to do a sustainable business with the open source model.

It’s up to us to reinvent the world now. A world where knowledge is not kept to protect the interest of a minority but a world where knowledge is shared under certain conditions and enhance creation/innovation to the benefit of the vast majority of us : A world with a Free Culture.

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