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.

Troy Davis

Dear reader…

Thanks for all the comment I had so far. Last week Troy Davis died, after the emotional traumatism it has cause in the United States, and it other countries in the world, it seems life has continued, and  sadly with time his execution will be forgotten, and no lessons would be learn from his death.

When Obama has been elected in 2008 there was hope that this country will change for the better. Indeed it was the first time in the United States history that a black man entered to the white house. Sadly he remained silent and did not try to take part for Troy Davis. At the same time last week he said explicitly that he will not support the application to the U.N for a Palestinian state. He will support Israel.  In my opinion Mr Obama is seeking to be relected next year and therefore he has been advised to not take position in order to gather more votes among the largest possible people.

But how about the people ? The black people who contribute to elected him ? I suppose people have voted  for Mr Obama because  they had hopes. There had hopes beause he has be able to gather the black and white community. They’re was hope for a better justice system. And for me that is in this kind of situations, that the president should taken a strong positon in favor of  Troy Davis.

People would have expected Mr Obama to have convictions and intergrity regarless of his electoral sake.

Mr Obama consider  that United States a great country and civilized country. I beleive, Mr Obama have lost credibility when he says that he is seeking justice, because his silence shows that you his interests prime over his convictions.

Here you can see a video of Tim Wise an anti-racist activist doing a plege after  Troy Davis execution . His pledge is very interesting and ask a lot of questions about the american system and values. Unfortunately his speech is not complete on the video. I am a European and I don’t know so much of the american history. But I can see that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln had values and morality, and they have contribute to build, the idea the nations of the United States of America. What are the values that nows United States shows to the world ?

In Europe we heard about this Troy David death, people were also shocked. Sadly, because of the economical crisis the media are more concerned about their national debt, the greek bail out, so they have less covered  Troy Davis excution news.  The death penality have been abolished, and it has been widely accepted by the population that death penality wasn’t right.

One the book which has started to inspired people was “the last day of a condemned man”. I remember to have read this book when I was a teenager, and this book stayed in mind. One particularity of this book is that the reader do not know about the crime commited, by the condemned man. People could argue that they want to know the crime. However Victor Hugo have wonderfully describe the feeling at the first person of the condemned .  Whatever he has done, and the condeemn whish to redeem himself. The death penaly is not right and just, because it does not give a chance of the condemn to have hope to changes.

Morever when the case of Troy Davis where they was a lot of doubt of his guilt he was still executed. As Tim Wise have stated in his speech the supreme court judge this at the very last minute of his execution. Why ? How a judgment of man life could be taken in a hurry ? At the same time we see can Apple suing competitors because of copyright infridgment taking a lot of time. I beleive there is  a team  of lawyers who get enormous royalties if they win Apple case. At the same time there wasn’t hurry among laywers to defend Troy David because he could afford to have a bench of lawyers  to defend his case. Yes that is the justice is led by money more than sense of values, morality and human rights.

So for me the Anonymous movement is  born to the reactions of this injustice, among many others. If a country does not try to act for a  better justice and does not hold values for the people,  this movement will grow and grow up to the point where it will be a revolution. I do not wish a revolution but a global revolution is happening. Internet allows to  spread information and it’s getting more difficult for the officials to hide some informations which discredit the governements . Any government shoud hold their responsabilty for the people not for the interest of a rich minority. In Europe we are also no better as in U.S. and many injustice happens as well.

What can we do… ?