Sunday, February 18, 2007

FREE BEER - The Boston Globe

I'm surprised this didn't happen sooner.  Read the full article for more details, but don't get your hopes up -- only the recipe and branding are available for free.

Faced with frequent puzzlement over how "free software" could be free if it cost money (and is able to support billion-dollar investments from the likes of IBM, in the case of Linux), Stallman came up with a simple explanation: "think of 'free' as in 'free speech,' not 'free beer.'"

While the line was perhaps odd coming from someone like Stallman (who apparently doesn't like beer), it nicely captured the point that while the product itself cost money, the underlying know-how was free to be shared. The line became legendary among free software and open source advocates and others who thought critically about how to structure the ownership of creativity.

So along came a bunch of Danes who seem to have missed the meeting that made clear this was just a metaphor. "Free as in free software," they explained when rolling out Free Beer, or, as their website now says, "Free as in free speech."

Source: FREE BEER - The Boston Globe

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