Flattr makes sense in so many ways, it won’t be long before many “appreciation” systems like Digg follow suite because, the Free Culture movement is really not about being anti-Money. Rather, FOSS is all about removing the primitive element of coercion, aggression and violence from the world economic system.
As we move towards true post-scarcity money becomes just another way to show gratitude. Remember the time when it was just an abstract means of exchange for the pre-Industrial, pre-Net age — an abstraction which existed only to drive people away from acts of altruism while enslaving their fellow human beings with Copyright and Intellectual Property Laws?
Flattr is in beta right now, but you can request to join as a beta tester.
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IT HAS long been a cherished goal of radicals to own the means of production. While Ubuntu is software libre, it is not entirely in the public domain. Instead, protected by the Free Software Foundation’s GNU license scheme, the software is released periodically to a community of computer users around the world who enjoy all the benefits of free applications such as Mozilla Firefox, Sun OpenOffice and Rythmnbox but instead of being simply consumers of software, bound by the legal quagmire of Intellectual Property law that continues to strangle innovation, each user is considered an important part of the “liberatory process” by which all may participate in the collective production of the operating system. In fact, users are encouraged to make copies of the OS and to give the software away, and as one quickly learns on the Ubuntu forums and Ubuntu brainstorm, the best way to get anything done, is to do it yourself.
This is part and parcel of the Ubuntu Linux experience, marketed as “Linux for Human Beings” and is a complete reversal of the old way of doing things, in which large corporations such as Apple or IBM delivered the holy sacrament of the operating system for which users had to part with their hard-earned cash. How is all of this possible?
Well for starters, there is the Linux kernel on which Ubuntu is based. The Linux Foundation is responsible for the kernel development and those with the inclination may join the kernel development mailing list and participate in the process by which code is derived. Then there is the Free Desktop. Not one but several. Ubuntu contains Gnome by default, but there are also variations such as KDE and XFCE. Each with a loyal following. If desktop development doesn’t appeal to you, then there are the free applications. About 25 000 individual pieces which make up the upstream Debian distribution which finds its way into Ubuntu via a unique package management system called synaptic.
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