free software

All layers must be free in a a free civilization

Countless working examples of people creating free layers show the huge potential of free and open systems. However interior and exterior difficulties and problems in communities that are engaged in projects like in the free software world cannot always be overcome.

Successful as well as failed ideas and projects can teach invaluable lessons. To learn about the way people work together, their common ideas, differences and their culture as well as about the opposition to these ideas does not only teach us a lot about the successful organization of free layered projects, it could indeed teach us some basic lessons how a free society could work.

I believe a civilization where all layers are free, a civilization with a culture of free exchange and collaboration can guarantee a truly free society.

To know what difficulties lie ahead in the creation of a free civilization, or rather free societies, and what strategies and solutions are available, we should look for answers in the communities engaged in free layered projects that are already successful today as well as to projects that encountered problems, splitted up or even stopped working completely.

What are free layers?

Some questions should be answered that could help to understand what free layers actually are.

1. What is the common idea behind free culture, free content, free software, free hardware, free infrastructures and a free economy?

2. What are working examples of free layered projects and why do they work and others did not?

3. Who are the people engaged in communities building free layers?
a) What do the people in these communities identify as the basis for their project? Political changes, technological changes, cultural changes?
b) What do people engaged in projects have in common, what not? - ideas, organizational structures, background.
c) What is the motivation of people to take part in these projects?
d) What are the difficulties of people engaged in projects and how do they solve problems?
e) What communication technologies do they use primarily?
f) What common cultural particularities can be identified?
g) Where do the people involved meet, work and communicate?

4. What difficulties a systems of free layers face in regards to international treaties, patents and copyright laws and censorship?

A world where everything is free

Imagine a world, where everything is free. Impossible? Right now people all over the world are working on this idea. They want to create a world where you can instantly have access to free content like free music, videos or texts, free software like free operating systems, programs, computer games and even powerful search engines, free hardware like plans for computer chips and free infrastructure like local wireless mesh networks.

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Freie Software als philosophisches Konzept

Wenn im Zusammenhang mit Software von „Freiheit“ gesprochen wird, bedarf diese Verbindung einer Erklärung, da sich der Inhalt nicht allein durch die Worte erschließt. Besonders im Englischen, wo das Wort „free“ in Verbindung mit Dingen, die normalerweise verkauft werden, sofort die Assoziation des „umsonst“ hervorruft, muss geklärt werden, was „frei“ in diesem Zusammenhang bedeutet.

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Free Culture, Free Software, Free Infrastructures! Openness and Freedom in every Layer of the Network (Flo Fleissig, Episode 1)

Flo Fleissig interviews Kloschi (Freifunk), Kurt Jansson (Wikimedia), Jürgen Neumann (Freifunk), Rishab Aiyer Ghosh (United Nations University), Lawrence Lessig (Creative Commons) and Allison and Benoit (Montréal Wireless)


"Hello this is Flo!" .. from the free culture, free software, free infrastructure conference Wizards of OS in Berlin. "It is good stuff you can do here. There are excellent panels with excellent people from all over the world." And Flo is gonna go out to interview some of those excellent people. Watch how Flo talks with Kloschi, Freifunk activist and developer from Leipzig (Germany), finds out that Kurt Jansson, head of the Wikimedia association in Germany, uses the same Freifunk gateway as himself or learns about the early days of free infrastructures in Germany by talking to Jürgen Neumann one of the "founding fathers" of the Freifunk community. Further on Rishab Ghosh from the United Nations University in Maastricht explains how open content and open infrastructure are closely related, before he gets an overview of the development of the world’s biggest wireless network in Berlin by Flo … And of course he also gets to know where he finds Flo’s node in the network. Also, Lawrence Lessig from Stanford University and Creative Commons (and without name tag) describes the free network project in Berlin as “an extremely important project to liberate the physical layer right now.” Flo: “Thank you Larry … and here is your name tag, which I found.” Finally Allison and Benoit from free wireless community in Montréal explain about different models to share and give us a few insights into the chances and difficulties you face when you try to establish a free and open network.

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