[promotional ideas] Symbiosis between Free Software and Free Culture

Bogdan Bivolaru bogdan.bivolaru at gmail.com
Sat Apr 12 20:47:56 UTC 2008

also sent to info arond fsf.org


My name is Bogdan Bivolaru (surname Bogdan). I write for some time to 
support free software, but some of my ideas seemed to be underpromoted. 
So I thought why should these ideas lie lonely on my websites/blogs - I 
should offer them to the wider world, so that these ideas get promoted, 
gain traction and who knows? maybe one of them turns into a real 
project. So here I publish them, to the home of the free software 
definition and the home of free software concept and the home of the GNU 

In this message I present my ideas on collaboration between 
non-programmers in the land of freedom and in the new software economy.

I have so far written several articles/ideas on promoting Free Software 
using Free culture. I'll attempt to summary these ideas here and provide 
links for further reading. Please do send comments and questions (also 
send negative comments).

What I believe Free Culture needs to grow:

   * free software tools for sharing artwork and their integration into
     creational tools - GIMP, OpenOffice, Blender, Audacity need
     versioning capabilities;
   * a tool to find others work according to different criteria - free
     software "coders" have http://krugle.org, artists need something
     similar to the proprietary "Goo gle" Image Labeler - or semantic
     search engine for artwork, such as
   * making artwork files formats more modular so that artists can work
     in parallel (autonomously) of each other;
   * lots of marketing targeted to artists.

I believe there is empirical evidence that people appreciate freedom as 
long as they experience it directly. Likewise, I believe artists will 
best experience freedom in software not by filing bugs and writing 
documentation, but by submitting their own work to a common pool of 
artwork an see it being improved by others who either have more time or 
are more experienced.

I see these two concepts, free software and free culture, as symbiotic 

   * Free software is an enabler for Free Culture (free culture is
     impossible in the absence of free software);
   * Free Culture creates test cases that can be used to promote Free
     Software (allows us to say "look what can be done with Free
   * Free Culture enlarges our user base with active, participative users;
   * Free Cultural works can be included (embedded) in Free software -
     for icons, themes, examples.

What else means promoting Free Software through Free Culture? It means 
we need to start advertising the collaboration tools in our software. We 
have to enable and encourage artists to share their work with other 
artists and with the world - just as our programmers do. Go out there 
and tell student/young artists how they can work more efficient as a 
collective. Show them examples of "free cultural projects' that are 
successful and which they can contribute to. Examples include:

  1. Wikipedia <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page>
  2. Students for Free Culture <http://freeculture.org/>
  3. Mutopia Project - sharing free music sheets
  4. Project Gutenberg, the first producer of free electronic books

I consider as part of the free culture any reproducible work:

   * accounting exercises for teaching in schools;
   * office templates (there are already several office templates
   * 2D images;
   * 3D models with textures;
   * psychology questionares;
   * music sheets.

Should we have a community that goes by the principles of "free 
software" for each or most fields of human activity, we shall achieve 
far greater success than what we got by now.

A sizable, realistic objective for free culture: add versioning support 
to the "The Blender 3D Model Repository" 

Last, but not the least I should remark that supporting free culture 
does not deny proprietary culture artists to use our free software tools 
- that's why they are free software, so that one can use them for any 
purpose they wish.

Other thoughts of mine on this matter:

   * Promoting Free software [kind of

   * Non software contributors in Free Society

   * Promoting Linux as a tool for a participative community

   * Workspace for Colaborative Development in Different Domains

   * Freedomware calls for artists, end users

All materials are CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted. Please do contact me 
if you find any material that is not under a free license.

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