Friday, September 08, 2006

Open source beer

Lawrence Lessig writes in Wired about some Danes that are using the open source model for their beer - remarkably called Free Beer. Basically, they publish the recipe (the source code, so to speak) and allow people to brew their own. If you make and distribute changes to the code, err, the recipe, the license requires you to publish the changes to

So, you can make you own beer and it will taste just the real Free Beer. That is if you compile the code, err, make the recipe correctly. Truthfully, I'd probably rather pay someone to make the beer for me and serve it to me in frothy mug along side some wings and nachos. But, each to their own.

And there is the main point - open source licenses give the consumer a choice. You can choose to make your own router/firewall or your own Free Beer. The source is there for the taking. Or you can chose to have someone produce a router/firewall image and brew the beer for you for a reasonable fee. I'd contend that when you consume a sufficient number of router/firewall devices on your network or enough pints you're probably willing to pay for some support services as well - especially if you consume both at the same time :)

I know how the OFR performs and operates but I have no idea how Free Beer tastes. Anyone brew a pint on their own yet? Got some nachos handy?


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