FREE BEER released
Nope, it’s not that FREE BEER you see in the small picture, it’s a book called FREE BEER, that has been released now. FREE BEER is a collection of texts written by speakers at FSCONS 2008 and based on their respective talks. Here are authors and text titles of the copylefted book:
Nikolaj Hald Nielsen: From Consumer to Creator
Mike Linksvayer: Free Culture in Relation to Software Freedom
Stefan Larsson: The darling conceptions of your time
Ville Sundell: A utilization of Jabber Instant Messaging
Henrik Moltke: RMS on FREE BEER (Interview)
Jeremiah Foster: Creating Debian packages from CPAN
Rasmus Fleischer: Kopimi
Johan Söderberg: Hackers GNUnited!
Victor Stone: Unexpected Collaborations
Denis Jaromil Rojo: The Wever Birds
Smári McCarthy: The End of (Artificial) Scarcity
I read Söderbergs (quite long) article, where he wants to »look at hacking from a trade union perspective«. First, he re-read the Luddites rebellion not simply being a machine-destroying movement, but as a militant movement improving their bargainig position by threatening the productive means of the raising capitalist class. Then he compares the Luddites with modern hackers or crackers threatening an unobstructed functioning of software industries, mostly operating from inside and not from outside of the companies.
Söderberg extends this picture with the free software movement, which from his viewpoint also improves its bargaining position by making all secrets of the software production process open — except of their own personal knowledge and experience, which then can be sold at a higher price. On the other hand proprietary software developers are bound to the proprietary means (tools) of development and thus are more dependent on the employer, which results in a weaker bargaining position when it comes to salaries.
Nice hypotheses, which though require empirical investigations, as the author concedes. Unfortunately, Söderberg wrote nothing about the consequences for new unionist strategies in the field of software development, which may follow from his thesis. And he said nothing about trancending the capitalist framework as a whole. Waiting for part two, Johan 😉
Söderbergs Hypothesen sind ein Beispiel für die (längst überfällige) Rückkehr des Materialismus. Richtig ist, dass nicht – wie es manchmal rüberkommt – eine Art geistige Qualität der „Idee freie Software“, deren Zeit nun einmal gekommen sei, deren Ausbreitung ermöglicht. (Das kann man allerdings gut den Ideologen der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft erzählen, die auf solche „die Zeit ist reif“-Argumente immer ziemlich eingeschüchtert reagieren, weil es genau ihre idealistische und emphatische Denkweise ist.)
Konkrete Interesse konkreter Menschen setzen freie Software durch. Allerdings sind das nicht nur die höheren Löhne, sondern auch Faktoren wie Selbstbestimmtheit der Produktion, eigene Bedürfnisse nach bestimmter Software und auch der Spaß, der sich aus der Zusammenarbeit mit anderen ergibt.
You could read part 2 here, which I and George Dafermoes wrote for Capital & Class peer-2-peer issue:
To answer your question more directly, Stefan. I see the development of a trade union consciousness, in the traditional labour movement as in the movement for free licenses, as a (relatively speaking benevolent) form of recuperation of anti-capitalist struggle.
@Johan: Unfortunately access to your C&C paper is restricted to C&C-subcribers 🙁
Stefan: just got the C&C paper, it looks like it became available.
Johan: excellent article, will read the second part next. Keep up the good work.
@José: Nope, not for me, or is there any backdoor?
StefanMz: can’t get to it from home, but it lets me through at work. go figure. Erm… email me at jcanelas !at! gmail