Get your free on!

As I already mentioned before I did a session on free culture at FOSSCamp and I promised to write a little more about it. So here we go 🙂

Nikolaj did a great talk at a few events about Amarok 2 and how it lives at the crossroad of free software and free culture. (Check out the video if you want to see his talk. It’s worth it!)
The main point is that the free software movement and free culture movement have very similar goals and ideas that drive them. But they also have similar problems. Both of them want to create something that makes a difference in one way or another and do not want to restrict the user’s freedom. Unfortunately both of them also are not as widespread and popular as they could be. And one of the reasons for that is that a lot of people don’t know (enough) about the great stuff that is out there. (Although it is of course improving.) And here is where the magic is: Collaboration and integration! It will eventually benefit both parties.

Take for example Amarok 2. We have integration for Jamendo and Magnatune (and others). There is a lot of really good music at both of them but they lack the exposure to the user. By integrating them into Amarok we give many people access to both services that would have never had a look at them otherwise. Of course this is also a great thing for Amarok because we have a music store integrated that sells (and a service that lets you download for free ) DRM free music, one of our developers gets paid for work he loves and we get some money for every album that gets sold through Amarok so we can pay for team members to go to conferences and other events. The other big benefit we get from this is example data. New users of Amarok have a whole lot of music at hand without having to think about it. With the infrastructure that Nikolaj worked on (service framework and scripted services) it is as easy as never before for people to get their own or other’s services integrated into Amarok and therefor accessible by a large group of our users. We also hope that this attracts new developers and that really awesome stuff will come out of it.

(free hugs [86/365] Originally uploaded by moonwire.)

But Amarok is surely not the only application that could benefit from a collaboration with free culture. And this is why we did the brainstorming session at FOSSCamp. Some of the ideas we came up with were:

  • Integration of the Creative Commons photo search at Flickr in digiKam
  • Integration of Project Gutenberg in Okular
  • Integration of the Creative Commons music search in Amarok
  • Integration of YouTube/$videoservice in DragonPlayer/Kaffeine

I am perfectly aware that not all of these are feasible for different reasons or might already be worked on. What I want however is developers to think about ways their application could benefit from free culture. A good starting point is

So what ideas can you come up with? Which project could benefit? And in which way?

7 thoughts on “Get your free on!”

  1. Good stuff!

    I am glad that this idea is starting to gain traction as I think the two movements has a lot to learn from each other and gain by cooperating. And both Free Software and Free Culture are really part of the same larger goal of having a free society.

    I am looking forwards to seeing what will come of this.

  2. I might have another idea: audio books for amarok. Librivox ( is a portal for free (libre) audio books. I am sure there are others out there.
    Keep up the good work

  3. and yet another one: has a lot of public domain and other nice free movies and i guess audiothings.

  4. Good afternoon, received a warm greeting from Caracas, Venezuela, the thought of Simón Bolívar, they are dedicated to you …:

    “Raising the monument devoted to our reconciliation, to the truce and the right of common men. Well deserved this monument be carved on a massive diamond and enamel hyacinth and rubies, but built in our hearts ..”
    Simón Bolívar to the world

  5. Pingback: Amarok Blog

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