Business & Technology Nexus

Dave Stephens on technology and business trends

Free As In Beer

with 3 comments

Richard Stallman, who many credit with starting the open source movement in software, likes to “distill” down the idea of the open source movement with this well-worn phrase: “Not Free as in Free Beer, Free as In Freedom”.

Well, now, according to this Wired post, Beer may have taken offense to Richard’s commentary & be ready to “strike back.”

The quick summary of the idea is that a bunch of Danish entrepreneurs are publishing exactly how to make what they hope will be a very tasty brew. The recipe is open source – and people from all over the world can contribute ideas, set up their own micro-breweries, “customize” their version, etc. In true MPL+ fashion, all breweries need to do is credit FreeBeer on their labels.

A pretty fun idea no doubt. See what Brazil’s Gilberto Gil thinks of it on Google Video. Or learn more from the source:

For extra credit, and to understand how the open source recipe for beer fits in the larger context of the battle over copyright law as applied to digital content, check out this interview with Lawrence Lessig (note & warning – political overtones present in beginning of video). Dr. Lessig has his own website as well,


(Thanks to Michael Lamoreaux of for pointing me to the article and asking for my commentary on it)


Written by Dave Stephens

09/13/06 11:22 AM at 11:22 am

Posted in Open Source, Opinion

3 Responses

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  1. Now for the hard question, how will it ultimately benefit the open source movement as a whole and help Coupa?

    Michael Lamoureux

    09/13/06 11:51 AM at 11:51 am

  2. hmm.. i’ll have to go with “developers write better free code when drinking free beer.” :)

    Dave Stephens

    09/13/06 12:40 PM at 12:40 pm

  3. In otherwords “I drink, therefore I am”? :). What about teetotalers who code well?


    09/13/06 10:25 PM at 10:25 pm

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