Lessig's Challenge

At the 2002 Open Source Convention, Lawrence Lessig issued a challenge to the audience: spend more money fighting the RIAA and MPAA than you do helping them by buying their products. I've accepted that challenge. For the last four months, I've been making donations to orgainizations which fight for freedom and open source programmers and purchasing things from online artists who could use the cash.

Lessig's Challenge is my new website to track these donations.

My purpose is not only to fight Big Content, but to foster a gift economy where people really can make money for their hard work. The majors want to lock us up into their "trusted", DRM system. We need to fight against them technically, with better P2P tools; we need to fight against them in the market, by refusing to buy DRM products; we need to fight against them in the legislature, by lobbying our representatives; and finally, we need to co-opt the majors' niche by creating an alternative gift economy without the middleman.

You can help. Donate money to your favorite open source project or website. Give money to the EFF or ACLU (or both!). Buy a t-shirt from an online comic strip or musician. Will you take Lessig's Challenge?

— November 23, 2002

Free Pepper

<wmf> <Look> "I am Look, affiliated with the late Martin Hekkelman, lead programmer of the democratic republic of Pepper. I urgently need your assistance in recovering some source code..."

Yup, some folks are trying to free the source code to Pepper, and I'd like to help them. Not because I use Pepper, but because I want to see these Blender-style source buyouts succeed. It's proof of concept for the gift economy.

Yes, the Free Pepper website kind of sucks. Erik of infoAnarchy criticized it as "bland and uniformative" and several posters on the OS News board said much the same thing. But since he posted that story, Free Pepper has added Pepper demos for 3 platforms and noted what license they'll be releasing Pepper under if they succeed (BSD/MIT-style, a wise choice). Now they just need to make a progress meter like Blender had, put it somewhere visible and publicize the hell out of it.

Oh, and maybe some proof that they're not out just to rip people off...

— November 23, 2002