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idea: ABC of digital freedom

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User offline. Last seen 11 years 31 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-08-23

I think many people (at least the ones who aren't users of free software and who have not created creative commons licensed art) perceive digital freedom as a difficult to understand and specialist thing. It is related to "intellectual property" law, cryptography, politics... All subjects that are not as easy to chat about as football Smiling .

But it isn't needed to make everyone understand all of it in depth, making a majority understand the general ideas is good enough. To do that, we need to "make the water look warm".

So here's my idea: let's make a poster of the alphabet, with a short explanation of a digital freedom related topic for each letter. I know it is a bit childish, but I think that can be compensated by making it look cool and having a good style of writing.

My first try at a list of topics follows, feel free to post suggestions. Do include all synonyms and opposites you can think of, and don't be afraid to use a letter that has already been used. That way I can shuffle topics around to try to include as many different ones as possible.

Words I like are bold.

A - analog, AACS, attribution, amateur, advocacy (nice starter!), activism, art
B - by (attribution), BSD, bugs, business, beer (free)
C - copyright, copyleft, creative commons, cryptography, CSS, copy, cracking, choice
D - DRM, digital, disclosure
E - EFF, encryption, eyeballs (bug finding ones)
F - FSF, free software, fun
H - hobby, hacking
I - internet, intellectual property
J - ?
K - key
L - liberty, libre software, libervis, linux, lock-in
M - microsoft, MPAA, MIT, mobile, money, music
N - network neutrality
O - open source, OSI, open standards
P - professional, public/private key, PGP, proprietary, privacy
Q - quality
R - RIAA, reverse engineering, rootkit
S - share-alike, shallow (bugs), services, spyware, software, sharing
T - testing
U - unix
V - value
W - windows, WWW
X - ?
Y - ?
Z - ?

Some clearly need to be replaced by better ones... Help will be appreciated. If you lot like this idea, we could make a wiki page to develop it.

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 1 day ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
Interesting idea. Here are

Interesting idea. Here are some suggestions I came up with. Hopefully I'm getting the right spirit of this.

C - connected, community
D - dialog
F - file sharing, free culture (maybe?)
I - Innovation (and maybe remove "intellectual property" because it is a very misleading term)
Y - You?


Daniel Memenode signature

User offline. Last seen 11 years 27 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2007-02-09
Additions: C - Community D


C - Community


F - Firmware

J - Java? It's GONNA be libre soon, right? Sticking out tongue

N - Neighbour

P - peer review

Y - You (Who controls a liberated computer?)


L - Libre software. Libre is a concept that I think should be pushed for all of digital freedom, not JUST in terms of software.

User offline. Last seen 11 years 31 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-08-23
Thanks for the

Thanks for the suggestions!

libervisco wrote:

maybe remove "intellectual property" because it is a very misleading term

It being a misleading term is exactly why it should be included: to explain it is misleading! On the other hand we can't fit explanations of copyright AND patents AND trademarks in a few lines, so "intellectual property" may be kicked off the list by another I.

I think it's a good idea to move "DRM" to "Restrictions", because that is the important part of the acronym, not "Digital". "DMCA" also starts with "digital", but deserves it's own explanation next to copyright.

Libre is indeed more than just libre software (also libre art), but I think it's a rather vague term on its own. Better list each thing that can be libre separately. The word "libre" can be explained under "free beer", a more attention-attracting term Smiling .

Updated list:

A - (free/libre/open) art: creative commons and such (*)
B - (free/gratis) beer: it's about freedom, not price. Introduce "Libre" (*)
C - copyright (*)
D - DMCA (*)
E - eyeballs (bug finding ones): full disclosure, peer review (*)
F - file sharing: peer to peer (*)
G - GPL: and other free licenses, explain sharealike (*)
H - helping your neighbour (*)
I - intellectual property: beware of this misleading term! (*)
J - java trap: it has been disarmed (*)
K - (pick your) kernel knowledge
L - linux: the final part that made a popular free OS possible (*)
M - mobile liberty: mobile computing devices are only beginning to get liberated (*)
N - network neutrality
O - open standards (*)
P - patents
Q - quality: amateurism/professionalism
R - (digital) restrictions (management) (*)
S - security: and cryptography (*)
T - treacherous computing (*)
U - unix: the OS that is a philosophy (scripting, flexibility, security)
V - value: making money through services rather than selling licenses (*)
W - (the) web: how freely available information made everyone more informed (*)
X - XML: RSS, RDF and stuff, the semantic web (*)
Y - you: you can participate in creating stuff rather than just consuming it
Z - zeal: (thanks libervisco, you're a genius!)

Here's a more ambitious idea: we could write a series of articles and collect these in a little book. Even more ambitious is to ask some famous people to write (some of the) the articles Smiling . We could offer them a fair share of any profit from selling the book.

I'm not going to make a list of who I mean in a public forum, but I think you can all guess which people I have in mind for letters marked with a (*). Yes, an awful lot of those asterisks are for RMS Laughing out loud .

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 1 day ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
As discussed on IRC, I like

As discussed on IRC, I like the idea of a booklet. It doesn't seem hard to do. The hardest thing would be getting these busy and famous people to get involved by writing something up for it, but we can try and we can also have a backup option of writing it ourselves (not as good, but only a failsafe).

But you've got a good plan from what you said on IRC. Smiling



Daniel Memenode signature

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