By erdgeist | August 5, 2010
The beerware license – most famously used by Poul-Henning Kamp – originally was less about beer and more about politics. It basically meant surrendering copyrights on your software to “the kids”, helping them to understand, learn and pirate good parts of your source (in order not to reinvent it badly). In exchange, if you were one of those kids and felt like some piece of software really inspired you, or if you could save some time and work by using this software, the license encourages you to grab the developer in question, invite h** for a beer or two and talk. Give feedback, discuss ideas, point out rooms for improvement and reiterate the fact that the software actually is in good use. IOW: flatter the developer by dedicating a short amount of your time.
While the beerware license was better known in the BSD scene only, the opentracker project can claim to have introduced it to the pirate scene. There the basic concept shifted away from dedicating the user’s time to dedicating a certain amount of beer to show appreciation. Although we were not exactly sad about this development, it led to incidents where people sent us beer from overseas without ever intending to drink that beer with us. Now – beer from the U.S. is an experience from the beginning and won’t turn out better once it arrived in europe (:
So, until now there was no appropriate way to show your support remotely. Wiring money to pay for a beer means to waste a crate worth of beer just for the fees. With the advent of the flattr service there is now hope on the horizon to be part of a crowd that shows up at a party with a keg of beer. That doesn’t mean that you should not try to engage in giving verbal feedback whenever possible, but it means that you can now actually fill up your favourite bittorrent tracker team from your couch.
Depending on the amount of money that accumulates on the opentracker flattr-thing, we will engage in a variety of drinking games ranging from silently getting a booze sharing one very cheap bottle of Sternburg
er to throwing a barbecue party with several kegs of our favourite bavarian brew. There will – of course – be video documentation of how we bring your flattrs to good use.
Find opentracker as a flattr thing here.