Well the main difference between free software and other software is that other software is designed to put the developer in power and you as the user are kinda subjected to the power of the developer. What free software does, it kinda flips that on its head and says, well you as a user deserve the freedom to use your computer to do the things that you want to do. I’m Matt Lee, I’m the -now- technology lead at creative commons. My background is really in sort of free software. Uhh.. I used to work in the free software foundation for a long time. And I’m originally from the UK, but I now live in Boston in the United States. When we talk about free software we’re talking about software that’s free like free speech. And less so in the terms of free like a free beer or a free lunch with someone. And we’ve really kinda defined free software as having four characteristics. The first characteristic, freedom zero, is the freedom to run the program, for any purpose. Freedom one, is the freedom to modify the program. Freedom two, is the freedom to Uhh.. Share the program. And freedom three is the freedom to share modified versions of the program. And if you have those four freedoms, you have free software. If you have one of those freedoms missing, Or two of those freedoms missing, you are not using free software. A good example of that would be something like iTunes. People think, “Well iTunes is free, I can download it from Apple’s website.” And it’s like, well that’s true, you can get it from Apple’s website, but it’s not free software. Because first of all, you can’t run iTunes for any purpose. That document that you never read, when you click “I agree”, says, quite explicitly, you can’t use it for a lot of reasons. Apple takes things like, they’ll make changes to iTunes when they find problems with their encryption scheme and DRM software. And they will just force those restrictions on users of iTunes, so the next time they open iTunes, it will refuse to do anything until you upgrade. And so, They are heavily restricting what you can and can’t do with their software. If it was free software, anyone could improve iTunes and give it to anyone they wanted to. And they could use it to help other people but as it stands right now, only Apple can kinda make changes to iTunes. And therefore, we leave all of the users of iTunes without help. Without the ability to use software with freedom. Many people have used pieces of software over the years that no longer exist anymore and I think that if you invest time in using a piece of free software, you will ultimately be able to use that software for a very very long time to come. You can’t be sure that Adobe will keep Photoshop going forever. It’s probably not gonna happen anytime soon but, I could see a future where Adobe just stops selling Photoshop. Or the stop selling Illustrator. They’ve already done it with certain pieces of software. They bought Fireworks from Macromedia and they don’t make Fireworks anymore so everyone who used Fireworks, for 20 years, no longer could use Fireworks, because Adobe decided to stop making that. Now if that was free software, Even though Adobe, who are maybe a corporate sponsor of this piece of software, were no longer supporting it, The community could still keep Fireworks going, and so it would be still being used. Under a free software model, you could go and get your copy of Photoshop from any number of vendors who are all equally engaged in it’s support and it’s maintenance. And then you would choose the company that had the best offering So maybe here in Nottingham, there’d be a local company Gimp and Inkscape which are similar to Photoshop and Illustrator. And maybe they would offer a better offering, that would be more appropriate for a local person So there’d be workshop access and, onsite training that maybe you would go with a local company vs the current choice which is you get it from Adobe or you don’t get it at all. That’s the real kind of tragedy of proprietary software, it’s that it ultimately leaves users dependant and then divided and ultimately without a choice, and so, if you can spend anytime using free software, even if you use Photoshop maybe you could install Gimp. And the next time you have a thing you want to create try using Gimp. And if you get stuck, you could always save it in a Photoshop file and go away and kind of do what you need to do and maybe come back to Gimp. It’s worth investing the time and effort into using something, that ultimately has your back vs the back of investors, and you know, Big Corporate [Camera dude] Okay so the elephant in the room, are these reliable, or are these just for people who like getting under the hood of their computers? I think that’s the one thing that comes up. I would say that, generally speaking, the free software programs that you’ve heard of are reliable. There are of course, new versions of those software. And you can’t always rely that the very latest version of something is gonna be reliable. But that’s true too of any software I would say that, if you go and you download a piece of software from, if you go and download Ubuntu for example, or Fedora or Debian or one of these distributions of free software and you install the current, latest release you’re gonna have a pretty good time. Things are generally speaking gonna work well for you and you’re gonna have the occasional thing where something doesn’t quite work, you might have a webcam that doesn’t quite work well or maybe your wireless card has needs extra, proprietary software to function and those are real problems, their problems that all computer users face. But when you use Windows or when you use a Mac those problems are kinda hidden away from you you don’t really see them because, They don’t mind adding extra proprietary programs of off what you already have to make those things function. What I would say is this. If you have, a computer that you would like to try free software a lot of these distributions make what’s callled a liveCD, or a liveUSB you can download it onto a blank CD or a blank USB stick and just try it without actually installing it on your computer It’ll be a little bit slower of course, cause it’s running off the CD or USB stick. But it’ll give you some sense of what works or what doesn’t work. But yeah it’ll give you a sense of the reliability too. And if you have an older computer that you don’t use anymore, then by all means you can go ahead and install free software on there. It will work surprisingly well compared to the way that your Windows or your Mac used to function, When it was kinda on it’s last legs. And I think you’ll have a good time with it. (I’d like to point out that this video was subtitled with Free Software, specifically Subtitle Composer) Video editing isn’t always the easiest thing to do with free software but it can be done, right? People do edited video with free software all the time. And you know, video editing software is somewhat in it’s infancy, as free software.