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You're NOT Entitled To That, Bob!

You're NOT Entitled To That, Bob!
By Jason Evangelho • Issue #13 • View online
Happy weekend to my wonderful Waddle!
(OK, explanation potentially required: a group of penguins on land is a Waddle and I’m seeing if that name will stick as a way to address all my awesome Linux For Everyone fans out there. A second option would be “Raft” which is a group of penguins floating in the water. Let me know?)
OK! Welcome to the weekend edition of Tech For Everyone! Today, my friend and songwriting partner Jerry Morrison is joining the party with an exceptional “Music For Everyone” recommendation to make your ears happy while we continue to endure various levels of lockdown, and an notable absence of our beloved live music.
After that, I’ve got a fiery rant to throw down about elementary OS, “free software” and entitled Linux users.
Thanks for being here, and remember that you can forward this email to a friend who might enjoy it. This newsletter is free, but if you’d like to support what I do with your wallet, I have a few options on Patreon.
One of those options is sponsoring this very newsletter, because I want it to remain 100% free and not behind a paywall. Stephen Cross, longtime Linux For Everyone supporter and creator/host of the Talking Drupal podcast, did exactly that!
So for the next 3 issues, I’ll be promoting Talking Drupal, a weekly show about web design and development by a group of guys with one thing in common: they love developing with Drupal! The podcast is nearly 300 episodes deep, so it’s clear that their passion for Drupal that first ignited the RSS feeds back in May 2013 is still burning bright.
You can check out the show on Spotify, iTunes, or via that good old-fashioned RSS feed. You can also watch it on YouTube.
It’s beyond awesome to have my own community sponsoring this thing, rather than some disinterested advertiser who’s a total stranger.
Thank you, Stephen ❤🐧

MUSIC FOR EVERYONE | By Jerry Morrison
Hi Everyone!
My name is Jerry Morrison. I write music with Jason under the name More Sun and have been playing/writing/recording music since I was 14. I LOVE music. I think one of my favorite things about it is how communal the experience is. I love finding new music and sharing with my friends!
My first “Music for Everyone” pick is a band from Springfield, MO called Flick. Flick started when brothers Oran and Trevor Thornton began writing songs together when Trevor was 14. They started as an acoustic duo and later formed a band that caught the ear of Columbia Records.
Their first record “The Perfect Kellulight” was released in 1998. It was a quirky, but hooky and modern take on classic artists like T-Rex and Pink Floyd. The album features Trevor’s distinct vocals and Oran’s impressive guitar chops. My two favorite tracks are the album opener “Freezer Burnt” and the incredibly catchy “There You Go (False You)”
Flick’s second album, 2003’s “Iron Bottom Sound” should have been a massive hit in my opinion. Produced in London by Gil Norton (Pixies, Foo Fighters), the album sounds incredible. Stylistically it leans more towards straight-ahead rock than their previous work. Columbia Records did next to zero promotion for the record and most folks never even heard it. My favorite tracks are “Alive and Well” and “Sad Song Symphony” but honestly, every track is fantastic.
Listen to Flick at Amazon, Spotify or Apple Music.
But that’s not where I’ll begin this story.
I’ll start with an encounter I saw play out on Telegram that punctuated a pervasive problem we seem to have in the free and open source software world.
Let’s call this user Bob. Bob was expressing his surprise and genuine disappointment that apparently no one has leaked an ISO of the elementary OS 6 Beta. Oh no, poor Bob!
Another user, let’s call him Paul, said “because that would be a crappy thing to do.”
Some brief backstory: the developers of elementary OS, a fantastic desktop Linux distribution, decided to make beta builds of their upcoming major update (version 6.0) available to GitHub Sponsors who donate $10 or more per month. This helps fund development, put food on their tables, and rewards elementary OS’s most ardent fanbase.
Currently, elementary OS has 670 GitHub Sponsors.
So you can see why Paul believes that “leaking” the ISO would be a crappy thing to do.
Bob’s indignant and downright infuriating reply went something along the lines of “but it’s free software and I can donate anytime I want sooooooo…”
No, Bob. The currently released, publicly available version of elementary OS is free software (though you can choose to pay for it). The beta builds of elementary OS 6 are quite literally a paid product, not unlike an early access game you’d pay for on Steam.
(Bob may also need a refresher on the principles of “free software.”)
[…] software that ensures that the end users have freedom in using, studying, sharing and modifying that software. The term “free” is used in the sense of “free speech,” not of “free of charge.”
Anyway, Bob goes on to argue that since he can always donate in the future, he should be able to have it (read: steal it) right now. Bob’s argument is nothing but self-entitled gibberish, and he’s essentially advocating for piracy.
About a month ago, elementary OS approached me about producing a series of videos for them. They offered to pay me very competitive rates to create content that would effectively promote the elementary OS brand and help new users via short, polished tutorials and explainers.
I passed, but not before telling the team how much I respected them for bringing me the opportunity (and don’t worry, they will end up hiring one, if not several, other video producers to help create this content). We see a lot of distros crowdsourcing their marketing, graphic design, coding, or community building, and that’s 100% fine! It’s a great way for users to contribute to something they use and enjoy.
But guess what? elementary OS is fortunate enough to be in a position to pay someone to create content for them, and so they will pay someone to create content for them. And that eventual content will make the brand, and perhaps even the product itself, stronger.
How on earth is this possible? Could it be all those cool people choosing to pay for elementary OS? Or donating on Patreon? Could it be the 670 Github Sponsors funding the development of the next major release of the operating system? Maybe it’s revenue sharing from hardware partnerships with Linux PC vendors like Slimbook.
Regardless of the revenue stream, elementary OS has a right to create and earn that income. Regardless of what they do or do not charge for their product. And we have absolutely zero right to endanger or interfere with those revenue streams.
We are not entitled to something for free that a developer is charging money for (as in the GitHub Sponsor-exclusive beta builds). Instead, we should be grateful that developers are spending their money, time and resources creating a free, kick-ass, beautiful operating system (as in the publicly available elementary OS) that most of us enjoy without ever dishing out a penny.
Please, remember that just because developers are making a “free” product, doesn’t mean they don’t also deserve to earn an income. Don’t be that entitled baby who thinks you have a right to take that away from them. And if you see this happening inside your own community, speak out against it.
Phew! With that off my chest, here are a few ways to support elementary OS with your time, talents or money.
Support elementary OS on Patreon
Sponsor @elementary OS on GitHub Sponsors
Get Involved with elementary OS
Let’s end things on a positive, personal note. I spent the past week at the sea (Premantura, Croatia to be precise) and am feeling even more invigorated about the upcoming Linux For Everyone “reboot.” I’m going to start building the new site soon, and am lining up a bunch of interviews and content for you.
And on Monday I get to geek out with Jeremy Soller, one of the Linux ninjas at System76. The resulting podcast episode will hit your ears sometime in April when regular episodes resume.
(Reminder that L4E patrons have the exclusive opportunity to ask Jeremy questions through me).
That’s it for today my wonderful Waddle (is it sticking yet?). Until we chat again, you guys take care – and take care of each other.
Thanks again to Stephen Cross and Talking Drupal for sponsoring this issue!
Thanks again to Stephen Cross and Talking Drupal for sponsoring this issue!
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Jason Evangelho

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