Free Software Foundation video explains the value of free software

In today's open source roundup: Watch the FSF's new video about free software. Plus: What causes digital piracy? And download Android 5.0 Lollipop wallpapers inspired by Google's Material Design

The FSF's video about free software

The Free Software Foundation has created a helpful video that explains what free software is and why users should value it.

Libby Reinish at the FSF explains why they created the video:

Most people interact with free software every day, but many of those people don't know what free software is or why they should go out of their way to use it. We want to fix that (and we think you do too), so we commissioned a short video that makes free software easy for everyone to understand.

We partnered with Urchin Studios to make this animated introduction to free software. Urchin made the video with all free software. People have been looking to the FSF for thirty years for explanations about the importance of free software. We want to make more videos like this, and other materials, but they cost money. If we meet our annual fundraising goal of $525,000 by January 31st, you can be sure there will be more great projects to come in 2015.

Please show your love for this video by making a donation or becoming a member today.

More at Free Software Foundation

Watch the video via YouTube:

As you might imagine, the video caught the attention of Redditors and a discussion ensued about the virtues of the Free Software Foundation's efforts:

Acidw4sh liked the positive focus of the video:

"I think that this is a great video because it's a step in the right direction towards promoting free software to the public. I like that it promotes free software on its own merits without pointing out how specific proprietary software vendors violate free software principles."

FunctionPlastic also liked the video but felt that a TEDx speech by Richard Stallman was a better option:

"It's a nice promotional video, but Stallman's TEDx speech explains the fundamentals and details of the ideology and its ways much better I think. But it's probably only worth watching for those actively interested: an animation such as this can capture attention, but you should show them that TEDx vid so they actually know what's going on."

PsiGuy60 appreciated that the video was made with free software:

"For some reason, I love the footnote "Urchin made the video with all free software". It provides an argument to the standpoint that anything you can do with proprietary software, you can do with free software, which is great. This is the kind of FSF activity that I can get behind."

More at Reddit

Of course, Microsoft created its own video about some open source software a few years back. And, as you can imagine, Microsoft's perspective than the Free Software Foundation's:

The folks at Reddit also had some thoughts to share about Microsoft's video:

St3500 didn't appreciate Microsoft's efforts at all:

"I can't speak for OpenOffice, but that video's design was as scatterbrained and confusing as Microsoft Office...It's like a combination of those lame "lyric videos" and my middle school Powerpoint (sorry RMS) presentations."

Diskilla noticed that Microsoft isn't allowing comments on its video:

"I think it says quite a lot, that the comments on the video are disabled... "

Varikonniemi noted the age of Microsoft's video:

"This video might have had some point when it was made 5 years ago. But today it is almost laughable, especially since most of the problems mentioned are due to microsoft's inability to use open standards. Also called unfair competition. The specification should be open, the implementation may be closed. Today libre office is on par with microsoft's office. Some features are worse, some better."

More at Reddit

What causes digital piracy?

Piracy has long been a concern for media companies and many governments. But what causes people to choose to pirate books, movies and TV shows? Gary Fung, the founder of isoHunt, think it has a lot to do with convenience and access.

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