After my last year's blog entry on Free Software books for
friends I received new recommendations for this year. So I read
them, and here my new list of Free
books 2009 which are also good for people who have not heard much about
Free Software before:
- Lawrence Lessig: Free Culture: The Nature and Future of
The book about Free Culture. After reading you cannot prevent from
getting interested in that topic. Lot of parts feels like reading a
thriller. All people whom I gave it loved it.
- Joshua Gay (Ed.): Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of
Richard M. Stallman. Definitely
the English classic for Free Software. A selection of Richard's
essays from GNU's philosophy
pages in book form.
(In former times I printed out the articles from GNU philosophy and
put them in the boothroom. My flatemate at that time said it is
perfect there to read and think about it. :) )
- Lawrence Lessig: Code: And Other Laws of Cyberspace, Version
The book was on one of my professor's literature lists on
regulation. It helped my understanding the political dimension
software. Afterwards I used it for writing, it also made it into my
diploma thesis. It describes how law, norms, market and
architecture -- which also includes software -- regulate our life.
If you have friends who are interested in politics, it is the book
I recommend them to read. (PDF of the new
- Glyn Moody Rebel Code: Linux and the Open Source
The book is based on interviews with Richard Stallman, Linus
Torvalds, Alan Cox, and others. Good documentary about the history
of Free Software. From the beginings of GNU until the end of the
90s. I liked reading all the quotes from different people from our
community. But you should be a bit interested in technical details
or at least like reading about different hardware architetures,
programming languages, kernels, etc. To put it short: If you have
been at FOSDEM before and you liked it
there, read that book and you feel like beeing at FOSDEM again.
- Neal Stephenson In the Beginning...Was the Command
Yes, Neal Stephenson has also written about his experiences with
Free Software. Nice short reading about his own computer history.
Perfect book for a long flight trip.
And as I happen to speak German, here a list of German books:
- Lawrence Lessig: Freie
is the German version of "Free Culture: The Nature and Future of
Creativity" (see above).
- Volker Grassmuck: Freie Software.
The German classic. You need no technical background to understand
it. Usually I order at least 10 of them at a time. For only 2 EUR
per book it is very good as a small present. Also during the year.
Everytime a friend (in my case my colleagues know about Free
Software) has no clue about Free Software I can throw one of the
books at him ;)
- V. Djordjevic, R.A. Gehring, V. Grassmuck, T. Kreutzer und M.
Spielkamp: Urheberrecht im
(PDF version 15 MB). This is
the book version of irights.info, a
portal for all kind of questions and answers about copyright in the
digital work. Your friends ask you if it is allowed to copy
software, music, movies? Or how they can publish their own works?
This book is a good reference book for people who want to fast find
short answers to their questions. As for Volker Grassmuck's "Freie
Software" I also recommend to order some more.
- Lawrence Lessig: Code und andere Gesetze des Cyberspace. German
version of "Code and other laws of cyberspace" above.
As last year, if you have suggestions, please write an e-mail to our
list or to me