Free for what?

There's no such thing as a free lunch

Between 1999 and 2001 we discussed the ‘Free’ model in our economy when we stated: “Over the years, we have seen a rise of free services on the Internet, starting from e-mail (hotmail), web space (geocities) until the recent boom of free access services. The concept of the ‘gift economy’ has rapidly spread and found numerous commercial applications. The Free4What campaign, first of all, would like to discuss this trend, in an open and unbiased way. Obviously, in order to achieve this, we have gathered some provocative, and ironical, approaches and positions.”

The website from those days is still available and a must-see – it contains 100% free info from free experts and free related material. This kind of campaigning was continued in those years with ‘We want bandwidth’, ‘The People’s Communication Charter’ and David Garcia’s Tactical Media Network. We had t-shirts printed saying “I’m not a standard user”.

There is a direct line between those early days and our recent ‘Let fix the Internet’-campaign, in which we once again discussed pressing issues like privacy, surveillance and security on the Internet. To quote Geert Lovink: The Worst Things In Life Are Free.

Free4What campaign (does not work on mobile devices)
We want Bandwidth campaign
I’m not a standard user