Why isn't all education open source?


The full text of the book

PDF version (1.5 MB)

Thematically compiled links to the book



  • If you have any questions about the book, shipping and the federal headquarters in general, please send them to [email protected]
  • A mailing list will soon be set up for comments, criticism, corrections, additions and discussions.

    Should stable threads arise, e.g. on copyright, free content licenses or the economic importance of free software, we can branch off further lists as required.

    One topic could be whether it makes sense to cooperatively make the text of the book rewritable, à la open theory.org, and if so, how this could best be managed technically and editorially. Or more generally, would the methods of online cooperation be a worthwhile topic: weblogs, cooperative content management, CVS or, best of all, newsgroups?






  • Thorsten Schilling, Head of the Multimedia & IT Department at the Federal Agency for Civic Education

  • Georg Greve, Free Software Foundation Europe, President of the Free Software Foundation Europe

  • Volker Grassmuck
    • Initialize
    • History
    • Credits



Part 1: The legal order of knowledge


  • Commons - from collective property to private property
  • Knowledge: from property to common land (museums, libraries, universities)
  • Knowledge: from commons to property - intellectual property law
    • Patents
    • The Anglo-American copyright tradition
    • The continental European Droit d'auteur tradition
    • International regulations
  • balance
  • Actors in the legal order of knowledge
    • Authors
    • Collecting societies
    • Rights industry
    • Publicity

Media technology and its digitization

  • Digital media
    • Offline media
    • Online media
    • Sampling
    • copy protection

Legal challenges posed by digital media

    • Hardware and software
    • multimedia
    • Sampling
    • Communication to the public
    • Limitations
  • Contracts instead of law: licenses
    • The Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA)
  • Code instead of law: rights control systems
    • Mark Stefik: Trusted Systems
    • Cryptography
    • Revocation of "illegal devices"
    • Content Scrambling System (CSS)
    • Watermark
    • Electronic books: e-books in encrypted PDF
    • Firewall around Germany: Rights Protection System (RPS)
    • Legal protection of RCSs
  • For informational sustainability


Part 2: The common knowledge


  • "Knowledge communism" of the sciences
  • Internet
    • Early phase
    • growth
    • Institutionalization
    • Network research
    • New architectures, protocols and services
    • internationalization
    • Commercialization
    • Turning from 1990
    • The Beginning of the Great Conversation
  • History of software development
    • Operating systems
    • Unix
    • Berkeley Unix
    • The GNU project
    • GNU / Linux
  • From "Free Software" to "Open Source Software"

What is free software, how is it created, who makes it?

  • Source code and object code
  • How does a free software project work?
    • Core team and maintainer
    • The community
    • Decision-making: "rough concensus and running code"
    • Code forking
    • The tools
    • Debugging
    • The releases
    • Institutionalization: foundations and non-profit companies
    • The motivation: Who are the people and why do they do it ... if not for money?
    • Software cycle: developer, power user, end user

The software

  • BSD
  • Debian GNU / Linux
  • XFree86
  • KDE
  • Apache
  • GIMP

License models

  • BSD license
  • GNU General Public License
    • GPL and German law
    • Library / Lesser GPL
  • Other open licenses
    • Ratio of free and proprietary code
    • Derived Works Status
    • Examples of license conflicts
  • Open source licenses from companies

Social potential of free software

  • Free software in education
  • Free software in the non-G7 countries

Economic potential of free software

  • Free software users
  • Creation of free software
  • Service provider for everything to do with free software
    • System houses, hardware and software manufacturers
    • Distributors
    • Project hosting and portals
    • documentation


  • Operational safety
  • Warranty and liability
  • Cryptography: Security by Obscurity vs. Open Procedures
  • Military software and high security areas
  • Trustworthy entities

For informational environmental protection

  • The counterfactual knowledge commons
  • Collective intelligence
  • From free software to free knowledge
  • Licenses
  • copyright
  • Knowledge environment protection



  • glossary
  • List of abbreviations
  • Internet resources
  • Freedom of knowledge and civil rights on the Internet
  • Internet
  • Free software in general
  • Unix
  • Other free software projects
  • Free software for schools
  • Laws
  • literature