Linux Voice

I had mail yesterday from Andrew Gregory, a Linux journalist we’ve really enjoyed working with over the last few years. Andrew was already writing about Raspberry Pi before we had even started selling them, and it was good luck for us and for him that on the day we announced our launch, he already had a life-sized image of the Raspberry Pi squarely positioned on the front cover of Linux Format Magazine in shops across the UK. We like Andrew. He’s good people.

Andrew and much of the rest of the editorial team has since departed Linux Format, and they’re working on setting up a new magazine – one with a business model which we think will resonate incredibly well with the FOSS community; it’s a business model which is completely new in the magazine sector. Linux Voice, which is currently raising money via IndieGogo for its launch, has got us all aquiver.

Sample content: part of a Minecraft Pi tutorial. Click to embiggen.

What makes Linux Voice unusual? It’s that business model. Fifty percent of profits will go straight back to FOSS and Linux communities, with readers given the ability to nominate which projects, devs and events are sponsored. And after each issue of the magazine has been out for nine months, all of its content will be made available for free under a CC BY-SA licence. This is not something I’m aware of any other paid-for magazine doing, and it has enormous implications for teachers, after-school groups – and for the rest of us.

We’re very excited about this project. We know the team, and they’ve got some great writers and editors on board with a huge breadth and depth of domain knowledge and experience. These are the people who first put an article about Raspberry Pi on newsstands. I asked Andrew if he had a few words for readers of this website, and this is what he sent me:

Under traditional licensing systems, the copyright owner can print and reprint content as often as they see fit, often charging several times for the same old copy. 

We don’t want to exploit our readers by charging them several times for the same old content, but we also don’t want our old content mouldering away on some server somewhere. Instead, we’d rather it were put to use. Things move on so quickly in free software that a lot of our old content will be worthless to us commercially, but it will have value to teachers, students, maker groups and code clubs. 

Releasing Linux Voice’s material under the CC-BY-SA licence means that anyone will be able to take what we’ve done and update it, so it doesn’t go stale; incorporate it into larger works, such as school or university worksheets; or just download it and use it as it is.

What this means is that once we’ve created something, it will (we hope) be out there, and be useful to somebody, for ever. Learning is about sharing knowledge, and we want to help make our contribution to the shift in computer science teaching that’s been kicked off by the Raspberry Pi.

We’re proud to support Linux Voice, and we’re watching their IndieGogo like a hawk. Please head along and sign up to support them by buying a print or digital subscription. We’ll be signing up alongside you.