Source codes, or rather algorithms and algebra, are the tools of the digital craftsman in the modern age with over a thousand years of mathematical theories behind them. Only for little more than a quarter of a century have they acted as software. Software is a means of creating art and communicating. It is a metaliterature which defines how meaning can be carried and (re)produced by multiplying the possibilities of communication.
Just as software is a means of metacommunication, so it represents a Parole, deriving its execution from a Langue: the grammatical and linguistic universe of the code. Although many see the source code as merely an obscure cryptogram, it has an indirect effect on the way we communicate and even more on the efficiency with which we do so.
Developing software means developing digital architectures: their inhabitants have the right to adapt them to their needs.
The growth of the network rendered the non-propertarian alternative even more practical. What scholarly and popular writing alike denominate as a thing ("the Internet") is actually the name of a social condition: the fact that everyone in the network society is connected directly, without intermediation, to everyone else. The global interconnection of networks eliminated the bottleneck that had required a centralized software manufacturer to rationalize and distribute the outcome of individual innovation in the era of the mainframe.
Software - whether executable programs, music, visual art, liturgy, weaponry, or what have you - consists of bitstreams, which although essentially indistinguishable are treated by a confusing multiplicity of legal categories. This multiplicity is unstable in the long term for reasons integral to the legal process. The unstable diversity of rules is caused by the need to distinguish among kinds of property interests in bitstreams. This need is primarily felt by those who stand to profit from the socially acceptable forms of monopoly created by treating ideas as property. Those of us who are worried about the social inequity and cultural hegemony created by this intellectually unsatisfying and morally repugnant regime are shouted down. Those doing the shouting believe that these property rules are necessary not from any overt yearning for life in Murdochworld - though a little luxurious co-optation is always welcome - but because the metaphor of incentives, which they take to be not just an image but an argument, proves that these rules - despite their lamentable consequences - are necessary if we are to make good software. The only way to continue to believe this is to ignore the facts. At the center of the digital revolution, with the executable bitstreams that make everything else possible, propertarian regimes not only do not make things better, they can make things radically worse.
Dyne.org appeared online in 2000 when Jaromil published his first free and open source project: the Hasciicam software, setting up a video stream made of letters and playing it out from the website. His creation has been widely appreciated both for its artistical value and for letting possible to broadcast live video using old hardware from a slow network connection.
Since then Jaromil, collaborating with a growing network of inventors, offered to the public new elaborated software for media production, configuring dyne.org as a free software atelier, a portal to Digital Creation and Media Art.
Ranging from radio makers, humanitarian organizations, video artists, medical researchers, media activists and educators, a large amount of people employed and redistributed dyne.org software worldwide, free of charge, echoing to the freedom spirit of this autonomous initiative.
Openness, knowledge sharing and freedom of creation: these have been the philosophycal principles guiding the evolution of dyne.org, hosting creations that have been conceptualized not for a profit, but for their role within society.
In 2003, Jaromil started collaborating with the Netherlands Media Art Institute (NMAI) focusing on video streaming and being supported for the development of the vision mixer software FreeJ. As a result of this activity a new video syncstarter technology has been co-produced, released as free and open source, and succesfully employed in a growing number of sync-started video installations.
In that respect a long lasting relationship was established between NMAI and dyne.org organisations, resulting in a patronage for the dyne.org foundation which now starts to formally exist in 2005.
3. Definitions of terms
With the definition of Free and Open Source Software we refer to all software licensed and distributed under the GNU General Public License, as published by the Free Software Foundation. In fact, free has to be intended as "Libre", free as of speech, not simply gratis, coming with all possibilities to redistribute, modify and adapt the software without any fee. From now on we'll refer to it with the acronym FLOSS (free libre open source software).
FLOSS implies 4 fundamental freedoms:
- The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.
- The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs.
- The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.
- The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits.
With dyne.org foundation we describe a non-profit organisation which developes, employes and distributes FLOSS based software and hardware solutions.
With non-profit we specify that all the revenues are reinvested in research, development, employement and distribution of dyne.org software and hardware products. The NMAI garanties that the overhead never will be more than 5% of the turn over.
4. Mission Statement
To promote the idea and practice of open source knowledge sharing within civil society: by fostering research, development, production and distribution of FLOSS based solutions.
To open the partecipation to online and onsite communities, leveraging the democratical and horizontal access to technology, lowering the economical requisites to its accessibility.
To foster employement of FLOSS in artistical creation: exploring new forms of expression and interaction, disseminating new languages that can be freely adopted and re-elaborated by everyone, insuring the long term conservation of digital artworks.
To insure sustainability of FLOSS development, also when non-profiteable: being software a socially relevant media it should not be ideated and mantained only on the basis of its merchantability.
5. Missions of the foundation
5.1. Strategic mission
The community of FLOSS users still consists mostly of insiders, while the potential of the developed software has reached a state of high compatibility with license based programs, offering solutions of higher quality in a growing number of cases.
FLOSS solutions offer a wider degree of freedom: software that can be adapted to specific needs and can evolve following the needs of the community of its users and developers.
5.1.1. free software for the freedom of speech
Given the social relevance of software, it's an important strategical goal for dyne.org to provide FLOSS based solutions, especially where software gets employed for communication.
5.1.2. free software for net ecology
Development should be aware of all environmental issues connected to it and, as such, keep the research focused, whenever possible, on recycling technical equipment that is already existing, develop environmental friendly systems, find ways to optimize the use of energy sources employed.
6. Operational mission
6.1. Development of software
Development of software is a core activity for dyne.org, the foundation seeks ways to make the activity of developers sustainable.
Conform to the protocol of FLOSS, the software developed will be made available online with its entire sourcecode.
6.2. Deployement of software
Compilations of open source software will be brought together on hardware (CD-ROM, computer boxes etc.) as well offered as plug and play products and ad-hoc setups.
To compile, produce and distribute hardware, commercial calculations will be charged.
The profit will be reinvested in research and development, production and distribution and is excluded from any private profit.
6.3. Donor and Patron membership program
The Foundation will offer a Donor program for individuals and a Patron program for organizations willing to financially support the development of FLOSS based solutions.