During my last visit in the Tate Modern I found a remarkable absurdity within the museum shop. The shop sold the socalled freebeer – an initiative of the art group superflex. In particular the freebeer is not a beer which is sold for free, but a work which was intended as a reflection on “the copyright system, in relation to intellectual property“. I.e. it “applies modern free software / open source methods to a traditional real-world product – namely the alcoholic beverage loved and enjoyed globally, and commonly known as beer.” In particular:

The recipe and branding elements of FREE BEER is published under a Creative Commons (Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5) license, which means that anyone can use the recipe to brew their own FREE BEER or create a derivative of the recipe. Anyone is free to earn money from FREE BEER, but they must publish the recipe under the same license and credit our work. All design and branding elements are available to beer brewers, and can be modified to suit, provided changes are published under the same license (Attribution & Share Alike)

Unfortunately it seems most people in the shop mistook the “freebeer” as a bad advertisement gag (or may be the shop didnt look as the cosiest place for a beer) – so if I understood correctly the shop finally had to put the freebeer samples of version 3.2 on sale in order to avoid that it became too stale? …or may be a sales deadline? I hope it had not to become a real free beer, since the recipe displays that expensive ingredients and an intricate process was involved in its production.


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