"OpenCola is the world's first 'open source' consumer productct.
By calling it open source, its manufacturer is saying that
instructions for making it are freely available. Anybody can make
the drink, and anyone can modify and improve on the recipe as long
as they, too, release their recipe into the public domain. As a way
of doing business it's rather unusual--the Coca-Cola Company
doesn't make a habit of giving away precious commercial secrets.
But that's the point.
"OpenCola is the most prominent sign yet that a long-running
battle between rival philosophies in software development has spilt
over into the rest of the world. What started as a technical debate
over the best way to debug computer programs is developing into a
political battle over the ownership of knowledge and how it is
used, between those who put their faith in the free circulation of
ideas and those who prefer to designate them "intellectual
property". No one knows what the outcome will be. But in a world of
growing opposition to corporate power, restrictive intellectual
property rights and globalisation, open source is emerging as a
possible alternative, a potentially potent means of fighting back.
And you're helping to test its value right now..."