July 07, 2002
OpenCola

Open source consumer products? The pharmaceutical industry has been struggling with the introduction of "generic drugs" for quite some time - all to the benefit of consumers (and for the various governments and health insurers that pick up the bill in the end)... Now, the open-source movement of software has spurred the world's first open source consumer product: OpenCola:

The Great Open Source Giveaway -- "Although originally intended as a promotional tool to explain open source software, the drink has taken on a life of its own. The Toronto-based OpenCola company has become better known for the drink than the software it was supposed to promote. Laird Brown, the company's senior strategist, attributes its success to a widespread mistrust of big corporations and the "proprietary nature of almost everything." A website selling the stuff has shifted 150,000 cans. Politically minded students in the US have started mixing up the recipe for parties."

Somehow I suspect the success of the product is mainly related to the politics of open source software, plus - of course - providing a politically correct(?) nudge in the side to the two giants of the "Cola wars"... But hey - if it's good - I'll drink it, just like I'll use open source software! :-) Unfortunately, the original URL doesn't work anymore, but Google came to the rescue and a mirror can be found here.

[Additional links: NewScientist: CopyLeft :: Google: "OpenCola recipe"]

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