The Ubuntu Linux community gets its first (second?) rock star

Is it possible for one man to change the dynamics of the music industry? Ubuntu's Jono Bacon aims to find out.

You would think that it's a hard enough job taking on Microsoft's desktop dominance. Ubuntu's community lead Jono Bacon, however, may actually have an even more audacious goal in mind: completely change the economics of the music industry.

Bacon recently released his Severed Fifth project, a solo speed-metal music project aimed at discovering whether it's possible to open source the music industry:

Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead made very high profile successes when they changed how they released some of their work, but they are high profile bands, built on the coat-tails of the traditional recording industry, and in terms of the extensive discussion in essays, blogs, forums and elsewhere, virtually all of this discussion is largely hypothetical - promoting and encouraging a new recording industry that is based around free culture and the Creative Commons.

But none of this answers the real question in my mind - for an unknown artist, someone without a reputation fostered from the traditional recording industry, can they really become successful with the new economy, and if so, what needs to happen for that to happen?

It's a fantastic question, one that most end up answering with bucket-loads of marketing dollars, but which Bacon hopes to answer with word-of-mouth community outreach.

Quixotic? Maybe. But listening to Severed Fifth brought back memories of a Leatherface concert I attended in London back in 1991, and made me want to share the music with Dave Rosenberg, the open-source blogosphere's resident metal-head.

Perhaps this means Bacon has a chance?

Give Severed Fifth a listen and, if you like it, remix its tunes and/or suggest it to a friend. I'm more into The Shins than Overkill these days, but if enough like-minded moshers listen to Bacon's solo project, perhaps he'll be distributing free Ubuntu CDs at his Wembley premier before we know it. Mark Shuttleworth may not be the only rock star in the Ubuntu community....

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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