Why Open Source? | apertus° - open source cinema

Why Open Source?


Freedom of technology, information, education, knowledge, culture and arts doesn't imply that everything needs to be free of charge, but that these assets are controlled collectively.

Open Source

The apertus° project is based on software free to be used for any purpose, free to be studied, examined, modified and redistributed – which includes distributing your modified versions. Hence, products and services developed by apertus° are almost exclusevly released under GNU General Public License V3 . * Documentation providied is licenced under the Creative Commons License and the hardware under the Cern Open Hardware License .

free libre open source software

Why the difference matters! apertus° is the link between users and their individual needs. Empowering users demands to reclaim the liberties propietary manufacturers took away. apertus° has no interest in limiting privacy or freedom, nor to charge unreasonable prices unrelated to the value of the actual products or services. New software or hardware features can be integrated directly to any AXIOM camera. The development of new products an services related to AXIOM cameras is open and free for everyone - apertus° even encourages it by implementing the AXIOM ecosystem.

* Why open only ‹most› and not everything?

Why open only "most" and not everything?

We have to accept, that circumstances prevent a 100% open practice.

Certain elements in our camera systems are not open and required to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with manufacturers in order to purchase their chips and receive accompanying documentation. The NDA prevents apertus° from sharing this documentation. Some interfaces demand proprietary protocols which we can also not be disclosed in the code (eg. “industry standard” but proprietary battery communication protocols).


The DIY Spirit

The apertus° project started in the garages and workshops of a handful of enthusiasts. Images and plans of camera rigs were shared within the community, which grew to see new people improving the prototypes or creating their own variations. The apertus° company was established to act in the interests of the global apertus° community. This company needs to attain a fair profit in order to be viable and to provide the community with new long term possibilities. Due to our experience with related open hardware businesses, we are hesitant to give others the ability to sell clones of our hardware without helping us recoup non-recurring-engineering (NRE) costs or valuing our philosophy. Open hardware is a fairly new business concept, so there is little information to draw from and we are laying this pathway as it gains momentum. New ideas and approaches are required and we appreciate any helpful input. Please join the discussion.

Professional Manufacturing

The pioneering ideas still exist in the form of designs and are shared with the community, but the scope has changed from garage-solutions to professional manufacturing facilities. No toxic chemicals avoidable are used in our manufacturing and assembly process. Irresponsibly damaging the environment or exploiting people working at apertus° is inherently contrary to the projects philosophy. We believe in a policy of constant supervision when it comes to how we construct our products and we choose manufactures that live up to these ideas. All parts/products will use recycled material whenever possible and suitable. If materials can't be recycled at least their disposal needs to be done properly. Whenever possible local facilities and services are used. Not only does this expand control, but it brings the final product closer to its end users therefore reduces carbon emissions. Fair and skilled labor for fair wages is something a requirement just as fair trade. We will not use or position to exploit people working for us, nor work with people who exploit their workers.

We accept our responsibility!
For a sustainable present and future!

Responsible Manufacturing

  • No toxic chemicals avoidable will be used in our manufacturing and assembly process to prevent putting workers or the environment in jeopardy. A policy of constant supervision is part of our working process and we are choosing manufactures that live up to these ideals.
  • Reuse instead of reproduce. We will make sure all our parts/products will be properly recyclable and if not otherwise possible properly disposable.
Actually these topics not related to "open source" per se but just as much a part of our business philosophy.

Think globally, act locally!

  • Whenever possible local facilities and services are used for our production process. Not only does this expand control, but it reduces the physical distance between the final product and its end users therefore reduces carbon emissions.
  • We endorse fair labor. We do everything we can to make sure people are not exploited when working for us, so we will select companies that exercise fair labor as contractors. This also includes fair trade.

What we care about:

recyclefair laborROHS compliantco2 carbon emission reductionlead freego green

Why Open Source Matters!

OK lets face it "open source" is not a major concern of the film industry
But it really should be, not only out of ideological reasons, but just as much to improve products and services

Think about "Open Source" like an App-Market (Apple Appstore or Android Play Market) where everything is free and extensible. Anyone can develop new apps or improve existing ones, making them available to everyone interested. Everyone benefits! That summarizes what open source is all about.

We mean ‹free› as in ‹free speech›, not ‹free beer›!
Although, we also enjoy the concept of free beer


Extendability: Downloading new Camera features

This is not limited to classic accessories. Extendability ranges from simply changing the background color of a graphical user interface to your favorite one, to utterly transforming features into something they weren't originally intended to be.

Always Together - Never Alone!

Always together - Never Alone

One of the risks with proprietary manufacturers is that if they go bankrupt no repairs, no replacements, no support for their devices is available anymore. With an open and free product this can never be the case. Any other company can offer support or services for the original product or even start production itself. In addition to that open source products always have a community engaged with the products – often a very skillful one, so people can support each other or work the product independently.

New Possibilities

New Possibilities

A creative sector like the film industry thrives off doing creating things unseen before. Audience demand to be amazed with a new story, unseen perspectives, incredible images or special effects. Working with tools intended to expand the possibilities of production rather than limiting them is therefore essential.


Price - Balance - Fairness

Open hardware products make it difficult to rip off people - by design. Selling a product at a horrendous margin will likely lead to someone else selling it for less. Open hardware naturally enhances transparency of prices ensuring a much fairer price policy.


Full Control

A proprietary, closed source product ensures that the company creating the product is the sole entity in charge. Devices in need of repair rely on this sole manufacturer. Openness shifts power to the user. It guarantees a customer that owns what he paid for. The company transfers ownership to its customers, giving them full control and full power over their devices and not temporarily – eternally and irrevocably.

Sharing is cool

Share Alike

This isn't a religious thing but we truly believe in the spirit of sharing. There can't be anything wrong with that, can it?

Regular Release Cycle

20 Years of Linux Open Source Software

Any good software — whether Open Source or not — will involve updates, refinements and the release of new versions. As technology evolves, Open Source software can easily survive and adapt to new environments.

Open Source software has a tradition of involving its community in beta testing and pre-releasing software, which can easily lead to the impression of being buggy or simply unfinished particularly when compared to closed source software, which will only be released after completing a long list of internal iterations.

Modern User Interface

Darktable Open Source Software

Android, Ardour, Audacity, Blender, Chrome, Darktable, Firefox, Gimp, Inkscape, Open Street Maps and Processing are all open source software and at the edge of providing modern tidy convenient graphical user interfaces.

The Open Source movement was started by programmers focusing on function rather than form. Hence, visual presentation was frequently disregarded. But Open Source has spread and evolved, arriving at a whole new level of visual language and defining the future of graphic representation.


NASA Open Source Software

Did you know that the infrastructure behind Google and Facebook is based on Open Source technology? Read this ZDNet article.

NASA uses a Linux operating system (Open Source), both in space and on earth bound missions. Yes, critical mission control tools controlling orbital satellites worth billions of dollars are based around Open Source code.
Organizing Open Source Efforts at NASA.
NASA Open Source Code repository.

Convenient Usability

Android is Open Source Software

Wordpress is the most popular content management system for websites and blogging. It is also entirely Open Source. In 2011, it has been evaluated that 22% of any new domain created in the US uses Wordpress (See this TechCrunch article).

Open Source has expanded from highly specialized areas like web servers and scientific applications into everyday use from web browsers to media players, and has adapted its usability to meet the needs of a broader audience. However, given that Open Source doesn't hide it's more specialized software from the general public, people see the interfaces for scientists or server administrators that are full of cryptic numbers and symbols, making it the main association with open source software.


Bart Simpson embraces Open Source Software

Some countries' governments even particularly recommended open source software: South Africa, Brazil, France, Germany just to give an example - the whole list would be too long.

Or we could point out that even Apple vastly utilizes open source in its operating system Mac OSX.

Same applies to Windows too. Microsoft takes more and more interest in open source every year?

The open source movement definitely started with geeks, nerds and programmers - and we are glad it did, since they achieved great things, but the times when they were the only ones open source software was made by and for are long over.


Open Source Software Security

Occasionally software editors release statistics about their security fixes, disclosing information such as Mozilla being 3 times faster than Microsoft to fix security issues: Washington Post Article.

At the same time most disclosures by proprietary software consists of scarce, partial or biased figures. What is subsumed under "security by obscurity" can be a real security issue, making users feel safer while companies simply refrain to admit bugs until it is too late and users are already broadly affected by security leaks. So while Mozilla Firefox was considered critically unsafe (which is the time before which a known critical security leak is fixed) for 9 days in 2006, Internet Explorer has been considered unsafe for a period of 284 days - just to reference a symptomatic example. Another Washington Post Article.

Company backed efforts

Linux Kernel Sponsors

While it’s true that many people develop open source software in their time off simply because they love to create, there are also many people getting paid for just that. Wordpress is a great example as it is backed by a company, (Automattic) and a large number people are working with or for Wordpress.

People working with Linux are very demanded, as reported by the 2012 Linux Jobs Report. Reports about the details of the Linux kernel development process are released annually, showing that in 2012 a number of 7,800 developers from almost 800 companies contributed to the Linux kernel.. 75% of all Linux developers are paid employees. On the top of the list of companies hiring developers to work on the Linux kernel are Red Hat, Intel, Novel, IBM, Texas Instrument, Broadcom, Nokia, Samsung, Oracle and Google.

The list of open source success stories is long such as the Apache Foundation (whose main software, also called Apache is by far the most widely used web server online) is again backed by pretty big names, but we'll stop right here.

Communism? Commercial Application!

Open Source Software Communism

In fact the very term open source was designed to highlight the financial benefits. Collectively working on common interests increases productivity and reduces costs. Open source allows individuals and companies alike to reuse existing tools and solutions, enabling them to focus on unique and new problems. Open Source can simply be a real competitive advantage and collective work can lead to an individual benefit.

Professional Application

Tears Of Steel Open Movie created with Blender Open Source Software

Google and their whole infrastructure, IBM, NASA, more than 70 % of all existing web servers(Apache and nginx), 22% of newly launched websites in US (Wordpress), 75 % of all smart-phone users (Android) rely on open source software. The Blender foundation created several open movies exclusively using open source software (the above image shows their Mango Open Movie Project: "Tears of Steel"). All these numbers illustrates the level of professionalism when it comes to the application of open source software.

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