SAN FRANCISCO, California — The winner of the “We’re Linux” video contest has been announced — it’s Amitay Tweeto, a freelance graphic designer and user interface consultant from Bet Shemesh, Israel.
You can view Tweeto’s winning entry on the website of the Linux Foundation, the non-profit group which put together the contest. It’s also embedded below.
The contest challenged members of the Linux community to dream up a video advertisement evangelizing the free and open-source software using the theme, “We’re Linux,” a play on Apple’s recent “I’m a Mac” ads, and the “I’m a PC” ads Microsoft put out in response.
Over 90 videos were submitted between December and March. The public then voted on their favorites, and a winner was chosen from the finalists by a panel of judges.
Here’s the winner, “What Does it Mean to be Free?” by Amitay Tweeto:
Tweeto was announced as the contest’s winner Wednesday at the Linux Collaboration Summit, taking place here this week.
According to Linux Foundation VP of Marketing and Developer Programs Amanda McPherson, who headed up the contest, Tweeto’s video rose above the pack by hitting the right tone.
“Most of the ads focused on the ‘free-as-in-beer’ part of Linux,” she told Wired.com, referring to the dual concept of “freedom” within the free and open-source software movement.
Linux is distributed at no cost (“free, as in beer”) but it also allows the user to adapt and modify the software however they see fit (“free, as in freedom”).
Most entries concentrated on Linux’s economic advantages, which McPherson said makes sense considering the current financial crisis and the fact that Microsoft’s latest ads attack Macs because of their perceived higher price.
“But [Tweeto's video] talks about the higher level purpose, what freedom means to the user,” she said. “As we move to more open transparent models in government, culture and commerce, it’s obvious our world is ready for this message.”
“That really resonated with the public and with the judges.”
The panel of seven judges was made up of some free software heavies, including VA Linux founder Larry Augustin, OpenSUSE community manager Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier and tech publisher Tim O’Reilly. In addition to bragging rights for winning the contest, Tweeto also gets a free trip to Tokyo this October to participate in the Japan Linux Symposium.
Two runners up were also announced Wednesday.
Agustin Eguia’s “The Origin” is an animated short centered around his “I+You+We=LINUX” tagline, a catchy slogan one would expect to find on a t-shirt.
The other runner up was a fan favorite. Sebastian Masse’s “Linux Pub” features an antiquated and dying workstation being rushed into a hospital ER. A giant penguin (which vaguely resembles Tux) bursts in and brings it back to life by loading Linux onto it, then leaves laughing with a female doctor on each arm.
McPherson points out that all three winners are from outside the United States — Tweeto is Israeli, Eguia is a 28-year-old Uruguayan native currently living in Brussels, Belgium, and Masse is a film school graduate from Paris — and that the wide geographic diversity of the entries underscores the international nature of the Linux community.