November 01 2004

Red Hat founder's new project helps fund open source development

Nov. 01, 2004

Red Hat co-founder and former chairman Bob Young has launched a new software marketplace intended to enable open source developers to publish software and fund their projects. Young calls his venture "Lulu," and describes the project as an online publishing tool for independent authors and publishers.

Lulu's newest software marketplaces focus on open source technologies. Beginning immediately, Lulu is accepting pre-orders for the latest version of and the Red Hat-sponsored Fedora Core 3 Linux distribution.

Lulu sells the latest version of's open source office suite software, complete with guide and instruction materials, for US $14.95. Fedora software comes with Colin Charles's latest book, Fedora Core: Made Simple, in a $24.95 set. Shipments are expected mid-month, according to Lulu.

The website grew out of Young's interest in alternative business models for the distribution of intellectual property. Launched in 2003, the site allows individuals to freely publish their software products online. Instead of Lulu charging software publishers for selling services, the publishers set their own prices and Lulu earns a small commission on each item sold, in an eBay-like manner.

Giving It Away, available from Lulu as a free download or as a printed document for a nominal fee, offers advice on the benefits of Open Source Software and how to make a business selling it.

Other open source titles now available include popular Bugzilla, a bug-tracking System for developers that keeps track of outstanding bugs in products, and Slash, a database-driven news and message board that serves as the foundation for websites like Slashdot.

Lulu allows individual developers, projects, and companies to create boxed-sets and sell products through the Lulu online community. Open source developers can generate revenues and collect donations using the service. Lulu's Community forums can help developers get started using the service. The company says more open source titles will be available soon.

Press release -

( BW)(NC-LULU) Lulu Brings the Power of On-Demand Publishing to Software; Open Source Developers Use Lulu to Sell Software CDs and Books

Publishing Writers/Business Editors/High-Tech Editors

RALEIGH, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 3, 2004--On-demand publishing is not just for books anymore. Lulu (, the company that gives independent publishers free access to powerful tools for publishing and distributing books, music and other digital content, announced today that it would begin to provide those same tools to independent software developers.

The first five software sets available on Lulu include popular open source projects (an alternative to Microsoft Office), Fedora (a version of the Linux operating system), Slash, and Bugzilla. Also available is a preparation program for the Cisco Certified Network Administrator (CCNA) test.

Colin Charles, the author and hacker who published the and Fedora sets on Lulu along with manuals he penned, notes that supporters of open source can't walk into stores and buy the software they want, partly because the code is always changing. "Currently, or Fedora Core aren't products," explains Charles. "You can't walk into a bookstore like Borders or a computer chain and pick a copy up. Offering a boxed set that is manufactured on demand makes life easier."

At the same time that it broadens the amount of knowledge available to consumers, explains Lulu founder and CEO Bob Young, "Lulu changes the economics of publishing to allow the majority of revenue to go directly into the pockets of creators, whether they sell one book or one million. Lulu's model is to enable artists, authors, musicians--and now software developers--to control their own work." Young is also known for having co-founded the open source software company Red Hat (RHAT) in 1993.

Lulu lets individuals who have written books publish and sell their content, set their own royalty, and keep control of their copyright. It also allows small publishers to offer an infinite number of titles without the risk of losing money on books that don't become bestsellers.

The Lulu marketplace--which contains nearly 15,000 books, along with thousands of independently published images, songs, and calendars--now offers publishers a form on its site to request custom products including software projects and books sold with CDs.

About Lulu ( Lulu provides independent publishers with free access to on-demand publishing tools for content, including books, e-books, music, images, calendars and more.


Britt Carter, 919-313-4813
Copyright Business Wire 2004

Colin Charles <>, © 1996-2004