[cc-community] The iCommons Lab Report
d.berry at sussex.ac.uk
Thu Nov 9 11:01:22 EST 2006
Re: The iCommons Lab Report
I had to laugh when I read the question of the Governance of an 'open
and transparent' global community (page 1)- I presume they mean
Who should iCommons ask for advice about setting up this open
structure of governance? Sociologists? Political theorists? Political
scientists? Us? Nope. --- They ask Hackers who release a distribution
of the Linux operating system called Ubuntu. What?!? And they seem
to be taking this advice seriously. I mean like, seriously.
Which bring us to...
How was the iCommons Code of Conduct passed (page 2)? I didn't see a
vote, debate (beyond the wiki) or any of the so called 'open and
transparent governance and processes' that are listed as a core value
and principle... is this an example of 'consensus and running code'?
I really wonder why certain things are missing (fairtrade/human
rights anyone?) and who decided what was in and what was out... and
how do we change it if we don't like it?
What is even weirder is the iCommons community council (iCCC) which
is open for nominations (good), but then selected by iCommons Board
which will make the final decision of the 9-13 iCCC members (not so
good - why the shifting number? what power will it have?). This
doesn't sound particularly open or transparent - how will we know the
criteria for selection? Will the decision be made in public (i.e. we
can attend the meeting as observers?)? Why can't the iCommons nodes
who nominate vote? After all to quote from the iCommons Code of
Conduct it is important that we 'avoid conflicts of interest' which
requires clear procedures and processes to guide the election (if
that is what it is). Where are they? Who decides?
A shame that 'open' and 'democratic' are traveling in different
iCommons, the world is watching... and you are creating a corporate
machine rather than a democratic one... is that what all the
iCommoners, free culture and assorted supporters want? Success for
Creative Commons/free culture is one thing, but lets not lose sight
that the Means are just as important as the Ends.
iCommons Code of Conduct: The Text
iCommons and the iCommons nodes adhere to these core values and
· iCommoners are respectful of the diversity of creativity and of
intellectual thought. We are a diverse group of people - from civil
society, business and governments; from the North and the South; from
politically diverse backgrounds and cultures. We know that this kind
of diversity is found in very few places, that it requires a very
special kind of respect - and that we are especially mindful of this
because it is our greatest strength.
· iCommoners collaborate and help one another. Because we are a
global commons movement, we recognise that not every community has
the same level of connectivity/support etc, and as such, we recognise
how important it is to collaborate with those from diverse cultural/
political/economic contexts. We recognise that developing true
partnerships between communities in the North and South is as
important as developing cutting edge products and services.
· iCommoners are committed to ensuring the freedom of societies to
create, build upon and share the world's knowledge, culture and
science. iCommoners believe that, because this freedom is essential
to the freedom of expression, that we will promote the highest levels
of open access to intellectual products for organisations and
individuals - especially those with a public mandate.
· iCommoners employ open and transparent governance and processes.
Transparency is important because it encourages communal ownership of
the iCommons network, allows us to learn from one another, helps and
helps to avoid conflicts of interest. iCommoners will adopt
transparent governance procedures without disrespecting individual
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