[cc-community] European Union Public Domain thematic network

Andrius Kulikauskas ms at ms.lt
Fri Sep 22 08:30:02 EDT 2006


Andrea,

Thank you for your letter!  Yes, here is some more about our Minciu 
Sodas laboratory's work in the Public Domain.

Minciu Sodas is an open laboratory for serving and organizing 
independent thinkers.  Since 1998, we have grown to 100 active, 1,500 
supportive participants and 14 working groups.   We have served over 20 
clients as online organizers, web programmers, researchers, writers, 
translators and multimedia producers. 

 From the beginning I have been concerned that we be able to reuse our 
material.  Therefore we have pioneered the concept of "Public Domain 
except as noted" as at http://www.primarilypublicdomain.org and 
http://www.ethicalpublicdomain.org  Consequently, we now have an archive 
of more than 15,000 letters and 2,500 wiki pages in the Public Domain.

In particular, I have worked as a leader to champion the ethical use of 
the Public Domain for social networking, pointing out that any form of 
copyright or copyleft is burdensome and legalistic.  At our venues, we 
require that participants explicitly mark as copyright any materials 
which they do not want in the Public Domain.  In this sense, we're 
supporting a return to the laws as they were before 1976.

I am very excited that the thematic network might bring together 
organizers who truly do depend on the most vibrant reuse of content. I 
think that in all manner of domains we could think through the ethical 
guidelines for using content and then note where the laws are causing 
problems and should be changed.   For example, the laws could clarify 
that Public Domain authors do not imply warrantability, that Public 
Domain authors do have the option to exercise copyright later, and the 
laws could give pause to those who build copyright works on Public 
Domain resources and then wrongly intimidate others.  I am not happy 
with the approach of Creative Commons where it assumes a legalistic 
mindset rather than cultivate cultural solutions or work to change the 
laws.  I also not happy with people who don't care whether or not they 
follow the law.  I think it's also ugly for Western law to impose itself 
so inhumanly on people around the world.  I look to this European 
initiative as defining an alternative that might start with a love of 
ethics.

Currently our laboratory is getting ready to organize a resource in the 
Public Domain for "social agriculture", especially for collecting 
experiences from people growing or enjoying organic foods.

We have sympathetic contacts in Hewlett-Packard, Ricoh Innovations and 
other institutions.

I have written papers:
"An Economy for Giving Everything Away" explains the economic logic of 
our lab and why private interests might invest in public assets:  
http://www.ms.lt/en/workingopenly/givingaway.html
"The Algebra of Copyright" explains a way to think of copyright and fair 
use in terms of the number of parsers involved, providing a general 
theory http://www.ms.lt/en/publishing/TheAlgebraOfCopyright.html
"Social Hacking: The Need for an Ethics" 
http://journal.hyperdrome.net/issues/issue1/kulikauskas.html

I'm excited about the possiblities! and encouraged by a recent posting 
by Sunir Shah at Meatball Wiki
--------------------------
I strongly, strongly believe that the DefaultCopyright 
<http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?DefaultCopyright> should move in 
this direction. Unless otherwise claimed, information totally divorced 
from any connection to a human being should be free to move about. This 
is 100% connected to my concept of LifeInText 
<http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?LifeInText>. If you consider your 
personal information, conversations, and works in progress to be part of 
your /self/, then it is a violation of every concept of ownership we've 
had in history to take it. However, material left strewn around without 
anyone standing over and protecting it, that is not part of someone's 
/self/, is free game for others to mine for their own uses. The legal 
framework of IntellectualProperty 
<http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?IntellectualProperty> should 
incorporate these more physical world concepts of privacy, ownership, 
and the public domain if it dares call itself /property/. -- SunirShah  
http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?EthicalPublicDomain 
<http://www.usemod.com/cgi-bin/mb.pl?SunirShah>


Andrius

Andrius Kulikauskas
Minciu Sodas
http://www.ms.lt
ms at ms.lt
+370 (5) 264 5950
Vilnius, Lithuania


Andrea Glorioso wrote:
> Dear Andrius,
>
> thanks for your kind email.  I haven't contacted Paolo Pumilia (yet)
> because we would first like to understand what is the number of
> Italian organisations joining in, in order not to unbalance the
> network too much.
>
> As regards the participation of the Minciu Sodas laboratory, could you
> tell me a bit more about it - including its role, the projects it's
> working on, its interest and expertise on the issues that will be
> covered by the Thematic Network, i.e. the digital public domain and
> related issues (CC, Open Access, orphan works)?
>
> You might receive this email twice because of some network problems
> I'm experiencing - sorry about that.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Andrea
>
> On 9/19/06, Andrius Kulikauskas <ms at ms.lt> wrote:
>> Paul Keller, Andrea Glorioso, Mia Garlick,
>>
>> Yes, I and our Minciu Sodas laboratory based in Lithuania are interested
>> to participate as partners.  I share my thoughts below.
>>
>> Paolo Pumilia in Milan, Italy is also very interested.  He has organized
>> a series of conferences on Open Content including
>> http://www.openculture.org and is now creating a Permanent Committee.
>>
>> Do you have a public online venue for pursuing work on this proposal,
>> including reaching out to others?  We'd like to host such work at our
>> working group Learning From Each Other
>> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/learningfromeachother/ led by Pamela
>> McLean of the UK.  Her general interest is in the use of ICT to support
>> self-learning with special attention to the wide open situation in
>> Africa.  She has agreed to host Paolo's work towards a Permanent
>> Committee for open content conferences.  Roland Alton who hosted the
>> recent workshop is also here.  Please send a blank message to
>> learningfromeachother-subscribe at yahoogroups.com to subscribe!
>>
>> Andrius
>>
>> Andrius Kulikauskas
>> Minciu Sodas
>> http://www.ms.lt
>> ms at ms.lt
>> +370 (5) 264 5950
>> +370 (699) 30003
>> Vilnius, Lithuania
>>
>> Paul Keller wrote:
>>
>> > dear Andrius,
>> >
>> > thank you for your mail and sorry for the delayed answer. i was not
>> > able to keep up with my mail because of the bad connectivity at
>> > wizards of so. as you might now we have had a meeting at WOS on
>> > thursday to select a lead organisation for the TN proposal. We have
>> > chosen the politechnico de torino as lead and i have copied Andrea
>> > Glorioso from the Politechnico in this mail. if you wnat to join the
>> > project at this stage you should get in touch with him as soon as
>> > possible as he is coordinating the efforts to select the consortium
>> > partners at this moment.
>> > all the best from amsterdam,
>> >
>> > paul keller (CC-NL)
>> >
>> > On Sep 14, 2006, at 11:07 PM, Andrius Kulikauskas wrote:
>> >
>> >> Sorry! I forgot to add this. Andrius, http://www.ms.lt
>> >> ----------------------------------------------------------------
>> >>
>> >> http://europa.eu.int/information_society/activities/econtentplus/
>> >> docs/call_2006/ecp_work_programme_2006.pdf
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> REINFORCING COOPERATION BETWEEN DIGITAL CONTENT STAKEHOLDERS
>> >>
>> >> Issues and policies relating to the public domain are critical across
>> >> all the target areas covered by
>> >> the programme for facilitating the accessibility, use and 
>> exploitation
>> >> of digital content in general. In
>> >> 2006, eContentplus will fund a thematic network to examine the
>> >> situation
>> >> in the European Union
>> >> and develop strategies and solutions for its Member States.
>> >> For the purposes of this work programme, public domain refers to
>> >> content
>> >> that is not or no longer
>> >> protected by copyright, for example because it is not entitled to
>> >> copyright protection or the
>> >> copyright has been waived or has expired. Related issues that also
>> >> require examination include
>> >> material that is protected by copyright, but can be accessed and
>> >> used by
>> >> all, e.g. through open
>> >> access, under Creative Commons licences or as orphan works, i.e. 
>> works
>> >> protected by copyright but
>> >> where it is impossible to identify the person entitled to exercise 
>> the
>> >> rights.
>> >>
>> >> 6.1. A Thematic Network on public-domain and related issues
>> >>
>> >> Objective: A single network will be funded to spread awareness among
>> >> content stakeholders on the importance of issues relating to the  
>> public
>> >> domain for the usability and accessibility of digital content. It 
>> will
>> >> identify the issues and develop strategies for tackling them at
>> >> European
>> >> level.
>> >>
>> >> Conditions: In addition to the common requirements for Thematic
>> >> Networks, proposals should meet the
>> >> following conditions:
>> >> • They should bring together experts from different backgrounds  
>> with an
>> >> interest in the public
>> >> domain, such as IPR experts, content owners (libraries and archives),
>> >> representatives of the
>> >> scientific community, end users and consumers.
>> >> • Participants should represent the interests of actors from a
>> >> sufficiently wide geographical area
>> >> so as to have an impact at European level.
>> >>
>> >> Expected results: Digital stakeholders should understand and  
>> appreciate
>> >> public domain issues and incorporate that understanding and
>> >> appreciation
>> >> in strategies and solutions for dealing with such issues at European
>> >> level.
>> >>
>> >> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> Andrius Kulikauskas wrote:
>> >>
>> >>> Hi! I'm wondering if anybody is writing a proposal for the  European
>> >>> Union's call to create a Public Domain thematic network?   I want to
>> >>> support Roland Alton-Scheidl's efforts.  He's currently  at the
>> >>> Wizards of OS conference in Berlin and will give a workshop  on this
>> >>> on Sunday.  My Minciu Sodas laboratory members Markus  Petz,
>> >>> Dante-Gabryell Monson and Eric Schneider are also there.  I  hope we
>> >>> might speak up and work together at this opportunity!
>> >>>
>> >>> I also ask for help to make contacts in some of the bigger
>> >>> businesses and institutions as I think that is essential for the
>> >>> success of a proposal.  They could be in Europe but even outside
>> >>> contacts might prove helpful.  I'm thinking of hardware, software,
>> >>> media companies but also perhaps insurance or real estate or  travel
>> >>> or pharmaceuticals or other companies that are knowledge  intensive
>> >>> and might possibly benefit from a progressive approach  to the
>> >>> Public Domain.  I'm also personally asking for a review of  current
>> >>> dogma and a rethinking as to how we might approach these  issues
>> >>> ethically first, and legally second.  Please join us at
>> >>> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/learningfromeachother/ and also  thank
>> >>> you for discussion at the Creative Commons list.
>> >>>
>> >>> Andrius Kulikauskas
>> >>> ms at ms.lt, http://www.ms.lt, Direktorius, Minciu Sodas
>> >>> ---------------------------------------------
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>> The EU's European Commission has issued a call for proposals (due
>> >>> October 19, 2006) to create a Public Domain thematic network. Up 
>> to 1
>> >>> million euros is available. http://europa.eu.int/econtentplus 
>> and  more
>> >>> information below.
>> >>>
>> >>> Since 1998, I have organized our Minciu Sodas laboratory
>> >>> http://www.ms.lt to deliberately leverage the Public Domain to
>> >>> serve and
>> >>> organize independent thinkers. Together we have created more than
>> >>> 15,000
>> >>> letters and 3,000 wiki pages. We're starting to reuse this  
>> material in
>> >>> more and more ways that facilitate our working together. We're also
>> >>> realizing that our spaces in the Public Domain filters in those  who
>> >>> are
>> >>> willing to work openly and share freely and filters out sharkish,
>> >>> trollish and other deconstructive behavior. This means that we can
>> >>> encourage our participants to invest time, energy, resources in each
>> >>> other's growth. I have written about this logic in "An Economy for
>> >>> Giving Everything Away" http://www.ms.lt/en/workingopenly/
>> >>> givingaway.html
>> >>>
>> >>> I'm writing to encourage us to organize around Roland Alton-Scheidl,
>> >>> PUBLIC VOICE Lab & Project Lead
>> >>> RegisteredCommons.org, Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences,
>> >>> http://www.media.coop/about/ He's leading a workshop for all who  
>> would
>> >>> like to work together on this proposal. It takes place this 
>> Sunday at
>> >>> "The Wizards of OS" conference in Berlin
>> >>> http://wizards-of-os.org/index.php?id=2922
>> >>> http://www.media.coop/project/ecplus/ http://del.icio.us/ecplus
>> >>>
>> >>> I spoke with Roland today. He and Franz Nahrada know each other 
>> quite
>> >>> well. Franz leads our lab's working group Global Villages
>> >>> http://www.globalvillages.info
>> >>> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/globalvillages/ Roland is a part of
>> >>> Franz's video bridge team which is working with telecoms so that 
>> they
>> >>> offer video bridge equipment free of charge to community centers  
>> which
>> >>> subscribe to video bridge services. This option can make all the
>> >>> difference for spreading this technology and is analogous to the DSL
>> >>> companies offering modems free of charge to their subscribers. 
>> It  also
>> >>> lets subscribers use the existing proprietary technology without
>> >>> locking
>> >>> them into it so they might switch as open source options arise.  And
>> >>> it's
>> >>> a ground breaking example of providers serving communities 
>> rather  than
>> >>> consumers.
>> >>>
>> >>> Roland is looking for a team of four or five people who might help
>> >>> with
>> >>> his proposal. I'm happy to help. Who else? He also asked for help to
>> >>> find partners in the various European countries, especially large
>> >>> businesses and institutions. Here are some that we can approach
>> >>> right away:
>> >>> - Paolo Pumilia in Milan, Italy is the organizer of several Open
>> >>> Content
>> >>> conferences http://www.openculture.org with many ties to the 
>> academic
>> >>> community. He's the one who originally alerted me to the call.
>> >>> - Steve Cayzer of Hewlett-Packard Bristol Labs
>> >>> http://www.hpl.hp.com/personal/Steve_Cayzer/ is working on the
>> >>> semantic
>> >>> web and is a friend of our lab.
>> >>> - Stanko Blatnik is in Slovenia and is interested in distance  
>> learning
>> >>> and has academic connections.
>> >>> - Georg Pleger of Creative Commons Austria
>> >>> http://www.creativecommons.at/Members/georgP has been very  
>> sympathetic
>> >>> and perhaps has more contacts.
>> >>> I have some connections in Lithuania's government, perhaps that
>> >>> might be
>> >>> relevant.
>> >>>
>> >>> But we need bigger connections in order to have a chance of  
>> winning. I
>> >>> spoke recently with a friendly expert who made it clear that our
>> >>> lab had
>> >>> no chance of winning. These projects are typically won by 
>> outfits  that
>> >>> manage thirty or forty of them at a time. They have the whole
>> >>> production
>> >>> line ready for this and the calls are usually formulated with 
>> them in
>> >>> mind. So I'm encouraging us to work openly and rally around 
>> Roland  and
>> >>> all who are willing to put in the work and take the risk. This will
>> >>> provide three years of funding for a few organizers and travel for
>> >>> partners. And meanwhile it's a good opportunity for us to connect 
>> and
>> >>> support each other.
>> >>>
>> >>> I defer to Roland regarding the content of the proposal. But I
>> >>> share my
>> >>> ideas. I would call the proposal and the network "Ethical Public
>> >>> Domain". My goal would be to focus our attention on ethics 
>> rather  than
>> >>> legalities. Our work would be to analyze each domain where 
>> content is
>> >>> generated and considered what is the ethically best way to treat
>> >>> content
>> >>> given the relevant issues. And then to make recommendations as to 
>> how
>> >>> laws should be changed and how to focus on ethical rather than legal
>> >>> solutions. And how to integrate different kinds of content in
>> >>> different
>> >>> situations.
>> >>>
>> >>> Our assumption would be that people have a basic human right to  
>> share.
>> >>> Any law which presumes that people don't want to share is in 
>> conflict
>> >>> with that right. In particular, the laws which assume that we claim
>> >>> ownership of our creative works are counter to our right to share 
>> and
>> >>> thus ethically void. People who want to claim legal protection of
>> >>> their
>> >>> creative works ought to be active in marking their content
>> >>> accordingly.
>> >>> Otherwise they are infringing on our right to share. By 
>> clarifying  our
>> >>> human rights we would help show where the laws are ethical and
>> >>> where are
>> >>> they overstepping.
>> >>>
>> >>> For example, as Thomas Kalka noted, one argument against public
>> >>> domain software is that supposedly author's are not protected 
>> against
>> >>> presumed warrantees and associated liability. Well, instead of
>> >>> abandoning the public domain, why not clarify if the laws are
>> >>> unethical
>> >>> and should be changed?
>> >>>
>> >>> I'm also thinking of social networking (people's implicit 
>> content)  and
>> >>> video bridges (most explicit content) as two ends of a spectrum and
>> >>> every other kind of content is somewhere in between.
>> >>>
>> >>> One idea is to have a video bridge center in every European  country
>> >>> and
>> >>> have them in other countries so that we could have their input  
>> because
>> >>> this is a global issue. And to meet through the video bridges as
>> >>> much as
>> >>> possible. And perhaps bring them to conferences throughout the  
>> year so
>> >>> that people throughout Europe and around the world could hook up  on
>> >>> this
>> >>> issue both online and offline.
>> >>>
>> >>> I also think that it could be helpful to focus attention on  content
>> >>> that
>> >>> is socially meaningful such as a knowledge base for sustainability
>> >>> that
>> >>> could use all manner of media. And a social networking system to
>> >>> attract
>> >>> such giving people and help them help each other find paid work. 
>> Here
>> >>> again Public Domain is essential.
>> >>>
>> >>> The Public Domain can also have an express ethical component which
>> >>> explains what is appropriate behavior under various conditions. For
>> >>> example, if you make money from content, then it's appropriate 
>> to  give
>> >>> back to the content creators. But how exactly you do that and who
>> >>> exactly you give to isn't so important. And it's not a legal issue.
>> >>> Certainly for individuals and small businesses there is no  
>> recourse in
>> >>> civil law because of the expense and wasted energy and so the law
>> >>> is not
>> >>> a solution for the people who matter.
>> >>>
>> >>> I think it's also perfectly human to have ethics and laws which 
>> allow
>> >>> humans to use their best judgement but require institutions with
>> >>> limited
>> >>> liability, such as corporations, to be taxed for their use of  
>> content.
>> >>> Or, for example, it makes sense to have patents which allow humans
>> >>> unrestricted use but require corporations to negotiate with the  
>> patent
>> >>> holder.
>> >>>
>> >>> I think it's important to think of the Public Domain in a  practical
>> >>> way
>> >>> and not make a legal parody of it. In practice, people can and do
>> >>> change
>> >>> their mind as to whether their work is in the Public Domain. And the
>> >>> common sense consequence is that this does not affect any copies
>> >>> already
>> >>> published but should affect any future copies to the extent that the
>> >>> publisher has been made or should be aware of the change of  
>> status. In
>> >>> which case the publisher should be prepared to negotiate or find a
>> >>> substitute. This makes for a world where sharing is much more
>> >>> voluntary
>> >>> and not based on force, and where investments are made accordingly.
>> >>>
>> >>> I'm interested to approach participants in the Creative Commons
>> >>> initiative who would like to see more emphasis on ethics rather than
>> >>> law. I believe that here in Europe we might succeed in developing an
>> >>> ethical European alternative ("respect these requests") to a
>> >>> legalistic
>> >>> American approach ("these rights reserved"). Especially as the
>> >>> network's
>> >>> major role can be to suggest European policy that leads to 
>> directives
>> >>> that lead to harmonized laws throughout the Union.
>> >>>
>> >>> Pamela McLean has agreed to host work on this proposal at her 
>> working
>> >>> group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/learningfromeachother/ Her key
>> >>> concept in life is "learning from each other" and she's especially
>> >>> interested in how we and ICT might support learning, especially in
>> >>> Africa, which is a wonderful land for thinking fresh. Paolo  
>> Pumilia is
>> >>> also active there. We invite all to join us, please send a blank
>> >>> message
>> >>> to learningfromeachother-subscribe at yahoogroups.com Roland, if you
>> >>> think
>> >>> this is a good idea, please ask people at your workshop to sign 
>> up  for
>> >>> this group and get their permissions. This would be a great boost
>> >>> for us
>> >>> to help you! Also, the more openly that we write this proposal,  the
>> >>> more
>> >>> partners, attention and good will we might attract.
>> >>>
>> >>> Roland, best wishes in your work!
>> >>> Please keep us posted!
>> >>>
>> >>> Andrius
>> >>>
>> >>> Andrius Kulikauskas
>> >>> Minciu Sodas
>> >>> http://www.ms.lt
>> >>> ms at ms.lt
>> >>> +370 (5) 264 5950
>> >>> +370 (699) 30003
>> >>> Vilnius, Lithuania
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>> Each letter sent to Learning From Each Other enters the PUBLIC
>> >>> DOMAIN unless it explicitly states otherwise http://
>> >>> www.ethicalpublicdomain.org  Please be kind to our authors!
>> >>>
>> >>> _______________________________________________
>> >>> cc-community mailing list
>> >>> cc-community at lists.ibiblio.org
>> >>> http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/cc-community
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>
>> >> _______________________________________________
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>> >
>> >
>> > --
>> > waag society | nieuwmarkt 4 | NL - 1012 CR amsterdam
>> > e: paul at waag.org | t: +31 20 557 9898 | f: +31 20 557 9880
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>>
>>
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