[cc-community] German Federal State announces economic stimulus package aimed at IT industry and at enriching Public Domain
m.pedersen at lancaster.ac.uk
Thu Apr 2 11:30:06 EDT 2009
Lucas Gonze wrote:
> It is important for free people to do what they choose out in the
> open, without having to hide in the shadows because ordinary behavior
> is against the law. Permissive licensing is a way to make this happen
> with regard to copyrighted works. The developing world's reliance on
> ignoring copyright law rather than developing ways to avoid being
> forced to break the law -- and as a result exposing yourself to legal
> sanctions -- is a dysfunctional practice because it is undemocratic.
That requires (or presupposes) a dogmatic believe in democracy as an end
in itself (which is one of the weakest points of the religious movement
called rational, liberal democracy). There is no shortage of critiques
of democracy - from Nietzsche through Sorel and Benjamin to contemporary
commentators, just to name a few - and it really is not much of an
argument to state that one has to find ways not to break laws, if those
are laws that one does not agree with. Ever heard of civil disobedience?
That is even a cornerstone in democratic thought, theory and practice
throughout the history of that dysmal era.
In order for your statement to make much sense you have to argue why
democracy - in its particular form - is desirable at all, and of course
you would also have to explain why breaking a law is a dysfunctional
practice in relation to that dogma called "democracy" (referring back to
civil disobedience). All in all there are several circularities and
contradictions at play here.
There is a growing literature explaining related matters, such as in the
environmental debates, which CC ex-chairman has spend many years to tie
the cyberspatial movements to. Here is a quote that might shed a bit
more light on the matter (why laws and the state are problematic in
........the green, rights based state has been prominently argued for by
Robyn Eckersley in the Green State: rethinking democracy and sovereignty
(2004), who “argues for the gradual evolutionary ‘greening’ of notions
of state sovereignty in order to ‘reinstate the state’ against the
pressures of global capital ‘as a facilitator of progressive
environmental change rather than environmental destruction’” (Smith
“Ultimately, the argument for green sovereignty is an argument against
green politics . This certainly is not the intention of those espousing
the merits of a green state and it does not follow that state
involvement in ecological concerns is always destructive. However, it
does mean that arguments for a radical ecological politics have to be
clearly separated from arguments for green sovereignty ; something
equally true where this same model of sovereignty provides a model for
transnational governmental bodies” (ibid: 113).
Smith, Mick (2009) Against ecological sovereignty: Agamben, politics and
globalisation. Environmental Politics, Vol. 18, 1: 99-116
“It is quite wrong to assert that, in a constitutional state, the
struggle for existence becomes a struggle for law. On the contrary,
experience shows conclusively that the opposite is the case. And this is
necessarily so, since the law's concern with justice is only apparent,
whereas in truth the law is concerned with self-preservation. In
particular, with defending its existence against its own guilt. In the
last analysis, a normative force always comes down in favor of existing
reality.” (Benjamin 1920/1997: 232).
Arguing for laws and for the state is at best very problematic.
> On Thu, Apr 2, 2009 at 3:51 AM, mp <m.pedersen at lancaster.ac.uk> wrote:
>> Human nature - if anything at all that can be pinpointed, surely is
>> about adaptability?
>> Indeed, it appears that the general appeal to citizens in the capitalist
>> era is at heart based on teleology and (illusions of) progress,
>> particularly with regard to technology (space race, Moore's Law etc.) -
>> so change, rather than fear, feeds a false promise of a future soon to come.
>> Emma Goldman said something useful in the context of "human nature":
>> "Every fool, from king to policeman, from the flatheaded parson to the
>> visionless dabbler in science, presumes to speak authoritatively of
>> human nature. The greater the mental charlatan, the more definite his
>> insistence on the wickedness and weaknesses of human nature. Yet, how
>> can any one speak of it today, with every soul in a prison, with every
>> heart fettered, wounded, and maimed?"
>> Of course, the view forward obscures the future by consolidating the
>> status quo, and as such the potential for change has been swallowed up
>> by representation in a variety of formats, particularly those seeking
>> reforms and acting nicely - Walter Benjamin said:
>> �Social Democracy thought fit to to assign to the working class the role
>> of the redeemer of future generations, in this way cutting the sinews of
>> its greatest strength. This training made the working class forget both
>> its hatred and its spirit of sacrifice, for both are nourished by the
>> image of enslaved ancestors rather than that of liberated grandchildren�
>> So rather than change being an object of fear, change (called progress)
>> is a manner of manipulation to avoid any real change.
>> And this Creative Commons should take note of - there is a real danger
>> that CC is a way to consolidate property rights based thinking, such as
>> suggested in a recent article:
>> An excerpt:
>> Asian attitudes
>> Anh Hung Nguyen, who's currently developing an e-learning program for
>> disadvantaged children, told us: "Here in Vietnam, books are almost
>> exclusively published by state publishers and don't adopt CC.
>> Most Vietnamese don't pay attention to licences, since they can get most
>> things for free and are willing to violate them should they become an
>> obstacle. In general, I haven't heard of any local projects or people
>> that use CC, except for a few people who use CC for their photos on
>> Flickr or Picasa. It seems that, CC or not, we don't have a lot of
>> content to share over the internet".
>> Sasi Kumar, of FSF India, noted that in his country, "Education was
>> historically confined to the upper castes. Where permitted, however, all
>> works could be studied and used by anyone. The idea of copyright came
>> from the west. Restricting knowledge is not part of our culture. As a
>> result, people don't feel that it is wrong to take photocopies, for
>> instance, of material they need, even if it is copyrighted. Thinking
>> otherwise is, again, a result of western influence".
>> Indian journalist Frederick Noronha basically agrees with Sasi: "There
>> is an overall culture of sharing knowledge here, even if this isn't
>> called 'Creative Commons'. We had the launch of CCIndia in early 2007,
>> but there seems to be little activity there� I think CC is a bit too
>> conservative and too respectful of copyright issues. Copyright has not
>> worked for us (in the developing world) for generations. Generally
>> speaking, copyright in any form, including CC, doesn't fit in too well
>> with Asian ideas of knowledge, since it enables those controlling
>> knowledge and information over the rest, and we find it impossible to
>> emerge winners in this game. It is a colonial law, not meant to serve
>> the interest of the people of those parts of the globe that are not
>> ahead in the information race! Why should we be as respectful to it, as,
>> say, Lawrence Lessig is?"
>> Minhaaj Rehman, an educational consultant, open source advocate and
>> contributor to Wikipedia and Wikieducator.com from Pakistan has even
>> stronger opinions about CC: "it might be a solution to western problems,
>> as it would reduce costs for western students subjected to exploitative
>> laws. However, CC is impacting Eastern societies and less developed
>> countries in a way that is exactly the opposite of what we want here. In
>> Pakistan, pirating materials is a great, common way to distribute them
>> to students who can't afford original versions, because it would take
>> significant time and resources to re-create equivalent content of the
>> same quality.
>> "Nobody in Pakistan knew about copyright, copyleft or CC a decade ago.
>> Even when academics knew about copyright, they just didn't deal with it,
>> primarily because of eastern tradition and religious injunctions of
>> collectivism and open literacy. CC and copyleft movements have made it
>> harder, here in Pakistan at least, for poor students and educators to
>> use books. Sure, they inspired academics to copyleft their work, but at
>> the same time, they convinced them that copyright, which should never
>> exist in the first place, is good. Whereas content never belongs to
>> anyone, as it comes from previous experience and incremental learning.
>> Here in the east we need to abolish copyright, nothing less. That's why
>> I don't think CC is good for developing countries. To me, even things
>> like Richard Stallman's FSF accepting support from organisations like
>> Unesco (which do nothing to fight the problems I just mentioned), or
>> Wikipedia's profiteering by asking for donation of $6 million this year
>> are proofs that both copyright and copyleft are partners in restricting
>> human rights and freedom".
>> Bjorn Wijers wrote:
>>> Thanks for this inspirational email!
>>> I sincerely hope change can be made, but I'm somewhat skeptic especially after
>>> hearing what the Dutch government after weeks of negotiation brought forward. I
>>> fear that for changes to be embraced the system should allow and encourage
>>> change, however general human nature fears change and thus change will only be
>>> embraced if all else fails and even then with hesitation. My personal goal would
>>> be to focus on 'getting things done' and hopefully this will perhaps an example
>>> others might want to follow.
>>> All the best,
>>>> The government of the German Federal State of Hesse has announced a new
>>>> spending programme to stimulate the economy of Hesse in the current financial
>>>> and economic crisis. Hesse�s Prime Minister, Roland Koch, and several members
>>>> of his cabinet will jointly present today a 1.7 bn EUR economic stimulus
>>>> package called �Hesse 2.0� aimed at the state�s IT and media industry. The
>>>> spending is scheduled to begin already in 2009.
>>>> According to a press release issued by the office of the Prime Minister of
>>>> Hesse, the money from the current economic stimulus packages of both the
>>>> Federal government and the government of the State of Hesse will go mainly to
>>>> the automotive and construction industries, �and that is a good thing.
>>>> However, it is important to also provide the IT industry, a modern and
>>>> seminal industry sector, with a stimulus.� The press release denies any nexus
>>>> with the recent breakdown of an important part of the IT infrastructure of
>>>> the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA), thought by many to
>>>> be due to a terrorist act by the IT industry, which is feeling neglected in
>>>> the current crisis. BAFA is responsible for the payment of the
>>>> �break-up-your-old-car-and buy-a new-one subsidy�, which is the best-known
>>>> part of the German Federal Government�s current economic stimulus package.
>>>> One major part of the new package is the plan to digitalize all non-personal
>>>> public sector (i.e., publicly financed) information and to make it available
>>>> online in open formats for use and re-use by citizens including providers of
>>>> commercial services. �The aim of this package is not to blindly throw money
>>>> at the economy just for the sake of doing something. It is an instrument of a
>>>> modern economic policy�, the press release states. �We are making possible
>>>> the development of new and innovative services. Services innovation not only
>>>> makes services firms internationally competitive, but also allows them to be
>>>> �enablers� and �change agents� and thereby the mechanisms through which much
>>>> innovation takes place in other traditional industries and across the
>>>> economy.� The release cites as an example the added-value services based on
>>>> Google Earth.
>>>> Another element included in the package is the safeguarding and
>>>> digitalisation of libraries� and archives� repositories. �The recent collapse
>>>> of the Municipal Archive in Cologne (see
>>>> http://www.ksta.de/html/artikel/1236100099706.shtml), which not only killed
>>>> two people but also destroyed priceless items of our historical heritage, has
>>>> alerted us to the fact that even the safeguarding of our most important
>>>> historical documents is literally taking decades because only a handful of
>>>> people are working on it, and that the rest is being neither safeguarded nor
>>>> digitalised. This is a shame and cannot be tolerated any longer.� Most of the
>>>> content of the repositories is also to be made available for use and re-use
>>>> on the Internet. The government strongly encourages the holders of the
>>>> repositories to hire people from among the unemployed to contribute to this
>>>> very labour-intensive work. ----
>>>> I�m so sorry, but I�m from Continental Europe and so this is only an April
>>>> Fool�s Day joke.
>>>> But does it have to remain one?
>>>> Who says that the money from the economic stimulus packages must be spent on
>>>> economically pointless sales promotion activities like the idiotic German
>>>> �break-up-your-old-car-and-buy-a-new-one subsidy�? Who says that large parts
>>>> of our cultural heritage must slowly but inevitably decay in library and
>>>> archive repositories, inaccessible to most people and vulnerable to
>>>> accidents? Who says that only a handful of people must be employed for the
>>>> tedious task of taking photographs of at least our most important historical
>>>> documents, so that even this has to take decades?
>>>> Where are the entrepreneurs? Tell your politicians of the opportunities
>>>> they're missing! (The "Venturous Australia" report is a good read on the
>>>> Where are the museum curators? The librarians? The archivists? Is wringing
>>>> your hands about the funding cuts you�re experiencing all you can do? Go to
>>>> your directors, tell them to stress the value of their treasures as a
>>>> resource for research, the creative arts and, yes, possibly also commercial
>>>> activities when they go and ask for more digitalisation activities to be
>>>> undertaken! Tell your readers and visitors about the issue, make them sign
>>>> petitions, ask them to tell others!
>>>> Where are the feuilleton journalists? Is writing snobbish articles about pop
>>>> culture and television all you can do? Go and publish this or write your own
>>>> and better article on the subject! And tell your friends from the Economy
>>>> section (if you have any) about it!
>>>> Where are the technology journalists? Can you write anything in plain
>>>> English/French/etc.? Go to your colleagues from the feuilleton and economy
>>>> sections and give it to them, because ordinary people don�t read what you�re
>>>> writing, and you ought to be less proud of that!
>>>> Where are the intellectuals? The writers? The artists? Is drafting
>>>> resolutions the best you can do? Go out and be creative to make people see
>>>> why you�re hungry for the content sitting in the repositories! (Admittedly,
>>>> that is difficult not knowing what is in there. But are you creative or not?)
>>>> If anyone reading this would like to have an open meeting (�salon�) to
>>>> discuss these topics in Frankfurt am Main, or to meet me if (s)he is passing
>>>> through Frankfurt, please let me know.
>>>> Regards, Ulrike
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>>> cc-community at lists.ibiblio.org
>> --The destructive character lives from the feeling, not that life is
>> worth living, but that suicide is not worth the trouble-- - Walter
>> Benjamin, The Destructive Character, November 1931.
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>> cc-community at lists.ibiblio.org
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> cc-community at lists.ibiblio.org
--The destructive character lives from the feeling, not that life is
worth living, but that suicide is not worth the trouble-- - Walter
Benjamin, The Destructive Character, November 1931.
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