[cc-community] European Union Public Domain thematic network

drew Roberts zotz at 100jamz.com
Thu Sep 14 18:41:10 EDT 2006

On Thursday 14 September 2006 04:56 pm, 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.

Well, I think one simple change in the law to push for that might make a hugh 
difference is to make all non-marked works default to a simple copyleft 
license instead of all rights reserved.

> 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
> ---------------------------------------------

all the best,

> 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!
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(da idea man)
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