[cc-community] European Union Public Domain thematic network

Andrius Kulikauskas ms at ms.lt
Mon Sep 18 18:12:02 EDT 2006

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 Kulikauskas
Minciu Sodas
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
>> 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!
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