WOS 3 / News

WOS3 News

30-07-04 The long awaited audio and video documentation of WOS 3 is now coming online. Audio is available for streaming in 64Kbps MP3 (M3U) and for download as Ogg Vorbis and as MP3s with 96Kbps and 64Kbps. The videos are in MPPEG-4 with 305Kbs and 48Kbs. We are working on a streaming version. Want to listen in? E.g. Eben Moglen, Dewayne Hendricks or Michael Tiemann. In the schedule panels whose A/V documenation is complete are in bold. More scripts and slides will follow.

A warm thank you goes to Roland Kubica from the WOS 3 Stream Team of Humboldt University who encoded the media files on his own. The files are hosted by the Internet Archive. Many thanks to Simon Carless, Parker Thompson and the others at for their great support, and to Brewster Kahle for the fact that this great archive of free knowledge exists.

25-06-04 The "Berlin Declaration on Collectively Managed Online Rights" has been sent to the EU Commission on Monday. Ross Anderson issued his own statement to the consultation on the harmonization of collecting societies. On the same day, a German civil society coalition issued a statement to the German government, likewise urging it to re-consider DRM and to pave the way for a flatrate for the Internet. (Press Release)

At last, a Feedback questionaire is available in the wos wiki. Let us know what you liked about WOS 3, and what can be improved for WOS 4. The first photos from the conference are online. Thanks to Rober Guerra. If you took photos or video and want to share them, please let us know.

18-06-04 The Pressreview has been updated. Next to the continuous reporting by Heise News, Telepolis and, also the International Herald Tribune, the Frankfurter Rundschau, the Bayrischer Rundfunk, Die Zeit and the VDI Nachrichten have written about WOS 3. The Institute for Copyright and Media Law in Munich found the Berlin Declaration on a Content Flatrate worth reporting.

16-06-04 With the workshop "Free Content -- Free Culture" on Monday, WOS 3 has ended. A big thank you to all the speakers and participants, to the helpers and support staff, to our partners and supporters, and to the core-team! The Berlin Declaration on Collectively Managed Online Rights needs a little more editing before it will be submitted to the European Commission on Monday. The video documentation of WOS 3 will come online starting next week. If you have photos and video that you would like to share, please send it to info(at) Criticism and praise is also welcome at this address.

Felix Stalder, Volker Grassmuck, Eben Moglen, Lawrence Lessig, Charlotte Hess, David Bollier (from left to right, click to enlarge)

The Future of the Digital Commons

12-06-04 Where does the future of the Digital Commons lie? In a high profile wrap-up session of the Wizards of OS 3 conference, Charlotte Hess of the Digital Library of the Commons, kicked off the discussion with the question how we can allow the Commons of knowledge to be appropriated by some private companies.

David Bollier, author of "Silent Theft: The Private Plunder of Our Common Wealth”, asserted that the idea of the Commons can help start a new kind of discussion, help confer new cultural meanings, and help to inspire collaborative work in communities. The widespread embrace of the idea, he said, shows a deep human yearning to explore new kinds of collaboration in a time where markets and nation states are eager to separate people.

Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig asked the audience to insist upon a distinction that literature often ignores – that there are different instances of “the Commons”. The pasture to graze cattle is finite – the knowledge Commons is not. The idea of a “tradegy of the commons” induces cattle-thought when thinking about the Commons. But some Commons present no such tragedy, more is good in the cultural Commons. The more is used, the more there is. “We have to get the cattle-thought idiocy out of the discussion of the Commons,” Lessig said.

The FSF’s Eben Moglen, in a declamatory speech, invited the audience to keep expecting property to anihilate itself. “It is as with the wall, which no one heared crack – until it fell,” he compared the impact of the liberalization movements in the field of the Digital Commons with the fall of the Berlin Wall. “The tanks are not coming back this time,” he invoked memories of the Prague Spring uprising in 1968, “this time we win.”

Berlin Declaration on Collectively Managed Online Rights: Compensation without Control

12-06-04 Today at the workshop after the session on Alternative Compensation Systems, the draft of the Berlin Declaration on Collectively Managed Online Rights: Compensation without Control will be discussed. It is a submission to the European Commission, urging it to consider a music flatrate in their lawmaking on collecting societies.

Creative Commons Germany has launched!

from left to right: Thomas Dreier, Armin Medosch, Till Jaeger, Christiane Asschenfeldt, Lawrence Lessig, Michael Grob, Bjoern Hartmann (click picture to enlarge)

11-06-04 Suppported by the fireworks of one of Lawrence Lessig's trademark multimedia presentations, the German Creative Commons team tonight launched the German versions of its licenses.

In front of a full house of participants at the WOS 3 main theater, iCommons coordinator Christiane Asschenfeldt, Prof. Thomas Dreier, and Dr. Till Jaeger gave an impression of the challenges the team faced in adopting the licenses to German Law, which is now successfully completed.

The launch was completed by the presentation of three German language artists already using CC licenses to make their work available to share with others. Swiss movie director Michael Grob showed a trailer of his movie "CH7", which is being shown rigth after the session. Armin Medosch sent Janko Röttger's regards - the two of them re-released their latest books under a CC license. And last but not least, DJ Bjoern Hartmann from Paris gave the audience an idea of the good CC licenses will do for the future of music - and proceeded to rock the house with his skills right after the session.

WOS 3 News

Stevan Harnad

Free Publishing

11-06-04 Why are scientists not providing Open Access to their journal articles? Or at least, why aren't enough of them providing access to their journal articles? What are examples of successful Open Access journals, what can be done to increase their impact?

These - and more - were the questions the panel 'Free Science I. -Publishing' focused on. Stefan Gradmann, Jean-Claude Guedon, Stevan Harnad, and Shu-Kun Lin had a lively discussion with Stevan Harnad "spreading some dissent", as he called it, by charging that too many scientists show too little energy in providing Open Access to their journal articles. He especially called upon authors to start self archiving their research papers in order to make much more content accessible that already exists. The fault, Harnad said, does not lie with the journal publishers, who already widely allow for self archiving, but with the scientists themselves who do not make use of this opportunity.

Internet Freedom goes East

11-06-04 Vera Franz, Pawel Leszek, Veni Markovski and Marcell Mars discussed the successes and future opportunities for Free Software in Eastern Europe.
Pawel in his presentation pointed to the very successful “Gadu Gadu” instant messaging project in Poland. Veni gave an example of the struggle against the marketing powers and deep pockets of Microsoft in Bulgaria.

Creative Commons Germany launches tonight!
Lawrence Lessig will be here, accompanied by German project lead Christiane Asschenfeldt and Thomas Dreier and Till Jaeger who adapted the licenses to German law.

Be sure to be there. 20:00, track 1

Also on the panel: director Michael Grob and DJ Bjoern Hartmann, who both release their work under CC licenses. And not just that: You’ll be able to see it / listen to it. Grob’s movie “CH7” will show at 22.30 in track 1, at the same time Bjoern Hartmann will start spinning his vinyl (and his Powerbook hard disk) in track 2. Don’t miss it!

WOS 3 in full swing

Eben Moglen

Eben Moglen

10-06-04 In his opening speech, organizer Volker Grassmuck asked the question what the multitude of specialists gathered at WOS 3 have to talk about with each other. His answer: They all cherish freedom. Which is, of course, a very charged word, but Volker suggested as an ad hoc definition the following: Freedom as the freedom to learn from each other, modify and improve and teach to each other. As a example, Free Software fits this definition perfectly.

Eben Moglen of the Free Software Foundation (photograph above) went right to the point in his opening keynote entitled “Die Gedanken sind frei”.

Here’s a clipping of the thoughts he voiced: The phrase from the 12th centure travels down European history as a struggle which we are engaged in. There exists a relation in the struggle against control of thought – whether of education and publication by the Catholic church, censorship by state power or controlling content by owners – we have been struggling for freedom of thought, against power for a millennium. The struggle for human equality is related to the struggle for freedom of knowledge – and rightly so. We have to fight it, because we are on the sunny side of globalization – which is a project to enrich the sahreholders, which are the few, by controlling knowledge for the many.

Practical revolution is based on two things: proof of concept, and running code. Which means: do it first, allow the implications of what has been done to settle in. Technology itself is irreversible. Having brought into being the tools for liberation, it is now our duty to use them. This is our special role in the struggle for freedom of thought that we owe to industrial capitalism of the 20th centure. All that was solid melted into air – and air was something that we all knew we can freely breath. This is was digitization means.

Moglen also commented on the issue of wireless networks, saying that spectrum allocation is an evil whose time has come.

Opening Press Conference

Christiane Asschenfeldt, Atul Chitnis, Eben Moglen, Volker Grassmuck, and Thorsten Schilling

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