|Free Culture Fest Press Release
||[Oct. 30th, 2004|05:23 pm]
Free Culture Swarthmore
CELEBRATING THE CULTURAL COMMONS|
Student group hosts week-long Free Culture Fest to raise awareness of copyright and digital media issues
Swarthmore, PA - Swarthmore College, a liberal-arts institution in suburban Philadelphia, has been alma mater to countless idealists and activists in its 140-year history. In keeping with this tradition, a loose, non-hierarchical organization of Swarthmore students has formed what it calls "the first new student movement of the twenty-first century." Their organization, Free Culture Swarthmore, is the first club in a growing national organization called FreeCulture.org.
According to its charter, FCS is "dedicated to promoting a bottom-up, participatory structure to society and culture" by taking advantage of the democratizing power of the internet and digital technology. This is not just talk. The group's founders, Nelson Pavlosky and Luke Smith, made national headlines when they successfully sued Diebold Corp. in a case that helped protect freedom of speech from excesses of copyright law. More locally, FCS has promoted the open-source Linux operating system, encouraged student artists to place their work under relaxed licenses, held remixing contests to illustrate how old art can engender new, and campaigned against legislation that expands the proprietary-information regime.
From Monday, November 8 to Saturday, November 13, Free Culture Swarthmore will host a series of events to spark discussion of its ideas on campus and in the wider community. The schedule for this week-long Free Culture Fest follows:
Monday 11/8, 7:30 - 9:00 pm, Science Center 183
Eben Moglen (Swarthmore '80), professor of law and legal history at Columbia University, will return to Swarthmore as a speaker and veteran of the free culture movement. Prof. Moglen is general counsel to the Free Software Foundation and co-author of the GNU General Public License, a legal document widely used to promote open-source, community-based software development.
For more information: http://moglen.law.columbia.edu/
Tuesday 11/9, 9:30 pm - 12:00 am, Science Center 199
An evening of movie showings will feature submissions to undeadart.org, a FreeCulture.org project challenging students across the country to remix content from Freely licensed or public domain horror movies. Night of the Living Dead, one of the public domain source movies for the UndeadArt competition, will also be shown.
For more information: http://undeadart.org/, http://freeculture.org
Wednesday 11/10, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, Science Center 101
Mark Hosler, a founding member of the band Negativland, will give a talk entitled "Adventures in Illegal Art: Creative Media Resistance and Negativland." He will be talking about Negativland's history and art, as well as showing short films made by the band. Negativland, in its own words, practices the "art of collage": its work dissects and reassembles the sights and sounds of mass culture to create social commentary. Rolling Stone credits them for "twisted genius...compelling.....parody and satire as a grass roots weapon of consumer resistance."
For more information: http://negativland.com/
Thursday 11/11, 8:00 - 10:00 pm, Science Center 256
Experts from Free Culture Swarthmore will hold a workshop on the technical side of remixing, using Swarthmore's state-of-the-art PowerMac G5 computing cluster. Attendees will learn how to create their own work of UndeadArt and submit it to the undeadart.org contest.
Friday 11/12, 6:00 - 8:00 pm, Science Center 183
Jessica Litman, professor of intellectual property law at Wayne State University and author of Digital Copyright: Protecting Intellectual Property on the Internet, will speak. Prof. Litman co-wrote amici curiae briefs in the landmark Eldred vs. Ashcroft and A&M vs. Napster cases; as the New York Law Journal puts it, she "...is known in the copyright community as a scholar on the fringe...brilliant and challenging..."
For more information: http://www.law.wayne.edu/litman/
Friday 11/12, 8:00 - 9:00 pm, Science Center 183
Following Prof. Litman's talk, representatives of Free Culture chapters from various colleges and universities in the Philadelphia area will have a brief meeting. This will afford an opportunity to establish inter-college ties, discuss the week's events, and plan for the future.
Friday 11/12, 9:00 pm - 1:00 am, Mary Lyon Breakfast Room
After their meeting, Free Culture Swarthmore will host a party for both Swarthmore students and visitors from other Free Culture chapters. In the spirit of Free Culture, the music will be chosen by the people. Bring your iPod or other MP3 player and help DJ!
All the Free Culture Fest events will be open to the public and free of charge.
For more information about Swarthmore College: http://swarthmore.edu/
For directions to and maps of campus: http://www.swarthmore.edu/visitors/directions_maps.html
This press release was written by David German on October 24, 2004 and incorporates revisions contributed by the membership of Free Culture Swarthmore. The authors license this release for redistribution, duplication, and reuse for any purpose, including the creation of derivative works, provided only that Free Culture Swarthmore is acknowledged and that the acknowledgment includes the URL swarthmore.freeculture.org.