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Eldred won't make it, new press release [Apr. 20th, 2004|03:20 am]
Free Culture Swarthmore

skyfaller
Unfortunately, Eric Eldred's new bookmobile broke down near Goodland, KS, just as he crossed into Central Standard Time on his way here from San Francisco, so he won't make it to the official launch of FreeCulture.org.  He says, "When I get back to New Hampshire I'll look into getting a bigger truck that can carry the load.  Hope larry's speech goes well.  Sign me up for next year, though."

There will be people to take his place, however... we have a few tricks up our sleeves :-)

Here's our latest press release.  We mention our partners in this enterprise, Downhill Battle, who do insanely cool music activism, even though our agendas may differ in some minor details.
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Swarthmore Charity Fun Fair [Apr. 17th, 2004|10:46 pm]
Free Culture Swarthmore

skyfaller
Incidentally, the SCDC will have a booth at the Swarthmore Charity Fun Fair tomorrow on Sunday April 18, from 1-6pm in the Ville.  We'll be passing out a "free culture coloring book" to the little kiddies, as well as CDs of free software such as Knoppix and TheOpenCD, and flyers for Lessig's talk and the launch of FreeCulture.org.  If you're an SCDC member, please sign up for a time during which you can help staff the booth.
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April 23rd : Official launch of FreeCulture.org [Apr. 9th, 2004|12:34 am]
Free Culture Swarthmore

skyfaller
On Friday, April 23rd, we will officially launch FreeCulture.org, an international student movement for free culture!  Lawrence Lessig will be coming to speak here at Swarthmore College in Science Center 101 at about 7pm.  The subject of his speech will be what free culture is, why students should care about it, and what students can do about it.  We'll also let him plug his new book Free Culture if he wants to, because it is seriously awesome :-) 

Eric Eldred will also be here that afternoon with the Internet Bookmobile, which is a mobile printing press that downloads public domain books from the Web and prints and binds them on the spot, for FREE.  (At least, it's free once we give him the paper!)

The event will be open to the public, and we would really love to have students come from as many other colleges as possible, so contact us if you need a place to crash overnight.  We will have a "summit" of concerned students that night, where we will discuss where we will take the free culture movement next.  If you need any help with directions or train schedules, a good place to start is the Swarthmore visitors page.

Incidentally, this occurs right at the end of "Ride the Tide to Swarthmore", a program where admitted students stay a couple of nights at Swarthmore to get a feel for the place.  Hopefully not too many prospective Swatties will have left by the time Lessig arrives!

Finally, we've created a FreeCulture.org livejournal community, freeculture.  Go join it, or suffer dire consequences! :-D

See the official Swarthmore College press release
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Nelson speaks at the Internet Commons Congress [Mar. 22nd, 2004|02:09 am]
Free Culture Swarthmore

skyfaller
I've been added as a speaker at the Internet Commons Congress in Washington DC on March 25! Look at the "schedule"! I'm on Thursday from 10:30-11:30pm on the "Digital Democracy" panel, i's going to be pretty hot. If you're in the area for some reason, you should definitely swing by!  Or tune in to the audio webcast.

We will probably be driving down on Wednesday night, going to the conference the next day and Lessig's book release party, and then driving back to Swat Thursday night.  We would love to attend the conference on Wednesday during the day as well, but there is a limit to how many times we can commit academic suicide and still resurrect ourselves afterwards.  We're still discussing that.

Oh, and we now turn up on the first page of a Google search for Swarthmore!  How hot is that?   Answer: HOTTT
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FreeCulture.org struggles to get off the ground [Mar. 15th, 2004|05:56 pm]
Free Culture Swarthmore

skyfaller
The long and painful process of launching FreeCulture.org has progressed enough that I would like to direct your attention over there :-D Please excuse its appearance, it is still under heavy construction. We hope for it to become the kernel of an international student movement along the lines of the SCDC, and we fully intend for it to rock! We've started up a newer, better blog there, which you should read instead of the SCDC blog if you aren't actually interested in Swarthmore. From now on, this blog will only reflect local Swarthmore business; more generic, global/national stuff will show up at FreeCulture.org.

If you are interested in helping us get FreeCulture.org up and running, please, leave a comment! Or contact us.
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Internet Commons Congress, New Wikis [Mar. 9th, 2004|08:29 pm]
Free Culture Swarthmore

skyfaller
If you haven't reserved your spot at the Internet Commons Congress on March 24-25 in Washington DC, do it today! It looks like it's going to be a Who's Who of the Free Culture movement! At least, we'll be there ;-) Luke will probably drive us down in his van, we'll need to look into getting funding though. If you want to come with us, just drop us a line!

Also, hail the mighty Wiki! For those who don't know, a Wiki is a website where anyone can edit a page. This sounds like it would degenerate into chaos, but what actually happens is that Wikis have a rachet effect, where pages continually improve. Find out why common objections do not faze Wikipedians, the denizens of Wikipedia, the world's largest Wiki and biggest open content encyclopedia.

Some great Wikis built using the Wikipedia software have been launched in the past few days, and I would like to mention two of them. First of all, with great fanfare on Slashdot, the popular LinuxQuestions.org just added a wiki, which has jumped from 19 articles to about 757 articles in about 5 days. How are those for impressive stats? The less famous but also useful Mozilla Knowledge Base is another Wiki recently launched with the Wikipedia software, and is certain to be a boon to those who need help with Mozilla programs.
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How to use Jabber IM with Gaim [Mar. 2nd, 2004|09:33 pm]
Free Culture Swarthmore

skyfaller
Start using Jabber IM today! Get your friends to join up!

So what is Jabber? It's an open source IM protocol which anybody can run a server for, unlike AIM, where AOL owns all of the servers and has complete control over you. The open source community is trying to make Jabber the standard for the industry actually, but Microsoft is pushing their own protocol, SIMPLE, which Windows Messenger runs on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jabber

So it's really important to get people to use Jabber right now!
Read more...Collapse )
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Fight for Fair Use - A national week of action [Mar. 2nd, 2004|09:29 am]
Free Culture Swarthmore

skyfaller
321 Studios, a maker of DVD burning software, was recently forced to cripple its products when a judge ruled that its product violated the DMCA, because it allows consumers to make backup copies of their own legally purchased DVDs.  Under the DMCA, not only is it illegal to circumvent the copy protection that is on every commercial DVD, it is illegal to tell people how to do such a thing.  If strictly enforced, the DMCA is a serious danger to civil liberties.  Join Free Culture activists around the country in defending free speech and the right to own the products you buy, at ProtectFairUse.org!

And read about the chilling effects the DMCA has had on creativity and free speech in the EFF's report Five Years Under the DMCA.

Interestingly enough, a different judge just handed down a ruling that the computer code used to descramble DVDs, DeCSS, is no longer a trade secret.  So the only thing stopping us from backing up our own legally purchased DVDs is the DMCA.

Update: From Blogbook.org, Jack Valenti says "If you want a backup DVD, go buy another one," and 321 removes "anti-piracy" features.
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"Intellectual Property" is bad for business [Mar. 1st, 2004|11:55 am]
Free Culture Swarthmore
no9grey
from this article in the NYT:
"... critics warn that many of the new restrictions that the entertainment industry proposes - like enforcing technological requirements for digital television programming that would prevent it from being transmitted online - would upset the balance between the rights of the content creators and the rights of the public."

Amen, brother!
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Submarine patents [Feb. 29th, 2004|07:01 pm]
Free Culture Swarthmore

skyfaller
Yet another wonderful example of how people are patenting basic ideas instead of implementations of ideas, and how "intellectual property" inhibits creativity rather than promoting it: Acacia Technologies Group has a patent on streaming media apparently. They had no part in developing businesses based on streaming media, they didn't do any of the work. What they did was sit back and wait for other people to do the work, and make streaming media a standard on the internet, and then say, "hey, I own the very concept of streaming media, better pay up or I'll sue you out of existence".  Gotta love the parasitic business model.  How do these people deserve this patent?
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