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COMMUNIA and the Open Video Conference

On June 19-20 the New York University's Law School hosted an exciting event: the first edition of the Open Video Conference: "Over 800 attendees (and thousands more online) discussed this medium’s implications on software, politics, journalism, art, education, industry, business, technology, culture, communication, freedom, and democracy", states the post-conference announcement on the event website, which provides also full video recordings and more recent news.

The COMMUNIA Project was also actively involved: two COMMUNIA members from the Netherlands, Institute for Sound and Vision and Kennisland, hosted the session “Audiovisual Archives” that investigated how memory institutions could provide access to their holdings in a way that enables creative reuse. Thanks much to Johan Oomen and Maarten Brinkerink (Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision) for providing a detailed report about the two-day event, available here in its entirety - please read below for a short summary. [29july09]

Free Culture Research Workshop 2009: Call for Participation

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard will host on October 23th 2009 a workshop focused on Free Culture Research. Supported also by the NEXA Center and iCommons, this event builds on the enthusiasm generated by the First Interdisciplinary Research Workshop on Free Culture which took place during the 2008 iSummit in Sapporo, Japan. It presents a unique opportunity for scholars whose work contributes to the promotion, study or criticism of an emerging Free Culture, to engage with a multidisciplinary group of academic peers and practitioners, identify the most important research opportunities and challenges, and attempt to chart the future of Free Culture.

Our aim is to provide an opportunity for scholars and practitioners to discuss their findings, experiences, and vision for a Free Culture with peers whose backgrounds extend beyond individual disciplines, because we believe that the wider participation in the creative process (and consequently in the formation and dissemination of our modern culture) enabled by new Internet technologies, innovative legal solutions and new business models, are far-reaching and therefore deserve to be examined through the lens of multidisciplinary inquiry.

The organizers are looking for academics interested in submitting short essays for review - submission deadline: Aug 9, 2009. Please read the full Call for Participation for more details. [17july09]

Full report on the COMMUNIA Conference 2009

Second Communia Conference, Turin University, 28 June 2009, photo by Communia Staff, released in the Public Domain Many thanks to attendees from all the over the world - more than 110 people - that made the Second Communia Conference a dynamic and successful event! Here below please find a detailed report covering keynotes, panels, discussions and much more. Original presentation slides and papers are available on the Conference main page.

The Conference plenary session opening was held in the Aula Magna of the Turin University, one of the most prestigious in Europe and founded in 1404 by Amedeo VIII, the first Duke of Savoia. Paul David (Stanford University and l'Ecole Polytechnique & Telecom Paris Tech) stressed the need for a much larger collaborative effort worldwide in order to achieve "a true advancement for the XXI century science as a whole". Unfortunately today's Intellectual Property (IP) practices often hinder the "common use and sharing of scientific knowledge", thus preventing such overall advancement. Instead, we as a society should protect the public domain pools and actually stimulate public investments aimed at enlarging the corpus of knowledge available. [06july09]

COMMUNIA Conference 2009: keynote speeches preview (3)

Jerome H. Reichman (Duke University Law School) will explain how today's research community in a Microbial field which is outgrowing its “small science” institutional structures, must increasingly come to terms with commoditizing pressures within developed economies.
These pressures restrict the conduct of public-sector research through strong intellectual property rights and related contractual restrictions on access to and use of materials, publications, and data. At the same time, restrictive policies in developing countries under the Convention on Biodiversity complicate research uses of microbial materials held in public repositories ex situ, and make it increasingly difficult to access the vast in situ materials these countries control.
These trends have led to a proliferation of diverse licensing strategies and techniques, which collectively have elevated the transaction costs and other barriers for even relatively simple cooperative research projects. In order to avoid such obstacles, the research community goal is to use liability rules to promote the exchange of materials: the redesigning a “soft” infrastructure able to better manage publicly funded research resources, without compromising downstream commercial applications and fruitful partnerships between the public and private sectors, or between developed and developing countries.

Please click here for the Conference complete programme. [25june09]

COMMUNIA Conference 2009: keynote speeches preview (2)

Hans F. Hoffmann, Geneva's CERN honorary member, will discuss the “Open, global collaborations in particle physics”.
A new project at CERN will create matter and observe it as it existed very close to the violent developments immediately after the big bang. This requires apparatus of unprecedented complexity, invented, elaborated, built, operated and exploited by global collaborations over decades and served by global e-infrastructures, also produced in the context.
Common clear objectives, mutual respect, complete sharing of all available knowledge, know-how, and necessary technologies within the collaborations, critical mass, flat hierarchies, rigorous quality assurance and the pledge of best efforts by the participating scientific institutes and funding agencies are the important ingredients of such collaborations.
They are brought to life by a continuous, (self-) structured and “accessible to all” communication at all levels. While immediate gainful applications are not the first priority, the collaborative model presented and implemented in this project can be applied to other large efforts and great challenges.

Please click here for the Conference complete programme. [24june09]

COMMUNIA Conference 2009: keynote speeches preview (1)

Prof. Fiona Murray (Associate Professor of Management Technological Innovation & Entrepreneurship Group, Sloan School of Management, MIT) will focus on “Institutional foundations of scientific progress: implications for collaboration and participation”.
Today's knowledge is exchanged and accumulated within and across both formal and informal scientific institutions (libraries, journals, databases, etc.) that also include intellectual property rules and their licensing practices.
The way we choose to structure these institutions is critical in shaping collaboration and, more importantly, participation in scientific progress. Specifically, if access to knowledge is critical for full participation in scientific research, then the way we shape the rules of these institutions has profound implications for who participates and who is left behind.
The landscape of formal and informal institutions will determine whether innovation and knowledge production becomes truly democratized and is a much more robust and lasting mechanism for ensuring broad participation in science than simply mandating collaboration. There is a variety of quantitative evidence and research projects that do substantiate these claims, thus providing positive implications for scientific progress and the society at large.

Please click here for the Conference complete programme. [23june09]

COMMUNIA Conference 2009: Global Science & Economics of Knowledge-Sharing Institutions

The Second COMMUNIA International Conference 2009 is scheduled for Sunday 28, Monday 29 & Tuesday 30 June 2009 in Torino, Italy.

The conference will address the conceptual foundations and practical feasibilities of contractually constructed “commons” and related bottom-up public domain initiatives (joint policy guidelines, common standards, institutional policies, etc.) capable of offering shared access to a variety of research resources, identifying effective models and salient needs and opportunities for effective initiatives across a diverse range of research areas.

Also available are detailed procedures for hotel bookings (at special rates) and instructions on how to reach the conference venue at the Rettorato on Sunday and at Collegio Carlo Alberto the following days.

Take a look at the programme of the conference.

A report of the conference is available here, and slides as well as summaries of some sessions can be accessed from the download section of the website as well as directly below in the programme [27oct09]

COMMUNIA Conference 2009 (Torino 28-30 June): programme

This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Torino-moleA.jpg; released by its author, Daniel Ventura, under the GNU Free Documentation License Under the title "Global Science and the Economics of Knowledge-Sharing Institutions", the Second COMMUNIA International Conference 2009 is scheduled for Sunday 28, Monday 29 & Tuesday 30 June 2009 in Torino, Italy.

The event will address the conceptual foundations and practical feasibilities of contractually constructed “commons” and related bottom-up public domain initiatives (joint policy guidelines, common standards, institutional policies, etc.) capable of offering shared access to a variety of research resources, identifying models, needs and opportunities for effective initiatives across a diverse range of research areas. [19june09]

COMMUNIA Conference: registration deadline approaching

Planning to attend the Second COMMUNIA International Conference 2009? Please do not forget to complete the online registration form by the 12th of June. For organizational reasons, we need to know the exact number of participants by the upcoming Friday 12 June 2009.

Also available are detailed procedures for hotel bookings (at special rates).

The Second COMMUNIA International Conference 2009 is scheduled for Sunday 28, Monday 29 & Tuesday 30 June 2009 in Torino, under the title "Global Science and the Economics of Knowledge-Sharing Institutions".

Please visit the Conference home page for further information and detailed programme. [9june09]

COMMUNIA Network Enlargement #2: Call for Application

The application process for ten new network members is now open.

Network members are expected to attend the official COMMUNIA workshops and conferences, to participate on a voluntary basis in working groups of their interest (and the corresponding meetings, if any), and, more in general, to share their experience, knowledge and contacts to promote the advancement of the understanding of the role of the public domain in our societies.

Application deadline: 10 June 2009 at 18:00 CET [21May09]

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Presentations, papers and other material related to COMMUNIA events are available in the download page

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