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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

More notes on the iCommons summit

The best summary of the iCommons Summit 2007 (Dubrovnik, June 15-17, 2007) lies in the summit blog, which now has 249 posts.

Here are some closing reflections by David Bollier from June 18:

The iCommons Summit in Dubrovnik wrapped up yesterday, and what a colossal gathering of commoners from around the world it was! The group included the heads of dozens of Creative Commons affiliates (Korea, Pakistan, Mexico, others), free software hackers from eastern Europe and developing nations, the Gnu Girl Power Lounge Collective from Zagreb, copyright scholars from the United States, activists from the U.K. and Europe, Arab-language commoners devising new social networking websites, and many, many others. The international movement for a more open, participatory and creative digital culture does not really have an adequate name – “free culture” comes closest, perhaps....It is a swarm, a network, a federation of many projects loosely joined. It does share many ideals about culture and human betterment, and is verging toward a new set of social justice issues, especially in the developing world. Significantly, the many disparate strands of this movement are starting to discover each other and lend support to each other’s struggles.

Yale Law Professor Yochai Benkler’s keynote remarks on Saturday, “Freedom and Justice in the Commons,” offer some insight into why this humanist, democratically oriented groundswell (still unrecognized by elites and the mainstream media) may be happening....

The economics of decentralized media has radically changed the cultural ecology of communication, Benkler noted....

[T]he Internet and new software platforms enable citizens to pursue collective action more efficiently and effectively than ever before. Public life and culture cannot be so easily monopolized by monied interests....In the process, the free culture movement is redefining democracy....