Free Culture Forum

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The Free Culture Forum (FCForum) is an international encounter of civic society actors on free culture, digital rights and access to knowledge. It has been taking place in Barcelona every year since 2009. It takes place jointly with the oXcars, a free culture festival.


What is the Fcforum[edit]

The Fcforum is a major international meeting of the most relevant organizations and individuals working on the international scene, who are engaged in reflecting on the social and economic challenges of the dissemination of culture and knowledge in the digital age.

FCForum 2009[edit]

The main objectives of the Forum 2009 (from October 30 to November 1) were, on the one hand, building networks to optimize the efforts of the different groups and setting common demands against the proposals from industry and governments in their eagerness to control culture and information; and on the other hand reinforcing the self-organization of tools and infrastructures to support free culture.[1] The first edition of the Forum was organised by eXgae (now X.net), Simona Levi, Mayo Fuster Morell, Networked politics and the Free Knowledge Institute. The Forum 2009 ended up with the definition of the Charter for Innovation, Creativity and Access to Knowledge. The Charter has been disseminated and implemented worldwide, including the 26th Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin[2] and the Free Culture X Conference.[3]

Official observers from the European Community's Commission for Culture and Education (Valerie Panis), the European Community's Commission for Consumer Protection (Katrine Thomsen) and Government of Brazil (through its Department of Digital Culture) (José Murilo) were present.

Main thematics of the Fcforum 2009[edit]

The working program was on five working lines:

  • Education and Access to Knowledge
  • Organizational Logic and Political Implications of Free Culture
  • Free Software and Open Standards: Knowledge Sharing Hacker Philosophy and Action Technical Ware
  • Economies, New P2p Models and Sustainable Distribution
  • Legal Perspectives and User Access

List of participants Fcforum 2009[edit]

  • Economies, New P2P models and sustainable distribution: Jeremy Rifkin (Videoconference), John Howkins, P2P Foundation / Michel Bauwens, Koleman Strumpf (Videoconference), Joost Smiers, Dmytri Kleiner, Mario Pena from Safe Creative, Traficantes de Sueños, Platoniq, Yproductions. Moderators: Elena Fraj (La-EX), Olivier Schulbaum (Platoniq), Ignacio Castro.
  • Organizational Logic and Political Implications of Free Culture: David Bollier, Hilary Wainwright, Felix Stalder, David Evan Harris, Jamie King, Networked Politics / Mayo Fuster, Vittorio Bertola, Joan Subirats, Marco Berlinguer, Exit. Moderators: Mayo Fuster Morell (Networked Politics)

FCForum 2010[edit]

The second FCForum[4] was held in Barcelona from October 28 to 31, 2010 and focused on economical models. It was organised by X.net, Simona Levi, Mayo Fuster Morell and Yproductions, and the advise of Felix Stalder. It resulted on a Declaration and How to Manual on sostenibility of creativity on the digital era. The FCForum declaration was signed by 80 organisations and individuals, including Richard Stallman.

Topics[edit]

Participants in the FCForum split into working groups focusing on the following topics:

  1. Economic Sustainability and Governance of Open Online Collaboration
  2. New models of sustainability for the creative sector
  3. Tools for politiy reformers
  4. Open public sector information

Sustainable models for creativity in the digital age[edit]

In February 2011, two documents drafted by FCForum participants were released: Sustainable Models for Creativity and the How-To Manual for Sustainable creativity, addressed at political reformers, citizens and free culture activists. Both documents are based on an understanding that current royalties management and cultural distribution systems have become obsolete in the digital age, and the conviction that free software and peer production and distribution is not incompatible with market strategies and commercial distribution. The How-To Manual sets out a series of alternative commercial and non-profit models. It insists that the Internet must remain free and open in order to allow online collaboration models to develop, and it must be recognised as a tool that promotes contact between creators and the public. The manual offers an overview of new models that are already operating in a variety of fields, such as freemium, crowdfunding and micropayment systems in which users make small financial contributions to projects that are looking for seed funding through platforms such as Kickstarter and lanzanos.com or to existing initiatives that are given money depending on the number of users who vote for them (such as Flattr, created by Peter Sunde and Linus Olsson). It also claims that the creators of commercial cooperative platforms should share their profits with the creators of the content they publish.

FCForum 2011[edit]

The third annual FCForum was held in Barcelona on 28, 29 and 30 October, under the title ‘Networks for a R-evolution’.

Day one revolved around sustainable models for creativity in the digital age. It included a round table on the current situation of film and the Internet in Spain, with Álex de la Iglesia, Juan Carlos Tous, Amparo Peiró, Eudald Doménech and the lawyer Josep Jover. This was followed by a session in which Yproducciones, Kayros Transmedia, Daniel Granados, Kolector, Flattr, Goteo and Verkami explored some new sustainable alternatives for the creative sec tor.[5][5]

Day two focused on challenges and tools for the defense of the Internet and of sharing in the framework of the digital revolution. Participants included the lawyer David Bravo, La Quadrature du Net, John Perry Barlow and Richard Stallman.

FCForum 2012[edit]

The fourth FCForum was held at Ars Santa Mònica on 26 and 27 October.

Day one explored the theme of sustainable models for the creative sector, with practical examples from the fields of journalism, education (Freeangle) and publishing (Bookcamping). The report on crowdfunding "Crowdfunding Experiences in Spain and Catalonia: Key Characteristics, Challenges and Obstacles. Inspiration and Recommendations for a Stronger Tool for Collective, Public and Private Cross-Financing” was presented by its authors.

One of the main sections looked at how cyber crime is being used as an excuse to criminalize and control the Internet, with an introduction by the lawyer Carlos Sánchez Almeida and presentatione of projects such as Tor Project and Telecomix.

Day two focused on democracy in the digital age, with debates on transparency in public institutions (Cuentas Claras, Discursia, Sueldos Públicos, Graba to Pleno, Qué hacen los diputados, Open Knowledge Foundation, Access Info, Tu Derecho a Saber and Civio), journalism and freedom of information, and networked democracy.

The 2012 FCForum also worked on a system for the collaborative reform of Intellectual Property legislation in Spain and the European Union, using documents linked to the FCForum and the proposal prepared by Quadrature du Net as a point of departure.

The 2012 FCForum team also participated in the book Cultura libre digital - Nociones básicas para defender lo que es de todxs, which was published by Editorial Icaria in 2012.

FCForum 2013[edit]

The 2013 FCForum took place on 25 October 2013 and revolved around four core themes: Creativity, Culture and Knowledge: New models of access and production; Data Science: The potential and limits of Big Data; Networked Democracy; and Electronic Money and Distributed Currency: Strengths and weaknesses.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]