Students for Free Culture @ The University of Wisconsin

RiP: A Remix Manifesto

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this looks incredible. good copy bad copy and what i will forever refer to as steal these films, have been the go to free culture films, but i think this is going to more or less blow them out of the water for straight up fun, intelligence, and all around awesomeness.

the film is getting shown at a handful of festivals right now i’m in the process of tracking down the people who are behind it. i would LOVE to arrange a screening here, hopefully to be preceded by a round-table or panel discussion made up of professors from various disciplines.

if anyone has any way to help make this happen, let me know. we’ll need a place to screen the film, professors to speak, and (if all works out how i think it will) a place to have an after party with djs playing music at rediculous volumes. make any and all suggestions in teh comments, if you dare,

keep your eyes peeled, cause i’m gonna keep everyone posted as to the progress right here.

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Written by toteschris

October 20, 2008 at 12:04 am

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Making New Friends!

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last thursday i met with alnisa allgood from madison’s open everything and madtech, and we had a great conversation about the overlapping goals of our respective organizations. they’re looking to organize two events over the next two semesters, the first being a conversation or roundtable, and the other a large conference like event. i’m really psyched that these guys found me. improving communication between like-minded organizataions here in madison should be of a very high priority for us.

Written by toteschris

October 19, 2008 at 10:39 pm

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More on the Wheeler Declaration

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my magical google reader informs me that peter suber’s excellent open access news has picked up the wheeler declaration, adding commentary snatched from little green river:

“The second day, the spontaneous participant-organized “unconference”, provoked a lot of good conversations and was surprisingly productive–by the end of it, everyone agreed to what people are calling the Wheeler Declaration (after the building we were in): an agenda for Students for Free Culture to focus on for next year. We’re still arguing about what to call it (since Open University is trademarked, apparently), but the idea is to pressure and grade our campuses based on five criteria: opening access to research, creating/using open courseware, embracing free/open-source software and open document formats, using university-held patents for the public good (think cheap drugs for the developing world), and keeping the university network unfiltered and uncensored. We’ll see how SFC executes this plan, but I think it’s an excellent target for the org to have.”

keep checking back here for some more madison SFC related posts, cause there’s a lot of interesting stuff on the horizon, for serious.

Written by toteschris

October 18, 2008 at 8:05 pm

Still More Conference Coverage

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here is the really super awesome, most succinctest and concretest result of the conference:

Students for Free Culture’s Open University

Also known as “The Wheeler Declaration”

  1. Open Access
    • The research a University produces is open access
  2. OpenCourseWare
    • The course materials are open educational resources
  3. Free Software
    • The University favors free software and open formats (wording)
  4. Patents
    • University patents are used for the public interest
      • Software
      • Medicine
  5. Internet
    • The University embraces the open nature of the Internet

there’s more to be said here, but i’ll leave it at that for now. gotta leave them wanting, eh? nah, i’m kinda pressed for time and this should have been published here a while ago.

Written by toteschris

October 16, 2008 at 10:14 pm

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pictures make everything better!

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they do! and, it’s pretty lame that the last post didn’t have any. sorry bouth that, guys and gals. i’ll post a link to my flickr page as soon as i get all the pics from the weekend linked up over there. for now, here’s the official conference flickr page.

Written by toteschris

October 15, 2008 at 2:25 pm

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SFC Conference Round Up Pt. 5

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lemme run down some of the most interesting things that i came across from the unconference from sunday:

***there are a couple of dudes i met from the i-school at berkeley who are working on making a browser add-on for end user license agreements (eulas). this would pop up whenever you came across a eula and would list the benefits/not-so-benefits of signing the agreement, as well as possibly list infractions or weaknesses that the company you’re signing with has committed or is aware of (what a great idea!). a lot of talk was had as to the availability of personal information on the web, who your personal information belongs to (does it belong to you? the company who paid however many thousands of dollars for a database somewhere?) and a few other general privacy issues.

***there was a library issues breakout group that was really cool. the person who organized it didn’t show, so we kinda shot the poop about libraries, with the two people involved with libraries (myself, and a super cool lady from UC Davis) kinda leading the others, answering questions and more or less trying not to sound uninformed. the ideas that came from this little group were that every free culture chapter should get in contact with its university library since the libraries have goals that parallell free culture in every way. also, libraries need to be using open source software. this is something i’ve looked into since the conference, and there are examples out there of open source library software (Koha), but it still looks like it has a ways to go until a library running it doesn’t need more than a couple full time it staff. this is a good direction though.

***drm is bad. very bad in fact. a session with a dude from the free software foundation led me to question the ethics of overdrive, which is the company that libraries use to link their patrons to audiobooks, music and movies. does overdrive have the exact same morals as libraries when it comes to their collected information about what you’ve checked out through them? for that matter, how much information are they actually receiving on their end if any? are they susceptible to subpoenas of their records? i’m kind of trying to run this info down since i got back from the conference, and i’ll keep interested parties in the know via this here blog space.

***what are the specific file charing policies that UW has? a dude from georgetown is looking for people to ask the right people these questions (do you pass along riaa letters? do you throttle high traffic in the dorms? what mechanisms do you use to check if people are downloading illegal stuff? etc) and then compile a list of these results, organized in a heirarchical order from loosest to strictest. this would be a way to show some of the harsher schools that it is in fact possible to loosen up their restrictions/principles since there are big name schools that have done as much and aren’t getting spanked by the riaa as hard as they would think. i’m in the process of getting a letter drafted to find out where uw officially stands on this.

Written by toteschris

October 15, 2008 at 2:13 pm

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SFC Conference Round Up Pt. 4

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you might notice that the subject of this post doesn’t have a specific day attached to it. this is on purpose, cause i wanna switch gears for a second and talk about the really awesome ideas that bubbled up from the conference.

*** DJ Night! we need a damn party. we need one soooo bad…

*** T-Shirts! we need someone to put together an awesome t-shirt or two, or three. take the copyleft logo, or the creative commons logo, or whatever (the guy walking around with the “fuck copyright” shirt kinda made my day). we can use these as fund raiser tools, promotional awesomeness, etc.

*** we need some super-sweet posters to put up around campus. we need to do more to advertise our group and our events and the causes we support/despise. this will happen more as we get some more people to the meetings.

*** speaking of which: i know i picked a really crappy meeting time for the organization. i’m really sorry for that. after this week though, no more. we need a new meeting time where a lot of people can get there. i’ll filter more of this info through the facebook group and the mailing list as soon as i can.

*** We need people to read the local papers. madison is a big city an
d has a bunch of newspapers, free and otherwise. i know
we’re all really really busy and all, but keeping tabs on anything that pertains to the free culture cause, either for or against, we need to know about. we can write letters to the editor, op-ed pieces, petition local officials, anything to make our voice heard, and heard loudly.

*** Wikis Take Wisconsin! so, i was talking to one of the guys from the NYU free culture org, and he was telling me about wikis take manhattan, which they had helped organize. basically, it was a contest to see who in NYC could document the most things (adding pictures, making new pages, significantly editing/correcting existing pages) on wikipedia! the winner won dinner with jimmy wales, the founder of wikipedia. basically, i want to adapt this for students at the university of wisconsin, people of madison, possibly wisconsin as a whole. more on this later.

i’ll also write up more from the weekend in a day or so i have to finish up the first day (still!) and write up the unconference from sunday.

Written by toteschris

October 14, 2008 at 10:00 pm

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