16. April 2014

“Netzöffentlichkeit im Wandel”

Am 2. September 2013 veranstaltete die GRÜNE-Landtagsfraktion in Sachsen den netzpolitischen Kongress in Leipzig. Hier ein Rückblick auf die Veranstaltung.

Meine Keynote “Netzöffentlichkeit im Wandel” betrachtet den Wandel der Öffentlichkeit vom Internet aus und fokussiert besonders auf die Herausforderungen durch neue Plattformen.

6. April 2014

wachsames Holzauge

Abgelegt unter: Allgemein — vg @ 22:55

‘Schau mir in die Augen, Kleiner’, schien die Tischplatte im Tibet Haus in der Zossener Straße zu sagen.


16. November 2013

Brazil’s Marco Civil about to be voted in Parliament

Abgelegt unter: English, News — Tags:, , , , , — vg @ 16:44

The much applauded Brazilian legislative project for an Internet Bill of Rights is about to enter its decisive phase in the House of Representatives. The Marco Civil da Internet had it ups and downs. A devastating cyber-crime bill introduced by senator Eduardo Azeredo had triggered a wave of protests in 2009. This in turn, led to an innovative, broad, participatory process of drafting a counter-bill guaranteeing fundamental rights on the Internet that was conducted by the Ministry of Justice in partnership with the Center for Technology and Society of the Fundação Getulio Vargas Law School in Rio de Janeiro. The first round of public consultations at the end of 2009 served to identify issues to be dealt with. The draft bill based on the more than 800 contributions was published for public consultation in spring 2010. The administration of President Dilma Rousseff approved the bill and sent it to Congress in August 2011. There it has been postponed and watered down eversince. Especially the net neutrality rules met with resistance by the powerful telcos. Meanwhile, the Lei Azeredo was passed in April 2013.

It took Edward Snowden’s leaks to bring the Marco Civil draft back on track. “In addition to the re-installment of old guarantees aspired for by civil society organisations, the post-Snowden Marco Civil also embodies the reaction of Brazil’s government to the NSA mass surveillance,” writes Monika Ermert on Intellectual Property Watch. She also presents an English language translation of the current text of the bill, prepared by Carolina Rossini, Project Director for the Latin America Resource Center at the Internet Governance and Human Rights programme at the New America Foundation’s OTI.

Voting on the Marco Civil is again scheduled for next week. It is feared that it sufferes the same fate as the similarly progressive Brazilian Copyright Bill, the drafting and public deliberations on which had started in 2005 already, that was delayed countless times and is now schedulded to be voted in 2015. But there is still hope that the indignation over practices by the NSA and US corporations will create the political will and momentum to finally approve the Marco Civil.

18. Juli 2013

The Sharing Turn: Why We are Generally Nice and Have a Good Chance to Cooperate Our Way Out of the Mess We Have Gotten Ourselves into

Abgelegt unter: English, text — Tags:, , , , , , — vg @ 21:17

Grassmuck, Volker Ralf, The Sharing Turn: Why We are Generally Nice and Have a Good Chance to Cooperate Our Way Out of the Mess We Have Gotten Ourselves into (August 18, 2012). Available at SSRN:

Published in: Wolfgang Sützl, Felix Stalder, Ronald Maier, Theo Hug (Eds.): Cultures and Ethics of Sharing / Kulturen und Ethiken des Teilens, Innsbruck University Press 2012 ISBN 978-3-902811-74-5

After a period of neoliberal blind faith in the power of economic self-interest and of austerity to tackle its catastrophic effects, we are re-discovering our more pleasant sides. There is currently a surge of interest in sharing – in research in various developmental sciences, in popular debate and most of all in practice. This paper proposes that our society is undergoing a Sharing Turn that has its roots in human nature and in cultural history, is media-technologically enabled by networked computers and is fueled by the rising anger over societal systems that fail to serve the public in- terest. It attempts to set out some of the roots, diverse manifestations and dynamics of this para- digmatic shift, and it expresses hope that the ‘trending’ values of sharing and cooperating will change the world for the better.

Keywords: sharing, cooperation, commons, res universitatis, knowledge commons, commons-based peer-production, evolutionary anthropology, evolutionary biology, homo economicus, scacity, abundance, free software, OA, OER

9. Juni 2013

Atul Chitnis, RIP

Abgelegt unter: English, News — Tags:, , — vg @ 23:56
Atul Chitnis

Atul Chitnis

It was for no particular reason that on Monday, 3d of June, I picked the “″ t-shirt from the pile. Or so I thought. When next day I received an e-mail from Harald Welte informing me that Atul Chitnis (on Wikipedia, on LinkeIn) had succumbed to cancer on Monday morning, I realized that my choice of t-shirt hadn’t been by chance.

“Technology For A Free World” is the subtitle on the shirt and the battle-call that had brought Atul and me together. He had invited me to give a talk on the knowledge commons at Linux Bangalore 2001, the first in his series of conferences that would change the Indian tech landscape. I was more than happy to reciprocate and invited him to Berlin for the Wizards of OS 3 in 2004 and to the Wizards of OS 4 in 2006. Linux Bangalore in 2005 widened its scope and became FOSS.IN. Atul invited both Harald and me to an unforgetable FOSS.IN 2005.

Through our encounters in Berlin, where Atul was born, and in Bangalore and Goa I got to know and respect him as a kind, sharing and hospitable friend, a passionate technologist and an impressive mover of massive projects. Up to his last days, Atul was tweeting, and, as Harald told me, planning for FOSS.IN 2013 and working on three books at the same time.

While fond memories of our encounters and conversations keep surfacing, my thoughts go out to Atul’s wife and daughter and to his mother. His personal motto was “You aren’t remembered for doing what is expected of you.” No, Atul you won’t. You will be remembered as the amazing guy you were and for using your skills and visions to a create a free world.


The memories of Atul’s brother Arun, posted on June 8, 2013

20. Mai 2013

Hyperkult XXII: Standards, Normen, Protokolle, 4.-6. Juli 2013

Abgelegt unter: Deutsch, News — Tags:, , , — vg @ 12:00

Die 22. Hyperkult steht vor der Tür. Dieses Mal zum Thema “Standards, Normen, Protokolle”. Welche Rolle spielen Standards, Normen und Protokolle für die Strukturbildung der Nächsten Gesellschaft? Sind Protokolle nicht vielleicht doch ihre wichtigsten Medien, und der lange Marsch durch die Institutionen müsste heute durch die Normungskommissionen verlaufen? Welche Bedeutung haben das W3C, welche die ICANN, die WIPO? Wo, bitteschön, scheint denn eine neue Anarchie auf, die alle diese verknöcherten Regularien, wenigstens für kurze Zeit, zum Teufel schickte?

Mit Vorträgen unter anderem von Claus Pias: Protokollfragen, Ned Rossiter: Logistical Worlds: Command and Control, Exodus and Invention, Rolf Großmann: MIDI-Geschichte(n), Andrea Knaut: Normindividualität, Jens-Martin Loebel: “Mühlendamm Schleuse, bitte kommen!” Die Geschichte der Vollzugsordnung für den Funkdienst als soziales Protokoll, Agata Królikowski: Standardisierte Überwachung und Wolfgang Coy: “Was die technische Welt im Innersten zusammen hält”.

Standards, Normen, Protokolle

4.-6. Juli 2013

Centre for Digital Cultures
Medien- und Informationszentrum und
Institut für Kultur und Ästhetik digitaler Medien der
Leuphana Universität Lüneburg

“Alte Post” in der Sülztorstr. 21-25
21335 Lüneburg

19. April 2013

„Alternative distribution models in the digital environment”, Riga, 23 April

The seminar „Alternative distribution models of works protected by copyright in the digital environment” will take place on 23 April 2013 from 9:30 – 14:00 at Riga International School of Economics and Business Administration (RISEBA), Architecture and Media Centre “H2O 6” (Riga, Ūdens iela 6). It is oranised by the Ministry of Culture of Latvia in cooperation with the British Council in the context of Creative Action Week “Create!” (22 to 28 April).

Application by 19 April here.
A live-stream will be available here.

The seminar-discussion will be devoted to tendencies of copyright in the current digital environment. The local and foreign experts will discuss the alternative distribution models of music and e-books online providing their easy accessibility, on one hand, and fair remuneration to the authors, on the other hand. The topics presented by the experts will include: possibility to introduce so-called culture flat-rate for the use of culture products; current tendencies of management of online music rights in Europe, the role of the collective management organisations therein and others.

Participants include Žaneta Jaunzeme-Grende, Minister of Culture; Magda Papēde, doctoral candidate of the University of Freiburg (Germany); Guna Zučika, manager of the band “Brainstorm”; Uldis Zariņš, head of Strategic development unit of the National Library of Latvia; Ilona Tomsone and Rihards Gulbis, Legal Advisors on copyright, Ministry of Culture and myself.

13. April 2013

Sharing Licence Library

This is a collection of materials on the proposals to legalize file-sharing in exchange for a flat-rate remuneration. These proposals are as old as P2P file-sharing itself. They have been advanced by law scholars, people from the music industry, consumer and Internet user organisations, collecting societies and political parties. They have come in the form of feasibility studies, passionate manifestos, scholarly and popular articles, law proposals and (near) pilot projects. And they have come under names such as alternative compensation system, content or culture flat-rate, licence globale, artistic freedom voucher, noncommercial use levy and sharing licence. If you have materials (text, audio, video) that should be in this collection, please mail me. Any discussion paper, law proposal, artist’s statement from any country in any language pertinent to the subject is welcome. Broken links as well. Thank you.

– Last updated 13.04.2013 – (weiterlesen…)

5. April 2013

A Proposal for Legalizing Small-Scale Physical Copyright Piracy Book Publishing, Video Films and Music in Developing Countries

Grassmuck, Volker Ralf, A Proposal for Legalizing Small-Scale Physical Copyright Piracy Book Publishing, Video Films and Music in Developing Countries (April 4, 2013). Available at SSRN:

The paper looks at the formative phase of media systems particularly in developing nations. It finds that copyright piracy in those situations serves a purpose not only in providing access to knowledge and creative works to audiences who would otherwise be excluded but also as the original accumulation of media infrastructures, know-how and capital that over time leads to the establishment of original forms of creative expression and legal media industries.

Looking at the examples of the publishing of books by foreign authors in 19th century USA, the emergence of the video film industry in Nigeria and briefly at the popular dance music in northern Brazil it shows the beneficial effects of piracy. From a public policy point of view, the paper then considers the benefits of copyright piracy and its harms, the most severe ones of which are caused by its illegality. In order to balance benefits and harms, it concludes by proposing to legalize small-scale physical copyright piracy in developing nations.

Keywords: piracy, copyright law, informal copyrights, access to knowledge, book publishing in 19th century USA, Nollywood, Tecnobrega

19. Februar 2013

“TPB AFK” – Simon Klose’s documentary about The Pirate Bay out now

Abgelegt unter: English, News — Tags:, , , , , — vg @ 19:44

tpbafkThe Pirate Bay – Away From Keyboard,  a close encounter with the three founders of the world’s largest peer-to-peer file-sharing site, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and synchronuously on the Net on 8 February. Now, the film can be watched and bought at its official site and torrented at — where else — The Pirate Bay.

“One reason for making this film was that I couldn’t relate to the media industry’s claim that sharing files was a threat to creativity. To me, the unrestricted access to culture was the very spark in the online revolution, where every imaginable artistic expression exploded with creativity.” (Director’s Statement)


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