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iSummit 2007 May 17, 2007

Posted by rajAT in Uncategorized.
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We are in the midst of a technological, economic, and organizational transformation that allows us to renegotiate the terms of freedom, justice and productivity in the information society. How we shall live in this new environment will in some significant measure depend on the policy choices that we make over the next decade or so. To be able to understand these choices, to be able to make them well, we must recognize that they are part of what is fundamentally a social and political choice – a choice about how to be free, equal, productive human beings under a new set of technological and economic conditions.’ Yochai Benkler: ‘The Wealth of Networks

From students protesting against DRM in the streets of Zurich, Seattle, Paris and New York, to Viacom’s recent $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube (Google) for copyright infringement, we are living through what Benkler calls a ‘period of perturbation’ where the ways in which society organizes itself are ‘up for grabs’.

In this state of flux, the free Internet finds itself at a crossroads. Recent threads suggest that what started as an open, neutral network which enabled widespread innovation and creativity by individuals and communities throughout the globe, has developed to a point where in the next 10 years or so, decisions need to be made about whether the internet retains its network neutrality or whether the industrial giants force us back into consuming a culture that is ‘ready-made’ rather than being able to produce our own information environment (Benkler).

This year, the iCommons Summit in Dubrovnik, Croatia brings together pioneers of the free Internet to make sure that, at its crossroads, we guide the world along a path that will enable the kind of free culture and decentralized innovation that has characterized the early years of the Internet.

With a focus on both “big ideas” and practical examples of how open sharing on the Internet is driving business development, increased innovation, quality education and advances in science, the iCommons Summit is a must-attend for the pioneers with a stake in how the Internet must evolve in the future.

With an impressive lineup of iconic free Internet philosophers, we will hear from people like Creative Commons CEO, Larry Lessig, CC Chairman and Digital Entrepreneur, Joi Ito, Wikipedia Founder, Jimmy Wales and CTO of Linden Labs, Cory Ondrejka. We have also add some new voices to the debate this year including India’s Lawrence Liang who has become renowned for his considered commentary on the positive impact of piracy in developing countries, Jonathan Zittrain discussing themes from his new book ‘The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It’, Benjamin Mako Hill from MIT who will talk about competing visions of “free culture” from the free software perspective, and Becky Hogge from the Open Rights Group, who will talk about successful campaigns to rid the world of restrictive IP laws.

Apart from the insight of the great ‘philosophers of the commons’, the Summit will also bring together practitioners, activists and technologists working on concrete projects that continue to inspire us about the possibilities of a free culture on the Internet. In these workshops, leaders of the open education movement will seed new ideas for global cooperation, and participants will share insights on how open content is planned, strategized and built from the ground up. We’ll share ideas on how to curate open content using tools like del.icio.us and concepts like “crowd sourcing” and “peer production”. And we will share experiences on how to increase government use of open access licensing for publicly-funded materials, and look at new opportunities to fund open content using alternative business models.

In a nutshell —

Who: 300 of the world’s leading intellectuals, authors, lawyers, artists and technologists on the cutting edge of Internet policy.

What: A three-day Summit to discuss the importance of a free Internet for free culture, new rules to keep the internet free, how to build free culture communities and the lessons we can learn from pirates.

Where: Dubrovnik, Croatia on the banks of the Adriatic Sea

When: 15-17 June, 2007
Go here to register and make sure you subscribe to the mailing list to stay in touch.

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