HAIP 2012 & Active Citizens Take Action (ACTA)

It’s been a crazy crazy drive for last couple of months for me. I was mainly very busy with things of programmatic (content) nature at Cyberpipe/Kiberpipa space. And it will be crazy for next two weeks like hell, as we are approaching the launch of the festival HAIP, biennial festival for new media arts, which is now in it’s 5th edition:

Internet […] has overturned what we take as given and as possible. The dream of all people getting access to all knowledge suddenly came within our reach. It seemed just an issue of interpreting when the trajectory curves of global personal computer distribution and internet access penetration would finally make universal access to knowledge a reality. However, the actual trajectory of development of public libraries in the age of internet are pointing in the opposite direction – that the phenomena we people are most proud of are being undercut and can easily go extinct.

Public libraries now cannot receive, and sometimes not even buy, the books of some of the largest publishers [1]. The books that they already hold they must destroy after lending them 26 (?!?) times[2]. And they are loosing the battle to the market dominated by new players such as Amazon, Google and Apple.

On the other hand, we are also part of “ACTA – Active Citizens Take Action“:

The project brings together citizens active in youth and Internet non–governmental organizations from different European countries to discuss authorship rights, piracy and privacy on Internet, efectivness and ethics of the movement Anonymous; to analyse the involvement of civil society in the decision making processes about ACTA at national and European level, to research and learn how to influence national and European parliament on the policies and legislation.

We want to foster action, debate and reflection on European citizenship and democracy through analyzing ACTA and related issues. Encouragement of interaction between citizens and civil society organisations from all participating countries and discussions, exchanging views and presenting citizens opinion and project results with relevant decision makers at local, national and EU level, will be the key principles of the project.

green academy @ island of vis – day one

It’s been now 24 hours since I arrived to the island of Vis to attend, to participate at the Green academy organized by croatian chapter of Hienrich Boell foundation. So far it’s been really amazing. Not so much because it’s warm as warm can be, the crystal clear island-ish seawater superb (as much as I was able to swim in the early morning), and some kind of lazy atmosphere on the streets (all these things are amazing in themselves), but mostly because the content of the ‘conference’ is somewhat mindblowing. The theme is the “commons” and it is divided into five sections/working groups:

  • digital commons
  • urban commons
  • natural resources: land & water
  • education
  • public media

Furthermore there are one-day workshop (on friday) titled:

  • Commons and Agricultural Production
  • Commons and Energy Production
  • Commons and Economic Democracy

But what is commons?

Commons-based society is a world in which the fundamental focus on competition that characterizes life today would be balanced with new attitudes and social structures that foster cooperation. It is a new way of life that values what we share as much as what we own, where “we” matters as much as “me”.

I must point out however events in last day. Yesterday the opening included a keynote lecture by Tine de Moor from Utrecht University titled “The cooperative continuum: collaborative consumption and production in long-term historical perspective”. Apart from getting into very interesting historical perspective of the various forms of the commons, from common pasture land over guilds to modern forms of cooperatives, not excluding seemingly useful analysis (features of initiatives, advantages of collectivities, differences on time scale…). There might be interesting to point out two issues that seem important (at least to me):

  1. historicaly, time of 1750-1850 seem to mark an emergence of concept of individual, who only then becomes a central unit of society and is also time when private property becomes the main form of property, and
  2. various good use cases of ‘successful’ collectivites cannot be really copied as a higher-level model – in other words, models of working collectivities cannot simply be copied out from its original local context – it seem to be extremely difficult to achieve same success in a different context – this presents quite big challenge in an effort to create systemic opportunities (platforms for localities) on higher levels (municipality, state)

The next day there were some short clarifications on what can we expect or where were are actually going on this conferenct. And I found Danijela Dolenec articulation particularily thorough. Here I quote directly from her notes (that she was happy to share afterwards)

We propose the Commons as a terrain for exploring a new politics that can join these issues together. The language of the Commons:

  • carries the emancipatory potential by offering a vocabulary and concepts that may help connect green left movements grounded in concerns for democracy, social justice and sustainable development
  • the principles of the commons offer a radical vision both of the political (self-governance, co-creating the conditions of our lives, direct involvement in the rule making that governs our communities) and the economic (moving away from private property and replacing the concept of ownership with concepts of reciprocity, mutuality, solidarity, sharing, using, co-producing, taking part together etc.)
  • following in the tradition of the work of Elinor Ostrom, it allows us to critique both states and markets, both processes of overcentralization, top-down processes, hierarchical structures, as well as processes of privatization, exploitation and commodification

Silke Helfrich from Commons Strategies Group had a long, entertaining and somewhat school-like presentation about World of the Commons, where she raised some interesting analysis and issues on the Commons.

  • Commons aren’t goods. Commons is about the way we relate to eachother in sense of ‘fairaccess’, ‘sustainable use’ and/or social control.There is no commons without commoning.
  • Elinor Ostrom (as opposed to Hardin‘s Tragedy of the Commons) claims that people:
    • communicate with each toher
    • negotiate /establish rules
    • often know best what is good for them
    • are able to cooperate /instead of compete/

After lunch there was a lecture by Srđan Dvornik called “Society as a Common” and later in the evening I was particularily fascinated by two speakers at the panel – Zoltgan Pogatsa and Kostas Loukeris. More about these later.

true troubles, responsibilities and relations

Inspiring creative writing by Tim Etchels:

“Participation and belonging are not objects – they are not things which can be achieved solidly or owned concretely – they cannot be acquired, they are processes which need to be worked at, lived in and through… processes which along with togetherness, sharing and mutuality also involve difficulty, dissent, and disagreement, hard work, uncertainty, doubt and dispute. They flow. They alter. They contradict. They involve tension and change.”


“A promise of belonging that does not insist on (acknowledge, offer or make space for) process, dispute and dissent is basically a false promise – an offer of supposed benefits without the true troubles, responsibilities and relations implied by those terms.”

read the whole entry, as the story has a particular context: timetchells.com

understanding trolling

When it seems you have become a victim of trolling, flamewar and cyberbullying, go through these statements and ask yourself if they describe the nature of relationships and online dialogue in that particular case:

  • All your carefully picked arguments can easily be ignored.
  • Anything you say can and will be used against you.
  • Anything you say can be turned into something else – fixed.
  • Do not argue with trolls – it means that they win.
  • The harder you try the harder you will fail.
  • Everything that can be labeled can be hated.
  • The more you hate it the stronger it gets.
  • Nothing is to be taken seriously!
  • Nothing is Sacred
  • The more beautiful and pure a thing is – the more satisfying it is to corrupt it.

( via knowyourmeme.com)

The most striking in very peculair way is actually this: The more you hate it the stronger it gets. Doesn’t it sound familiar?

“The hate is swelling in you now. […] Give in to your anger!”


also trying to get a grip on something like this:


“too long; didn’t read.”

  • The inability to accept, understand or pay attention to information when not separated by a header.
  • The ability to arbitrarily read 400 small posts but not a long one.
  • A sign of ADD or lack of reading capability.
  • A very cheap response and an indication of lack of wit.
  • 90% of the time: A lie.
  • A desperate attempt at a comeback used by people who just can’t think of one.
  • Usually used by people who’ve been torn apart verbally but want one last attempt at looking witty.
  • A sign that, not only is someone too lazy and stupid to read but, clearly, too lazy and stupid to even type out four words indicating such.
  • Collect every “tl,dr” post online, and you’ll have a good estimate of the number of lazy idiots on Earth, who currently have Internet access.

(via urban dictionary)

Sharing: Culture and the Economy in the Internet Age

This seems like an important book, that deals with current pressing issues about file sharing. It was written by one of the founders of La Quadrature du Net (http://www.laquadrature.net) – an advocacy group defending the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet – Philippe Aigrain. Here’s a bit or two from the introduction which sets the tone refreshingly: a research that has a statement, an oppinion. That’s rare.

File sharing is the act of making a file available to other individuals by putting it on-line, by sending a copy, or by rendering it accessible through a file sharing software. We defend the view that sharing without direct or indirect monetary transaction – or “non-market” sharing – is legitimate. We also claim that sharing is socially and culturally valuable and will play a key role in the future of our culture and the creative economies.

– The non-market sharing of digital works is valuable and must be recognized as a legitimate activity (chapter 3).
– New financing schemes are needed to turn the potential of a many-to-all creative world into a reality (chapter 4). In such an environment, all will have access to works, the right to share them and the technical means to produce new works. Many will build new capabilities in informing others, expressing oneself, and creativity. They will catch the interest of some, and some – more numerous that today – will attract the interest of many.

The book is free for download, and is also an ‘open book’, which means it will be updated frequently online and is open for comments and debate.

(via icommons-si list)

proti sporazumu ACTA

Nekaj misli ob protestu 4.februarja, ki se je zgodil v sloveniji, ter tudi ob vsej javni razpravi, ter globalnem protestu, ki se bo zgodil naslednjo soboto 11. februarja.

ACTA je sporazum, ki skuša urediti kaos, ki je nastal s pojavom medmrežja, s pojavom proste in poceni kopije česarkoli, kar se da digitalizirati.

Medmrežje je čudovito darilo s katerim lahko ljudje, ki nimajo ničesar, nekaj vrednega dobijo, ne da bi pri tem v resnici kdorkoli karkoli izgubili.

Sporazumu ACTA ne nasprotujem zato, ker bi mi preprečeval pretok holivudskih filmov in glasbe ameriških glasbenikov.

Ne nasprotujem mu zato, ker bi mi preprečeval zastonjski dostop do programja kot je Microsoft Windows ali Apple iTunes.

Sporazumu ACTA ne nasprotujem zato, ker bi se hotel okoriščati s kreativnim delom drugih ali ker bi bil kot potrošnik izdelkov velikih producentov zabave okraden možnosti, da pridem do potrošnje na čimcenejši način.

Sporazumu nasprotujem zato, ker želim uporabljati medmrežje za mojo lastno kreativnost in kreativnost somišljenikov. Sporazum zavračam, ker uničuje možnost, da gradim na hrbtih preteklih ustvarjalcev – kot so to počeli ustvarjalci pred menoj.

Sporazumu ACTA nasprotujem zato, ker daje moč cenzure in kriminalnega pregona tistih, ki imajo najmanj, tistim, ki imajo največ – mimo sodne oblasti.

Sporazum zavračam, ker se ne prilagaja novim izzivom digitalne dobe, ki nam omogoča, da smo povezani in da napredujemo in kot človeštvo rastemo s še večjo hitrostjo.

Nasprotujem mu, ker ne spodbuja razvoja novih ekonomskih modelov, ki upoštevajo sodobno stanje stvari in informacij, ki želijo biti proste, temveč nas posiljuje s preživelimi načini nadzora in regulacije, ki so delovali v industrijski dobi, danes pa so zastareli in nefunkcionalni.

“Piratke” in “pirati” nas vse v resnici imenujejo tisti, ki jim je žal za vse dolarje in evre, ki bi jih lahko pobrali, če bi lahko zaračunali za vsak prenešen megabit, ki se je prenesel preko medmrežja.

Če je to, da želimo živeti v svetu, ki koristno izrablja možnost proste informacije, ki nas nič ne stane, če želimo svojo ustvarjalnost distribuirati po svetu, zato ker nas kopija nič ne stane in lahko delimo naše znanje z vsem človeštvom, da se z njim upešno okoristi, ker nikogar nič ne stane, ko je neskončnokrat pomnoženo, in na podlagi vsega tega iščemo nove napredne in trajnostne ekonomske modele in ne sprejemamo nasilne adaptacije staromodnih načinov regulacije avtorskih pravic in intelektualne lastnine — če je vse to tisto, kar imenujejo piratstvo, potem bodimo z vsem kreativnim zanosom imenovani pirati!

Kiberpipa o sporazumu ACTA

ACTA je trgovinski sporazum za boj proti ponarejanju, ki je v nastajanju že več let in je v zadnjem času – predvsem pa po podpisu Slovenije – prejel veliko pozornosti predvsem zaradi strahu, da bo omejil svobodo govora na medmrežju. Gre za multilateralni sporazum, ki med drugim predlaga uvajanje novih mednarodnih kriterijev za uveljavljanje avtorskih pravic ter zaščite intelektualne lastnine.

Menimo, da gre pri sporazumu za več nedopustnih postavk, saj ACTA predstavlja ogrožanje zasebnosti, omejevanje inovacij in škodovanje mednarodni trgovini. Samo besedilo sporazuma je nejasno, dogovorjeno je bilo za zaprtimi vrati, večina držav v razvoju pa je bila izključena iz pogajanj.

Sporazum ACTA pomeni resno tveganje posledic zaradi neuravnoteženosti med varovanjem pravic, izhajajočih iz intelektualne lastnine in ohranjanja in varovanja temeljnih človekovih pravic, kot so svoboda izražanja, dostop do informacij in kulturnih dobrin ter pravice do zasebnosti.

Kiberpipa se zavzema za javno razpravo, predvsem pa za jasno zavrnitev sporazuma s strani Evropskega parlamenta. Kiberpipa se pridružuje mnenju La Quadrature du Net, da “je sporazum ACTA nastal skozi pogajanja za zaprtimi vrati namesto skozi demokratično razpravo in s tem zaobšel parlamente in mednarodne organizacije z namenom diktiranja represivne logike, ki jo vsiljujejo zabavne industrije. ACTA, podlaga za zakone kot so SOPA in PIPA, skozi kriminalizacijo prisiljuje medmrežne akterje k nadzoru in cenzuriranju komunikacije na spletu. S tem predstavlja grožnjo svobodi izražanja na medmrežju in ustvarja pravno negotovost za ponudnike interneta in ostala spletna podjetja. V imenu blagovnih znamk in patentov bo zagotovo ovirala dostop do generičnih zdravil v revnih deželah.

Na spletu in v javnosti na tak ali drugačen način že poteka javna razprava, specifično pa pozivamo:

– na javni protest 4. februarja ob 12h na Kongresni trg v Ljubljani
– na okroglo mizo v torek 7. februarja ob 19h v Kiberpipi
– na mednarodni dan protestov proti sporazumu ACTA 11.februarja
– da pišete našim poslancem v EP

pobuda za javno razpravo o sporazumu

Informacijska pooblaščenka RS o sporazumu ACTA

E-demokracija & Access Now o sporazumu acta

Helena Drnovšek Zorko: Zakaj sem podpisala sporazum ACTA

Analiza sporazuma na Slo-Tech

Evropski poslanci:

Mednarodni protest 11/feb

programming processing communities

Learning things has always been possible through two main routes (many other are possible though, surely): learning through a reference and learning by example. Personally it’s quite hard for me to learn through reference – it’s like learning grammar and syntax of a foreigh language without speaking the language. There always must be examples of use. Many of them. But who made examples? Others. So, learning from others in an open (free software) world is crucial element of today’s information society IMHO. In the old days I learned HTML from other webpages.

Here are two sites packed with different processing examples to learn from:

SketchPatch: http://www.sketchpatch.net/
OpenProcessing: http://openprocessing.org/

does software (re)produce identities and ideologies?

Situated on the “freedom” side of technology, the Free Software movement strives for equal possibilities of all citizen to use, modify, adapt and copy software for their purposes. Even if Free Software is open to everyone’s use and contribution, this is hardly the case in reality. On the opposite, it is seen as a closed movement of people with often a similar description: mostly white, mostly young, mostly Western country citizen, mostly male. Why is free software associated with this white-young-male personality and not with something else? Does software reproduce identities and ideologies, and if so, how can contributors and users of Free Software change the stereotype?

Keynote: Hackers for Social Justice by Christina Haralanova

we need to use social networks to get heard and this forces us into digital serfdom

You can turn your back on the social networks that matter in your field and be free and independent running your own site on your own domain. But increasingly that freedom is just the freedom to be ignored, the freedom to starve. We need to use social networks to get heard and this forces us into digital serfdom. We give more power to Big Web companies with every tweet and page we post to their networks while hoping to get a bit of traffic and attention back for ourselves. The open web of free and independent websites has never looked so weak.

Facebook’s Open Graph technology allows third-party websites to tell Facebook what people are doing. It extends Facebook’s Like button to include any action that the site owners think might be interesting to Facebook. Play a song and your music streaming site tells Facebook what you’ve played. Read a newspaper article and Facebook knows what you’ve read. LOL at a lolcat and your LOL gets logged for all time on your indelible activity record. Facebook calls this “frictionless sharing”, which is their euphemism for silent total surveillance. Once you’ve signed up for this (and it is optional, at least for now) you don’t need to do anything else to “share” your activity with Facebook. It’s completely automatic.