I think many on the list know I manage a community called FLOSS Manuals,
and we create free documentation about free software. Recently I have
been considering the development of free (libre) educational materials -
specifically getting the current FM materials used in existing courses,
or developing new text books.
The possibilities for free textbooks are enormous and exciting. Not only
can libre texts flow from one educational institute to another, but they
can also be easily reused, recontextualised, translated, improved and
It would be very interesting, for example to consider integrating free
textbooks into coursework where students improve textbooks for the next
years intake etc.
So, its a big area, but one that we are currently prepared for since we
have now 1100+ members (800 in English, 300+ associated with other FM
languages), strong collaborative partnerships with the FSF, Wikimedia
Foundation, OLPC, Sugar, Mozilla Foundation, Sesawe (partially the
Berkman Institute) plus numerous 'smaller' Free Software organisations
such as Inkscape, Aspiration Technology and Xiph etc. So we have the
members and alliances to help create something like this however, quite
frankly, I don't know how to get a started getting educators or
educational institutes involved.
So, I am writing to the list to see if there might be anyone working in
the tertiary education sector that might consider working with us to
develop a textbook suitable for their curriculum?
It would be preferable if the topic related to material we already
have...so, in other words, a software related course would be more
easily within our grasp than other subjects...We already have, for
example, great books on Design (Digital Foundations -
http://en.flossmanuals.net/DigitalFoundations), The Command Line
(http://en.flossmanuals.net/gnulinux), and Inkscape
(http://en.flossmanuals.net/Inkscape) amongst others...
Once we have one book adopted, the road ahead might open up considerably
which could lead to some very interesting possibilities...
Founder FLOSS Manuals
German mobile : + 49 15 2230 54563
Email : adam(a)flossmanuals.net
irc: irc.freenode.net #flossmanuals
"Free manuals for free software"
You are invited to the opening of New Work an installation by Gray
Nicol. Opening function is Wednesday 5 August at 5.30pm. There will be
an Artist Talk Thursday 6 August at 12.15pm.
In his first public work for 30 years Gray Nicol presents New Work,
three videos combining sculpture, portraiture and the moving image.
Dear Film Archive friends,
This Saturday Aug 1st at 3pm & 5.15pm, the New Zealand Film Festival
presents Len Lye Discoveries and Rarities.
If you think you know Lye’s work, Discoveries and Rarities includes a
variety of surprises, many of whom were recently discovered in the
vaults of MoMA, New York and subsequently restored at the New Zealand
Film Archive. Highlights include the animation Life’s Musical Minute
(with jazz by Woody Herman), a March of Time documentary about Atomic
power featuring Albert Einstein, and a sequence of dancing girls in
space that Lye contributed to the feature film Mad About Money.
The programme also includes Art that Moves, the first Wellington
screening of an 18-minute film by Roger Horrocks that dramatises Lye’s
teenage years (in Wellington in the 1910s) and his “Eureka!” moment
when he first came up with his idea of a new “art of motion.” Art that
Moves is produced by Shirley Horrocks, camera by Leon Narbey, funding
by Creative New Zealand.
Len Lye Discoveries and Rarities is supported by Stout Trust, the New
Zealand Film Archive and the Len Lye Foundation.
Nga Kaitiaki O Nga Taonga Whitiahua
The New Zealand Film Archive
PO Box 11449 Wellington
Aotearoa, New Zealand
ph +64 4 384 7647 ext 829
fax +64 4 382 9595
ON NOW - Sat Aug 1
Hold Still - an installation by Rachel Shearer
I've been trying a new search engine:
Any other Ada'ers tried it? I'm finding semantic/contextual grouping of query
Apparently put together by an ex-chef of Google's own secret sauce..
home: New Zealand
based: Madrid, Spain
currently: Vigo, Spain
Hola a todos,
A very interesting article from Richard Stallman on the impact of Swedish Pirate
Party's proposed copyright reform on free software, one that defaults
copyrighted material to the public domain after 5 years.
home: New Zealand
based: Madrid, Spain
currently: Vigo, Spain
Please pass this on to prospective PhD students and your networks -
CoLab is pleased to announce a three year scholarship for a full-time
PHD student undertaking research within the Faculty of Design & Creative
Technologies at AUT. The CoLab PHD scholarship is intended to promote
research that involves the development, application or critical
engagement with new technologies. The scholarship encourages research
through the application of creativity and foregrounds the development of
new applications and opportunities across the creative and technology
sectors, in keeping with CoLab’s cross disciplinary engagement with
the arts and science. The research process may be theoretical, applied
or practice-based, though the research proposal must clearly articulate
a hypothesis or research question(s). The application date is 25
September 2009 and is for NZ$25,000 a year for 3 years (exempt from tax)
subject to successful annual progress reveiw. For more information and
to apply go to:
then click to 'current AUT scholarships' in 'Design and Creative
Ph: +64 (09) 921-9566
Mobile: 021 275 2243
Convergence Collaboration Communities
The cyberformance “Machine Divas” will be presented in UpStage and at
the Kunstraum Niederosterriech, Vienna, on Thursday 23rd at 8pm European
time (find your local time here <http://tinyurl.com/ns3aoh>). The live
link to the stage will be here: http://www.upstage.org.nz 15 minutes
before show-time (if you don't see the link, refresh your browser).
what does a machine diva look like?
does she have a soul?
are her friends electric?
is she just after our robots?
does she control this machine?
would she make a good girlfriend?
does she have a tail?
This is the result of a week-long workshop as part of the IMA Salon,
16-23 July in Vienna. The workshop, led by Helen Varley Jamieson, is
exploring the theme of “Machine Divas” through the medium of
cyberformance - live online performance. The workshop participants and
creators of the performance are Sara Schmidt, Julia Groeblacher and Eva
Ursprung, with Suzon Fuks online and contributions from Marlena
Corcoran, Annie Abrams and Miljana Peric. Thanks to Regina Lercher,
Elisabeth Schimina for organising the workshop; to Reiner Kack for
technical support, coffee and chocolate; and to Kunstraum for letting us
play in this great space.
The performance will be followed by a discussion that will be streamed
via Ustream, at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/machine-divas.
Machine Divas is an ongoing research and networking project initiated in
2007 by Eva Ursprung and Andrea Sodomka, to investigate woman artists
using technology for their work in nowadays expanded “theater space“.
helen : )
helen varley jamieson: creative catalyst
I'm currently working on a project that will look at the use of the
digital image in teaching. If there is anyone out there who is
interested in this angle on copyright, please contact me off list and
I can give you more information on what we are doing and how it might
contribute to this discussion. The project is in a formative stage at
present (minimal funding and working at getting more!) . We have
worked on related projects for the past 18 months and are now
consolidating into this:
""This project investigates the use of the digital image and the
associated delivery of software and copyright information in the
tertiary classroom. Through the development of a shared resource hub –
d*hub – it presents practical resources for teachers working with
digital images. Based on case studies in art and design where students
develop projects that push at the boundaries of copyright,
appropriation, and manipulation of digital images d*hub will document,
analyse, evaluate, consider and recommend methods for engaging with
digital images whilst paying careful attention to the laws of
copyright and movements towards open source and creative commons
approaches to digital media.""
Dr. Susan Ballard
Academic Leader, Electronic Arts
School of Art
Te Kura Matatini ki Otago
Private Bag 1910
office ph. +64-3-4796061
cell. +64 (0)21-209-0721
very interesting discussion everybody, thanks, I've been reminded and made
aware of many important points. especially the original wording of the Berne
copyright resolution, great to read.
ever the pragmatist, I do question though how relevant this debate actually
is to a real solution. to put it crassly - the combined production costs and
profit margins of every artist on this list probably add up to much less
than those of one single hollywood blockbuster. I'm still struggling with it
myself conceptually, but the framework has changed quite a bit from around
five years ago, when the main issue was mp3 file sharing. but while the
music industry itself has undergone huge changes - I'm thinking of how cheap
it has become to record broadcast-quality music - the film/tv industry
continues to rely on stupendous budgets and huge production teams. in terms
of financial risk, this is who stands to suffer the most from copyright
infringement. even if we don't give a rats' arse about mainstream film/tv
and its corporate frameworks, this is (I boldly claim) the bulk of content
being shared on the net these days - why else would people have 40 GB
broadband plans! so whatever the next stage in the evolution of copyright
and copyright reinforcement is, that's the main issue it'll have to address.
hollywood's plethora of lawyers won't have it any other way.
in other words, it's not the protection of individual artists' rights that's
at stake, but the protection of corporate investment (as much as I hate to
say it). this hasn't really changed since the days of "home taping is
killing the record industry". in the commercial distribution of art/music,
the rights of the artists themselves have never really meant that much, have
they? I'm rudely ignoring the indie cottage industries here, I know, and
also the importance of the ongoing struggle against corporate domination.
but while the internet has been great for enabling artists to pursue direct
distribution models, the bulk of all internet file sharing surely involves
corporately-owned/distributed content. and for as long as audiences continue
to favour palatable canonical pap, that's exactly what copyright regulation
will remain focused on. so while we can passionately advocate or reject the
various tenets of copyright protectionism, I think we're kidding ourselves
to believe our artist perspectives will have much impact on any new laws
personally I can't see the proposed law changes (amended or not) radically
changing download behaviour. if we can already download media files as
collections of strands from multiple sources, surely there will be plenty of
loopholes to be found around whatever policing system may be introduced. the
internet just isn't designed to be monitored. also if we look at the
three-decade-long history of software piracy - where pretty much every
anti-piracy measure has been cracked - I just don't see how any meaningful
protection could be offered to simple media files. as far as I can tell, the
policing of copyright on the internet is a huge (and prohibitively costly)
uphill struggle and will probably never be resolved in a satisfactory way.
which is why I was suggesting another approach a few days ago - an internet
traffic tax. thanks bronwyn for pointing out the isle of man scenario, it'll
be interesting to see if and how it happens!
I've thought on this idea a bit more (which btw. I'm still not sure is
really any good), if anyone's interested:
the main premise is that users would have to pay the tax as part of their
connection fee (e.g. by the GB), and that it removes any incentive for them
to cheat the system. although this is an over-simplified model, the
difference in mp3/mov file sizes seems to be vaguely indicative of the
difference in their associated production costs, so a volume-based tax would
(very arguably) be representative of the users' extent of media consumption
(very very arguably taking into consideration the traffic of streaming and
video conferencing, and the crossover with online sales).
the other main difficulty would be how the resulting revenue pie was
divvyied up among millions of copyright owners. one approach would be
periodic random sampling of net traffic, and for registered copyright owners
(or more likely their associated royalty collection agencies) to be allotted
payments that reflect analysed trends rather than specific ownership.
another approach would be for all files protected by copyright to have
trackable ownership tags. such a tagging/monitoring system would of course
open the privacy can of worms, and it would also be susceptible to hacking.
however if my imagined tax was paid by volume (whatever way this might work)
and regardless of actual content, there would be no real incentive for users
to cheat. (tax regulation - to stem free market capitalist greed - isn't
this what we want? back to the regulated market utopia?)
another consideration would be the amount of money involved for users. this
wouldn't be a tax to generate the equivalent revenue of sale prices but
simply to cover the licensing cost, and even that at a much lower level than
now. that may be hard to accept for corporate content owners, but they are
currently headed for a web disaster anyway. this idea would actually
guarantee copyright owners a base level of reimbursement for their
one final point to consider (in what has become an increasingly tangential
rant, sorry!) is the role of the ISPs. as illegal as much video downloading
is, it does represent immense profits to ISPs. because of this, I'd imagine
for the ISPs to chip in on this tax, and also to provide the
monitoring/tracking/sampling services needed to make it happen. I don't
think they could very well refuse, seeing it's them who are (in effect)
facilitating all of the piracy at the moment, and who would stand to benefit
greatly from increased net traffic.
any comments/criticisms appreciated - this is (literally) a feverish rant
and I've certainly taken a few convenient conceptual shortcuts. I guess I'd
just like to hear some constructive ideas about the future of file sharing
(or is it too simplistic to nail the current copyright issues to this?),
rather than individual artistic positions on what copyright should or
> Yes, this is a popular idea that has been mooted. The Isle of Man have come
> closest to implementing it from what I've heard, however I don't believe it
> has gone through:
> You've captured one of the main issues with this idea in your first
> paragraph: this tends to be discarded as an idea as there is an issue of who
> will track the data, and administer the divvying up of costs - and ISPs
> aren't exactly leaping to put their hands up. A much simpler and direct
> option is for music/film companies just to make their content available
> legally online so consumers can go to their online shop and purchase what
> they want. Of course, with the internet being a big copying machine, and
> copying being so easy, IMHO the cost of this media should be much cheaper so
> that the legal alternative is not a prohibitive one for financial reasons.
>> just thinking aloud a thought I had the other night:
>> how about an overall tax/fee rather than individual copyright payments?
>> a broadcasting fee for the internet but tailored to usage parameters. might
>> require some pretty severe, privacy-invading tracking of content though if
>> the resulting revenue-pie was to be split fairly...
>> so the idea might be backward-thinking garbage, but I think if there was no
>> constant pay/steal right/wrong pressure, people's download behaviour would
>> be much more balanced - i.e. just what they actually want, and not all
>> series of the wire at once (just in case its a once-in-a-lifetime
>> opportunity). after all, most download-type entertainment is pretty crap,
>> and that's a lot easier to realise if there's no entry fee associated with
>> or am I barking up completely the wrong tree?
I do not agree that ‘artists love to play the victim, subsisting on the
barren fringe of social order’. Rather I believe this is the area to
which many artists are resigned because of a failed and largely
unenforceable copyright system. Corporations are to blame in many
areas. Keeping artists poor does not make better art by the way. The
template being proposed will not rectify the main issue, which is
payment to the artist or developer for the use of their works.
In general I believe ISP and governments have no intention of fixing
the copyright dilemma for the benefit of the public or artists. Their
intent is solely derived from control of the network and profit
making. It will be interesting to see how much effect big business can
have on the state and its attempt at using the copyright argument to
control our networks. A control that is readily available through
It can be argued that networking and file sharing sites help artists
to create a profile thus advertising their works to the wider public.
In actuality the advertising alongside the artist is given more merit
than the work they may produce. The funds gained by advertising
alongside the artist, is the only business reason for these sites
apart from information gathering. Many artists or developers will
simply choose to not freely release works to the public arena when
miscellaneous advertising is the revenue base and none of this goes to
the artist. In most instances any resulting benefits to the artist are
completely negated because of our cash based society. There is no
mitigating this fact.
Exactly how much content should the artist or developer release freely
before a level of reimbursement is reached? The expectation of many is
simply not forfilled in no way because of the merit of the work. Many
formats of artwork do not lend themselves to a client-based approach
and as such there is no reimbursement for the artist in utilizing the
current or proposed system. Many established or developing arts will
simply fade away. In all respects any proposed changes should keep in
mind that the renaissance should not be hindered.