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A conference on the pioneering Open Commons Region Linz experience

By Laurent Straskraba, who attented the conference:


A Report on the introduction event "Open Commons Region Linz", 11 April 2011 at the "Knowledge Tower Linz"


The event was opened by Councilwoman Eva Schobesberger (Green Party), who is also head of the VHS Knowledge Tower, where the event took place. They called for a democratization of the media and will have free access to knowledge, knowledge processing, knowledge transfer, etc. These have a long history in Linz with the beginning of free initiatives - for example - in 1996, servus.at (Citizens Internet network and public ISP) was founded. They were joined by Radio FRO and in a shorter past dorfTV, media lab, Johannes Kepler University and the University of Arts Linz. The big goal is to establish networks, based on Linz initiatives and their partners. The VHS (public adult education facility) "Knowledge Tower Linz" is here especially used for a low-threshold access for all.

Councilman Johann Mayr (Social Democrats Party) referred to the local council's decision in 2008, and to in his view essential democratic and techno-political reasons for the emergence and continued expansion. Thus, under the direction of Univ.-Prof. Dr. Pomberger a study was written - and complemented to perform the design and implementation by the ICT department Linz. He expressed a clear invitation to collaborate on all interested parties.

Gerin Trautenberger of microgiants (company) presented the concept of Creative Commons license and spoke out in favor of putting ideas to the public - especially when these are/were already publicly funded. I.e. longer existing sources of music or design over time become public domain. Referring to the trends of remix, blogging, etc. it's important to integrate the principles of scientific work (providing the author and work) in a free culture. In the future, enhanced design, architecture (e.g. settlers movement), and products would turn into "Commons" - that can be used with reference to the author and be reproduced. He told from his work that rights management often already need more efforts than the creative process. As examples of the development he mentioned http://www.ronen-kadushin.com/ and http://lookbook.nu/look/980127 It's important to mention - especially in the knowledge society - that copyright is still with the author.
Only the right of use can be sold. In his work with the Creative Industries Austria, it can be made with a time stamp for identification.

Nicholas Duerk of X-Net held his presentation on a stand with rolling paper, a good gag. He reported on the possibilities for the use of open source as a business model, taking up mainly services (administration, training, maintenance). His company is in contact with a network of 60 companies in and around Linz. A new business model therefore is the sale of software that includes its source code, e.g. for robot controllers. It is important to him that networks are caused by "word of mouth, and without the "right chemistry" all is little or nothing. As examples of their products, he mentioned a) Disc Maker for burning invididualised sets of CD content and packaging and production on demand, b) mylabel which can bring (particularly smaller) bands to the market. Minimum production quantity: 1 piece! In sum, it all comes down to him through personal networks.

Finally, the actual main part, presented by Gerald Kempinger (Managing ICT Linz) and Stefan Pavel (Project Manager for Open Commons Region Linz). Since the order is placed by the council of Linz and the above-mentioned study in 2008, it will be a genuine initiative of Linz Open Commons in a broad sense and in the direction of free-access of public goods. This should apply to citizens as well as businesses, with clear and predictable rules, based on Creative Commons licenses. They will work as a networking point for further initiatives and Open Commons, which will be clearly linked to the city of Linz. This initiative also has its own advisory board, established with the participation of internationally acknowledged contributers (more on that here: http://www.linz.at/leben/55475.asp) - I would like to particularly mention Markus Beckedahl, with his website netzpolitik.org which also works as a corresponding high reach medium.
 For more information in the future check the blog (http://opencommons.public1.linz.at/), the Facebook group (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Open-Commons-Region-Linz/203734332987997) and forthcoming local events.
Furthermore, the following are considered priorities: a) geo-data, b) Statistical data (open standards), c) schedules, ...! all this as OPEN Creative Commons Linzenz (CC BY).
The competition "Apps4Linz" is another momentum in which everyone can take part. The 1st Meeting of the Advisory Board will be held on 20 May 2011 and for spring 2012 there is a BarCamp or fair/congress planned.
On this subject it is true again: It begins in Linz. A big thank you and congratulations from me for this initiative!

Also in that context, and since this book was made availabe just now as a PDF download: See "freedom on the spot: local network policy manual" by Christian Forsterleitner et al (http://www.freienetze.at/index.php?option=com_content&task=view... = 85 & Itemid = 37)
Greetings from Linz, city of the Ars Electronica Center and Festival,

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