t byfield on Thu, 19 Sep 2002 17:56:16 +0200 (CEST)

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----- Forwarded 

Date: Thu, 19 Sep 2002 15:39:36 +0200
From: Eva Pressl <pressl@t0.or.at>
Organization: Public Netbase
To: ted byfield <tbyfield@panix.com>




++ Creative Industries vs. Creative Commons ++
++ World-Information.Org@Amsterdam ++
++ Links ++ Article by Eveline Lubbers ++
http://world-information.org ++ compiled by



While cultural production is more and more privatized by the industry, the
age-old idea of the commons undergoes a revival. Whereas before the access
to culture was the privilege of aristocracy, clergy, science and the upper
classes with the end of the 16th century a trend towards opening this
domain of social life to the general public started. First public museums
and libraries were founded in the 17th and 18th century and enabled the
average citizen to get access to a field that had been largely closed to
him for hundreds of years. With the rise of modern society a distinctive
sense for the moral reprehensibleness of entry restrictions to knowledge,
education, culture and information developed. Successively the task of
granting access to these resources was assumed by the state and cultural
politics and government aids for the creative community were born. The
necessity of those developments was argued with the need to free the arts
from economic constraints. Culture should be liberated from the forces of
the market so as to enable creativity and also ensure its accessibility to
all. This concept of a resource held or enjoyed equally by a number of
persons is largely based on the idea of the commons. A conception that
derives from the land law and originally described the jointly used land
of a community including pasture, woodland and fishing grounds, but also
squares and roads. Although over the centuries its use in an agricultural
context declined it has been adopted for other areas such as for example
culture. Here in contrast to rivalrous resources such as land, where with
each new user the proportional benefit becomes smaller the sharing of
nonrivalrous resources eg. knowledge or art benefits everyone. Quite
contrary to this notion of a collective use of resources is the effect
that the rise of the creative industries has had on the public domain. The
term was coined in 1997 by Great Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair who
set up a Creative Industries Task Force which aimed at identifying
industry sectors that combined creative content with export potential. By
many this was seen as a good way out of the longstanding dichotomy between
the creative arts and the cultural industries. While culture workers would
benefit from the corporate financial support, the industry could prove
that it was not only after profits, but also committed to fostering art
and creativity. Yet while culture up till now continually had to struggle
for its autonomy from government it now comes out of the frying pan into
the fire. This is a result of the fact that the creative industries rather
focus on the possibilities of economic exploitation than on the
experimental, political and educational potential of cultural content. The
concept of creative industries also conflicts with the - in a democratic
context relevant - notions of pluralism and public sphere as it on one
hand “has a tendency to limit, rather than expand, the range of what is
permitted as ‘culture’” (Osuri 2001) and on the other hand largely
monopolizes the access to culture and thus is in sharp contrast to the
perception of a creative commons. Through copyright the creative
industries turn cultural content into property, which in some cases
assumes extremely bizarre shapes. For instance Mike Batt, English pop
composer, was accused of infringing the copyright of American minimalist
composer John Cage, after placing a one-minute silence on his latest CD -
and saying it was a Mike Batt composition. While the attempt of putting a
copyright on silence is presumably the most frightening incidence in the
copyright discussion so far, excluding works from the public domain by
means of intellectual property law has become common. This amongst others
results in an erosion of the public sphere, which to a great extent is
dependent on diversity and easy access to information and knowledge for
all. A privatized public sphere endangers “the notion of struggle against
subordination (in other words, any concept of social justice) and locates
democratization in the realm of aesthetics and taste” (Osuri 2001). That
media and communication matters are central to issues of social justice,
fairness, equity and self-governance conflicts with the ideological
rhetorical position that a corporate-dominated, commercially driven
culture is something like a law of nature and thus automatically the best
possible outcome for society.



Currently World-Information.Org is preparing for a major event in
Amsterdam. After successful presentations in Brussels, Vienna (2000),
Munich, Helsinki (2001) and Berlin (2002) World-Information.Org will once
again stage its extensive exhibition and conference program from November
15 through December 15, 2002. In the Oude Kerk the World-Information
Exhibition will present digital culture projects by renowned and
pioneering artists, historic and state-of-the-art control and surveillance
technology and the results of World-Information.Org's research program.

De Balie will host the World-InfoCon conference "The Network Society of
Control", an international and interdisciplinary forum for the critical
discussion of information politics in the network society. In addition to
the conference World-Information.Org will organize a diverse workshop
program that will pick up some of World-InfoCon's issues.

In cooperation with Waag Society, De Balie and Netherlands Media Art
Institute, Montevideo/Time Based Arts.


++ LINKS ++

Creative Commons
>>> http://www.creativecommons.org

Freie Software: Zwischen Privat- und Gemeineigentum (Volker Grassmuck)
>>> http://freie-software.bpb.de
>>> http://mikro.org/Events/OS/interface5/wissens-almende.html (excerpt)

The Future of Ideas (Lawrence Lessig)
>>> http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/future/

Stopping The Privatization Of Public Knowledge (David Bollier)
>>> http://www.tompaine.com/feature.cfm/ID/6017



Eveline Lubbers, Amsterdam-based activist and investigative journalist,
has produced a variety of books on corporate intelligence and PR
strategies of multinationals against their critics. Her recent book
Battling Big Business reveals how corporate giants attempt to control
their "enemies" and how groups and individuals can fight back.



The Institute for New Culture Technologies/t0
is the carrier of World-Information.Org
Museumsquartier, Museumsplatz 1
A-1070 Vienna, Austria
phone: ++ 43.1.522 18 34
fax: ++ 43.1.522 50 58
email: info-office@world-information.org

Under the patronage of UNESCO.
Co-producer Brussels 2000 – European City of Culture

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