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Life Despite Capitalism - Workshops

Virtual Commons

Notes from the Life Despite Capitalism workshop "Virtual Commons" - 16/10/04 2-4pm


we also made an audio recording, so we can put a protocol in.

Introduction round, people from Germany, Australia, UK. Description of Notions of virtual commons from each.

bit of technicalities - taking notes, filming, audiorecording...

Outline of the "4 freedoms".

gift economy

intro indymedia / building the virtual commons / indymedia backend

various questions discussed between us

free software.
is copyright just perverted?
not everything is for free, we have to be careful with the romantic notion that everything is for free.

someone from medicins sans frontiers and someone who is organising a virtual commons conference discussed the example of medical research. can we "do that for free"? Idea is that the government puts money in research, then the results are shared. Why not develop medical research openly, let everybody use the results for production? live despite captialism - no company would do that!

Linux example - companies love it now because "it pays". Companies participated in developing it - expl sun microsystems and openoffice suite.

lucas thinks you need money to live on - if you give everything for free, you will not be able to pay your rent.

Med. Sans Frontiers Person: How do you move from a situation where everything costs something to a situationwhere everything is for free!

expl oekonux utopian toilet.

expl of linux applications being funded.

it is not about the price. it is about the absence of propriatery control over knowledge.
a lot of the companies are outsourcing their operations.
no monopolists of knowledge.

"we still have to pay money"

statement for merging physical and virtual commons. difficult to make this spearation. rather talk about a shared communication space with various channels.

more talk about the gift economy: gift is an everyday experience. The gift embodies the giver, the giver remains part of the gift. Gift is not necessarily free as in free beer. Often, you are expecting to receive something in return. Attention, "owing a favour...". You are doing it for the relationship. A feeling of being indepted remains. "We are always seeking this dept".

in the market, it is completely different. You go, you buy something, the deal is complete. No surplus.

Example: If I give you a flower, and you give me 5 pounds, it would not be gift.
Refusing a gift is difficult. If you pay someone for a gift, you don't want to be indepted.

On demand production.
Bill gates book corresponds to "release early release often". Who copied whom?

concept of network society in business, naomi kleins quote in the other side.

constant process of appropriation and subversion.

model of virtual commens can potentially have an impact on social organisation.
fsmp resonates with social networks.


People from Ravensbourne MA in Networked Media Environments are documenting various events and autonomous spaces around the ESF. A link will be provided from here as soon as anything is produced. For reference our info is found at.

in indymedia,it works.

Created by: mh last modification: Saturday 16 of October, 2004 [10:59:11 UTC] by mh

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