Titanic battle for the future of the Internet

Susan Crawford

Susan Crawford, member of the ICANN board speaks on the titanic battle of two groups of people, two competing mindsets on how the Internet should further evolve.

"The trick for me has been to keep standing" - Pamela Jones of Groklaw

Pamela Jones

Groklaw is slang for “to really grasp the world of law”, or in Pamela Jones’s words, a “place where lawyers and geeks could explain things to each other and work together, so they’d understand each other’s work better.”

In this document, a lady well-known in the free world, Pamela Jones, delivers a short message of “thank you” on behalf of thousands of computer geeks and lawyers swarming around their unique online platform, This sound file is a rare piece of digital history as one will otherwise only find drawings of her or texts by her, she had learned the hard way to be very protective of her privacy.

In 2003, Jones was working as a paralegal, a research assistant, at an US law firm. Being technically minded, she was able to help out fixing problems with the IT infrastructure and was proficient in using both operation systems, Microsoft and Linux. Next to researching cases she had also joined the emergent blogger movement when a major attack on the entire model of Free Software and its legal security was launched: The infamous...

Keywords: Pamela Jones

On Git

Linus Torvalds

In 2005, Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, sat down for two weeks to prototype his second major contribution to the Free Software and Open Source world and to the history of computing in general: Git.

This software allows programmers to collaborate on their projects´code in a number of new methods all together. Two years later, Torvalds is invited to speak at Google Tech Talks. He explains the personal, social and technical stories of how the design principles of “Git” emerged in the first place and answers many questions by the programmers of Google Inc.. His talk contains a lot of humourous banter within the Free and Open Source Communites. It has been viewed over 600.000 times online (update December 2011: over 840.000 times; update February 2015: over 1.300.000 times; update December 2016: over 1.670.000 times; update July 2018: over 2 million times) making it one of the most influential media files ever that deals with the inside world of todays programmers. It may proove to be just as interesting for social anthropologists and media philosophers alike.

Understanding Software Patents

Hartmut Pilch

“My message to the patent world is: Either get back to the doctrines of forces of nature or face the elimination of your system.”

Hartmut Pilch of the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) gives insights into the history of patent law, the theoretical shortcomings of the concept of software patents and their consequences. Interview with Yochai Benkler

Yochai Benkler

“It’s that new diversity of ways of creating information and exchanging it, that characterizes the Network information economy.”

Markus Beckedahl from speaks with law professor Yochai Benkler about his book “The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom” and some of his thoughts on the developments and influences of collaborative work and peer production on the net.

Software and Community in the Early 21st Century

Eben Moglen, Paul Everitt, Richard Stallman

“It began as a moral question. […] But it becomes along the way also a window into the economic organization of the human society in the 21st century.”

Eben Moglen, chairman of the Software Freedom Law Center, gives a keynote at the October 2006 Plone conference in Seattle.

Software Patents and the EU

Eva Lichtenberger

„Ja das war ein Lehrbeispiel für Lobbyismus in Brüssel.“

As a member of the European Parlament for the Austrian Green Party Eva Lichtenberger gives an introduction into the decision-making processes of the European Parliament and the political situation and state of discussion in Brussels when the debate about software patents reached new peaks in September 2004 and July 2005.

The Great Failure of Wikipedia

Jason Scott

“Wikipedia holds up the dark mirror of what humanity is, to itself.”

At Notacon 3 Jason Scott speaks about Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales design choices and their consequences.

Keywords: Jason Scott, Notacon

The Ethics of the Free Culture Movement

Lawrence Lessig, Jonathan Zittrain

“[T]he critical thing to recognize […] is that the legal code is not free culture – you are free culture. The legal code is just the ‘plumbing’ of free culture, it’s code”. 

In the plenary session of Wikimania 2006 Lawrence Lessig explains his notion of the difference between “read-only” and “read-write” cultures. Subsequently he addresses Creative Commons and the above mentioned idea of legal code as foundation – as the “plumbing” of free culture. Most importantly might be the statements of bringing the licences Creative Commons and Wikipedia’s GNU Free Documentation License closer together to provide people broadest possibilities.

A reflection on the Microsoft antitrust penalty hearing 2006

Carlo Piana

“Money is not a problem for them.”

A short interview that was taken right after the from on a historical day in the Microsoft antitrust penalty hearings in Brussels, 30 March 2006.

The interviewee is Carlo Piana from Tamos, Piana & Partners (Milano) who served as a counsel to the Free Software Foundation Europe and an intervenor during the hearing.