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This page is part of the Proceedings of Wikimania 2005, Frankfurt, Germany.

Workshop - Strategies for Free Content: Freeing the Fruits of Creativity[edit]

  • Leader(s): Thomas Thaler
  • License: {{{license}}}
  • Language: English
  • Slides: {{{slides}}}

About the leader(s): Thomas Thaler is a Vienna, Austria-based journalist, and an activist on free knowledge, working with, wizard of OS, Network Neue Media in Germany, and Creative Commons in Austria.

Abstract: {{{abstract}}}


A brainstorming on strategies how to boost the generation of free content

The digital revolution has placed fear in the heart of the content industries. As a result, more and more knowledge and cultural goods are caged behind copy protection, digital rights management and stricter copyright legislation. This has severe negative effects on society.

We can not only complain about this development, we must find new strategies to counter it. The Wikimedia-Projects, the world of Free and Open Source Software and the Creative Commons Project stand for promising new possibilities.

In this workshop we want to exchange and collect ideas on how to promote the creation of free content further, and how to bring existing content under free licenses. We will analyse the realities of our knowledge society from a local to a global level.

We will think and debate about strategies for how to reach the huge offline-realms on the other side of the digital divide. We will dive into the world of school teachers, cartographers and brass band leaders.

The goal would be, to start a “free content activist’s database on campaign ideas and interaction-opportunities”.

Discussion Notes from Tutorial[edit]

Thomas' Three Things to Make Free[edit]

  • Free licenses
  • Free standards and free file formats
  • Free content

Ten "Problems" by Jimbo Wales[edit]

  • Free the encyclopedias
  • Free the dictionary
  • Free the curriculum
  • Free the music
  • Free the art
  • Free the file format
  • Free the maps
  • Free the product identifiers
  • Free the TV listings
  • Free the communities (special interest knowledge)
    • German version of Attac at
    • two parts, wiki for collection of information, and section for seminar information
    • FFII (Foundation for Free Information Infrastructure)
    • Free the software
    • WSIS-CS: interoperability recommendations for UNESCO, WIPO, etc. (creative commons)

Yesterday's additions[edit]

  • Search engines
  • Sciences (Medical knowledge)
  • Archives
  • Prior art
  • Traditional knowledge

Today's additions[edit]

  • Statistics (Government and non-government)
  • News
  • Money
  • Legal information (contracts and related standard advice, not case-specific / heursitic advice)
  • Events (dates, schedules in iCal format) a la, iCalShare
  • Marketplaces
  • Content in audio format for people without reading skills, disabled (e.g. blind), or other (mobile phone applications); use text-to-speech services (Project Gutenberg use this for PD books)
  • Yellow pages (Yellow Wiki)
  • Sharing of creative ideas (wacky!): business ideas Half Bakery; inventions; patenting issues?
  • Pay someone for providing services: free information, free software installation / provision; Open Code Market (I want this feature, code it for me!)

Creative Commons Austria[edit]

  • Sheet music/notes (effort sparked since it was Mozart year, music is supposed to be PD, but turns out it is not really); yield a community portal were people can up/download sheet music; MIDI files are very similar to the originals (grey area); Mutopia project; need to localise a lot of things
  • Free geographic data/maps; uses in mobile business and mobile phone companies, location-based services; ordnance survey maps; perhaps double licenses - free license; one that licenses the content if people log in and add add content (new layers to a map for example); Open Street Maps