Archive:Spring 2005 Strategy Paper

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The following strategy paper outlines Free Culture's plan of action for spring 2005: what we need to do this semester, and how we plan to accomplish it. We will be sharing this with our allies so they can know how they can help us.

Immediate Goals

What are we going to do next semester?

  1. Campaigns
    Specific, one-time projects, coordinated centrally but with the labor or collaboration of local chapters
  2. One-time national concerns
    Specific, one-time projects, generally of internal consequence
    • e.g. to improve internal communication or to provide resources for local chapters
  3. Ongoing national concerns
    Changes, additions, or re-assignments of the regular responsibilities
    • e.g. regular maintenance of the Web site
  • Suggestions of projects for local chapters to undertake are available at Local_projects.


Open Access Campaign

  • Get your school to sign onto Alliance for Taxpayer Access
  • Help your school & library in whatever concerns they have
  • Convince your school to be open access-friendly
  • FC.o will join Alliance for Taxpayer Access
    • Deadline: ASAP
    • Assigned to: Andy
  • Create a Web site with information
    • a page with links
    • a brief summary
    • "this is how you can help"
    • a blog or wiki on the site to let people post progress updates
    • decide on domain name
      • Deadline: Feb. 4
      • Assigned to: Core
    • have a draft site up
      • Deadline: Feb. 11
      • Assigned to: Webteam

Free Culture Tour

We will be working on a Free Culture tour with Colin Mutchler. We're hoping to get artists like DJ Spooky and Mark Hosler from Negativland involved, as well as incorporating a significant "audience" participation element.

Opposing DRM, the broadcast flag, and trusted computing

  • DRM cheats the consumer ("Thought you bought that gadget? Thought you bought that song? You're wrong!")
    • It detracts from the property rights of the indivudal and the freedom associated with those rights.
  • The scheme fundamentally opposes trust in the individual and assumes that people will inherently commit bad acts.
  • Use Cory Doctorow's writings on DRM as a model
  • Digital feudalism
  • A policeman inside every computer! Except worse, because they're not just enforcing the letter of the law, they're enforcing rights that the content owner doesn't legally have (such as preventing fair use).
    • A mafioso inside every computer!
  • The broadcast flag is very time sensitive, the EFF has a nice countdown here
  • An anti-piracy contractor, Overpeer, uses the DRM in Windows Media files downloaded from p2p networks to install adware and malware.
  • "Something there is that doesn't love a wall..." -Frost
  • Deadline: on hold until after Open Access project
  • Assigned to: Core

Ongoing Concerns

Use aggregator to strengthen chapters

The RSS aggregator should greatly enhance the level of information available about the workings of each chapter. Each chapter, in addition to posting their own projects, ideas, and problems, should read the aggregator to keep abreast of other chapters. Maybe someone else has already had the same fight with the administration of their school. Maybe someone else is working on a project that your chapter wants to get involved with. Members of other chapters will respond to requests for comment or help, answer questions, support (or disagree) with ideas and actions, etc.

  • Deadline: installed - done, use - ongoing
  • Assigned to: all groups

Press Team

  • Inform the press about what we're doing
    • Dispatch press releases or emails, etc. describing the event, our view on it, how it affects students/youth/academia, and why they should cover it
    • Web site or email list, etc. for students, public to read directly
  • Deadline: ongoing
  • Assigned to: Gavin and Amanda


Someone should be responsible for keeping up-to-date with the latest proposed bills, etc. and organizing responses (call/write/fax your senator/representative, etc.)

  • Deadline: ongoing
  • Assigned to: ?


  • Deadline: ongoing
  • Assigned to: Webteam

One-Time Concerns

Complete Activist Packet

  • example constitutions, organizational structure, etc. of other chapters
  • contact info of other chapters, where to go for help, etc.
  • ready-made Propaganda and templates
    • flyers
    • digital graphics
    • press snippets
  • Free Culture Constitution and current strategy paper, explanations of our organizational and communication structure, how to get your members involved with FC.o nationally (e.g. committees), how to use the blog and aggregator, etc.
  • Tips & Tricks / FAQ
    • How to approach someone and get them to be your advisor (and who to approach)
    • How to get the first four or five poeple you need to get the ball rolling
    • How to flyer, how to table, etc.
    • How to get media attention, how to deal with the press, etc.
    • How to get funding if you have to raise money/apply for money
    • cf. Free_Culture_Starter_Pack
  • Deadline: ?
  • Assigned to: Core

DC Lobbying planning

  • We will meet in DC on Wednesday 2005-01-12 with Public Knowledge to plan an eventual event, where FC.o members will come from around the country for lobbying training and to meet staffers/congresscritters on Capitol Hill. Perhaps these "hill days" could be a week-long event in the summertime after school lets out?

Equip each campus with a weblog

  • On campus Web space if possible
    • Local blog loads quickly for people who go to that school
    • More associated with local chapter than FC.o, more personal
    • Less load on FC.o servers
  • RSS (or Atom) feed
    • Aggregated at FC.o
  • Webteam will help chapters install and use
  • Deadline: ASAP
  • Assigned to: all groups, Webteam

Install RSS aggregator on FC.o

  • Deadline: done
  • Assigned to: Webteam (J.C.)

Streamline communications

  • Settle on a project-management software package
  • Systematically clean up, enhance, and improve the wiki
  • Update and enhance Web site
  • Central location for official documents
    • Constitution
    • Current internal strategy and external policy papers
    • Minutes and agendas for all commmittee conference calls and chats
    • Manifesto
    • Mission statement
    • Official contacts for outsiders & media
  • Comprehensive tutorial for new members on how to use the various tentacles of FC.o's communications system
  • Deadline: ?
  • Assigned to: ?

Get in Contact with Similar Organizations

External Policy Paper

Write policy paper for legislators


Write Constitution

  • Deadline: We will begin working on this at the end of the Spring semester.
  • Assigned to: Core


Revise Free_Culture_Manifesto to make it less time-specific, more open, more concise

  • Deadline: quick fix ASAP, full revision to come at end of semester.
  • Assigned to: quickfix - Gavin, full revision - Core

Make FC.o more press-friendly

  • Create "Press" section on Web site tailored to needs of media
    • Contacts
    • Local chapters
    • Press releases
    • Official documents
    • Info written specifically for reporters
    • Headshots, photographs, logos, etc. they can use
  • Training for members
    • How to deal with reporters
    • How to attract attention
    • How to write an editorial
      • AP style overview, etc.
  • Deadline: We will begin working on this at the end of the Spring semester.
  • Assigned to: Gavin and Amanda

Future Projects

Looking ahead, there are more projects on the horizion to help further our goals in the future.

Free Culture Radio

  • Online streaming radio featuring CC content
  • Will allow listeners to vote on content, with the votes controlling what gets played.
  • Currently lacks a server.

Network Freedom Project

Florida Free Culture intends to challenge the ICARUS system in place at UFlorida, but there are currently no plans for the national project.

Free Culture Campuses

Coordinate an effort to push for freer campuses. More specific discussion and ideas at Local_projects.

DC Lobbying

Put on your evil-resistant helmets, boys.

Promote Creative Commons licenses

  • Possible projects:
    • CC dissertations/theses
      • Encourage doctoral/master's candidates to license their dissertations/theses under CC, possibly in collaboration with Science Commons project
      • Create Web site for CC/public domain/copyleft dissertations, master's/honors theses, academic papers/presentations, journal submissions
    • Free Culture CD
      • Create CD of CC-licensed songs by musicians from FC campus communities
        • Each chapter looks for a local band willing to contribute at least one song to the promo CD under a CC license
        • Distribution -- online? physical copies (where do we get the money?) broadcast via campus radio, Radio Free Culture?
      • Remix contest?

Digitize public domain literature

Donate your time to Project Gutenberg. More specific discussion and ideas at Local_projects.

Create educational resource packet

  • Create educational materials for students explaining the benefits of CC licensing, the public domain, free software/OSS, etc.
    • Content creators (writers, photographers, visual artists, musicians, DJs, filmmakers, etc.): How can I benefit from licensing works into the CC? How does fair use affect me? etc.
    • Computer science students: Why is free software good? Why should I volunteer my time/code to an OSS project?
    • Business students: How can free software and open content help me? Why should I help them?
    • Political science students: Why is fair use important? How did our IP regime come to be? What did it used to be like? How can free software, etc. save the government money and make it more secure?
    • Journalism students: What do I need to know to report on today's free culture issues?
  • See "Lectures and other events"
  • Coordinated by Media Committee but may require volunteer labor

"Be the Media" Project

see Local_projects