Archive:Local projects

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Here are some suggestions of projects your chapter can pick up at any time to educate, to help the movement, or to strengthen your chapter.


I was serious when I said that we need to do more parties. All of our local groups should throw a party of some kind this semester, there's no point to activism if we don't have any fun. Free Culture Swarthmore is planning a LAN party... get creative!

Campus radio stations

Guest host a Free Culture radio show of CC-licensed music

Free Culture Film Fests

Show a film related to free culture issues at your school! This can also be a good way to promote your FC chapter. (You may want to co-sponsor with another organization with similar aims, depending on the film -- a film studies group, the campus ACLU, college Green Party, whoever.) Possible films:

  • Patently a Problem - Australian film on the effect of biotech patents, the idea of patenting a gene sequence, "closed" rather than "open" science, etc.
  • Orwell Rolls Over in His Grave - Film on the influence of the media on public perception, media consolidation, etc. Might be used as an example of why participatory media/journalism/etc. is important.
  • Doubtless programs exist which deal with, in whole or in part, stories similar to those presented in Lessig's Free Culture - the genealogy of "Steamboat Willie," the legal battles over photography and air space, etc. Who can find some examples of these? The experiences of Negativland? The downfall of sampling?
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Edit or other examples of remixed movies? (Is this legal?)
  • Winners/entries from Undead Art project
  • Craig Balwdin's 'Sonic Outlaws' experimental documentary on negativland, tape beatles, ebn and other free culture warriors.
  • 'Willful Infringement' (site down?) - documentary with Lessig & others on IP madness.
  • 'Gimmie the Mermaid' negativland video actually made using disney's own equipment by one of their employees after hours.

Free Culture Campuses

Make your school free!

  • Free software on campus computers
    • Both official college computers e.g. in library or computer lab and on personal computers of students & faculty
    • Firefox can be huge
    • Create list of OSS replacements for programs students & educators commonly use
      • Targeted at Windows/Mac users -- if you use *nix, BSD, etc., you're probably already well-versed in free software
      • Office suite
      • Web browser
      • E-mail
      • Text editor
      • Graphics editor
      • IM/chat
      • A/V playback (MP3, video files, etc.)
      • CD ripping/burning
  • School documents in open (non-proprietary) file formats
    • Registrar forms, class readings/handouts, course catalogs, lecture videos, etc.
    • .pdf and .doc are two of the biggest offenders... what else?
    • No Flash or other proprietary formats on college Web sites
  • No anti-p2p, port blocking, etc. software on campus network
  • Responsible patent practices
  • Divestment from companies that abuse IP law
    • If you maliciously sue over phony/weak allegations of copyright/patent/trademark infringement, you won't be doing business at this school!
  • CC licensing for college publications, research, media, etc.; open source licenses for college-created software
  • Digitizing public domain library collections

Digitize public domain literature

  • Collaborate with your campus library: What are our most valuable collections? What collections make us unique? Digitize them (if not already online) and post to Project Gutenberg.
  • Work with other campus organizations. Work with the Hispanic Student Association to digitize a travelogue of Mexico, the Black Student Union to scan a slave's autobiography, etc. Be creative! Find students at your college who would like to donate their time to work on something that interests them.
  • Does your school house unique collections of public domain photographs, artwork, sheet music...? Find a Web site that specializes in that and digitize for them.
  • If you can't/don't want to digitize, volunteer as a proofreader at Distributed Proofreaders. (Join the group "Free Culture".)
  • This can be an excellent way to make a good name for FC and improve the reputations of our schools.

Be the Media