Archive:Spring 2005 Strategy Paper

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If you're wondering where all the old text went, you're looking for the Constitution. We're starting over.

The following strategy paper outlines Free Culture's plan of action for spring 2005. The question we should be answering is, what do we need to do this semester, and how are we going to accomplish it? Keep in mind that we will be sharing this with some of our allies, such as Public Knowledge and Downhill Battle, and they need to know how they can help us accomplish our mission.

Immediate Goals

What are we going to do next semester?

  • VIP indicates a "Very Important Project" which is of almost entirely national concern and where all labor and progress will be coordinated centrally. These do not require a local chapter to "opt-in" to a project by choosing to participate locally or by donating significant time/effort (other than the time/effort of standing members of a national committee).

Continue to spread through national and international outreach to new campuses

Complete campus organizing handbook

  • a.k.a. activist packet
  • Responsibility of Media Committee
  • To include:
    • 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
    • discussed on 28 Nov 2004 conference call
    • cf. Free_Culture_Starter_Pack
  • VIP

Strengthen existing campus groups


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!

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.

  • VIP

Improve communications between existing and new campuses

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
  • Web Committee will help chapters install/use blogging software
  • VIP

Install RSS aggregator on FC.o

  • VIP

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 for all commmittee conference calls and chats
    • Manifesto
    • To-do list (evolved from strategy paper?)
    • Official contacts for outsiders & media
  • Comprehensive tutorial for new members on how to use the various tentacles of FC.o's communications system
  • VIP

Defining FC.o

Use Constitution, internal strategy paper, external policy paper, manifesto, etc. to better establish both how FC functions and what issues we work with

Establish and maintain working relationships with other organizations with similar goals

Work with libraries on Open Access

Libraries are starting to really push open access journals and such, and they need our help. Libraries are huge allies of free culture.

Campaign against actions that threaten to limit access to our common culture

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!")
  • 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.

External Policy Paper

Write policy paper for legislators

  • VIP

Organize lectures and other events to educate our campus communities

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.

Music Law Conference at UFlorida

Help Florida Free Culture have a presence at the music law conference on 29 Jan 2005 at the University of Florida.

Promote free culture in the media

Press Team regular responsibilities

  • Branch of Media Committee
  • Inform the press about major events in free culture, even if we're not directly involved
    • e.g. Firefox 1.0
    • major free software/open content releases, court rulings, proposed legislation, etc.
    • 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
    • Even if we're not directly involved, more coverage --> more discussion, more people thinking about free culture issues
  • Guest editorials, letters to the editor, etc.
  • VIP

Campus radio stations

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

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.
  • Coordinated by Media Committee but may require volunteer labor
  • VIP

Promote the production and use of free cultural artifacts in our campus communities and in general

Work with Creative Commons to promote CC licenses

  • 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
  • Compile Free Culture 2005 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
    • Remix contest?
    • Distribution -- online? physical copies (where do we get the money?) broadcast via campus radio, Radio Free Culture?

Digitize public domain literature with Project Gutenberg

  • Collaborate with campus libraries: What are our most valuable collections? What collections make us unique? Digitize them (if not already online)
  • 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, the Campus Crusade for Christ a book about Christianity, 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.

Educate, educate, educate

  • 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
  • VIP

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

Future Projects

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

Free Culture Radio

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.

Anti-Broadcast Flag

We've discussed this one a lot on the conference calls, though the details need to be hacked out.