P2P Foundation and the commons

Darren Hill mail at vegburner.co.uk
Thu Aug 19 10:38:50 BST 2010

I subscribed to the P2P Foundation blog by email a little while back - 
I've been impressed by the number of interesting articles and links I've 
been sent. Lots of great thought provoking stuff on the commons and 
other subjects that I'm sure would be of interest to people here. 
Trouble is finding the time to read it all.....


A couple of recent posts related to the commons.....

Video interview: three aspects of peer to peer politics

Robin Good interviewed me in Rome last spring, and the videos with full 
transcripts are now online

As usual, Robin adds great value to communication through the 
presentation skills of his team and himself, so I recommend going to the 
original. All the video excerpts are located there as well.

Nevertheless, here are the three main points I’m making:

*1. First argument: P2P is about reversing the present system based on 
pseudo-abundance and artificial scarcity, into its reverse:*

“Michel Bauwens: I wanted to discuss some of the political aspects of 
peer-to-peer and the Commons..... continues.......... http://s.coop/27v


First open commons region in the world: Linz, Austria

The guidelines for the implementation of the “open-commons Region
Linz ‘demands include the creation of an open-Commons Advisory
Board, the establishment of a coordination center, initiatives for
deals in the areas of education (Open Course Ware) and public
databases, such as city information or maps (Open Data), revision of
the magistratsweiten intranet with the use of open source software
for the industrial, editorial and database system and audit of the
use of other free software products in parts of the group Linz.

“The Austrian city of Linz has launched an initiative to become the 
first »open commons region« in Europe. The initiative is referred to 
stimulate the use of open-access and electronic dissemination of data, 
software, teaching and learning materials and other so called »Open 
Commons« (common good) stored content. Linz had previously taken 
pioneering steps to bring the citizens to the Internet. In 2005 the hot 
spot initiative started, which has been built 118 hotspots for free 
access to the Internet in Austria. In addition, for each citizen web 
space and a personal e-mail inbox is available on the servers of the 
city as well as programs for non-commercial publication of content on 
the Internet.

The open commons region Linz shall both serve public needs and bring 
economic stimulus. *The initiative goes beyond the already existing 
»open source regions,« which already exist in Berlin, Nuremberg, Vienna 
and Stuttgart, because it emphasizes the commons in general at least as 
strong as free software*. There are collaborations planned with other 
regions to use their experience.

Will the insight prevail, that Commons also means qualifying people to 
act as a community and to maintain and develop infrastructures in the 
long run? Or does »Commons« only work as a quick fix being evidently 
clear and working by itself?

The initiative is intended to reduce costs, avoid dependency,
promote local initiatives, strengthen the economy, create value,
establish transparency and legal certainty. »Open Commons, the
intangible common good of the 21 Century has become indispensable in
our society. There are solid technical, economic, cultural and
social reasons,« write the initiators. They rely on the
participation of all social groups, and »it is expected that results
will be available soon, which would conventionally not achievable«.

A case for longer-term observation. Moreover, this initiative is also to 
be challenged and tested.


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