SFC NYC

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A page for notes from the Students for Free Culture Conference 2011 @ NYU

Day 1: Conference

9:30 Keynote: Pablo Ortellado

coordinates Gpopai, a research center investigating the economic and social impacts of the current Brazilian copyright regime.

The current problem in Brazil is that students do not have access to books which are too expensive to buy.

The cost of books for a student equates family income. Students, therefore, decide to copy the books.

Brazilian regime has a very strict copyright law which allows students to copy only one page. Copy shops face repression from the police because students copy books there. Furthermore, more than a third of books required for courses are out of print (which is a second issue the students face).

96% of investment is public, the rest is private the private investment are those who hold the copyright

Necessity to reform copyright law.


OpenCourseWare panel (12:00 - 1:00)

University of Michigan: open.umich.edu/wiki - resources to introduce Open CourseWare programs to colleges and universities - open source software platform already developed by University of Michigan which can be used by others at other institutions

Remix idea in open access- Watson taking millions of pages of text and synthesizing it. No single researcher is able to process the information in his/her field but computers can do that.

Open CourseWare supplements, but does not replace education.

CC BY NC license can be a barrier to the distribution of open courseware.

Educators are motivated to publish their work under a CC license by having more people accessing their work which increases the awareness of their work-> more citations-> better reputation.


Diaspora presentation (2:30 - 3:30)

by Daniel Grippi and Raphael Sofaer

plug computers are available, software is needed to run on these plug computers working in Pivotal Labs in San Francisco another issue of websites that only allow users to use them if they sign up for an invite with through facebook- the site is not accessible to those who do not have a facebook account important: users need to be able to move their social graph from one site to another (move their account information)- one does not have to join one website because one's friends are there federated social networking can provide interoperability, which is the key feature to solve the issue above- different users' data can be stored on different servers , but can still talk to each other as if they they were on the same server to get started: pick a bug and try to fix it

Susan Crawford (5:00 - 5:30)

a professor at Cardozo Law School in New York City

very few actors controlling our pipes companies split their influence in the country in the past wireless will not be a substitute for wired access (interference, limited spectrum) cable is being more successful because only it can provide high speed (only cable can provide it) we will be charged for bitrates in the future -> high prices for high-speed Internet access access to the Internet is an essential public good not much supervision of these companies financial charges are shifting from the content providers to the consumers Australia has the best model where a high percentage of people are reached by fiber

Day 2: Unconference

  • FreedomBox Discussion
    • what's a freedom box?
    • UX argument
    • centralized/federated/decentralized


  • Illustrated Law Journal