Free Culture 2010 in Barcelona

By EDRi · November 3, 2010

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Deutsch: [‘Free Culture’ 2010 in Barcelona |]

Barcelona was the capital of free culture at the end of October 2010, with
two events – Oxcars and then the Free Culture Forum (FCF) – organized by
Exgae for awarding and promoting free culture concepts across Europe and

The third edition of the Oxcars ceremony took place on 28 October 2010, with
1000 people joining the event on the spot and many more watching it live on
the Internet. The event awarded prizes for the Spanish free culture
supporters (such as the academic José Luis Sampedro) and users (Txaber
Allué – an e-cook blogger).

Following the ECJ ruling on private copying levies just a few days
earlier, the stars of the event were the lawyer Jover Josep and Ana María
Méndez – the owner of the computer store that started the proceedings
against Spanish collective society SGAE. Javier characterized the
current situation of the copyright levies by a powerful metaphor:
“We are in a country where blind men pay for what they don’t see and the
deaf for what they can’t hear.”

British filmmaker Kate Madison was another star of the night, following her
implication in the minimal budget fan-made film “Born of Hope”, which
recreated the world from the Tolkien trilogy. The film, available free on
the Internet, had over 2 million views in less than one year.

The first round of discussions at FCF were related to the political and
economic copyright framework. MEP Eva Lichtenberger made an appeal to
civil society action in the debate saying that “We have lost the battle on
the Gallo resolution, but this is just a resolution – so we will need to
continue the battle on the future legislative framework and we need the
civil society input.” She also underlined that the discussion was more
balanced now, a group of MEPs already exist that are not indoctrinated
only by the lobby copyright approaches.

But the FCF focused this year on a very sensitive topic related to free
culture: sustainability. The “flat rate” was the main topic of the
discussions, with opinions pro and against a solution that might require
users to pay a fixed monthly amount to be distributed to creators, as
compensation for the free circulation of works on the Internet. The solution
that might be adopted in Brazil has triggered a lot of attention and
references from presenters or participants in the debate.

But other solutions for sustainability were publicly presented, from
individual solutions, such as the crowd funded movie El Cosmonauta, to
overall approaches, such as flattr presented by Peter Sunde or the Kick
Starter, that had 500 projects funded and over 20 million USD pledged in the
first 18 months of the project.

Alice Wiegand from Wikimedia Germany correctly underlined that it was not
just financial sustainability that needed to be better researched, but also
the technical and social sustainability, without which a project like
Wikipedia can’t last.

The debate on FCF was also broadcasted online and now videos of both
events are publicly available on the Internet.

Six candles for six years to combat digital canon (only in Spanish,

The Free Culture Forum in Barcelona explores the way financial
sustainability of free culture and shared (only in Spanish, 2.11.2010)

The free culture antiOscar reward José Luis Sampedro (only in Spanish,

Oxcars 2010 – video recordings

Free Culture Forum 2010 – Pictures, videos and press