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This section is under construction and is dedicated to the emergence of a Free Culture in and beyond the Digital Commons and for the emergence and strengthening of a Free Culture Movement defending the necessary rights to achieve and maintain such a free culture.

The P2P Foundation supports the Charter for Innovation, Creativity and Access to Knowledge of the Free Culture Forum [1]

To watch first: John Perry Barlow on Defending Free Speech and Creation against IP: Really great defense of the sharing of creativity, by John Perry Barlow addressing a hostile panel at the e-G8. [2]

A good intro to the p2p approach: Michel Bauwens on Open Source Culture and its Solutions for Global Problems YouTube

What we are 'for':

* In a P2P context, intellectual property rights are replaced by Idea Credit Rights.

Contextual Citation

James Quilligan on Redeveloping a Vernacular for the Commons

James Quilligan:

"A New Story -- the transformational narrative which has the power of changing society and culture, along with economics -- is being contentiously fought today. But the fog of this battle seems to reveal only a miasma of viewpoints, which is distracting society to the point of utter confusion. In the US, we see this in the conflict between a fake news vernacular, which is desperately trying to shape itself as the people's story; and the media 'mother tongue', which is desperately trying to represent the interests of a corporate elite. Meanwhile, the actual vernacular of the workers' common tongue has been lost -- besmirched and degraded by low wages and the even lower significance accorded to industrial labor and jobs. This loss of identity becomes very clear in America's present power struggle between the poor white nationalists and the rich white globalists, in which all people of color are collateral victims. In the Hegelian solution to this problem, commoners are now rediscovering their roots in agroeconomy, as they volunteer to relocalize and thus revitalize their communities. They are also using digital technology to support these efforts. But in reaching back to their pre-industrial roots in ecology, while using the digital technology created and controlled by corporate monopolies, our commoners have not developed a vision or explanation as to why they are still so disjointed from their vernacular. They have not yet recognized nor claimed their identity as digital workers. They have yet to develop a view of themselves as local people who are building the cooperative sustainability of their commons for present and future generations. When the smoke of battle lifts, and they fully recognize themselves as embodying the vital force of a new, digitally-supported labor movement dedicated to a sustainable society -- seeing themselves as workers wresting their lives and livelihoods from the local ecology through new forms production and provisioning, supported by digital cooperatives -- the new vernacular of the commons will appear, and people will recognize, deep down, in the very the cells of their bodies, that they knew this all along. Como no! They will reconnect with their ancestors' dreams for the common good, celebrate the joys of collaborating with their neighbors and build a new social contract of cooperative sustainability for their descendants. The irony of the 'commons' is that capitalism has made the commons so invisible and unrecognizable that it has become uncommon -- uncommon not as in something wonderfully unique, but rather low-caste and useless. Here, I think, is the key to the vernacular epistemology of the commons: to turn what is uncommonly vital -- the evolutionary power of labor in the sustenance of life, knowledge and culture -- back into what is common." ([3])


Marco Berlinguer:

"The free culture movements comprise a wide range of experiences mainly emerging around the internet and the digital revolution. They have generally developed independently, but they are loosely aligned and show a mutually reinforcing dynamism – a ‘viral spiral’, as David Bollier terms it.

All these movements emerged as practical and cultural critiques of the aggressive attempts by corporations, aided by Northern governments, to extend intellectual property rights to knowledge, culture, information, communication and even organisms and data. The process has been described as ‘the second enclosures movement’ – the first being the enclosing of common land and turning it into private property in late and post-medieval England.

Following Felix Stalder, we can group these movements into three different clusters:


  1. Editorial by Cory Doctorow: Free Culture as People Wanting To Be Free
  2. Nina Paley: The Four Freedoms of Free Culture


Key Articles

  • DIWO (Do-It-With-Others): Artistic Co-Creation as a Decentralized Method of Peer Empowerment in Today’s Multitude. Marc Garret. [4]

See also:

  1. Report: Thomas Rogers & Andrew Szamosszegi, Fair Use in the U.S. Economy: Economic Contribution of Industries Relying on Fair Use, 2010 [5]
  2. The Political Tactics of the Filesharing Communities: Tactics of a challenge to the industry. by Brian Martin, Chris Moore, and Colin Salter.. First Monday, Volume 15, Number 12 - 6 December 2010 [6]

What do social media and the internet mean for culture and its sustainability?

The Ethics of Sharing in a Digital Age

  1. Qualities of Sharing and their Transformations in the Digital Age. Andreas Wittel.
  2. The Unethics of Sharing on Corporate-Owned Platforms. Mayo Fuster Morell.
  3. Does Sharing Personal Information Create a New Public Realm?
  4. Remix Ethics. by Vito Campanelli

The Debate Around Filesharing

  • Piracy as Marketing. By Matthew Ingram on why artists like Paolo Coelho, Neil Young and Neil Gaiman support, and profit from, the sharing of their works
  • Debating the real economic effects of filesharing
  1. Literature Review on Academic Studies on the Effect of File-Sharing on the Recorded Music Industry or

"Is file-sharing responsible for the slump in recorded music sales or does it create demand? The empirical research literature is inconclusive.

  1. Is P2P file-sharing responsible for the slump in recorded music sales or does it create demand? Summary at: History of P2P Filesharing Research‎. Excerpted from the Paper: File-Sharing as Social Practice. Do-It-Yourself Access to Knowledge and its Relation to the Formal and Informal Market. By Volker Ralf Grassmuck. Research Group on Public Policy for Access to Information (GPOPAI)2 at the University of São Paulo, for The 3rd Free Culture Research Conference. Free University Berlin, 8.-9. October 2010 [7]

See also:

  1. Report: Creative Destruction and Copyright Protection. Bart Cammaerts and Bingchun Meng. London School of Economics, 2011 [8]: convincingly demolishes the claim that filesharing is responsible for the industry's decline.
  2. Report: Mr.Dr. Annelies Huygen, A. Huygen, P. Rutten, S. Huveneers, S. Limonard, J. Poort, J. Leenheer, K. S. Janssen, N. van Eijk, N. Helberger, Ups and downs – The Economic and Cultural Effects of File Sharing on Music, Film and Games. 3-3-2009 [9]: There is no direct causal relationship between file-sharing and the decline in revenues in the music industry. File sharing benefits the economy in long and short term.
  3. Report: Felix Oberholzer-Gee y Koleman Strumpf, File Sharing and Copyright, May 15, 2009 [10] :"According to the econimists of the Harvard School of Economics , filesharing hasn’t decreased creativity neither cultural production."
  4. Report: Mary Madden , The State of Music Online: Ten Years After Napster, 2009 [11] : On the past decade, the impact of file sharing networks produced a very fast musical content dispersion, what has led to a bigger music consumption of it’s different forms.

The Cultural Commons

  1. Constructing Commons in the Cultural Environment. By Michael J. Madison, Brett M. Frischmann & Katherine J. Strandburg. Cornell Law Review, Volume 95 Issue 4, May 2010 (special issue)
  2. Felix Stalder: On the Differences between Open Source and Open Culture

Governance and conflict in free culture communities

  1. Play Struggle, excerpts of the book Hacking Capitalism by Johan Soderbergh.
  2. Considering Participatory Design and Governance in Player Culture by T.L. Taylor: Players are central productive agents in game culture and more progressive models are needed for understanding and integrating their work in these spaces. Drawing on the long tradition of participatory design this piece explores some alternative frameworks for understanding the designer/player relationship.
  3. The Governance of Virtual Worlds. Thomas M. Malaby (focuses on Second Life as case study)
  4. Inequality in Synthetic Worlds. Edward Castronova.
  5. Klang, Mathias, "Avatar: From Deity to Corporate Property - A Philosophical Inquiry into Digital Property in Online Games
  6. Contrasting Proprietary and Free/Open Source Game Development, Alessandro Rossi & Marco Zamarian
  7. Moore, Christopher. 2005. "Commonising The Enclosure: Online Games And Reforming Intellectual Property Regimes." Australian Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society 3(2): examine the potential for computer game studies to contribute to an understanding of an alternative intellectual property regime known as the commons
  8. Virtual Worlds and their Discontents: precarious sovereignty, governmentality, and the ideology of play. Essay by Julian Kucklich to be published in: games & culture (special issue on virtual worlds, edited by thomas malaby and dan hunter).
  9. Authorization and Governance in Virtual Worlds. by Dan L. Burk. [12]
  10. Who Owns the Mods? by Yong Ming Kow and Bonnie Nardi. First Monday, Volume 15, Number 5 - 3 May 2010 [13]
  11. The rewards of non–commercial production: Distinctions and Status in the Anime Music Video Scene. by Mizuko Ito. First Monday, Volume 15, Number 5 - 3 May 2010 [14]

The special case of the fashion industry

  1. Between the Seams, A Fertile Commons: An Overview of the Relationship Between Fashion and Intellectual Property. By Christine Cox and Jennifer Jenkins: explores the relationship between fashion and various U.S. intellectual property regimes, examining why fashion design generally is not protectable under copyright, design patent, trademark or trade dress.
  2. Ready to Share: Creativity in Fashion and Digital Culture. By David Bollier and Laurie Racine: argues that the fashion business reveals a great deal about the “cultural hydraulics” of creativity and the novel ways in which intellectual property law can foster, and not restrict, creative freedom.

Key Books

  • Philippe Aigrain. Sharing: Culture and the Economy in the Internet Age. Amsterdam Univ. Pr., 2011: "What if we consider that sharing a digitally published work in one's possession with other individuals is a fundamental right? What if we break away from the idea of compensating the entertainment right holders for supposed harms resulting from sharing? What is a reasonable reward and financing model for sustaining a many-to-all cultural society? Video


  1. Libre Culture: Meditations on Free Culture. By David M. Berry and Giles Moss. Pygmalion Books, 2009 [16]: "Libre Culture is the essential expression of the free culture/copyleft movement. This anthology, brought together here for the first time, represents the early groundwork of Libre Society thought.
  2. Access to Knowledge: A Guide for Everyone. By Jeremy Malcolm et al. Consumers International, 2010. [17]
  3. Smart Mobs. Howard Rheingold
  4. The Play Ethic. By Pat Kane.
  5. Hacker Ethic. Pekka Himanen.
  6. Slow Living. Wency Parkins and Geoffrey Craig.
  7. Understanding Knowledge as Commons. Eleanor Ostrom et al.
  8. James Boyle. The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind. [18]
  9. Common as Air. Revolution, Art, and Ownership. Lewis Hyde. 2010 = directly addresses the Cultural Commons and the history of the privatization of knowledge
  10. In Praise of Copying. Marcus Boon Harvard University Press, 2010 [19]: "makes the case that “copying is an essential part of being human, that the ability to copy is worthy of celebration, and that, without recognizing how integral copying is to being human, we cannot understand ourselves or the world we live in
  11. Critique of Creativity: Precarity, Subjectivity and Resistance in the Creative Industries. Gerald Raunig, Gene Ray and Ulf Wuggenig (eds). London: mayfly 2011, 234 pages


Two book on the Peer Production of Art:

* Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture, Gregory Sholette, Pluto Press, 2010 [httpp://]: The premise of this book is that the formal economy of contemporary art is dependent upon a previously suppressed sphere of informal, non-market, social production involving systems of gift exchange, cooperative networks, distributed knowledge, and collective activities."

  • Collectivism After Modernism: Art and Social Imagination after 1945. Blake Stimson and Gregory Sholette, editors. University of Minnesota Press, 1997. : To understand the various forms of postwar collectivism as historically determined phenomena and to articulate the possibilities for contemporary collectivist art production.” [21]

Key Business Models

Seven Main Business Models for Open Culture

1. Crowdfunding: pre-financing cultural production by fans, with commitment to keep cultural work open; ex. Kickstarter Ulule KissKissBankBank

2. Crowdsourcing: i.e. opening up contributions to the public

3. Disintermediation strategies: shortening the supply chain between production and consumption; example BandCamp for music

4. Double diffusion: free digital works , but sale of physical works (ex. Cory Doctorow)

5. Freemium: basic version free, added-value versions for sale

6. Models based on commercial restrictions, but free to share non-commercially (CC non-commercial, Copyfair, FairlyShare

7. Gift Economy models, 'pay-what-you-want'; example Humble Bundle for games

More Information

  1. Cultural Flatrate
  2. Platform-Centred_Business_Models_for_Cultural_Production
  3. Project-Based_Business_Models_for_Cultural_Production

  • Mindmap of open art and culture business models, by Lionel Maurel, in French

Key Conferences and Events

  1. Free Culture between Commons and Markets: Approaching the Hybrid Economy? October 8-9, 2010 at the Free University Campus in Berlin,
  2. The Oxcars in Barcelona: the annual free culture awards

Oxcars Award Videos:

  1. 2008 [22]
  2. 2009 [23]
  3. 2010

Key Documentaries and Videos

  • Video lecture:
  1. Philippe_Aigrain_on_A_Self-standing_Financing_Model_to_Help_Sustain_the_Non-market_Digital_Commons
  2. Joe Karaganis on Copy Cultures in Emerging Countries, very clear presentation on why enforcement measures are not working, and why consequently, new laws are abolishing due process


  1. 24 Hours on Craigslist, on the social aspects of Craigslist
  2. 60 Minutes on the One Laptop Per Child project
  3. Another Perfect World [24]: 30 minute preview of a documentary on the impact of virtual worlds
  4. BBS
  5. Blogumentary
  6. Borrowing Culture in the Remix Age: 24 minute student documentary
  7. The Code: finnish documentary about the Free Software Movement
  8. Code Breakers
  9. CopyCat
  10. Copyright Criminals
  11. Delivered in Beta: testimonials on the motivation and reasons for sharing designers, by open designers, 8 minutes, well done
  12. Digital Tipping Point, A treasure trove of archival material in preparation of a full open source movie about the impact of free software and open technology on our civilization.
  13. DIY Britain: on the growing Resilience movement in the UK
  14. From Pamphlet to Blog
  15. Good Copy, Bad Copy and Steal This Film: documentaries on copyright
  16. "History of the Internet" is an animated documentary explaining the inventions from time-sharing to filesharing, from Arpanet to Internet. The history is told using the PICOL icons on
  17. Humanity Lobotomy, excellent open source documentary on the threat against Net Neutrality
  18. Luck of Seven, open source journey through the world documenting free culture
  19. Makers, on the do it yourself renaissance
  20. The Next Web Documentary = five interviews on the future of the web
  21. Patent Absurdity
  22. Re Purpose: A look into the hardware hacking community in Montreal, including the Foulab collective
  23. Revolution OS = 2001 documentary on the free sofware / open source software revolution
  24. The Revolution Will Be Animated: presents multiple viewpoints on copyright in the digital age
  25. RiP: A remix manifesto: documentary on Remix Culture and its Copyright implications
  26. Second Skin: how lives have been changed by Massive Multiplayer Online Games.
  27. Steal This Film
  28. Truth in Numbers, about Wikipedia
  29. Us Now: a documentary film project about the power of mass collaboration, government and the Internet.
  30. Vlogumentary, documentary project on the history of Vlogging, i.e. video blogging [25]
  31. Welcome to the Blogosphere - PBS
  32. Weblog Project


Prado Medialab, 2009:

  1. P2P Networks as a Source of Culture Manifestations in Brazil‎, The Example of Submidialogia Network, by Karla Brunet
  2. Andrew Whelan on P2P's Impact on the Music Industry
  3. P2P Networks, Music, and Generational Cultural Experience


Key Distributors

  1. VODO: BitTorrent-powered distribution platform with backing from uTorrent, Limewire and The Pirate Bay [26]
  2. Miro: internet TV organized around channels

Key Tools

* Keith Parkins recommends Bandcamp and Leanpub as best of class services for self-produced musicians and self-published writers respectively.


This category has only the following subcategory.


Pages in category "Culture"

The following 200 pages are in this category, out of 519 total.

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