[p2p-research] Building Alliances

Kevin Flanagan kev.flanagan at gmail.com
Fri Nov 6 14:20:00 CET 2009

Hi Ryan,

On morality. Im not sure there is any such thing as clean money in
capitalist society. Come on theres lots of P2P practices and commons
based production financed by both private and public money.

Many governments already allocate a percentage of their annual budgets
to support cultural work. There are huge numbers of artists, musicians
and actors, writers, galleries, theatres, films,  that would never get
their feet off the ground without massive state subsidy. Many sports
too are highly subsidised.
An awful lot of 'culture' gets produced in this way. Why not the commons?

The BBC is a state funded broadcaster. Wouldnt it be great if BBC
programming was released with something like a Creative Commons
licence. So that the public who paid for it could share it and build
upon it freely. There has already been some experimentation with this
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/creativearchive/

My point is that there are already existing state infrastructure and
getting the likes of the arts councils to recognize the value of the
commons and to actively promote it among cultural producers would be a
big deal.
Im not saying this would bring about a P2P society, but even a small
change in government policy in support of commons based production
would set a precedent and open up the possibilities for broader
support in future.

Sure there is always the problem of state dependency. But the great
thing about building a commons is that what you build stays in common.
So Any funding that helps build the commons is a good investment and
in my opinion could be shown to be money better spent than what gets
spent on some arts projects these days.


Kevin F

On Fri, Nov 6, 2009 at 11:48 AM, Ryan Lanham <rlanham1963 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Wouldn't it be immoral for people who believe in P2P to take money from tax
> payers who are mostly the selfish rich and corporations?
> Ryan
> On Fri, Nov 6, 2009 at 6:28 AM, Kevin Flanagan <kev.flanagan at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Hey Paul,
>> State support for the arts is common in europe.
>> Im most familiar with the Irish and UK Arts Councils.
>> Im not advocating further state support for 'artists'.
>> Im interested in putting together an strong argument for state support
>> for free culture and hacker spaces.
>> Using already in place institutions and infrastructure such as arts
>> councils.
>> I support the idea of a basic income for all.
>> But Im suggesting what I see as a practical and achievable short term
>> goal.
>> If we could specifically get these institutions to recognise the
>> social value and put in policy the importance of commons oriented
>> production for free culture and hacker spaces then maybe in time we
>> can get the state to recognize the value and importance of commons
>> based production on a broader scale.
>> Lets get these arts councils to expand their remit to support
>> specifically free culture and hacker spaces.
>> Surely we can show how the skills developed in hack labs are useful
>> and transferable and worth state economic investment. Hacker spaces in
>> in disadvantaged communities could be a great outlet for young people.
>> I dont have time to look up a good links at the moment because I have to
>> go now.
>> For example it would be nice to see some research on how Brazil has
>> got on with its effort in supporting acces to digital technology.
>> Brazilian minister for digital culture Gilberto Gill supporting the
>> creation of 650 cultural spaces giving citizens access to computers
>> cameras to share music and culture.
>> http://news.cnet.com/8301-10784_3-9786370-7.html
>> Ok Im off for now.
>> Kevin F
>> On Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 6:07 PM, Paul D. Fernhout
>> <pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:
>> > Kevin-
>> >
>> > As I see it, more support for the arts is a good idea, but a
>> > half-measure.
>> > As you say at the end, we could look at expanding it to all sorts of
>> > commons
>> > production, but it is hard to judge what is "worthy". A "basic income"
>> > for
>> > all is probably a better general solution than trying to decide what
>> > projects a person wants to do are worthy of support. References:
>> >  http://www.basicincome.org/bien/aboutbasicincome.html
>> >  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_income
>> >  http://www.usbig.net/whatisbig.html
>> >
>> > A basic income just for "artists" is possible:
>> >  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_income_in_the_Netherlands
>> > but in the end, is a mother or father any less an artist for helping
>> > sculpt
>> > a young life than someone who works in clay and sculpts statues? And, it
>> > is
>> > hard to judge a person's worth or a project's worth at the time. It may
>> > only
>> > become clear 1000 years later if something is "worthwhile". And besides,
>> > worthwhile to whom? Maybe it is enough that an individual's life is
>> > worthwhile to themselves?
>> >
>> > For me, a big changeover point is if everyone could get laws about a
>> > basic
>> > income passed everywhere. So, rather than have artists fighting against
>> > mothers and fathers and mimes and songwriters and so on over who should
>> > get
>> > the most subsidies, we have both working together, as an alliance, to
>> > have a
>> > basic income for artists, mothers, fathers, writers, journalists, mimes,
>> > and
>> > everyone else, even rich CEOs.
>> >
>> > It's been said:
>> >  http://quotationsbook.com/quote/31495/
>> > "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the
>> > poor, to
>> > sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets and to steal bread. "
>> >
>> > Well, a basic income, in its majestic equality, allows both the rich as
>> > well
>> > as the poor to paint local bridges, to mime in the streets, and to give
>> > away
>> > home-baked bread. :-) Maybe financially obese people won't want to do
>> > those
>> > things compared to poor people who know how important those things are,
>> > but
>> > with a basic income, rich people could. :-)
>> >
>> > See also:
>> > "[p2p-research] Basic income from a millionaire's perspective?"
>> >
>> > http://listcultures.org/pipermail/p2presearch_listcultures.org/2009-August/003949.html
>> >
>> > Is it possible you could make some freely licensed art about that issue?
>> > :-)
>> >
>> > --Paul Fernhout
>> > http://www.pdfernhout.net/
>> >
>> > Kevin Flanagan wrote:
>> >>
>> >> Hello,
>> >>
>> >> It was great to finally get to meet some of you in person at media
>> >> ecologies.
>> >> I have some suggestions and questions regarding building alliances
>> >> that Id be interested in thrashing out here on the list.
>> >> My question here is how can we incentivize government to support the
>> >> building and protection of the commons?
>> >> My suggestion is this -
>> >> As an artist Ive been involved in and worked with several artist led
>> >> organisations. Most of these organisations could not survive without
>> >> government subsidy through bodies such as arts councils. Naturally
>> >> there is pressure from government on arts councils and hence on
>> >> artists and arts organisations to be accountable for this investment.
>> >> In order to receive financial support artists and arts organisations
>> >> are required to fulfill certain criteria to prove the social value of
>> >> their work. So the better an organisation is at proving the social
>> >> value of their work the more likely it is that they will receive
>> >> support. This means that lots of artists end up working to governments
>> >> agenda through Public Art and Community Arts projects. Maybe this
>> >> sounds a bit harsh but sometimes I think of community arts as a kind
>> >> of goverment funded social band aid for disadvantaged communities. The
>> >> criteria for funding are usually that such projects support , social
>> >> inclusion, multiculturalism, intercultural relations. Often what is
>> >> produced in the creative process if immaterial affect so its not
>> >> always easy to show how these arts projects fulfill these criteria.
>> >> What Im wondering is can free culture centers, hack\fab labs, maker
>> >> clubs, do this better. I think so. The added advantage of such centres
>> >> is eductaion in transferable skills. Goverment likes transferable
>> >> skills that help peoples job prospects. Whether in electronics,
>> >> programming, media. Some research into how the EU and UNESCO promote
>> >> social inclusion through culture would be useful. Are these policies
>> >> IP biased? Can we as advocates of free culture and the commons propose
>> >> ammendments or new policies that incentivize governments to provide
>> >> financial support for free culture spaces, hack labs and to recognize
>> >> the intercultural importance of the shared commons oriented production
>> >> of these spaces? Any ideas who might already be working on this?
>> >> Existing models perhaps that can be used as examples?
>> >> How might dialogue about the commons interface with current thinking
>> >> on multiculturalism? Does breaking down financial barriers to entry
>> >> promote social inclusion locally, nationally, internationally? Of
>> >> course but how do we measure this?
>> >> I dont know how this sounds or even if its interesting but I thought
>> >> Id just put it out there.
>> >> Maybe the the current system of support for the arts is one to look at
>> >> expanding for supporting the commons based production? Maybe alliances
>> >> can be built with existing cultural organisations?
>> >>
>> >> Best
>> >>
>> >> Kevin F
>> >>
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>> >>
>> >>
>> >
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> --
> Ryan Lanham
> rlanham1963 at gmail.com
> Facebook: Ryan_Lanham
> P.O. Box 633
> Grand Cayman, KY1-1303
> Cayman Islands
> (345) 916-1712

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