Grants/International Forum on Access to Culture and Knowledge in the Digital Era – Organization and Action (FCForum): New Economical Models

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International Forum on Access to Culture and Knowledge in the Digital Era (FCForum): New Economical Models

Applicants: Conservas/EXGAE
Affiliation: All listed in the following link:
CC affiliated? Yes
Contact: Simona Levi
Coordinator: Ángela Precht
Project Start: 2010/10/28
Project End: 2010/10/31
Download budget Discussion

Describe the project you are proposing as clearly as possible in just five sentences.

The FCForum (in 2010 at its 2nd edition) responds to the need for an international arena in which to build and coordinate a global framework for action and a common agenda for issues related to free/libre culture and access to knowledge. The FCForum brings together key organizations and active voices in the sphere of free/libre culture and knowledge, and provides a meeting point where we can sit down and find answers to the pressing questions behind the current paradigm shift of the digital era.

The FCForum, which takes place in tandem with the 3rd oXcars Festival (– the biggest free culture event of all time –, is a three-day event of international scope in which to organize strategies that encompass different solutions and proposals from around the world, so that they add up and complement each other.

At last year’s FCForum we created the Charter for Innovation, Creativity and Access to Knowledge (, a comprehensive legal compendium that has been adopted as a Charter by many organizations throughout Europe and the United States. The document covers over 20 years of legal proposals for adapting copyright legislation to the digital era, and was drafted by more than 100 specialists and major organizations from twenty different countries.

In 2010, a key moment in this historic struggle, it is crucial to generate discussion on how to defend and generate new economic models in the digital era.

This will be the topic of the 2010 FCForum.

It is essential that we provide answers on how free/libre culture can be sustainable.

Many individuals and groups are working on this, and we consider that it is important to display a common front.

The plan is to address the subject of sustainability in several areas and most importantly, we think, in terms of:

a) Economic Sustainability and Governance of Open Online Collaboration

b) New Models of Sustainability for the Creative Sector

Working Areas:

The 2010 FCForum will be structured around two main working areas:

1) What are the organizational principles that can economically and independently sustain open collaboration online? What specific sources of sustainability are already working?

Open collaboration on the web needs infrastructure such as servers, URLs, etc. Several provision models can sustain this kind of infrastructure, such as foundations, corporations, self-provision, etc. There is an urgent need to develop new models of online infrastructure provision that are not based on conditions that go against free culture (proprietary software, non data portability, etc.) and that are at the same time economically sustainable. The idea is to reflect on successful experiences of both kinds: non-profit infrastructure provision (such as Wikipedia), and also for-profit models that combine net-enabled conditions and “fair” profit-generating formulas (in contrast to the new pro-monopoly economies based on big corporations), such as Wikia, Wikitravel, Meetup and Wikihow.

2) How can we stimulate creativity in the digital era?

The most common attacks against free/libre culture are that it is “not sustainable”, it “destroys jobs”, that it “doesn’t pursue profit and so it is bad for artists”.

There is also a need to reconcile different hypothesis on incentives to creativity that are better able to adapt to the digital era. We need to go back to the original idea of author’s rights as an input for authors and for society’s creativity such as, for instance, General Comment Nº17 (2005) addressed by the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. It is also necessary to rethink what the creative community is today, in the age of the consumer-producer, and reposition the cultural industries as contributors to the process and no longer its exploiters.

Working Plan:

October 28: The oXcars

The oXcars Free Culture Awards Festival.

October 29: Stating of hypotheses

The FCForum's system of work is to organize participants into a series of working groups with several hypotheses, so that we work towards creating an overall strategy. There won’t be long speeches, just short presentations of some different hypotheses, as a starting point for discussion.

October 30: Discussion

The discussion will revolve around the points of friction between the proposed models, in order to find ways to bring them closer and make them more compatible. We believe in creating means that can include and improve on all the options, so that they can cross-empower each other.

October 31: Conclusions

The desired results that we aim to achieve are:

- To create a Guide-Handbook for the sustainability of new economic models in the digital era.

- To reinforce and expand on the global complicity and action network that already exist in the FCForum.

Detail the tangible project output (e.g., paper, blog post, written materials, video/film, etc.; this would be in addition to the final written report that successful grant recipients will be expected to deliver to CC at the conclusion of the project).

- To create a Guide-Handbook for the sustainability of new economic models in the digital era.

- Video, films of oXcars&FCForum

-Web site for public consultation

- To reinforce and expand on the global complicity and action network that already exist in the FCForum.

Describe the community you are targeting. How would the project benefit the community?

The main problem at the moment is the fake confrontation between citizen's rights and artist's rights. With all our work we want to secure the collaboration between the civil society and the creative sector and dismantle the prejudices on the possibility for new models of benefits for the />

What is your relationship with the community you are targeting? Why are you the best individual/organization to lead this project? Do you have prior experience in related projects?

We come from the creative sector and we are the most renowned group in Spain in creating shows that reach the mainstream by making visibly the demands of the civil society, related to the digital innovation. We exist since 1993 as an artistic group, and we have lead all these projects in the past year, between others:,,,;;

How will you measure and evaluate your project’s impact - on your main participants? Other contributors? On the larger community?

Our mission is to make massively visible the new possibilities for creative production and distribution on the digital era. We get a lot of attention from the general public, the media as well as the institutions. See, for example, la last year's Press Media Gallery:

How many participants do you expect to be involved in your project? How will you seek and sustain their involvement?

The audience we expect is around 2000 people, like the previous editions.

To all the active participants, when they can support by other institutions, we pay them travel costs, accommodation and meals.

We've invited over 100 personalities among lawyers, economists, journalists, professors, activists, artists, hackers, programmers and entrepreneurs. From the following countries: United States, Spain, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Holland, India, Malasia, Sweden, Belgium, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Switzerland, Hungary, Bulgaria...

Describe how your project will benefit Creative Commons' mission to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) in "the commons".

Through the oXcars&FCForum we practically explain (by showing real examples), how the Creative Commons license work in 'the real life'. The EXGAE (the main organizing institution) is mainly is the main legal adviser in Spain that, during the hole year is helping artists how to use new licenses and 'consumers' to use products in Creative Commons. The oXcars and FCForum are the one year event that showcase all this work.

Describe what technologies and tools your project will use. What kinds of technical skills and expertise do you bring to the project? What are your technical needs?

- One night marathon event (5 hours) for 2000 people audience: full equipment for light, sound and video.

- Three days of discussion on a forum format:

Main room in the central University of Barcelona and in the Centre of Culture and Contemporary Art of Barcelona

All the events will be stream: our crew is particularly skilled on that (the last streamming event we did, we reached over 5.000 people: )

What challenges do you expect to face, and how do you plan to overcome them?

We are a very skilled and trained crew, use to create impressive events. The very major problem we are facing is the dramatically reduction of funding due the crisis in Spain. :D

We count with the interest of the community for attending, we have all the structure organized and, as we believe that future is in contents, we are organizing a very attractive edition. But our funding has been cut almost the 50% and we are looking for new allies.

How do you plan to sustain your project after the Creative Commons funding has ended? Detail specific plans. How do you plan to raise revenue to continue your efforts in the future?

EXGAE is a solid volunteer structure that will working daily in advising and in creating opinion. For its events we will, as always, look for specific funding for each project. We normally get funding from the city of Barcelona and the region of Catalonia.

And from organizations such as SOROS Foundation.

How can this project be scalable, or have a scalable impact?

We have a great impact in the social network, and in both the local and international ecosystem. As last year we left the Charter for Innovation and Creativity to be use by community, this year we will leave the Handbook on New Economical Models in the Digital Era to be consulted, reviewed and used for all.

What resources and support do you expect Creative Commons to provide to your project to ensure its success (if any)?

We already have a a very productive and constant collaboration with Creative Commons Barcelona, that increases every year in the creation of the forum. This year, due to the strong and unexpected funding cut, we really need a financial support.

Describe how your organization currently communicates with its community members and network partners. (100 words)

We use three main distribution lists, a wiki and we also use social networks.