Back in February of 2007 I was invited by the Ministry of Transport and Communications to be the only outside keynote speaker in their yearly main event, "the communications forum 2007". The topics of discussion where about communications policy, new action plans and initiatives etc. Speakers where the Ministry's chief of staff, the minister herself, and me. Audience members where pretty much everyone with an impressive title from the Finnish "who's who in telecommunications and media", all the major CEO's etc. Every major parliamentary group had their chairman there, with plenty of parliament members and high-level officials around.
I was with www.IRC-Galleria.net at that time so I had to speak about something interesting concerning it. I went for a dual topic instead: first using IG as an example of brilliant and changing youth culture in Finland, and then bridging that to copyright, IPR and shared creative culture. I borrowed some stuff from Larry Lessig's excellent talks (and remembered to mention it as an attribution :)) and talked about how the youth view the politicians as "dinosaur old farts and the Taliban of creative culture oppression". The main point was; how much the youth disagree with their view of what creative culture means and has to mean. This issue is a lot more than merely different opinion - it is quite deeply rooted in conceptions about ethics and what is morally right.
Needles to say my key note sparked some controversy there, and I ended up answering the minister's questions on the microphone for about 15 minutes after it. Later there was a panel discussion with all the parliamentary group heads in it - some from the audience asked questions about what's going to be done about copyright in the next (elections where close) parliament, changes were promised, as they always are.
This same issue remains today, burning as ever, and the youth disagree with the politicians about it possibly more than even before. Kids are born with no notion of artificial copyright restrictions, and it is quite natural human behaviour to have a read/write -culture as your standard notion of what culture should be, as opposed to the politicians' view of read-only (with their permission) -culture. The massive failure of DRM with music and movies kind of proves that it's not just youth who disagree - it is almost everybody.
Joi (who's an investor in Dopplr and whom I have had the privilege to work with a bit) posted the Creative Commons new video to his blog.
I wish all the politicians would go and watch this, would get to know CC and the issue, and would start to finally wake up and act towards the right direction:
Attribution: Jesse Dylan @ Creative Commons
Full list of Attributions for stuff used in the video is here.
The video is CC licenced with the "Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike" licence.
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