WOS4 goes tropical

== please redistribute ==

Wizards of OS 4
Information Freedom Rules
International Conference
14-16 September 2006
in Columbia Hall Berlin

Four weeks to go till WOS4. We were thinking about holding a beach volleyball competition during the conference to prevent our joints from becoming rusty from all the sitting and talking and hacking, but if the temperature continues to drop at the current rate we might have to do with snow-ball fights instead.

Fortunately there is a tropical wind blowing into WOS4 from the Southern hemisphere. The digital revolution will definitely not be televised but if we believe Brasil‘s Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil it will be tropicalised. How does the spirit of funky samba and caipiroshka get into silicon and bits? Hear about it first hand from Claudio Prado, Head of the Department of Digital Culture at the Brasilian Ministry of Culture. On the final session of WOS4, „Brazil, the Free Culture Nation,” he will be speaking about hacking the government, spanning a network of free „culture points” across the country and achieving autonomy. The „pontos de cultura” will be powered by the MetaReciclagem movement that Felipe Fonseca will be introducing, and, of course, by free software. Fernanda Weiden will be addressing the Women in Free Software Project that she founded in Brazil.

It‘s well known that free software is good for developing countries, because of its local- and customisability, its suitability for older recycled hardware, its community support and zero licensing fees. We will discuss this in the „Future of Free Software” sessions as well, that Linux Weekly News editor in chief Jonathan Corbet is chairing. But what if you turn around and „free” versions of proprietary software come creeping up on previously free machines? Sergio Amadeu who was behind the local telecentro movement and then the national free software strategy in Brazil has the answer: You set up an NGO to train ten thousand young people to support GNU/Linux and then — start an anti-piracy campaign.

Expect a lot of Brasilian grass-roots culture coming online from these „pontos de cultura”, including massively cool music. Berlin DJ and producer Daniel Haaksman has researched the Baile Funk scene of Rio de Janeiro and published a number of compilations. He will not only talk about the culture and economics behind it but also play the first set at the party on Saturday night.

In the last announcement I promised to unveil some of the more unruly aspects of WOS4. In fact, every rule provokes its own transgression. Beyond what is permitted lies the largely unknown realm of the possible. What happens when we interpret information freedom in a radical way, and everyone can actually do what they like? We don‘t know, therefore we have invited radical researchers to shed light on this space of possibilities on the „Freedom expanded” panel. What happens if one starts from the assumption that copyright has become untenable, as does Rasmus Fleischer from the Swedish Piratbyrån? What develops when you connect p2p networks to local micro transmitters? The artist group Bitnik knows a bit or two about it. What could emerge when you open source and interlink the millions of emedded computers that make the things around us ‚intelligent‘? That is exactly what Alexei Blinov is planning to do.

I was just kidding about the snow-ball fights. The first WOS participants from Brazil have arrived already, so we can expect Berlin temperatures to rise any minute. Tatiana Wells and Ricardo Ruiz from Pipa in the North of Brasil have taken up residency at Tesla in order to construct the Berlin version of their Urban Intervention and Information Correction Machine „mimoSa.” They would like you to join them in the construction so that the machine will be ready to record our stories at WOS4. Watch this page for instructions.

If you haven‘t fully planned your trips for the summer yet and enjoy event hopping, take a look at our calendar. WOS4 offers a lot of opportunities for combination with events before, like ars electronica (Linz), the Eclectic Tech Carnival (Timisoara) and the 6th international literature festival (Berlin). From WOS you can then go on to EuroOSCON (Brussels), OpComm (Berlin), Social Informatics: An Information Society for All? (Maribor) or Informatik und Ruestung (Berlin).

You can‘t come to WOS4 at all? WOS4 will not be televised either, but it will be streamed (URL to be announced).
A final word on money. Models for generating income to make free culture sustainable will be a central issue at WOS4. But the conference itself has to be sustained as well. If you like what WOS is doing and are in a position to contribute to making WOS4 happen or know someone who is, we would love to hear from you. Here are a number of attractive options for supporting the conference.

Don‘t miss it. Register now.

for the WOS team
yours Volker Grassmuck

One Response to “WOS4 goes tropical”

  1. andromeda.hyte.de - the weblog of Maximilian Bauer » Blog Archive » Upcoming: Wizards of OS 4 Says:

    […] Mehr gibts im WOS Blog […]

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