Monthly Archives: September 2012

OK Fest Slides: Open Hardware Cultural and Legal debates

I have just finished a talk with Juergen Neumann and Dannie Jost here at the Open Knowledge Festival in Helsinki. We are continuing a discussion that we have been having for a few years now concerning the community and cultural responses to the ‘new industrial revolution’ that is emerging from technological changes including rapid prototyping, globally accessible knowledge via the internet, and shifts in expectations about intellectual property.

My presentation commented on the range of cultures and practices that are part of ‘Open Hardware’ movements and practices, and some of the debates about standards and licenses that turn up as a result.

Here are the slides:

OKFest law slides

What I’ve been up to (Status presentation to Network of Excellence Working Groups – Torino, Sept 2012)

I’m in Torino, Italy for a project meeting of the Standards, Regulation and Governance working group of the European Network of Excellence on Internet Science. We were asked to highlight what we’ve been working on as part of the project, and so I came up with a few highlights of the things I’ve done and will keep on doing as part of the project.

1. Open Internet

a. I’ve given a series of talks on the notion of the ‘open internet’ and how the architecture and standards of mobile devices differs.

b. I’m going to be working more on this in the next year or so, focusing on the social significance of differing standards for mobile and ‘wired’ internet access technologies.

2. Standards and Legal Frameworks for Open Hardware

a. In March, I presented a summary of a few different legal approaches to open hardware, at the Open Rights Group’s OrgCon, as part of a discussion with legal expert Andrew Katz. There is audio here, as part of documentation taken by spaceBench.

b. I’m taking an updated version of the discussion document/presentation to the Open Knowledge Festival in Helsinki.

c. I published a paper in Media, Culture and Society (ironically, a closed source journal; the next one will be open source, I promise):

Democratizing production through open source knowledge: from open software to open hardware

which looks at how commercial success is one of the ways that the impact of open source software is considered (here’s one of many examples)

The paper is based on some in-depth work with the Open Hardware and Design Alliance (here we are in Bergen, Norway running a workshop)

I’ll be continuing to work on updating the list of relevant standards, situating the debates within the current literature on standards.

3. Internet Activism

a. I’m working on a paper attempting to assess the impact of online activism against the SOPA/PIPA laws, looking at how the language used in mass media illustrates the influence of the campaigns.

b. This paper follows on from a paper on WikiLeaks I presented last year, a version of which appears in a nice book edited by Ian Brown called Research Handbook on Governance of the Internet.

4. Baby H!

I’m still on maternity leave until November, but after that will be concentrating even harder on these big questions. . . .