Florian Cramer on Thu, 14 Jun 2001 18:34:43 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] Ann.: Wizards of OS conference #2

Subject: press release: Wizards Of OS 2
From: Wizard of OS <presse@wizards-of-os.org>

Wizards of OS 2
Open Cultures & Free Knowledge

International Conference at the
House of World Cultures Berlin
11-13 October, 2001


The three day conference "Wizards of Operating Systems 2" addresses
a broad audience interested in digital media culture and the future
of the knowledge society. It will bring together about 50 German and
international speakers and up to 1000 participants for presentations,
discussions, tutorials, artistic contributions and informal discourse.

organized by

mikro e.V., Berlin

the Federal Office for Political Education, Bonn

and the Working Group on Informatics & Society at Humboldt University
Berlin http://waste.informatik.hu-berlin.de/

in cooperation with

Chaos Computer Club Berlin, C-Base Berlin, Debian Project, Berliner
Linux User Group, German Unix User Group, V2_Lab for the Unstable
Media Rotterdam, De Waag -- Society for Old and New Media Amsterdam,
Telepolis, Linux-Magazin, De:Bug and others

### CONCEPT ###

"To defend the freedom of knowledge is probably the most important
task facing us in the future," said Prof. Norbert Szyperski, a leading
micro-economist, at the Wizards of OS 1.

In the "knowledge society", questions related to the production,
distribution, archiving and usage of software-based knowledge become
pivotal. Among computer operating systems -- as GNU/Linux and others
have proven -- free, open solutions are a real alternative to
proprietary, closed products. But what about the other building blocks
of the "knowledge society"?

Radio frequencies, standards and protocols, search engines and archives,
school and universities, libraries and museums, public broadcasting
and the knowledge of public administration -- don't these things also
have the character of an infrastructure, of "operating systems of the
knowledge society", as well? How free or unfree are each of these? We
need an environmentalism of the digital knowledge environment (James
Boyle) with a political economy of "intellectual property" at its
core. How much "knowledge as commodity" can we afford? How much public
knowledge do we need?

The second WOS conference intends to explore routes to an open culture
of free knowledge. It will focus on the changes in the conditions of
intellectual creation of all kinds, the mediation of its results and
their collaborative continued development. How accessible, transparent,
participatory and extensible are any of the various infrastructural
layers? "Intellectual property" has a powerful lobby, but who will stand
up for the rights of common knowledge?


*** Free Software ***

What is the current state of the concept of free software following its
adoption by big corporations and public administrations and after the
roller coaster ride on the tech-heavy markets such as the Nasdaq and the
Neuer Markt? Representatives from HP, IBM and others offer their views
on what to many remains an unanswered question: How can you make money
with free software?

*** Among Equals ***

Napster and SETI@Home have brought peer-to-peer networking to the fore.
P2P currently supports communities of scientists, technicians and
journalists in the generation, collection and filtering of knowledge.
Can we speak yet of a general shift from competition to cooperation?

*** Biotechnology ***

The human genome is being explored by the international community of
scientists racing against biotech corporations -- some to further public
knowledge, others to protect exploitable private knowledge. Biomaterial
and knowledge from patients and ethnic groups is being expropriated
and patented. Are open source genetics and fair trade agreements an

*** The Legal Ordering of Knowledge ***

Global information flows challenge nation-state-based regulation
of copyright, patents and trademark law and tend ever more towards
harmonization. The technical implementation of property claims
hard-codes them into the operating system and at the same time creates
new opportunities for zoning. What about the right of public access -- a
necessary prerequisite for innovation -- that is supposed to be equally
protected by many national laws?

*** Not For Sale: Public Knowledge ***

Libraries, museums, schools, universities and public broadcasting store
and nurture the wealth of common knowledge. Today, public knowledge
resources often appear as luxury goods that in a time of tightened
budgets might just as well be economized -- or even more: delegated for
profit-oriented cultivation by the private sector. But how does this
compare with what the German Constitutional Court called the public
mandate for a basic provision of information?

*** Knowledge Transfer Among Rich and Poor ***

Has the promise of free software furthered the self-determination of the
South, or countered the growth of the Digital Divide?

### SPEAKERS ###

The complete list of currently confirmed speakers is at
http://wizards-of-os.org Here, a few highlights:

Bruce Perens
Open Source Manager at Hewlett Packard, Berkeley CA

Arthur L. Holden
Chairman and CEO First Genetic Trust, Inc., Deerfield, IL

Thomas Krueger
President of the Federal Office for Political Education, Bonn

Rusty Foster
developer of the P2P system Kuro5hin.org, San Francisco

Hansjuergen Garstka
Privacy and Information Access Commissioner of the State of Berlin,

Cori Hayden
Expert on bioprospecting, biodiversity and pharmaceutical
commercialization agreements, Cambridge, UK

Lawrence Lessig
Cyberlaw Expert, Stanford University

Frank Rieger
Chaos Computer Club and gate5 AG, specialist for geographical
information systems, Berlin

Thomas Macho
Professor of Cultural Studies at Humboldt University Berlin

Tim Hubbard
Head of Human Sequence Analysis at the Sanger Centre and Joint Head
of the open source genome annotation project Ensembl, a joint project
between the Sanger Centre and the European Bioinformatics Institute,
Cambridge UK

Brigitte Zypries
Under-Secretary at the Federal Ministry of the Interior, in charge of
the eGovernment projects of the Federal Government, Berlin

Brian McConnell
SETI@Home, San Francisco


The first WOS conference in July 1999 focused primarily on free software
and the open, highly distributed, collaborative process in which it is

More than 600 members of the science, technology, business and art
communities came together in the House of World Cultures in Berlin to
talk about the foundations of the computer-based culture. Since then, a
series of workshops and seminars have addressed computer science, legal,
political, artistic and philosophical facets of the field of topics.

### WOS 1 IN THE PRESS ###

"All in all, one can certainly call the first 'Wizards of OS'
conference, the first in a series of related events, a milestone in the
history of the open source movement." (c't)

"This could be the most important event in years." (Wau Holland, CCC
pioneer in Wired News)

"An important conference because it was not a typical software special
interest conference but dealt much more generally with the social,
political and economic meaning of software, licensing, intellectual
property rights and copyright." (Junge Welt)

"At a recent Berlin conference 'The Wizard of OS -- Open Sources and
Free Software', the techno-intellectuals from the open source movement
made it clear that they are not only interested in technology, but also
and especially in politics." (Sueddeutsche Zeitung)

### CONTACTS ###

If you would like to know more, you can find up-to-date information at

You can receive monthly updates by signing up to the mailing list
wos-announce@mikrolisten.de. Send a mail to majordom@eg-r.isp-eg.de with
"subscribe wos-announce" in the body.

Please address general questions to presse@wizards-of-os.org and
questions on topics and organization to wos-crew@mikrolisten.de.

If you no longer wish to receive any further information about Wizards
of OS 2, please send a brief message to presse@wizards-of-os.org. Your
address will then be removed from the list. Otherwise, you will receive
three more press releases via this distribution list until October.

Wizards of OS

Thomas Thaler, WOS Press

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