Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Gadding About for Fun and Profit, oops, non-profit..

Having not yet opened my suitcase from last (highly stimulating and not at all sunny:-) jaunt to Malta, I have to admit that this conference upcoming in June is very tempting. And not only because it's being held in Rio:-)

"The aim of iCommons reaches far beyond the infrastructure that CC is building. The aim of the iSummit is to bring together a wide range of people in addition the CC crowd - including Wikipedians, Free Software sorts, the Free Culture kids, A2K heroes, Open Access advocates, and others -- to "to inspire and learn from one another and establish closer working relationships around a set of incubator projects." iCommons has a separate board from Creative Commons -- Joi Ito is its chair -- and its ultimate mission (in addition to this annual moveable feast of commons conversation) will be determined by the conversation that will continue in Rio." See further Lessig blog.

Having just come from the launch of Creative Commons Malta with that self same Lessig in attendance(at, uh, that conference mentioned in the previous item with the name that sounds like a skin disease), I was becoming a mite cynical about how much I actually still had to learn about CC and its international progeny. It's a lovely idea for a religion (as Ron Hubbard is once said to have declared in another context), but as far as actual law goes, it's just software licenses after all - would it go down as well with the great washed open source yoof if it was called Just Another Type of Licensing, rather than the much groovier Creative Commons? (I may yet write my paper on this for GikII, Martina...!)

But the move towards collaborative creation of, and open access to, knowledge in general - and the future of wikis and Wikipedia in particular - is something that I think is becoming of crucuial importance in the development of the Web and the nurturing of knowledge - including legal knowledge. So maybe I'll go after all.

And IT law conferences are like buses - no good ones for ages then three come along in one month. Having already decided I really don't have time for the The First International Conference on Legal, Security and Privacy Issues in IT, April 30- May 3, 2006, Hamburg, Germany, I now get an invite (at BILETA - no website I can find yet) to the even more enticing LEFIS Monitoring and Supervision Workshop in Rotterdam in - guess when - June!

Good thing my union is on strike so with any luck we won't be marking any poxy exams in June, huh?

**EDIT: In the interests of fairness and open access!, I should add details of yet another victim (for me) of the June pile up, namely IT and the Legal Learning Space,
The 9th bi-annual conference on Substantive Technology in the Law School, Oslo Thursday 29, Friday 30 June and Saturday 1 July 2006. In the past this conference (colloquially known as Subtech ) has been one of the higlights of the acdemic year, and this year it is to be run by the Oslo people and that colossus of the field , Jon Bing - I hate to face the reality that this year, I just can't prioritise over at least 2 of the 3 others listed above..

And it doesn't end there. July 10th-11th 2006 sees another goody, the Unlocking IP conference in UNSW, Sydney, Australia, courtesy of the ever energetic Graham Greenleaf and his team at AustLII. It's going to be a long hot summer for (well funded and time-rich) open source/creative commons mavens: if they don't change the world they should at least come home with a tan and knowing how to (a) light a barbie and (b)salsa..