Thursday, April 10, 2014

Free Culture Baltimore and Baltimore/Maryland 2600

Expected Audience: Baltimorians, Marylanders and those from the surrounding area.

Image licensed under CC BY-SA

I'm still on hiatus, but this is related enough to my work at Hopkins that I should take the time to do it. This is only vaguely related to the law, but I'll be bringing my legal knowledge to both projects, so I feel like it is worth a share here.

I. Free Culture Baltimore is an organization I am starting to bring my local community of free culture thinkers together. The intent is to become a local chapter of the Free Culture Foundation. My last day in my current position at Hopkins is April 24th, and it has been clear for some time that there is not a go-to person here (other than me) for free culture issues. It is not that there aren't people at Hopkins that couldn't figure it out. In fact, the JHU School of Public Health decided to release some course materials under a CC BY-NC-SA before I was here. [I personally disagree with the -NC part of that decision, but they are following the example set by MIT and this is not really the place for a general post about OCW (though I'm happy to do a longer post if people are interested). If you want to look at some data about OCW, I encourage you to look at and contribute to the spreadsheet I have started.]

As with all of my projects, I try to be realistic and not take on too much. Considering my current list of projects (NEF, MEFSportazine, Music Manumit, OSP), I don't realistically see Free Culture Baltimore as becoming anything more than a mailing list. I certainly hope I'm wrong about that, but I will need strong participation from others. Part of my hesitance on predicting more for the organization is that I could find out in October that I am leaving Baltimore in July 2015. If I don't leave then, I almost certainly will in July 2016. I'm sure my move will be discussed on the show once I know where I are headed. I'll immediately start looking for free culture opportunities in the next city, and while their is a list of cities, I don't think it makes much sense to speculate right now (although, again, if people are interested, I'm happy to share).

I do want to take a moment to think big about Free Culture Baltimore, because very few people are going to be excited about a mailing list. I think almost everything I'd like to do is a local implementation of things I'd like to do with NEF, but since not everyone reading this will be familiar with NEF, it is worth mentioning some explicit goals:

1. Get more people using federated social media, such as mediagoblin, which is currently running a funding campaign.
2. Get more people using free software generally.
3. Help creators understand both in- and out-licensing.
4. Help creators with crowd-funding campaigns.
5. Help creators with live exhibitions, shows, talks or however one might present material in physical space.

To be a little more specific, it'd be great if we could get local institutions like the Peabody Conservatory and MICA to release more material under a Creative Commons license. Which institutions end up doing what, if anything, really depends on who ends up joining the organization. I'm new to the area, so my local connections are limited.

II. Maryland 2600, which appears to have also gone by the name 2600 Group Baltimore, seems to no longer exist. Their twitter and LiveJournal are no longer maintained and both the .org and .net websites no longer exists. Strictly speaking, this isn't a music project, but I'd really like to find some answers and I know a lot of our audience are tech people. Specifically, I'd like to know if the meetings still take place, because they are still listed in the quarterly meeting list. I tried to go last Friday, but I couldn't find any group at the Barnes & Noble that looked like a 2600 group. Of course, since I've never been to a meeting, I didn't really know what I sought. In case you're wondering what 2600 is, you should check out the global 2600 website. username: DouglasAWh. username: douglasawh
stativerse: daw

I'm on too many social networks to list them all!

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