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CODE – Collaboration and Ownership in the Digital Economy (2001-2002)

Submitted by on September 5, 2007 – 4:02 pm

Non-proprietary or free approaches to creating and distributing digital tools and content have come increasingly into the public eye. The Free Software and Open Source movements – centred around operating systems, programming languages, and other utilities – have inspired (and been inspired by) a diverse group of initiatives. Apparent in all these movements is a tendency to reinforce the breadth and richness of the public domain in cyberspace. They create new kinds of collective goods, while at the same time challenging traditional copyright regimes, and questioning more individualistic modes of authorship.

To consider these issues the Collaborative Arts Unit of the Arts Council of England and the Academia Europaea, in partnership with the new Crucible agency at the Computer Laboratory, Cambridge and the Cambridge University Law Faculty’s Intellectual Property Unit, held a Conference at Queen’s College, Cambridge, in April 2001. The conference, CODE – Collaboration and Ownership in the Digital Economy – brought together leading theorists and practitioners in the media, software, law, technology and the arts to ask: How do non-proprietary principles contribute to creativity and collective action? What problems may be encountered in the legal domain? Will the current efforts of established IP rights holders to extend copyright enforcement eventually be reconciled with this emerging world of free-flowing, network-based collaboration? What lessons may be gained from alternative concepts of ownership? How can these movements interface with regular commercial practice?

The Arts Council of England’s Collaborative Arts Unit has commissioned a series of new texts from leading, UK-based researchers and writers, which contribute different perspectives and views to the issues raised by the CODE Conference, providing both a background resource and a location for the continuation of these debates. These books are published in the Diffusion eBook format, and are available both from this site, and from Metamute.

Tony White
February 2002

Publisher: The Arts Council of England
Publication Date: April 4th 2001
Series Editor: Tony White
Production: Giles Lane
Design: Paul Farrington & Nima Falatoori

Michael Atavar, Joe Banks, Steve Beard, Stewart Home and Matt Locke.

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