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Wizards of OS3 The Future of the Digital Commons

/ 5 Minuten zu lesen

Digitale Netzwerke sind der Nährboden, auf dem Gemeinschaftsgüter entstehen wie zum Beispiel die Freie Software. In seiner Rede anlässlich der Konferenz "Wizards of OS3" erläutert bpb-Präsident Thomas Krüger, in welchem Maße solche Entwicklungen genutzt werden können.

  • Interner Link: Deutsche Version

    Ladies and gentlemen,

    I would like to warmly welcome you on behalf of the Federal Agency for Civic Education to this notable conference.

    The matters concerning this conference and the work of the Federal Agency for Civic Education have some things in common. We were therefore very pleased to be able to participate in the organization of this unique event. The subject of this meeting is a development which is throughout powered forward by technology, but has, and will continue to have, effects in all areas of society.

    In order to accept and to use the chances for society offered to us by the technological and scientific developments, we have to keep on making the best of these possibilities. That means that we have to produce and respectively allow a maximum in creative and social phantasy. And here we may not and cannot rely alone on market forces. The balance between private and public forms of usage will have to be continually questioned and reshaped due to the forces operating here. Already in the wired internet this is becoming certainly clear by means of copyright matters.

    But here it has also been shown that, given developments as free software, so-called peer-to-peer networks among others, a fundamental social and political dimension of this new information and communication technology wants to have its voice heard. The broadly based possibility herein to remove the strict separation of transmitter and receiver intersects well with the political concept of a responsible citizen. And many political movements are indeed using these technological possibilities. Thereby some of the usage formats have only just been at all discovered. Insofar, the generalization of the media competence and the social phantasy, respectively creativity, is when employing the media a social and political issue for the future as well.

    This also includes the association of freedom of information and freedom to be creative. The equal right and free access to important information for everyone, like as is ensured e.g. in the Gutenberg galaxy of public libraries, is the one thing. Ensuring the necessary room for to bring to bear the full wealth of ideas for to form both our information environment and -architecture is the other. Monopolies make not only comfortable here but also stupid, for they make us all the poorer. Even if we were not be able anymore to imagine that the situation also worked differently. For this does not work without competition and without free exchange of information goods.

    Respectively, this led into another, probably rather feudal and undemocratic society. Here is where also the initative of "Creative Commons" comes into play, which was inaugurated by Professor Lawrence Lessig and in the meantime has found support in many countries. The start of the German version on this copyright regulation, aimed at the general interest, is undoubtedly an important highlight for this conference. It will be an opportunity for the Federal Agency for Civic Education to test very concretely where and how we can use this licence also for our own products.

    The Federal Agency for Civic Education has also undertaken some work in other topic areas of this conference. The book that we published by Volker Grassmuck on the topic "Free Software" has in the meantime sold over ten thousand copies and is meanwhile considered as a standard work on this topic. You can find this and further publications at our book stand in the foyer.

    Our publishing work will also continue to be devoted to the discussion on the political structuring of the so-called "knowledge society". In our technical infrastructure we have also pushed ahead concretely the use of open standards and free software, which ranges from our internet offers up to the IT infrastructure. We are planning still in this year the move to an alternative Office application. We are certainly here not alone in the public sector. Since November 2001, there has been a decision of the German Federal Parliament which requires the government to promote "Open Source software and to provide the requirements for the introduction of Open Source in the government administration". Though something is happening, there still remains a lot to do. How this is happening in other countries will be also a topic of this event and this will surely give us some stimulation for our work in practice.

    Ladies and gentlemen, this event is unique for at least two reasons.

    On the one hand, its interdiscplinary character is unrivalled. Technicians, jurists, politicians, social scientists and artists and others are gathered in the next few days to discuss a topic field which has been comprehensibly chosen precisely enough in order to promise real results. Many of you will experience surprises, will notice, for example, how politically and culturally significant your supposed purely technical and juridical project is. On the other hand, the topic field itself is non-comparable. The debate on the future options in our society can be almost described as an archimedean point: how do we deal with the goods – knowledge and information? This is ultimately a matter of which society we want to or will live in. (Another archimedean point of our debates on the future is in my judgement the question of how we want to or will deal with the "construability" of human life in the future.)

    And here the balance between public and private handling of knowledge and information plays a crucial role. This balance led in the past a fragile but reliable existence. But it cannot be taken for granted. And in view of the developments of the past years it must now be said: it is in danger. This conference will show that it can be nevertheless said: this danger can be averted. And more than this. The chances which lie in having the right social balance are enormous. They could absolutely count among the sunny sides of globalization. If we manage to turn the "Planet of Freedom", as it is described in the introduction, into reality. If we give form to this emphatic term of freedom. A freedom which feeds on the social intelligence of the many. I am convinced: this freedom will be stronger than all artificial drawing of borders and monopoly positions in view of the immeasurable wealth of human knowledge and the insatiable hunger for information!

    I would like to express my thanks to all the organizers and partners for your support and engagement. I wish you all a successful conference.

    Thank you.