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Lessig on Digital Barbarism

Lawrence Lessig has posted a review of David Halperin's recent book, Digital Barbarism.

Halperin, who authored the (in)famous New York Times article calling for perpetual copyright, has now compiled his ideas into a book. Lessig offers a much-needed critique, including citing misconceptions about Creative Commons (Halperin conflates it not only with "freeware" with software... more

Taking internet to the streets: Burnstation
Bjorn Wijers, Stichting Open Media (Netherlands) · Sep 13th, 2006 8:58 am · 20 votes · no comments made
Burnstation is about 'bringing internet to the streets', according to Olivier Schulbaum of Plantoniq, a group from Barcelona consisting of cultural producers, curators and software developers who focus on community building tools, social software and networked strategies for public spaces. Last night Schulbaum and fellow Platoniq team member, Ignacio Garcia gave a presentation about their project at Tangent_Burn in V2 Rotterdam.

Burnstation is best described as a Jamaican sound system combined with a physical p2p system: it allows people walking by to browse through copyleft and open content licensed, such as Creative Commons licensed music, listen to it, create playlists and burn these onto CD.

As you can see in this movie on YouTube (around 2:16 minutes), the current system looks like a hotdog stand and consists of two big speakers and two tweeters connected to an amplifier. This makes it easy to use for live performances and to attract an audience from those who pass by the stand. An audience member can use one of three computers running GNU/Linux each with the Burnstation software to browse and select some tracks using the gamepads as an interface. Finally the selected tracks can be burned onto CD and taken home for free.

Difficult? Not really, especially not for those who have been spending their youth playing games, because the main interface is a common gamepad found on your average contemporary games console. Even if you have never touched a computer in your life, you'll still be able to navigate, select and burn the songs that made you want to dance, onto CD.

If you would like to bring your own music to share, or burn your CD using the Burnstation you'll have to come to Rotterdam where they will be located till the 10 September during 'De Wereld van Witte de With' festivities or at the Wizards of OS festival in Berlin. There is a full schedule of their tours available here. Of course you can also build your own Burnstation as the software is released under the GPL license.

Perhaps somebody should remix Burnstation with a Freedom Toaster? Now that would be the best of both worlds: free software and free music!

tags: netherlands culture

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