The European Thematic Network on the Digital Public Domain

1st COMMUNIA International Workshop
Technology and the Public Domain

Torino (Italy), 18 January 2008

Digital technologies have enabled new ways to appropriate public goods as well as emerging and innovative methods to create, share and use them. Therefore, it is no surprise that technology occupies a prominent role in the international debate about the "digital commons". The technology community at large, however, rarely employs concepts such as the "public domain" or "infrastructural commons"-- often underestimating the complex relationship between technological innovation and today's mass usage of digital technologies.

The 1st COMMUNIA Workshop, organized by the NEXA Center for Internet and Society of the Politecnico di Torino, provides an opportunity for experts and innovators in digital technologies to meet with other stakeholders, opinion leaders, and policy makers in order to deepen and share their understanding of the role of technology in shaping the present and future of our digital commons.

After the opening plenary talk at 9:15 on "Technology, the law and the public domain" (by Rishab Ghosh, MERIT, University of Maastricht) the Workshop will continue for the entire day with three different topic sessions, addressing technology issues, software tools and formats, and infrastructure matters -- all of them related to the development of the "digital commons" as a general mainframe, and the science commons in particular.

The list of confirmed speakers includes:


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9:00-9:15Welcome address (Juan Carlos De Martin, NEXA Research Center for Internet and Society, COMMUNIA coordinator)
"Introducing the Communia Network and the 1st COMMUNIA workshop, with a few thoughts on the road ahead" - download
9:15-9:45 Keynote speech (Rishab Ghosh, MERIT, University of Maastricht)
"Technology, law, policy and the public domain" - download
9:45-10:00Posters micro-presentations (chair: Elias Carotti, Politecnico of Torino; rapporteur: Maja Bogataj Jancic, Institut za intelektualno lastnino/Intellectual Property Institute)
10:00-13:30 Session "Technology for the Science Commons" (chair: Juan Carlos De Martin; rapporteur: Prof. Ed Steinmueller, currently fellow at ICER, Moncalieri)
Coffee Break
Session "Software and formats for the commons" (chair: Philippe Aigrain, Society for Public Information Spaces; rapporteur: Rishab Ghosh)

13:30-14:30Lunch break (in-place buffet)
14:30-14:45Welcome address by Assessore Andrea Bairati (Regione Piemonte, Assessorato for Research and Innovation)
14:45-18:00 Session "Infrastructural Commons" (chair: Andrea Glorioso; rapporteur: Andrés Guadamuz, University of Edinburgh)
Coffee break
Closing session: wrap-up by session rapporteurs and plenary discussion


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The COMMUNIA workshop on "Technology and the Public Domain" will take place in Torino (Italy), at the Aula Magna of the Politecnico of Torino at the Lingotto (Via Nizza 230).


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General Chair: Juan Carlos De Martin (NEXA Research Center for Internet and Society, Politecnico di Torino)

Co-Chairs: Philippe Aigrain (Sopinspace), Andrea Glorioso (NEXA Research Center for Internet and Society, Politecnico di Torino)

Scientific Committee:

Publications Chairs: Elias Carotti (Politecnico di Torino), Melanie Dulong de Rosnay (COMMUNIA)

Organizational Secretariat: Maria Teresa Medina Quintana (Politecnico di Torino)

Press: Bernardo Parrella (COMMUNIA)


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Any workshop material (abstracts, presentations, proceedings, etc.) is provided here and a report of the workshop is available here

Call for posters (closed)

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The following posters have been selected by the workshop chairs

  • DRIVER: digital repository infrastructure vision for european research - Alek Tarkowski, Creative Commons Poland

    The main goal of the "Digital Repository Infrastructure Vision for European Research" (DRIVER) project is to build a virtual, European-scale network of existing institutional repositories. The system will manage physically distributed repositories as one large scale virtual content source. Thus a vision of a system, in which all forms of scientific content will be freely accessible through a unified infrastructure, will be fulfilled. As part of an assessment of current technologies, conducted by the DRIVER project, three studies have been produced as well, which are worth mentioning: an inventory of digital repository activities in the EU; a study of good practices; and a study of standards for repositories.

  • UPCommons - Anna Rovira i Fernŗndez, Universitat PolitŤcnica de Catalunya

    The main goal of UPCommons is to organize and preserve the intellectual heritage of the Universitat PolitŤcnica de Catalunya. UPCommons facilitates a unique access point to all different open access repositories (theses, e-prints, journals and conferences published/organized by UPC, course materials, academic works and videos). Till now, it is not mandatory for authors to archive their works. However, UPCommons is integrated with other UPC information systems or services (like the Virtual campus, the information system for the research output, academical managing tools, electronic ID systems, etc.). This fact makes UPC repositories very useful and is encouraging the university community (teachers, researchers, students) to archive their works. By now, there are about 9.800 documents in the repositories hosted in UPCommons. Besides, UPC Libraries provide two services which are giving support to the Institutional Repository: the Intellectual Property Service and the "Factories", where professors are helped to improve their course materials and to convert them into digital formats.

  • National Database for Multimedia Learning Objects - Elvira Berlingieri, School of Medicine, University of Florence

    The Faculty of Medicine of the University of Florence, has designed and implemented a multimedia digital library storing images, movies, audio files, power point presentations, and so on, all of them can be used freely according to the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike license in all kind of e-learning activities, personal studies and every non commercial activity. Digital imaging is heavily employed in medicine for diagnostic or health purpose as well as for educational one. Furthermore the development of the multimedia in the educational is helped by the Information and Communications Technology (ICT), mostly the Internet. Images of anatomy, pathological or not, microscopic or macroscopic, as well as interactive simulation of clinical cases and movies of pathological conditions can be very helpful for students learning complex situations and concepts. This is the reason why it is important to ensure the availability of digital multimedia resources free from copyright bounds and freely available for the scientific community.

  • Systems Requirements for Sharing Freely: Online Vs. Offline - Andrius Kulikauskas, Minciu Sodas

    We compare two case studies which contrast the systems requirements for sharing freely in the online and offline worlds. Minciu Sodas is primarily an online network that helps independent thinkers. Pyramid of Peace is primarily an offline network that helps Kenyans embrace each other for peace. In the online world, it is easy for people to be in the same venue, and thus to know of each other, but yet they may not know each other well. Thus we organize around those who know themselves and share freely of themselves by thinking out loud. Minciu Sodas organizes its online venues in the "Public Domain except as noted" so that all may build on the work using their own best judgement. In the offline world, people can know each other very well, but not be known by many people. Thus we organize around those who know others and will help us connect with them. Fortunately, the Kenyan mobile phone system allows users to send each other phone credits. In Kenya's recent post-election turmoil, we have sent airtime to those Kenyans who let us publish their phone numbers and help us reach out to those in other tribes. They are able to exchange the airtime for food, medicine and transport. We are thus able to reach the most isolated people and hear from them as well. Both online and offline, people can share freely if they know of each other, if they can get to know each other, and if all know that they let us share that knowledge freely.

The posters will be displayed just outside the workshop venue to allow workshop speakers and attendees to interact with the authors of the posters; they will also be uploaded on this website after the end of the workshop.


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For more information:
info AT communia-project DOT eu
(replace AT with "@" and DOT with ".").

Media inquiries:
press AT communia-project DOT eu
(replace AT with "@" and DOT with ".").

Abstracts and bios

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Philippe Aigrain [workshop co-chair; session chair]

(Back to agenda) Bio: Dr. Philippe Aigrain is the Founder and CEO of Sopinspace. He acts at international level as an advocate for the information and knowledge commons, and tries to address challenges in making commons-based cooperation sustainable. He is the author of "Cause commune: l'information entre bien commun et propriété". He was head of sector "Software technology" within the European Commission research programmes, where he initiated the policy in support of free/open source software innovation. He has authored many papers in computer and information science, sociology and history of technology.

Maja Bogataj Jancic [rapporteur]

(Back to agenda) Bio: Dr. Maja Bogataj Jancic has earned her degree from University of Ljubljana (law, '96), masters degrees from the Universities of Ljubljana (economics, '99), Harvard (law, '00) and Turin (intellectual property, '05) and most recently PhD degree (law, '06) at the Faculty of Law, University of Ljubljana. Her research area is intellectual property, mainly copyright. She publishes in the area of copyright, intellectual property and internet law. She is a founder and a director of the Intellectual Property Institute in Ljubljana, Slovenia. She was a Creative Commons Slovenia project lead and now serves mainly as the legal counsel of the CC Slovenia

Simone Brunozzi [speaker]

(Back to agenda) Bio: Simone Brunozzi is an Italian IT professional, deeply involved in the Ubuntu and FOSS communities, with background experiences both in academia and in the corporate world. He created the BeeSeek project in June 2007 as a leisure activity, and hopes it will eventually become a serious thing. More information is available at

(Back to agenda) Abstract: Artificial Intelligence promises to bring smart agents to assist us in our search. However, the social web is exploding and gaining a significant momentum: peer-to-peer and social search engines will probably dominate in the short term, and big players are acting accordingly. BeeSeek is a small, audacious project for a peer-to-peer, social, open source search engine. This talk will present the ideas behind it, and some use cases to show the potential of the hive approach to organising data.

Elias Carotti [chair]

(Back to agenda) Bio: Elias Carotti was born in Cuneo, Italy, in 1976. He received the Laurea degree in computer engineering from the Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy, in 2000, and the Ph.D. degree in 2004 from the same institution. He currently works as a post-doc researcher at the Dipartimento di Automatica ed Informatica, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy. In 2000, he was with S.S.B. in Turin, Italy. His primary research interests comprise a broad range of subjects, including image and video coding (with a focus on lossless coding) and coding over noisy channels. Recently he turned his research interests to the development of techniques to estimate the online presence of "free culture" digital objects. Dr. Carotti is a member of the IEEE.

Rob Davies [speaker]

(Back to agenda) Bio: Rob is responsible for the overall management and co-ordination of ePSIplus and the project team and for communication with the European Commission. He has specific responsibility assessing the scope of inclusion currently excluded sectors (culture, education, etc) within future actions following the Review. Rob is an experienced project coordinator of successful human networking activities in the content sector at European level. During a career of almost 30 years working internationally in the information and content sectors, including 12 years working at the European level, he has latterly been manager of the PULMAN Thematic Network (2001-2003) and Scientific Coordinator of CALIMERA Co-ordination Action (2004-5) for Europe's local cultural institutions under IST FP5 and 6 respectively, which covered 40 countries, synthesised and disseminated large amounts of information, and achieved high impact at the policy and professional levels. He and MDR were the financial coordinator of the PULMAN-XT extension to Europe's candidate and neighbouring states. Under eContent he has been a partner and key player in the PSINet preparatory Action and responsible for leading the human networking and much of the analytic work in the ePSINet and ePSINet-CEC Accompanying Measures. As a result he has a wide understanding of issues involved in PSI re-use.

(Back to agenda) Abstract: the speaker will briefly introduce the work of ePSIplus, the eContentplus Thematic Network on the re-use of Public Sector Information (PSI). In this context, current best practice and technical developments in the area of easy-to-use licensing and the expression of user rights will be outlined with specific reference to public sector information of scientific value.

Juan Carlos De Martin [workshop chair ; session chair]

(Back to agenda) Bio: Juan Carlos De Martin is an Associate Professor at the Information Engineering School of the Politecnico di Torino. Previously, prof. De Martin spent - besides several years with the National Research Council of Italy - two years as Visiting Scholar at the University of California, and two years in Dallas as Texas Instruments member of technical staff and as adjunct professor at the University of Texas. His research activities are focused on multimedia processing and transmission. He also studies the effects of digital technologies and the Internet on society. In that direction, he has been following the Creative Commons Italy project since 2003, he co-chaired the Harvard Law School "Internet Law" Program in May 2005, and founded in November 2006 the NEXA Center for Internet and Society of the Politecnico di Torino. Since September 2007 Juan Carlos De Martin is the coordinator of COMMUNIA, the European Thematic Network on the digital public domain. Dr De Martin is a member of IEEE and the author or co-author of over seventy international scientific publications.

Francois Déchelle [speaker]

(Back to agenda) Bio: Dr. Francois Déchelle is an independent ICT consultant, specialised in GNU/Linux and Open Source systems. His training is scientific: Ecole polytechnique (1979) and doctorate in Computer Science (University of Pierre et Marie Curie). He worked in IRCAM. He is the author of jMax, software for multimedia interactive platforms. He is the technical lead of Creative Commons France.

(Back to agenda) Abstract: after an overview of existing open source databases, we will present EyeDB, an open source object database that has been used in several large scale projects in molecular biology. We will then describe how a database integrates into a content management system and the issues associated with developing such large scale systems, illustrated by the example of the Wikipedia technical infrastructure.

Séverine Dusollier [speaker]

(Back to agenda) Bio: Séverine Dusollier is Doctor in Law and is Professor at the the University of Namur (Belgium). She teaches intellectual property, copyright, property law, art law and IT law. She also teaches at the University of Marne-la-Vallée (France). She is supervising the IPR Department at the CRID (Research Centre for Computer Law) since 1998. She carried out research in several European and national projects and drafted reports for the WIPO, the Council of Europe, UNESCO and the European Commission. Her PhD, published in 2005, dealt with Digital Rights Management and anti-circumvention provisions in Copyright Law. She is carrying out research in intellectual property, particularly in the digital environment. Amongst her recent research topics are the following themes: DRM, public domain and open access, IP and scientific research, copyright exceptions, digital libraries, patent protection for software, intellectual property and competition, interoperability in IP. She is a member of the Belgian Council of Intellectual Property. She was a research associate at the University of California, Berkeley in 2001 and a Jean Monnet fellow at the European University Institute of Florence (Italy) in 2005-2006. She has published extensively in copyright, IPR and IT law matters. She is a member of ATRIP and a member and administrator of the ALAI-Belgium.

(Back to agenda) Abstract: in legal regimes of intellectual property, the public domain is generally defined in a negative manner, as the resources in which no IP right is vested. This no-rights perspective entails that the actual regime of the public domain does not prevent its ongoing encroachment, but might conversely facilitate it. In order to effectively preserve the public domain, an adequate legal regime should be devised so as to make the commons immune from any legal or factual appropriation, hence setting up a positive definition and regime of the public domain.

Rishab Ghosh [speaker ; rapporteur]

(Back to agenda) Bio: Born in New Delhi, Rishab Aiyer Ghosh is Founding International and Managing Editor of First Monday, the most widely read peer-reviewed on-line journal of the Internet, and Senior Researcher at the Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) at the University of Maastricht and United Nations University, the Netherlands. Since 1995 he has studied and published on the use of open source software in Asia, Africa, America and Europe, and is involved in government policy initiatives on free software and open standards. His research is funded by the European Union and the US National Science Foundation. In 2005, he published "CODE: Collaborative Ownership and the Digital Economy" with MIT Press. In January 2007, the European Commission published a major study led by him on the impact of open source on the economy, competitiveness and innovation.

Andrea Glorioso [workshop co-chair ; session chair]

(Back to agenda) Bio: Andrea Glorioso is assistant researcher at the Politecnico of Torino. His research focuses on the analysis and development of multidisciplinary methodologies for promoting the uptake of copyright licenses and licensing frameworks built upon principles of sharing rather than of exclusion (as is normally the case for property rights). He was granted an MA in Political Sciences and Sociology by the University of Padova (summa cum laude), a specialisation diploma in Information Technology Law by the Centro Studi Informatica Giuridica and a Master (LLM) in Intellectual Property Law by the University of Torino and the WIPO Worldwide Academy (summa cum laude, winner of the Microsoft prize for best research paper). He was the technical coordinator of the AGNULA IST coordination action (IST-2001-34879); technical advisor of the S2S^2 IST-FET coordination action (IST-2004-03773) and of the Cost287-ConGAS COST-TIST action; he currently sits on the management board of the MUSIC IST integrated project (IST-2006-035166) for which he is responsible of the overall Open Source strategy of the project. He is the project manager of the COMMUNIA Thematic Network.

Jonathan Gray [speaker]

(Back to agenda) Bio: Jonathan Gray is Operations Manager at the Open Knowledge Foundation. He studied at Cambridge University, the Open University and is currently doing research at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has a background in the library sector.

(Back to agenda) Abstract: Open Knowledge is material that others are free to access, re-use and redistribute (see We are just beginning to witness the great potential of what can be done with it. Increasing the visibility and discoverability of open resources is crucial if we are to encourage innovative re-combination and re-use. Hence the importance of open metadata for open knowledge. This talk will discuss some of the Open Knowledge Foundation's work in this area - focusing on Public Domain Works and the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN).

Andrés Guadamuz [rapporteur]

(Back to agenda) Bio: Andrés Guadamuz is a Lecturer in E-Commerce Law at the University of Edinburgh, where he is also a co-Director of the AHRC Research Centre for Studies in Intellectual Property and Technology Law. Andrés has Bachelor, Practitioner and Notary Public degrees from the University of Costa Rica. He's been in the UK since 1998 and obtained an LL.M. in International Business Law at the University of Hull and an M.Phil from Queen's University Belfast.

Robert Horvitz [speaker]

(Back to agenda) Bio: Robert Horvitz is founder and director of the Open Spectrum Foundation, a not-for-profit educational and research project with offices in Amsterdam and Prague. OSF promotes license-free public access to the radio frequency spectrum. Horvitz has been involved in radio-related issues since the 1970s, as a journalist, editor, activist and researcher. His "Local Radio Handbook" - published in 1991 - has been translated into 6 languages.

(Back to agenda) Abstract: since early in the 20th century, national governments have asserted "sovereignty" over the electromagnetic spectrum. This idea won international support as a way to control the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company, and it is still the basis of radio regulation. Yet as radio technology moves to higher frequencies – finally converging with "free space optics" - it is becoming obvious that Governments cannot "own" radio frequencies anymore than they can own the colours of the rainbow. Do you need government permission to wear red socks? Then why is radio legally different from light, when both are electromagnetic emissions?

Keith Jeffery [speaker]

(Back to agenda) Bio: Keith Jeffery is currently Director, IT of CCLRC (Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils), based at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in UK. His Business and Information Technology Department provides services to CLRC, national services to the UK academic community and undertakes research and development projects funded by the UK Research Councils, government departments, the European Commission and commerce and industry internationally. Keith has extensive experience in consultancy, project management and product development both within the public sector and the commercial sector. He has been involved actively in EC-funded projects as reviewer, coordinator, system architect and in technical and exploitation roles. He was editor-in-chief for the Next Generation GRIDs expert group of DG INFSO F2. Previous positions included running a Division for Information Systems Engineering, leading a database and office systems service group, running a group using computing for environmental science data storage, retrieval, analysis and modeling, and leading a team providing a computing service to the UK Geological Survey. Keith holds a BSc in Geology, a PhD in Geology (with a very large computing content) and is a Fellow of both the Geological Society of London and the British Computer Society. He is a Chartered Engineer and Chartered IT Professional. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Irish Computer Society. He is a trustee emeritus (past secretary and vice-president) of the Endowment Board of the VLDB (Very Large Database) Conference, and is a member of the boards controlling the EDBT (Extending Database Technology) conference, CAiSE (Conference on Advanced Systems Engineering) and OOIS (Object-Oriented Information Systems) conference. He is a member of the SOFSEM Steering Committee. He is president of euroCRIS and president of ERCIM. He serves on several programme committees for international and national conferences, he reviews material for journals and books and reviews research proposals for several countries. He has numerous publications in refereed journals, books and conference proceedings. He holds the positions of Honorary Professor of Computer Science at Heriot-Watt University, Honorary Professor of Computer Science at University College of Wales, Cardiff, Honorary Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Informatics, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic and Senior Visiting Fellow in Computer Science at the University of Birmingham.

(Back to agenda) Abstract: the e-infrastructure hides the heterogeneity of the underlying physical ICT (Information and Communications Technology). Upon this base, we can make information about research available. There has been a flourishing of information provision e.g. in html web pages. However, such un- or semi-structured information – while useful for human reading – does not permit precise IT searching and retrieval, nor display and subsequent processing. The emergence of institutional repositories of scholarly publications – representing the intellectual property of the organisation – has provided open access to much research information. However, the repositories usually utilise a form of metadata (Dublin Core) that does not have a fully formal syntax (and so has variable structure – difficult for automated processing) and does not have defined semantics (meaning). Work at STFC in UK and more generally within euroCRIS ( has demonstrated that research information can be made available optimally by utilising a CERIF (Common European Research Information Format) CRIS (Current Research Information System) as a source of research information and as the formal metadata to describe the content of repositories both of scholarly publications and of research datasets and software. This facility can then be used by researchers to find potential colleagues or to track the research of others, by research institution decision-makers to plan strategic development of research, by funding agencies to assess the output from their funding, by entrepreneurs to find research ideas suitable for exploitation leading to wealth creation / improvement in the quality of life and by the media to inform the public on 'research stories'.

Antonio Lioy [speaker]

(Back to agenda) Bio: Antonio Lioy (M.Sc. Ph.D.) is Full Professor at the Politecnico di Torino, where he leads the TORSEC research group active in information systems security. This group has taken part to several international security projects, the most recent ones being Positif, Deserec and OpenTC, three major IST-FP6 projects funded by the European Union. His current research interests are in the fields of policy-based system protection, trusted-computing, network security and PKI.

(Back to agenda) Abstract: the talk will give an overview of the trusted computing technologies with emphasis on open-source and privacy-aware applications.

Stefano Quintarelli [speaker]

(Back to agenda) Bio: Stefano Quintarelli is one of the early pioneers of the Internet in Italy. In 1989, when he was still a student, he founded MI.NE.R.S. (Milano Network Researchers and Students), a student association for networking, that built the first Italian independent e-mail network. In 1994 he founded I.NET, the first Italian commercial Internet Service Provider. He co-founded AIIP (Associazione Italiana Internet Provider), as well as CLUSIT (Associazione Italiana per la Sicurezza Informatica, Italian Association for Information Security), AIPSI (Associazione Italiana Professionisti Sicurezza Informatica, Italian Association of Information Security Professionals), Equiliber, the association for a balanced information on technological innovation, and Voipex, a consortium whose goals are promoting interoperability, quality and transparency of IP services. He is a promoter of Network Neutrality and of knowledge sharing. He has been voted by "Il Corriere della Sera" as one of the thirty most innovative Italian entrepreneurs.

(Back to agenda) Abstract: the discussion on the future shape of the Internet often deals with important principles on major social issues like free speech, privacy, IPR and pressure on them coming from TLC and media industries in search for revenues. The underlying dynamics of TLC industry are determined by evolutions in technology and in the regulatory framework. It is important to have an insight of their consequences in the marketplace and in the financial markets, in order to understand how these social issues fit in the evolution of the network. An open and neutral network is possible but it is likely to require a restructuring of the industry, something that can be desirable for the society as well as TLC companies shareholders.

Xavier Serra [speaker]

(Back to agenda) Bio: Xavier Serra is the founder and head of the Music Technology Group (MTG) of the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) of Barcelona, Spain. He holds a Master degree in Music from Florida State University (1983), a Ph.D. in Computer Music from Stanford University (1989) and worked for two years as Chief Engineer at Yamaha Music Technologies USA, Inc. Since 1992 he is a visiting professor at Stanford University where he teaches every summer. His dissertation, in the area of spectral processing of audio signals, is considered a key reference in the area of Computer Music and it is widely cited in many articles. His research interests are in sound analysis and synthesis for music and other multimedia applications, specifically he is working with spectral models and their application to synthesis, processing and content-based retrieval of audio. Dr. Serra is editor for a number of international journals, reviewer for several international conferences and for the 5th and 6th framework programs of the European Commission, member of a few professional organisations and he is often invited at conferences and workshops as a guest speaker. He is the principal investigator of more than 10 major research projects funded by the European Commission and other public and private institutions. He has more than 30 patents, most of them submitted in Japan and the USA, he has published more than 40 articles in international journals and proceedings of conferences and he has contributed to several books

(Back to agenda) Abstract: In the last decade there has been a great advancement in the technologies for automatically describing music and sounds in general. These advancements are opening up completely new ways to access, distribute and share audio contents in the new digital communication infrastructures. The discussion of the public domain is of particular importance in this area of technological development but the engineering community is avoiding it. The Freesound project faces this technological and social issue and aims at establishing a sound sharing platform based on Creative Commons of relevance for research, artistic projects but also for industrial ones. The presentation will make a brief overview of the technologies for describing sounds and their potential and will explain the approach of the Freesound project as an alternative to traditional sound distribution strategies.

Ed Steinmueller [rapporteur]

(Back to agenda) Bio: Professor Steinmueller studied computer science, mathematics, economics, and Chinese language and history at the University or Oregon and Stanford University. He was engaged in teaching, research, consulting and university administration at Stanford University's Center for Economic Policy Research and Department of Economics for twenty years before accepting a professorial chair at the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands. He has been Professorial fellow at SPRU since 1997. Steinmueller has published widely in the field of the industrial economics of information and communication technology industries including integrated circuits, computers, telecommunications, software and the economic, social policy issues of the Information Society. He has also contributed to research in science policy and the economics of basic research. His central research interests are in determinants and consequences of the industrial structure of high technology industries; co-evolution of technology and organisation; the social and economic consequences of information and communication technologies; long term trends in productivity and output and the influence of knowledge and technology on these trends; the social and economic value of basic research; the links between information and knowledge through social networks spanning private, non-profit, and governmental organisations. Professor Steinmueller has been an advisor to the European Commission, National Academies of Science and Engineering (US), Ministry of Economic Affairs (The Netherlands), Department of Trade and Industry and Office of Telecommunications (UK), and the United Nations University Institute for New Technologies (UNU-INTECH).

Kaitlin Thaney [speaker]

(Back to agenda) Bio: Kaitlin Thaney is the project manager of Science Commons, a project of Creative Commons. She comes to Science Commons with a background deeply rooted in news and policy. She most recently has been working as the communications coordinator for MIT's iCampus, a research alliance between the university and Microsoft, centred on education technology. She also spent time working as a journalism intern for Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Arlington, VA. Prior to that, Kaitlin worked as a correspondent for The Boston Globe's City/Region section covering crime, politics, and local events for the paper. Kaitlin did her undergraduate work at Northeastern University, where she received two degrees - one in journalism and the other in political science.

(Back to agenda) Abstract: Science Commons creates legal and technical tools to remove the barriers that inhibit the sharing of scientific information - be it scholarly literature, data, or in the transfer of physical materials. This talk will look at the current state of their efforts in creating such digital technologies and infrastructure needed to better share knowledge in the sciences. Their approach is three-pronged, addressing roadblocks in sharing scholarly literature (Scholar's Copyright and Open Access Data projects), in the transfer of scientific materials (Biological Materials Transfer Project) and also in upgrading the utility of the Web for scientific research (Semantic Web efforts and The Neurocommons project). The goal - to create the basic infrastructure needed to do meaningful e-science.

Nathan Yergler [speaker]

(Back to agenda) Bio: Nathan Yergler joined Creative Commons as a software engineer in June, 2004. Previously he held a faculty position at Canterbury School, a college preparatory school in Fort Wayne, IN. While there he pioneered the use of Python in their Computer Science courses, developing both introductory and advanced elective curricula. Nathan holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Purdue University.

(Back to agenda) Abstract: Creative Commons licenses are provided for three audiences: humans, lawyers and machines. The machine oriented license metadata has recently undergone a makeover to improve interoperability, scalability and flexibility. The CC Rights Expression Language (ccREL) is the result of this work. ccREL provides a syntax for describing licenses (CC and otherwise), as well as a set of best practices which allow software to discover license metadata.