A coalition of a hundred representatives from over 20 countries gathered in Barcelona this fall to protect the rights of citizens and artists by drafting the Charter of the Culture Forum of Barcelona for Innovation, Creativity and Access to Knowledge.
The Barcelona Charter campaign came in response to the number of regulatory initiatives proposed by the European Parliament and other governing bodies to limit the use of the Internet by expanding copyright and patent rights, criminalizing copying and sharing (also called “piracy”) and otherwise limiting the expansion and expression of free culture.
Representatives of the Barcelona Charter campaign urged governments to extend the rights that are currently offered to private markets to the area of digital technology in order to serve the common good. Protecting the rights and well-being of artists, researchers, authors and other creative producers, the Charter outlines and describes possible ways of rewarding creation and innovation. Citing Free and Open Source software, as well as Wikepedia among others, the charter explains how the model of Free Culture can be sustaining and vital to innovation and creativity.
Further examples of a sustainable economy are mentioned in the Charter such as the establishment of timebanks, money-less bartering of services and goods, as well as peer-to-peer banking, the coining of virtual money and consumer co-ops. As noted in the Charter’s introduction, a combination of these options is becoming more available and viable to independent creators as well as industries.
The digital era, in the group's opinion, holds a promising place in society by increasing justice and fair compensation for all, where the needs of the common good should be protected.
The campaign plans to make a special appeal to the Spanish government, in which regulation of digital technology has become a main issue in the upcoming presidency of the European Union. The charter will also be presented to more than 1,000 institutions and governments, including the World Intellectual Property Organization, the Obama Administration, the European Commission and other national governments.
Image "Addiction 2, Computer" by aftab courtesy of Creative Commons on Flickr.Tweet