4th International Semantic Web Conference

ISWC 2005 is starting today in Galway, Ireland and runs until Thursday. There is an impressive programme. The registration fee is a bit hefty, but if you have deep pockets and are around those parts, I’m sure it would be well worth a visit.

Galway is one of my favourite parts of Ireland. I used to go there a lot in my student days when I had loads of free time. There’s aways a good time to be had, and it’s a good base point for exploring the wild atlantic coast, with worthwhile trips all the way from Clare up to Donegal, not to mention the wonderful Aran Islands.

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Creative Commons Slovenia Licenses Launch

Yesterday I attended the CC Licenses Launch as part of the Festival of Creativity and Free Culture. It took place in the Cankarjev Dom (Congress and Cultural Centre) in Ljubljana. And a fine event it was.

Some highlights:

  • Classical music and computer electronica performed together in an intrigueing performance.
  • Lawrence Lessig talked about culture. The main models of culture over the last couple of centuries, how they intermingle, and what does the future hold. For a large part of the 20th century we were sold culture as a pre-wrapped commodity. The 21st century is an opportunity to give power back to the artist, and make culture more participatory for everyone. Technology and the CC are helping in this process.
  • A funny promo film for ljudmila.org (ljubljana digital media lab). The film was later ceremoniously licensed under a new Slovene CC license.
  • Ronaldo Lemos, the CC Brazil lead, talking about how current copyright laws are failing Brazilian artists badly (e.g. only 25 CDs of Brazilian music released between Jan-Jun 2005 by the major labels there in a country of 180 million people), and how CC projects are finding ways to circumvent this to give a true expression and representaion of Brazilan culture
  • Juan Carlos de Martin of CC Italy in the state of affairs there 1 year after launch. Their profile was raised enormously earlier in the year when Beppe Grillo, a comedian and commentator on all aspects of life in Italy, licensed his blog under the CC. Aparantly it is one of the top blogs in the world.
  • Tomislav Medak from Croatia talked about the challenge there being to bring works out of the ‘infosphere’ and into the mainstream.
  • Some presentations and performances of projects in Slovenia already published under a CC license. The include the Slovene Language idiom site www.razvezanijezik.org (Tongue Unleased) and a performance from the electronica group Random Logic that blew me away.

One of the nice things was that most of the laptops hooked up for presentations/demos/site previews, no matter what platform, were running Firefox. Tech-savvy people run Firefox, sure, but so do artists! And at the party later in the evening, I talked to some of the folks from Ljudmila and Cyberpipe, and they are writing their own in-house XUL applications. Luka Frelih from Ljudmila lamented how out of date the CAWM book is out of date, but agreed the Mozilla Platform was immature back then. He raved about how useful Neil Deakin’s recent ‘How Templates Work‘ series on XULPlanet. Here here.

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