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Apr 10 11

Ideas for a Better Internet – a Berkman Center for Internet & Society & Stanford Law School Iniatiative

by malta
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and Stanford Law School are pleased to announce ‘Ideas for a Better Internet,’ a joint initiative aimed at fostering innovation around the most pressing issues currently facing the Internet. We invite anyone — interested individuals, scholars, entrepreneurs, organizations, and others with great ideas — to submit a proposal.
We are looking for proposals that will make the Internet more secure, more accessible, more open, or just plain better — ideas that recognize the interactions of law, policy, business, and code and expand on the notion that the Internet is a global information network. Proposals might address problems in data security, Internet infrastructure, digital literacy, or anything else, so long as they address the ultimate goal of making the Internet a better place for everyone. We also believe that the Internet can be a force for positive social change; to that end, we are interested in proposals that use the Internet’s power to solve problems offline.
Over the next eight months, technology-focused Harvard and Stanford students will select and help implement several of the submitted proposals. We will collaborate with high-profile Internet entrepreneurs, policy-makers, and other interested parties to bring the best ideas to fruition. This is an unprecedented opportunity for developers, designers, innovators, hackers, social engineers, and anyone else committed to improving the Internet to connect with a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary group of stakeholders who will, over the course of a yearlong seminar, implement and launch an idea that will help change the Internet for the better.
This initiative is not a standard technology venture contest focused just around raising capital and generating publicity. We hope, rather, to guide the selected proposal through a holistic process that seeks to connect projects with advisors, funders and collaborators who can make them happen from a legal, logistical, conceptual, and technological perspective.
Does the solution meaningfully contribute to building a better Internet?
Does it enhance openness, accessibility, security, or something else of value to the public?
Does the solution effectively respond to a particular problem or need?
What, realistically, will the project change about the Internet? How significant will the change be?
Does the proposal account for realistic challenges and constraints?
This call for proposals is open to any person or group with an idea for a better Internet and the willingness to work through a project if it is selected by the seminar.
All proposals must be submitted by 12:00 PM PT on Friday, April 15, 2011.
Finalists will be promptly notified following a panel review of submissions. Winning proposals will be selected by May 1. The implementation process will continue through 2011, and will culminate in a public demonstration of the project before leading scholars, policy-makers, and entrepreneurs in early 2012.
The idea behind this solicitation is to get ideas out there; this is not a competition in the usual sense, and we are all looking to contribute to the common good — we aim, with appropriate curation, to make publicly available what you submit if your idea is selected, and also anything we build upon it as a class. We hope that people on the Internet at large will use the ideas you submit as springboards towards building a better Internet.
Interested parties should submit their ideas in 500 words or less at
If you have any further questions or would like to submit your proposal via email, contact us at
Mar 27 11

Einstein University initiative launched

by malta

How the open web can help in revolutionizing the process of learning and the educational system by giving people access to knowledge and through collaborative crowdsourcing

Lots of exciting projects going on within the larger Students for Free Culture network!

After Notes Hub, a  tool for sharing the schoolwork you make with with the rest of the world, comes  Einstein University: a free online    university/academic social network where students and professors from around the world can share ideas, read each others papers and collaborate on  research.

Ah, good old Enstein.

Einstein University aims at being the first 100% free online open university. Instead of charging student tuition like most normal universities, Einstein  University funds itself through web advertisement and uses open textbooks and volunteer professors to drive down the cost of education. Anyone from  any country can attend and all age groups are welcome. Also, since Einstein University is 100% free and open to everyone, there is no application process and previous academic achievements are not taken into consideration. All Einstein University course content will always be open to the public and students will never be charged a single penny to attend class or earn credit.

In the last 20 years, the Internet has revolutionized the ways humans interact and communicate…(read more)

If you have wiki experience and would like to be an administrator,  send an email to
Isaac to volunteer. With your help the initiative can give the 2.5 billion people that live off less than 1 euro a day a chance at a higher education for the first time.

Other projects in free online education

You might also be interested in:

Khan Academy

Academic Earth



Youtube EDU


Mar 16 11

Free Culture Association Mission Statement

by malta

Free Culture Association  is the Malta-based chapter of “Students for Free Culture” (1). The organisation is an international network of activists, students, and policy-makers based on University campuses all around the world.

At its inception, the FCA has these  aims to aspire to:

  1. promote the transformative and collaborative power of the world wide web
  2. educate students about their digital rights on the internet
  3. empower the artistic community to methods of cultural engagement
  4. promote new forms of creativity through the shared commons
  5. facilitate the integration of open source and open standards in technology in daily use
  6. lobby towards a more open academic approach the UoM through open-access publications and journals
  7. stimulate discussion on telecommuniations and Intellectual Property policy and legislation in the digital age from a consumer perspective.


Read more about the Free Culture Movement here:




(1) Students for Free Culture is an international, chapter-based student organization that promotes the public interest in intellectual property and telecommunications policy.


The mission of the Free Culture movement is to build a bottom-up, participatory structure to society and culture, rather than a top-down, closed, proprietary structure. Through the democratizing power of digital technology and the Internet, we can place the tools of creation and distribution, communication and collaboration, teaching and learning into the hands of the common person, the artist and the technological visionary. Through openness, collaborative creativities and the culture of sharing true innovation can be reached



Mar 13 11

Features & News Roundup (7/03/2011 – 13/03/2011)

by malta
Hey FreeCulturites! Check out this week’s first roundup of salient Internet freedom/copyright/free culture related news and features, from around the web.
This list is not exhaustive in any way and we aim to improve it…with your help! If you stumble/read interesting topics you’d like us to showcase in this feature, please email or post the link on our Facebook Group
  • Times of Malta article on the link between lack of access to Apple’s iTunes store and illegal downloads on the island
  • A new report on media piracy in emerging economies is stirring significant debate in internet copyright and open access circles
  • Internet & Society Institute: innovation and creativity should be fostered through openness and collaboration, promotion of open standards, open access, and free/libre/open source software

Any thoughts on any of these stories? Share your insights in the comments below!

Until next week


Mar 7 11

Free Culture comes to Malta

by malta

If you have internet access, you most probably have downloaded or streamed a    song or a movie online without paying for it, and then shared it with your friends.  You do this without thinking about it, without feeling remorse or guilt or even fear at  the reality that officially, you’re a criminal- a pirate.

Draconian copyright law which  calls for extreme enforcement would have us lock down creativity and look away  from the reality of digital culture of sharing. Yet the reality is that you don’t want to rob artists from their livelihood; you just want access to your art and entertainment and the freedom to use technology to participate in and appreciate the cultural commons of your society.

You might think that the reality of students being sued for millions in damages for having used the internet to access copyrighted digital files is something that’s far away from the local scene. Yet laws that restrict your access to cultural and media goods touch your life every day: the rumblings about the questionable legality of Dreambox use and the controversy surrounding the broadcasting rights of sports events are just the most high profile of such cases in a local context. Due to licensing agreements (justified by copyright discourse) Malta does not have access to alternative streaming music and film services based in other countries, and your only (legal) option to watch your favourite film or TV series is to wait months after the original airing in some cases. Faced with such restrictions, what some derogatorily call piracy is a natural and mainstream activity for many. Yet many continue to ignore the power of the web in unleashing and giving people access to what they want to read, see, and listen to.


Students for Free Culture is an international network of activists, students, and policy-makers based on University campuses all around the world. The local ‘chapter’ of the organisation, Free Culture Association – University of Malta, will be holding events and starting projects that will help raise awareness about these issues. As a group, the FCA promotes the public interest in intellectual property and telecommunications policy. We believe that through openness, collaborative creativity and the culture of sharing true innovation can be reached. The mission of the Free Culture movement is to build a bottom-up, participatory structure to society and culture, rather than a top-down, closed, proprietary structure.


You are invited to join the Free Culture movement! Learn more about us, our values and mission by joining our Facebook Group (just search for our name), our mailing list and read our newly launched blog at