Arts, Media and Technology,
Open Source is the availability and use of free
software, that is developed by volunteers at no cost to users. Open
Source essentially turns the influence and power from the developers
to the users. Because Open Source software is developed by volunteers,
the model for its development and the accountability for its quality
is shared. This is much different from a private commerical company
that must guarantee its product or its product will not sell. However,
as open source becomes more common, community-based and volunteer-led
creation and design has allowed for the user to provide the critical
feedback and drive, in part, the software program's final design.
The Pacific Foundation believes this is an incredible opportunity
to shift the balance of power. Even more, the responsibility for
quality software falls to user; an level accountability that is
inherent to the model. Open Source is not a "fringe" structure
used by engineers as a hobby, rather it is an important part of
our everday internet use. Online behemoths from Google to Amazon
use open source software as part of their core infrastructure.
The Pacific Foundation is committed to supporting
organizations that are working to realize the following goals and
- To develop new tools for Open Source programming;
- To support experimentation with new models with
particular emphasis on the creation of new artwork;
- To ensure continued artistic innovation in Open
- Emerging models in open source and peer-to-peer
- To further the distribution of new Open
Source art that address social issues including open source and
free access to knowledge.
Intellectual Property Reform
Much in alignment with the Foundation’s support of Net Neutrality,
current Intellectual Property (IP) law is undermining free flow
expression and innovation. This is especially harmful to artists
using digital media in their work.
Particularly harmful to new, creative expression is the duration
of copyright protection, which has more than doubled in recent decades.
Even more, new IP restrictions are now being extended to new subject
matter such as databases, software, and business methods. (Open
Society Institute, 2007) This is especially harmful to the efforts
of digital media artists.
“….the digital world is radically different.
It’s radically different because of the architectural feature
of the digital world, which is that every single use of creative
work in digital space produces a copy. There is no way to use creative
work in digital space without using a copy. And thus the architecture
of copyright law, which regulates “copies,” and the
architecture of digital space, which produces a copy with every
use creates this traditionally extraordinary presumption, which
is every single use requires permission.” – Lawrence
Lessig, at Ford Foundation, 2007
The Pacific Foundation is committed to supporting organizations
to achieve the following goals:
- To protect and expand the public’s right
to free expression, knowledge, and creativity;
- To support the development of less restrictive
business models; and
- To support advocacy efforts around policy
and law reform.
- Successful policy reform around Intellectual
Property (i.e. more open and free use of new digital art and ideas);
- Increased awareness of reform issue including a
wide ranging impact via the artwork, including viral media and
ground-up response; and
- New digital artwork created and shared openly.