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Wizards of OS Day One

First of all - this is huge. The third annually Wizards of OS has managed to draw both a profound crowd and a high profile range of speakers.The event took of with a much celebrated speech by Eben Moglen, who, along the lines of his »dotCommunist Manifesto«, stated that the Free Software Movement has brought into reality the tools of liberation. That now there is the moment in history to take them up and gain "freedom now", since: "Proof of concept plus running code equals revolution".

It was a strange esprit d'escalier to hear such revolutionary pathos at Berlin Alexanderplatz in the heart of former eastern Berlin on a event that is financed by the German goverment. Moreover I don´t buy into that analyses of Moglen. In an upcoming book- article called "The Hacker as Avantgarde Citoyen" (so far in German only) I point out, that Free Software is the pre-condition of state sovereignty in the digital sphere, and therefore is the pre-condition of the guarantee of property in the Information Age. Only Free Software enables the state to secure control over his measures at all times, to gain sovereignty in the new space of digitized interaction. Running a state on proprietary software is actually handing over parts of sovereignty to the vendor of the software, since the state and his citizens cannot be sure what actually happens within the code, if it is fully lawful and free of particulary interterests. So Free Software does not overcome the bourgeois society and its mode of production as Moglen suggested, rather the opposite is true.

Federico Heinz from Argentinia made a very similar analyses in his speech during the panel on "Free Software in the Public Sector", concluding that: "You might be able to run a dictatorship on Free Software but you simply cannot run a democracy on propritary Software".

Unfortunately Mogelns and Heinz speeches were the sole highlights of the first day, with the other panels visited by me circling around rather technocratic problems while showing very little sensibility for the normative implications that digital commons might bring up.

Nevertheless Wizards of Os so far managed to bring up some kind of Woodstock spirit with people literally from all over the world meeting and actuallly practicing around the idea of free software, free infrastructure and free culture - it is the volonté de tous in its implementation that can be witnessed here. Especially the Free Spectrum Movement seems to gain momentum in Europe and also in the second and third World.

Today has a promising schedule, most importantly the launch of Creative Commons Germany and I will give my impressions tomorrow. Meanwhile you can access live-streams from the panels through the WOS website.

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