Towards a Shared Digital Europe

Today, we are launching a project that i have worked on for the last 6 months: A Vision for a Shared Digital Europe. I started working on this while i was still at Kennisland (where the idea was born) and i have continued this work after my departure from KL with Centrum Cyfrowe and the Commons Network. This vision is an attempt to set the stage for a different way about digital policy making in Europe. With our vision we are proposing a uniquely European way that refuses to the the digital spac…

Equipopulous Europe

I am strangely fascinated by this map that depicts the European Union as 28 equipopulous member states (although i would rather imagine this as administrative territories rather than as states): Twenty-eight equally sized European Union Member States, by Alasdair Gunn Of course this is utterly unrealistic as (re)drawing borders has been one of the most destructive activities in the history of humanity. So the only way to improve on the current situation would be to do away with border altogether…

Public policy vs. ideology

Earlier this week i found myself in the bathtub reading through this list of voting recommendations by the ‘Audiovisual Coalition/EP CULT Committee‘ on the ‘Proposal for an orphan works directive’. The voting list makes voting recommendations with regards to amendments (proposals to change the text of the proposed directive) suggested by various Members of the European Parliament. In total it lists 230 amendments and recommends either to vote for them or against them. Here is one of them (amendm…

I am a record industry lawyer and I can't be bothered

So one of the more memorable moments of this mornings rather dystopian ICT and management of creative content session at the Digital Agenda Assembly came when the representative from EMI publishing tried to make an argument by stressing that consumers can already buy music via iTunes under clear terms. In reaction to my interruption that these clear terms consist of 60 pages of legal gibberish he replied ‘i am a music industry lawyer and even i don’t read them’, which in return made everybody la…

Rain vs. the border (long live the rain!)

A storm washed away part of a wall designed to keep out illegal immigrants crossing into Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla on Sunday and heavy rains flooded many of the city’s streets (via reuters). Update from bbc news [27/10/2008]: As many as 30 African migrants have taken advantage of flood damage to cross into the Spanish enclave of Melilla, from neighbouring Morocco. Update from typicallyspanish.com [29/10/2008]: Three Guardia Civil were injured in Melilla yesterday when a…

Telecom Package: we are not going to take it

The French/European advocacy group La Quadrature du Net (Squaring the Net) has issued an urgent appeal to act against a number of entertainment industry sponsored amendments to the legislative undertaking to reform the European law on electronic communications (“Telecoms Package”) which are currently being discussed by the European Parliament in Brussels. These amendments are aimed at closing the open architecture of the Internet and to introduce more control and surveillance of users as well as…

Re-erecting the border fences to combat piracy?

Yesterday a number of eastern european countries (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia & Slovenia) implemented the schengen agreement, by removing border control posts on the internal Schengen border crossings. Of course this does not mean that there will be no more border controls between these countries as there will be ‘random’ border police checks up to 30km away from the actual border. As we have argued before the Schengen agreement is not so much…

EU also sponsors trash bins

I had noticed the questionable priorities of the EUs ‘reconstruction’ efforts in south lebanon when I was down there in January. Now bech over at remarkz confirms (the rest of his post is pretty interesting as well) that there indeed some unusually incompetent people at work for the EU in south Lebanon: not only do they waste their money on street lighting, they also seem to sponsor all the trash bins: The Iranians make themselves visible all right from billboards in villages they financed recon…

Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)

I have just finished uploading my pictures from last weeks trip to lebanon to my flickr account. Among them are five or so that show massive energy saving light-bulbs (or CFLs as they are officially known) used for outdoor lighting of shops and a gas station. This is a trend that i had already noticed last December in China (not sure if in India): Energy efficient CFLs seem to be all over the place in areas like the Pearl River Delta with it’s rapidly growing energy consumption or Lebanon,…