Tools needed to preserve the public domain

Discussion in 'Perl Misc' started by David Tannenbaum, Feb 8, 2004.

  1. Hi all,

    I've just started working with an organization called the Union for the
    Public Domain that is organizing to preserve the public domain in a
    broad range of sectors. We are creating tools tools for online
    organizing, and I was wondering if anyone on this list might be
    interested in helping?

    The Union for the Public Domain (UPD) is a non-profit membership
    organization whose mission is to protect and enhance the public domain
    in matters concerning intellectual property. UPD has a very broad
    mission and we plan to work on a whole swathe of issues, from software,
    to access to textbooks, to webcasting, to essential medicines. There are
    a lot of groups working on these issues now, but they rarely leverage
    each other's power in numbers. We are hoping to build some coordination.

    The other goal is to broaden the circle of activists working on IP, to
    include the more general public, which is affected by IP law and threats
    to the public domain, but doesn't really understand either enough to
    care (yet). We want to make the issues palatable so people understand
    them, and create a "politics of IP," much like there is now a politics
    of environmentalism.

    The board of directors as it stands now includes Richard Stallman, Jamie
    Love, who runs a group called the Consumer Project on Technology, Robin
    Gross of IP Justice and Robert Weissman. The group was first started
    approximately 8 years ago, but has been dormant for nearly as long, and
    I've been hired part-time to restart it. We need all the help we can get.

    We have a website ( and a listserve, but
    not much else at this point. We want to be as creative as possible in
    using online tools to mobilize the grassroots. The most pressing
    projects are:

    - Setting up a database of members, volunteers, media outlets, allies,
    that would be accessible via a web interface, and could do things like
    generate action alerts to members based on their geographical location
    and other relevant characteristics. We are likely to use Perl and MySQL
    to do this.

    - Setting up tools that let people send an e-mail to the relevant
    "target" (their EU representative; WIPO country delegate, etc).

    - Setting up a mechanism for accepting donations, whether that means
    going through a third party or processing them ourself.

    All of the resulting software, scripts, etc, will be free.
    If anyone is interested in collaborating on these projects, you can
    e-mail me off list at . I'm based in the UK and
    would love to meet people in person as well, though e-mail is of course
    good too.


    David Tannenbaum
    Union for the Public Domain
    David Tannenbaum, Feb 8, 2004
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