Fcforum 2013 | Free Culture Forum 2013
"For several years at the FCForum we’ve worked tirelessly around the tools and problems of network democracy. Since the emergence of Web 2.0, user-generated content has gone from being an interesting social experiment to the digital reality that we immerse ourselves in each day. Meanwhile, the content generated by former 'big' media outlets makes up less than 5% of Internet traffic in societies such as Spain. In this context, is there any point continuing to talk about 'cultural creators', a term formerly used in the copyright wars? Is there any point in framing the debate around protecting cultural creators as though they were a tiny elite rather than the overwhelming majority of society?. What cumulative changes is this paradigm shift bringing about? Year after year, the FCForum serves as a civil society tool, to move forward, analyse and answer these questions, observing practices that actively grapple with them. In the not too distant future, the majority of the population in the majority of countries in the world will be connected to a global network that develops collaboratively. How can we, as citizens, use the Internet against anti-democratic forms of government and to create fairer forms of organisation? How can we prevent governments from using the Internet against democracy with the aid of the technology and training provided by certain big corporations? The true significance of recent civil society struggles for free culture and net neutrality is revealed in this scenario. Net neutrality is essential if the Internet is to continue to be a democratic space, and free culture is a prerequisite for the expansion of this new democratic culture beyond the Internet. Over the past two years we’ve seen citizen-initiated democratic revolutions advance and develop beyond this geographic context, using the Internet to structure new ways to fight for democracy. Continuing the work carried out at the FCForum in 2011 and 2012 which looked the increasing use of the net as a tool for democratic transformation – this year we will go further into some specific issues, such as the use and misuse of Big Data, electronic voting and electronic money, and how citizens can use them to achieve a society worthy of being called democratic in the twentieth century."