How the Digital Commons is Reshaping American Media

Viral Spiral

Friday, February 20, 2009
12:15 - 1:45 p.m.
New America Foundation
1630 Connecticut Ave NW, 7th Floor
Washington, DC 20009

Viral Spiral is the term David Bollier coins to describe the almost magical process by which Internet users can come together to build online commons and tools. From free and open-source software, Creative Commons licenses, Wikipedia, remix music and video mashups to peer production, open science, open education, and open business - the world of digital media has spawned a new "sharing economy" that increasingly competes with entrenched media giants.

Please join us for a discussion with David Bollier, author, Viral Spiral, on how commoners built a digital republic of their own. Bollier argues that during a period when the Bush Administration promoted privatization in all things and brought digital policy innovation to a virtual standstill, free culture was one of the few spaces where idealism and innovation could run free. Free culture has built its own alternative democratic polity - a parallel digital universe that honors such radical ideas as participation, transparency and accountability.

David Bollier is a journalist, activist, and public policy analyst as well as Editor of He is a former New America fellow and Co-Founder of Public Knowledge. A Senior Fellow at the Norman Lear Center, Bollier is the author of numerous highly praised books, including Brand Name Bullies and Silent Theft.

Featured speakers
David Bollier
Author, Viral Spiral
Senior Fellow, Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg Center for Communication
Co-Founder of Public Knowledge

Sascha Meinrath
Research Director, Wireless Future Program
Director, Open Technology Initiative
New America Foundation

Michael Calabrese
Director, Wireless Future Program
New America Foundation

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