– fordi tiden kræver et MODSPIL

05. Oct 2007

Brasiliens kulturminister: Brug teknologien til at skabe en fri kultur

Gil opfordrer især til, at computerteknologien bredes ud og ophavsretten opblødes og indskrænkes, så også de mindre velstående dele af samfundet får frihed til at skabe og udbrede kultur og politiske meninger:
[Gil] called for loosening intellectual property regulations to give more people the freedom to use and republish digital forms of content as a way of encouraging personal expression, culture and political participation.

Gilberto Gil, Brazil's Minister of Culture, promotes free digital culture at MIT.

(Credit: Martin LaMonica/CNET Networks)

"Today's digital technologies represent a fantastic opportunity for democratizing access to knowledge," Gil said. "We have found that the appropriation of digital technology can be an incredible upgrade in skills of political self-management and the local political process."

As Minister of Culture, Gil helped spearhead the creation of 650 "cultural hot spots" where people have access to free software and computers, typically for the first time.

At these centers, digital content and technology rapidly becomes assimilated into Brazilian culture, he said. For example, Brazilian Indians have recorded their songs on video, participants have been inspired to pursue an "open-source hardware" initiative, and a well known Afro Brazilian spiritual leader found the means to make her tradition a "first class culture" within Brazil, he explained.

Brazil is also using test versions of $100 laptops from the One Laptop Per Child project, which Gil admitted is not working as fast as he or Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva would like.

He said part of the problem is the lack of a network backbone to connect PCs to the Internet. Also, he said there are two proposals to supply low-cost PCs, one from the One Laptop Per Child program that came out of MIT and one from Intel, which has caused the government to slow down.

Free culture wants free software
During his speech, Gil called on other countries to adopt more liberal policies in regard to intellectual property, patents and copyright.

Within Brazil, his ministry is trying to reform copyright laws that contain several "holes" that don't address issues such as personal use.

At an international level, Brazil has, through a United Nations forum, called for international regulations that tilt the balance of control over content away from publishers and toward consumers, particularly in developing countries. The public domain should be a "necessary dimension of the intellectual property system," he said.

This same philosophy applies to realm of software. He noted special effects producers in Hollywood have used open-source software because of the flexibility it gives them.

"Open source as an instrument is more flexible and contributing to knowledge, ideas and possibilities," he said. "Of course we are going to face problems of guaranteeing property and renumeration of property on one side and the public interest on the other side."

What's needed, he said, is more discussion of the proper balance in the political realm...

Gilberto Gil er jo også en ganske fænomenal musiker, hvis musik jeg ofte hørte i mine yngre dage, ikke mindst i baggrunden på min foretrukne café, "Åkanden" i Randers (ja, det er længe siden).

Herunder ses Dione Warwick og Gil selv synge et af hans gamle hits fra dengang, Sarará Miolo, optaget på mobiltelefon og lagt på YouTube – et eksempel på netop den opblødning, som Gil taler for her: