While it seems obvious that the Open Society is a good thing, the last ten years have seen a radical retrenching of the idea, driven by concerns about global terrorism and so on. The Patriot Act, which few politicians actually read, is still in place. After a flowering of open standards and open source, driving new business models and economies, we're now seeing a closing down of "intellectual property" and associated opportunity by non-state actors with no clear mandate for the change- see the EU's kowtowing to ACTA, for example, or the absurdly named Digital Economy Act. In the UK libel law is used to Open works- but it's up to us to make the case why and how. It's time for Open businesses and academia to work together to make the case in terms of economics, job creation and politics, both local and central. Meanwhile the walled gardens are winning- guys that used to be Open Web bigots run around pimping their iPhone apps. How can HTML help us break the web open again?
7th–8th September 2011