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Next Saturday, UC Berkeley’s International House will host the “Free Culture Conference 2008,” a gathering to discuss many controversial issues regarding copyright infringement and technology ownership.

Free Culture should be a pretty interesting talk; speakers include professors from UC Berkeley and Stanford in the departments of law, information, and medicine; representatives from the Stanford Fair Use Project and Google; and John Lilly, the CEO of Mozilla.  Throughout the day, there will be local DJs and games, and the night will end, I believe, with a party at Blake’s on Telegraph.

“[Free Culture 2008 is] a conference for, and about, free culture, technology, copyright, remixing, and free software.”

Free Culture 2008

Here are the details of the conference content, as posted on Free Culture Conference 2008’s website:

WHAT: A conference with keynotes, talks, workshops, activism, and parties.

WHEN: Oct. 11th 2008, with a smaller and more focused student workshop day on Oct. 12th

WHERE: International House at Berkeley, University of California

WHY: It’s time for our community to spend time and learn from each other.

WHO: You, other free culture activists, professors, students, artists, musicians, coders, organizations like EFF and Creative Commons, and anyone interested in our community.

Students from all over the country as well as free culture enthusiasts will be flying in from all over the country, so if you’re in the Berkeley area, you should check it out.  Details:

October 11th, 2008
10 AM—7 PM
Chevron Auditorium, International House
2299 Piedmont Ave
Berkeley, CA 94720

The conference is co-organized by Students for Free Culture and Free Culture Berkeley.  One of my organizations, Students for Responsible Business, will be volunteering at the event.  See you there.

I’m in a club on campus called Students for Responsible Business, which is hosting a labor relations panel on campus on Wednesday.  The panel will include a mini case competition and speakers from the Haas School of Business and HP.  The speakers will be discussing the challenges of maintaining a balance between lowering operational costs by hiring workers overseas, and being sure to pay those workers fair wages.

I’m not always a rabid fan of the events we hold, but I think this one is going to be pretty interesting.

My marketing committee has been hard at work to promote the event through different mediums on campus.  Here are the flyers that Anna-Claire and I created to post on campus.  We tried to make them visually arresting and representative of major issues in labor relations today:

SRB’s main focus is Corporate Social Responsibility, a new trend in the business world to describe the belief that corporations have a responsibility not only to their shareholders and the financial bottom line, but also to the myriad of parties they impact, such as the environment, their workers, and the communities in which they are based.  I personally believe that it is possible to be socially responsible without sacrificing profits.  Consumers are more and more conscious of how their dollar votes, and find it increasingly important to patronize businesses with socially responsible practices.

Last spring, one of our professional events was a screening of The Corporation, a 2003 documentary that explored CSR.  Here’s a clip from that documentary describing the gaping disparity between how much companies charge for garments and how much they pay their workers:

If you go to Cal or if you’ll be in the Berkeley area on Wednesday evening, I highly recommend attending our “Don’t Sweat It” labor relations panel.  It’s on Wednesday, 9/24/08, 7-9 pm, in 219 Dwinelle.

What’s your take on labor relations?  Who’s responsible: The government?  The consumer?  The corporation?