Copyright Literacy report from MozFest 2019

Copyright Literacy poster. Photo by Jane Secker licensed under CC BY

A few weekends ago we found ourselves at Ravensbourne College on a Saturday, which is the site of the O2 in North Greenwich. No we weren’t seeing John Legend in concert (he was playing!), we were attending MozFest which is run by the Mozilla Foundation (who created the web browser Firefox). It’s a conference / festival about all things related to the open internet – it’s a real ‘geek fest’ in many ways attracting activists, coders and educators. This year was the 10th anniversary of the event and the last time the conference was going to be held in London. It was an opportunity to connect with some people working in different fields and the conference is really international. It also attracts more than just open education enthusiasts, but a whole bunch of folks with really overlapping interests related to technology, privacy, inclusivity and many more issues. This year’s conference had the theme of ‘Healthy AI’ as artificial intelligence seems to be something people are talking about it all walks of life, but at MozFest it was particularly related to AI and ethics, and when and why we might devolve decision making to machines.

The Internet Health report 2019 had identified 8 themes and these were used to structure the conference – openness was the obvious one that overlapped with our interests in copyright and we were really fortunate to have a workshop accepted on copyright literacy and playful learning.
One of the best bits about MozFest was being invited to facilitator training the day before the conference kicked off. I attended wondering a little skeptically what it was all about. But I got to meet lots of other presenters in the Openness strand, we had fun making posters to advertise our sessions and I certainly left feeling we were part of a community. I met people who I was able to encourage to attend my session and to find out about their sessions. The very first person I spoke to turned out to be a librarian although she was unfortunately running her own session at the same time as ours! With so much going on at MozFest managing the schedule is one of the biggest challenges and so the Friday really helped me a lot get my head around MozFest far better than the previous year. The schedule is very hectic and the venue spread out on 9 different floors, so working out where you need to be at what time was a real challenge.
Chris at Moz Fest. Photo by Jane Secker licensed under CC BY

Our session was partly based on the workshop we ran earlier in the year at the Creative Commons Summit in Lisbon entitled Playful Approaches to Copyright Education. We gave people a taster of both our copyright education games, although this session was slightly shorter so we focused on Copyright the Card Game. We had a fairly small but enthusiastic group of people who came to find out about our resources. Some worked in education, others were in the library world, all were quite geeky and really liked the games-based learning approach we use (as well as the beautiful cards). We also had an international audience so we were able to share the Canadian, Australian and US versions of the game that others have created because our materials are licensed under Creative Commons. We played the first round of the game and talked people through how the rest of it worked. It was fun, it was a nice space and I felt energised.

MozFest won’t be in London in future, so depending on the location and time of year we may not be able to attend next time, but there were many really great aspects to the event, which gave me a real sense of being part of a community, because of the facilitator training. I also met lots of really interesting people working in very different fields to me, so I’m grateful to Dom, my colleague at City for suggesting the event last year. If you get a chance to go to something different such as MozFest I really suggest you try it! It was a lot of fun and great to meet people in the open internet field and share our copyright games with a whole new audience.

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