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Misha’s posted the notes for CopyCamp to the wiki… some very interesting and useful retrospective perspective on this hybrid event (attendance was for pay, though to help subsidize and diversify the attendee list). He comments:

It went really well.

We had something like 125 people there over the course of the event. It was two and a half days and it was intense, and fun, and well-received, and, I hope, really useful for the people who were there.

I’m putting some notes up here, so others can learn from what we’ve done. I hope to flesh these out in the next couple of weeks.

To coincide with World Usability Day on November 14, the folks in Toronto (home of DemoCamp, CaseCamp, CopyCamp and TorCamp) are holding UsabilityCamp featuring evening presentions from Sapient, Umbra, ConceptShare, Autodesk and Habitat New Media Lab.

Doesn’t look like a typical ad-hoc camp event, but the content is certainly compelling, as is the price tag ($0 CAN). Unfortunately the event is already oversold, but you can signup on the waitlist.

Official details:

Join us in Toronto on World Usability Day, Tuesday November 14th to LEARN, SHARE and MEET with others interested in usability and user experience at UsabilityCamp!

What is UsabilityCamp, you ask? It’s an open and free event for anyone interested in usability – whether it’s product, technology or web user experience. We think bringing together designing minds from different worlds is a great idea. It’s a chance for you to listen to, mingle with and generally enjoy the company of your peers in the usability/user experience, design and business communities.

This is all happening as part of World Usability Day (WUD) – local activities on a global scale which all take place on November 14th – organized by the Usability Professionals’ Association. WUD promotes the value of usability engineering, user-centered design and every user’s responsibility to ask for things that work better!

Our theme for World Usability Day and the first official UsabilityCamp in Toronto is Canadian innovation.


Wow, that’s gotta be the best BarCamp logo riff evar.

Anyway, if you’re interested, it looks like they’re gunning for November or December 2006 after their September success!

Via Pursudo.

Toronto’s version of BarCamp (aka ) has won Best do-it-yourself conference from NOW magazine:

BarCamp was created in response to Tim O’Reilly’s ultra-exclusive FooCamp, and Toronto was quick to jump on the bandwagon. Billed as ‘un-conferences,’ these community-driven events for local tech geeks require participation from all attendees. BarCamp has several spinoffs, including the monthly DemoCamp where six presenters have 15 minutes to wow the crowd with their latest innovations.

Considering we’re up there with the likes of AmberMac, I’d say this has been a smashing year our ragtag group of independent BarCampers!

Copycamp logo

Bryce has a great video taking a look at the controversial $700 unconference coming to Toronto called CopyCamp.

The premise of the event is straight forward but important: to bring artists together to talk about the Internet and its challenge to copyright.

It’s been picked up by a couple folks, including Boing Boing and Torontoist, and by far the biggest question seems to be: where did that $700 pricetag come from given that *camps have made a tradition of being free?

Now, it’s quite acceptable for events to vary the model as desired; charging an entry fee is just one of those options, as is setting the agenda before the event begins. Open space comes in more than just one form and variations on a theme are a good thing for the development of an ecosystem of events.

My concern with the size of the fee in this case, however, is about who will end up being excluded from the conversation — and how those people’s absences will affect the quality and rigor of the debate. Even with subsidies, anything over $50 can be a considerable burden for potential attendees. And this kind of approach seems weak or fraught with unfairness and overhead:

For people who want to come: you can get into the event either by buying a ticket (recommended for suits) or applying to have your spot paid for (recommended for artists and other “creators”). We’re trying to get the best participants we can, and we plan on giving away a lot of free spots to people who we really want there, especially people who are excited about contributing to the event.

It was that issue that lead us to make the BarCamp model as flat and low-cost as possible, because the conversation shouldn’t be limited only to those who can afford to pay-to-play. I suppose that one might make the case that since the topic here seems to be about copyright and the artist’s ability to profit from her work, the folks attending have a vested economic interest in pushing this conversation forward. At the same time, I think that the creators of free or open culture have something to add to the mix, but I can’t imagine that they’d be able to spring for an event with such a high monetary barrier to entry. This kind of event need not be free, but for every extra $50 you add to the cost, there’s a whole range of folks who can’t ante up.

However it plays out, Bryce has proposed CopyCatCamp, a free (as in beer) alternative, possibly to be held in a universally accessible food court. Sounds to me a bit like history repeating — but in the end, I’d love to see both models succeed. This topic is far too important to not bring folks together around it, and CopyCamp is just the first of what surely will turn into a long-term debate on the future of intellectual property.

So, one last thing: I wonder what the license for reuse of the CopyCamp mark is…