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Re: "Minciu sodas" financial situation

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  • fdkayiwa
    Thank you Andrius for the clear overview and thank you for appreciating us. We hope you find more work for the Africans. I want to see Ms Lab strong In uganda.
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 13, 2008
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      Thank you Andrius for the clear overview and thank you for
      appreciating us.
      We hope you find more work for the Africans.
      I want to see Ms Lab strong In uganda.

      In learningfromeachother@yahoogroups.com, ms@... wrote:
      >
      > I just want to give an overview of the financial situation for
      Minciu
      > Sodas. I am the sole proprietor. Minciu Sodas is registered in
      Vilnius,
      > Lithuania. I am a dual citizen and taxpayer of Lithuania and the
      USA.
      >
      > Currently, my only expected sources of income are from the Knight
      News
      > Challenge:
      > * 7,000 USD should come in July, 2008 or soon afterwards
      > * 7,000 USD will come in June, 2008 if they are happy with my
      blogging
      > Another 1,000 USD goes for administration costs to an intermediary
      they
      > are working through.
      >
      > Also, we will get 5,000 EUR of travel money to attend four COMMUNIA
      > meetings. COMMUNIA is the European Union's thematic network for
      the
      > Public Domain. http://www.communia-project.eu The next meeting
      that we
      > can get travel money for is October 20-21 in Amsterdam.
      > http://www.kennisland.nl http://www.knowledgeland.org The topic is
      > "Marking the Public Domain: relinquishment and certification"
      which is
      > relevant for our Minciu Sodas laboratory's venues, which we
      mark "Public
      > Domain except as noted". If you are interested in this topic and
      would
      > like to participate more in COMMUNIA, then please let us know. I
      don't
      > think that we can get visas for our African participants unless
      they can
      > get them otherwise. But we can use the money bring people from
      Europe or
      > from the US (perhaps Jeff or Marcin or Mark or Ben?) Also, the
      January
      > 2009 meeting will be in Torino, Italy so Agnese or another person
      from
      > Italy could invite somebody from Africa if they are interested.
      >
      > COMMUNIA gave 10,000 EUR for the March meeting in Vilnius which we
      > organized. Of this money, about 2,000 EUR went for the venue and
      meals,
      > 4,000 EUR to our participants in Lithuania, and about 4,000 EUR to
      me.
      >
      > Our lab distributed about 25,000 USD of our participants' own
      money during
      > the Kenya crisis in January and February of 2008. And I estimate
      that our
      > participants distributed a similar amount directly to Kenyans.
      Overall,
      > my guess is that in the last 12 months we have a gift economy of
      about
      > 100,000 USD which includes travel, laptops, cameras, etc. For
      example, in
      > traveling to the Bay Area, rather than stay in a hotel, I have
      stayed with
      > Shannon Clark and with Mark Roest and will have contributed about
      $740
      > total plus some goods, and will have stayed for about 45 days
      which would
      > be about $3,000 at the cheapest hotel. And there are many greater
      > consequences of our sharing and being together, and the
      possibilities grow
      > into the future. Special thank you to Jeff Buderer for linking me
      with
      > Mark Roest.
      >
      > In 2007 thanks to Franz Nahrada our team in Lithuania did a
      European Union
      > project to build video bridges. This went through the Folk
      Creativity Club
      > "Atzalynas", which a nonprofit, whereas "Minciu Sodas" is for
      profit. We
      > received 10,000 euros from the EU and Minciu Sodas (Andrius) had to
      > contribute 4,000 euros. The result was that I earned back the
      money that
      > I put in, we purchased 4,000 euros worth of video bridge
      equipment, and
      > our participants earned about 4,000 euros, and we paid some
      expenses.
      >
      > Unfortunately, April 2007, the city took away the "Atzalynas"
      building (a
      > community center that I was supporting and where I was squatting)
      and
      > since then in the process of "renovation" it has been stripped and
      left in
      > an unusable state. What's saddest is that the local community
      leaders
      > don't want me there. So I lived in parent's office for about a
      year.
      > When I return my plan is to live as much as possible in the
      village of
      > Eiciunai where Audrone and Zenonas Anusauskas are "global
      villagers". My
      > friend Rimas purchased a car for 1,000 USD and he let me buy half
      for 500
      > USD and it runs well enough and so I will be able to use it quite
      a bit.
      >
      > May 2007 I about 100 hours of part-time web programming work for
      Mihai
      > Boscaru http://www.pro-it-service.com for which I never got paid
      anything.
      > It turned out to be for a chain of intermediaries working on a
      corporate
      > website https://www.myarcelormittal.com/transformingtomorrow/ and
      when
      > they didn't use my work they refused to pay me. After that I
      haven't
      > pursued such work. I think the wage scales for such work have
      dropped and
      > the expectations risen and the market widened. But also, I have
      had quite
      > a few clients who end up not paying for part of the work. For
      example,
      > and I get caught in between and as the little guy I get paid last
      or not
      > at all, I have no leverage or justice available. I worked on
      Civic Space
      > websites for Christopher Winn who did the work for Rights Working
      Group
      > http://www.rightsworkinggroup.org but I never received the final
      $1,800
      > from either of them, even though they were happy with my work, but
      they
      > had a disagreement amongst themselves.
      >
      > I think well-paying temporary part-time work (say 20 hours per
      week) is
      > good for everybody in our lab and means that we have enough time
      to focus
      > on our projects. For me that would be about $40 an hour and as I
      have a
      > PhD in mathematics and more than ten years experience part-time as
      a
      > programmer that should seem possible. Also, we should develop a
      culture of
      > sharing part-time work and building teams for work. But I am at a
      dead end
      > with this and also for many jobs unemployable or unhireable. I
      appreciate
      > creative thoughts or opportunities, though. Here is my resume:
      >
      http://www.worknets.org/upload/AndriusKulikauskas/andriuskulikauskasr
      esume.doc
      >
      > Our largest project so far was My Food Story
      http://www.myfoodstory.info
      > for Greg Wolff of Unamesa Association. We earned $24,000 in 6
      months of
      > which I got a bit more than half and our team the rest. Our work
      in the
      > Pyramid of Peace http://www.pyramidofpeace.net was similar in
      spirit. We
      > are good at organizing global teams with 100 or 1,000
      participants. We
      > also have a culture that attracts self-directed, values-driven,
      > accountable people which means that we can send them $100 for a
      small
      > project even though we may have never met them.
      >
      > I'm encouraged that we're making good progress with the Includer
      > http://www.includer.org and there is good reason why we might get
      some
      > related work. But it could easily take a year. It does seem key
      to
      > organize corporate independent thinkers and that takes time and
      they are
      > understandably short-on-time and risk-averse.
      >
      > I think I can make it through another year. I have just borrowed
      $10,000
      > more from credit cards and my total debt is about $110,000 which
      means
      > that each month I have to make payments of $1,400. Luckily, my
      interest
      > rate is reasonably low. As part of that, I owe Edward Damal about
      $35,000
      > and I'm not able to pay him back or interest and I do keep in
      touch,
      > though.
      >
      > It costs me roughly between $1,000 and $1,500 per month to live
      and work.
      > There's not much room to save there and my priority is to find more
      > income.
      >
      > My whole point in starting Minciu Sodas was to be able to live in
      > Lithuania. But I will be in the US until October or so. I will
      be in
      > Vermont from June 22 to July 11 for Stephen Wolfram's "A New Kind
      of
      > Science" summer school
      > http://www.wolframscience.com/summerschool/2008/
      > so that will be good and a chance to engage with him, he is a
      profound
      > independent thinker and a successful entrepreneur (the creator of
      the
      > "Mathematica" software program). Then I will likely go to Boston
      and hope
      > to meet with Barbara Horst (Meadowlea) and also Doc Searls invited
      me to
      > come to the Berkman center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law
      School
      > http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/ and they would have a meeting with
      me and
      > perhaps others. Then I would also try to visit Janet Feldman in
      Rhode
      > Island. And then I might make a road trip through points on the
      East
      > Coast and end up in Chicago where I would stay with David Ellison-
      Bey and
      > maybe do some temporary work and also do more organizing on the
      South Side
      > of Chicago and consider the helpfulness of organizing a command
      structure
      > there, a "Love Command".
      >
      > God is my silent partner as you can imagine.
      >
      > I think our global team building is the best thing we can offer
      and the
      > best way I can apply myself in our economy. I note that our
      participants
      > are doing very well, especially in Africa. There are huge
      benefits from
      > our lab on a personal level (affecting millions of dollars, if
      they could
      > be quantified and chased down), and our gift economy is about
      $100,000 per
      > year, and we have paid work of about $20,000 per year. I think
      it's
      > important to realize that this is actually very healthy and just
      to hang
      > on and proceed in this way. When I look for clients I think I
      will do
      > best if they are interested to engage themselves with their people
      assets
      > and not only money, indeed, the money should be about 10% of the
      assets
      > involved on either side, so that we have a solid relationship. At
      least
      > that's who I should look for and we'll be flexible to take
      opportunities
      > that we might have.
      >
      > For our African participants, this means that I don't have any
      money right
      > now except for very small projects (typically $100) that benefit
      our
      > laboratory's strategy (like our work on the Includer). Thank you
      to Fred
      > Kayiwa, William Wambura, Kiyavilo Msekwa, Folabi Sunday for your
      excellent
      > work and I hope to share with you what I can. And lets keep
      including and
      > involving others. Thank you.
      >
      > Thank you for caring and for participating!
      >
      > I include below information about the 2008 October COMMUNIA
      meeting in
      > Amsterdam.
      >
      > Andrius
      >
      > Andrius Kulikauskas
      > Minciu Sodas
      > http://www.ms.lt
      > ms@...
      > +1 312 618 3345
      >
      >
      >
      > ---------------------------
      >
      > dear all,
      > please find below the proposal for a COMMUNIA workshop in october
      > 2008. This proposal is being submitted by Kennisland and is being
      made
      > on behalf of the Institute for Information Law and Waag Society as
      well.
      > best regards,
      > Paul Keller
      >
      > 1. Title of the Workshop;
      >
      > Marking the Public Domain: relinquishment & certification
      >
      > 2. Abstract of the Workshop: topic to be addressed, how, etc.;
      >
      > The proposed workshop would adress legal, economic and practical
      > issues related to certifying Public Domain works and relinquishing
      > intellectual property rights in Europe. This workshop will seek to
      > discuss the economic and legal value of the giving-up of
      > intellectual property rights, discuss ways of certifying works as
      > belonging to the public domain and addressing (legal hurdles)
      faced
      > by individuals and institutions wishing to contribute to the
      public
      > domain or wishing to work with public domain material. The
      workshop
      > will have two threads, an academic one dealing with the legal and
      > economic issues and a practical one that seeks to bring together
      > practitioners and stakeholders to identify best practices.
      >
      > 3. Brief explanation of why the topic is relevant and timely for
      > COMMUNIA;
      >
      > the topic adresses one of the central issues of the COMMUNIA
      > thematic network. it seeks to identify practices, procedures and
      > legal obstacles for strengthening the public domain in Europe.
      There
      > will be a special focus that seeks to identify practices that
      > enable contemporary producers, aggregators and custodians of
      > information to release their material into the public domain.
      This
      > issue is especially timely in the light of a number of
      initiatives
      > that seek to provide tools and instruments (such as CC0) for
      > interested parties to release material into the public domain or
      to
      > certify the public domain status of existing works.
      >
      > 4. Description of the workshop venue;
      >
      > The venue has still to be identified, possibilities include pakhuis
      > de zwijger (http://www.dezwijger.nl) in central Amsterdam, rooms
      > provided by the university of amsterdam or the Institute for
      sound
      > and vison (another communia partner the building is located in
      > Hilversum 30 minutes from amsterdam by public transport:
      > http://instituut.beeldengeluid.nl/index.aspx?ChapterID=8532)
      >
      > 5. Expected attendance (e.g., based on previous experiences by the
      > organizers);
      >
      > we would expect an attendance between 60 and 80 participants (based
      > on the assumption that there would be on average 2 delegates from
      > the communia partners plus a small number of interested
      > professionals from the netherlands)
      >
      > 6. Names and short bios of the members of organizing team; please
      > emphasize any previous direct experiences organizing workshop/
      > conferences/events;
      >
      > Members of the organizing team would be drafted from Knowledgeland,
      > the Institute for Information law and Waag Society. All three
      > organisations have extensive experience in organizing similar
      events
      > in Amsterdam. The institute for information law has a solid track
      > record in organizing academic events (see for example:
      > www.ivir.nl/creativecommons/Colloquium.pdf
      > ). Knowledgeland has a solid track record in organizing public
      > events (see for example: http://www.creativecapital.nl/ (which
      > included the first Creative Commons Europe meeting and was
      organized
      > in collaboration with Waag Society) and the upcoming
      www.ecommons.eu).
      >
      > 7. Proposed budget, with a break-down of the main costs;
      >
      > this will be provided at a later date in time. the main costs for
      > the workshop would relate to rent of venue, catering and
      transport
      > and accommodation for speakers from outside of the communia
      network.
      >
      > 8. Proposed workshop program: rough organization of the day (i.e.,
      > session topics);
      >
      > at the moment we are still looking if it makes sense to have a 1.5
      > day workshop. the workshop would possibly divided into a number
      of
      > plenary presentations (first part) to be followed by two tracks
      (one
      > focussing on the legal issues surrounding the relinquishment of
      > authors rights in europe, and the other on practical
      implementation
      > issues specific to sectors such as archives, government
      institutions
      > libraries and audiovisual producers). the workshop will be
      concluded
      > by a plenary feedback session.
      >
      > 9. Any another information that might strengthen the proposal,
      e.g.,
      > how well the city or the venue are connected with the rest of
      > Europe, potential synergies with other events immediately before/
      > after in the same city/region, etc.
      >
      > Amsterdam is well connected to the rest of europe with direct
      > flights to most european airports and a wide range of low cost
      > carriers operating from Amsterdam Schiphol. amsterdam is also
      well
      > connected to large parts of western europe (france, belgium,
      germany
      > northern italy, switzerland and austria) by railway.
      >
      > --
      > Kennisland | Knowledgeland
      > t: +31 20 5756720 | m: +31 6 41374687
      > www.kennisland.nl | www.knowledgeland.org
      >
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