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This page is deprecated in favor of the Chapter Kickstarter.

Protocols of Starting a Chapter at Your School

  • Contact your office of student activities / clubs and make yourself official
    • Create a mission statement/charter tailored for your school
      • Ex: Approved FC@NYU Mission Statement
        Free culture at NYU is a chapter of a national student movement exploring the nature of innovation in the context of American Copyright law and media distribution. Free Culture is dedicated to the promotion of thoughtful and progressive discourse and debate, as well as relevant social activism. We stand behind the principles of a "common sense" approach to intellectual property rights as presented by Lawrence Lessig in his book "Free Culture". We hope to serve those members of the NYU community with an intent in preserving an open exchange of creative issues.
  • Get up to date on the current movement

For more detailed info (to be merged later): Starting a Free Culture group

Start Meetings

  • Establish an ad-hoc leadership
    • Your school will probably have you elect a:
      • President
      • Vice President
      • Treasurer
      • Secretary
  • Establish Agendas before meetings
    • Just itemize the things you want to talk about / work on, it makes things move quicker
      • Ex: This list.
    • Take minutes for posting on the web / e-mail list to keep members who didn't make it up to date.
  • Basic Meeting Layout
    • Copyright News
      • Encourage chapter members to keep up to date independently so as to save "briefing" time at beginning of meetings and get to good debate / discussion. See "must read" blogs list.
    • Agenda
    • New / Unplanned Stuff
    • Next Meeting

Establish a web presence

  • E-mail Lists
    • School listserv
      • Contact your IT Services Department
    • Private distribution lists
  • Blog
    • Wordpress
    • Textpattern
    • MoveableType
    • LiveJournal
  • Wiki (MediaWiki, DocWiki, ?)
  • Optional Ideas
    • Podcast / Flickr / Delicious / Digg
    • General CMS (Drupal, Plone, Civicspace)

Think about events

  • Event Scheduling
    • In general: a good event takes upwards of 2 weeks to prepare, so plan that far ahead
    • One event at a time works wonders - don't spread yourselves too thin
  • Suggested Events:
    • DRM Protest (See FC @ NYU Materials)
    • Cereal Solidarity (if appropriate for your area)
    • Screening (Night of the Living Dead, Sex Madness, Reefer Madness, Carnival of Souls)
  • Untested (unstable?) Events / Ideas:
    • ccArt Show
    • Film Remix Contest (Warning: Requires Lawyers)


  • Daily Paper (Ex: WSN @ NYU, The Daily Gazette @ Swarthmore)
  • Art Magazines / Literary Magazines / etc Magazines
    • Search for "Lessig" / "Free Culture" / "Copyright" / "Doctorow" / "Creative Common" / "EFF"
    • Start a Free Culture Group and invite everyone you know
  • Local Open source / linux / Computer Advocacy groups at your university
    • Just e-mail them and they're likely to show up
  • Faculty
    • Professors can be interested too - make sure not to leave them out of your outreach
    • If possible, a faculty advisor can be extremely helpful.
    • Try to find an old CS professor who is really into Open Source - they'll help you
    • Also try Bioinformatics / Science departments