Bio

I am presently a writer of literature and non-fiction and active as a publisher.

I have a number of NGO responsibilities. I am one of the founders of La Quadrature du Net, a citizen group defending fundamental rights and freedoms in the digital sphere and promoting policy proposals for the the digital era and one of the founders of Interdemos a collective devoted to solidarity between citizens across Europe and bootstrapping a European demos. From 11 June 2014 to 20 October 2015, I was a member of parliamentary committee on law and freedoms in the digital age of the French National Assembly as a qualified expert. I serve on the Board of Trustees of the NEXA Center for Internet and Society (Torino, Italy). I was allowed to retire from the board of directors of the Software Freedom Law Center on 11 April 2017 and am happy to see new members joining its board.

Disclaimer

Unless otherwise indicated, anything I say on my blog is just my opinion, and does not represents necessarily the opinion of NEXA, La Quadrature du Net, Interdemos or publie.net.

Earlier stuff

  • I was born in 1949.
  • I was trained as a mathematician and computer scientist. I did a doctorate thesis in theoretical computer science (1980), was a research fellow at UC. Berkeley in 1982, got the “habilitation à diriger les recherches” from University Paris 7 in 1991. My earlier technical work is on optimising compiling and program transformation.
  • From 1983 to 1986 I developed software and interactive multimedia installations for the mediation of contemporary visual arts and of mathematics (work conducted within non-for-profit associations and micro-companies).
  • From 1986 to 1996, I headed a research team within the Institut de Recherche en Informatique de Toulouse. This team was active in media content analysis for photographs, video and music, automatic indexing and navigation interfaces, and interactive perception and annotation tools for these media (1986-1996).
  • From 1996 to 2003, I joined the European Commission services (ESPRIT and then IST research programmes), where I developed and implemented policy in support to free / open source software. I also tried to be active at the interface between such policy and the harmful regulatory policy of extending patent subject matter, implementing a more restrictive enforcement of copyright, legislating through technology, and creating more severe civil and penal procedures for these matters (1996-2003). I became by force a specialist of positive intellectual rights (as opposed to approaches for which intellectual property is a starting point taken for granted).
  • From 2004 to 2014, I headed Sopinspace, Society for Public Information Spaces, a company that I founded to develop free software and provide commercial services for democratic processes and collaborative work over the Internet.

Intellectual work

In addition to my technical papers, I have published a number of texts on the sociology of information exchanges and the political philosophy of intellectual rights, including two books : Cause commune&bsp;: l’information entre bien commun et propriété, Fayard, 2005 (also in Italian and Arabic) and Sharing: Culture and the Economy in the Internet Age”, Amsterdam University Press, 2012 (with the contribution of Suzanne Aigrain), also translated in Polish. For my literary work see my Atelier de bricolage littéraire.

I was one of the founders of the European transnational think-tank Public Debate. I also practised mathematics as an amateur (tree codes, polyomino tilings) and the history of technology a bit more seriously.

My English wikipedia page is here : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippe_Aigrain and could be more up-to-date.

Personal stuff

My partner Mireille and myself have two daughters and three grand-children : Suzanne is an astrophysicist and a poet, Louise is a biochemist and visual arts practitioner when time permits.

This post is also available in: French