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FREEBASSEL SUNLIGHT: Celebrate Bassel’s Birthday

Bassel Khartabil photocopy style freebassel

Our brother Bassel is still not out of Syrian Jail Hell. He is not yet a FREEBASSEL. Our campaign has worked to bring him media attention and some form of increased safety. What has not worked is that journalists are not writing about Bassel because we don’t have novel information and/or journalists are not finding his story exciting enough without some new original sources of information.

Also, today is Bassel’s 32nd birthday. He was born a Gemini on May 22, 1981. This is the second birthday that he has spent in Syrian jail hell. Have you ever spent your birthday in jail, and then for a second time? This is horrible.


Rather than add more words, retweets or spamism to the topic of our dear friend, we ask only one thing today. Please help shine some sunlight on Bassel by doing some novel research on his situation, where he is located, and help connect the dots of his situation and life. If you are not in a situation where you have the resources to help with this, then please create some art, design or action about Bassel. Some people are sending happy birthday wishes on twitter. Our friends at Index on Censorship made a blog post to their readership with quotes from Index CEO Kirsty Hughes, Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig and more sending their wishes to Bassel on his birthday.

A great FREEBASSEL SUNLIGHT project Niki Korth’s group The Conversation Space just launched today with an open discussion about Bassel by Creative Commons CEO, Cathy Casserly, and staff. Thanks to you all for doing this!

Part 2

Creative Commons reflects on Bassel pt. 2 from The Big Conversation Space on Vimeo.

Elliot Harmon of Creative Commons theorizes about why Bassel's detainment has received scant coverage by major media.

Sound "Thriller-Dramatic" by Toam on

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Commons Congress 2013 and Sage Bionetworks site launch

The 4th Sage Bionetworks Commons Congress kicks off today in San Francisco, and will run from Friday April 19th through Saturday April 20th, 2013. The theme of this year’s Congress is “The Truth of Personalized Medicine“, centering on the future of the Commons as it relates to biomedical research and data sharing.

Standing behind the Commons Congress is Sage Bionetworks, a new and promising nonprofit biomedical research organization based in Seattle, Washington. Sage is working at the intersection of technology, governance, and research in order to facilitate data sharing and reuse in the fields of science and medicine.

Fabricatorz recently collaborated with Sage Bionetworks to refresh their website at Sage was in need of a simple, legible, and mobile-friendly site that could communicate their work and their vision. Fabricatorz developed a flexible and easy-to-use theme consistent with Sage’s message and spirit. Screenshot

We at Fabricatorz are proud of the work that Sage is doing to advance human health and knowledge, and wish them the best at this year’s Commons Congress!

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Openclipart Scissors Logo and Clipart Opportunities

Openclipart Scissors Logo Guide Horizontal

Have you seen the new Openclipart scissors logo? This is one of many updates over at Openclipart. Most important, there are loads of new images that anyone can use freely for posters, business cards, presentations or other design needs.

Also, if you are desiging APPS, we want to talk with you about opportunities! The Openclipart is not only a website, but a full service platform for sharing and storing images. Think of the possibilities in using Openclipart to build a drawing APP for Android, iPhones and iPads. Let’s draw together and share clipart opportunities!

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Bassel Khartabil Wins Index on Censorship Digital Freedom Award

FREEBASSEL #indexawards

Bassel, aka, Bassel Khartabil, just won a big honor called the Index on Censorship Digital Freedom Award for the work he has been doing and for which Fabricatorz and so many friends (like yourself), have been supporting through the #FREEBASSEL and more recent #FREEBASSELDAY campaign. The #indexawards is still happening, but this is a source of the information going out now. Please help us spread the news about Bassel, that he is still detained and that we need your help to get him out of illegal detainment in Syria.

Because Bassel is still in jail, I am in London to receive the award along with Dana Trometer, another FREEBASSEL leader and Bassel friend. There will be a continuation of the FREEBASSEL campaign now, and we will continue to FREEBASSEL around the world with even more fervor.

And please remember as I said in the press release about Bassel’s situation:

Lock-up, Lock-out fails. Locking-up Bassel, only locks-out his personal freedom. By locking-up Bassel, his Syrian captors are accidentally locking-out themselves from the future. From launching Creative Commons Syria, building the Arabic Wikipedia and bringing Internet leaders to Syria, he knew that his free participation in global web communities required concrete contributions locally. For these acts would make Syria a better place. One year later, Bassel is under harsh lock-down. Now, thousands of people that Bassel’s work helped, now help him by spreading the message, #FREEBASSEL. This is what truly builds Syria and connects it to the global connected future. This award proves that his lock-up, is NOT a lock-out of his digital freedom.

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FREEBASSELDAY Recap + Road to Index on Censorship Award in London


Thanks to everyone who joined the global #FREEBASSELDAY. Paul Keller and Maarten in Amsterdam created FREEBASSEL street art and spread the pieces creatively over Amsterdam, with many Bassel friends like Bjorn and Alper documenting the spread of the graphics, even to Utrecht.

#freebassel posters

The creation of the FREEBASSEL graphic then led to further remixes by Gloria in London, and Been in China.

Pete from Fabricatorz made a huge banner video on the beach in California:

And then Pete went on a horseride to commemorate the day:

Celebrating #FreeBasselDay with my new equine friend and advocating for @freebassel #FREEBASSEL Thank you to @globsterlitter for the T-design @fabricatorz

Meanwhile, CC France’s Melanie Du Long De Rosnay along with our friend Stephanie (aka, @MinnieFractale) held an event, which in turn led to great press exposure.

In Hong Kong, mega supporter Jenny created hundreds of FREEBASSEL fliers, including the famed rainbow headphoned Bassel which she and other people put up around the city:

Rainbow headphone #freebassel in Time square. CWB

Then, Jenny even baked a FREEBASSEL cake, organized a meetup, and spread the FREEBASSEL love to new people:

1st #freebassel cheese cake. @freebassel @kidproto

In Chicago at the #DML conference, Cathy Casserly, Creative Commons CEO released an article in the Huffingon Post titled, “Free Bassel, Free Culture.”


Then, super-friend Michelle Thorne and @dtkindler created and put fliers up at the conference yielding the following Philipp Schmidt and Mark Surman photo:


(UPDATE) In London, Yourdana and her family made FREEBASSEL rednosed pictures and placed them around their house:

rednosed day screen cap from yourdana

Then, in Beirut a #FREEBASSELDAY flash mob popped up around town.

Even more events took place in San Francisco by a hub of Creative Commons friendz, Barry put together a beer meetup at SXSW, Agata Jałosińska locked down Warsaw by translating Bassel’s wikipedia entry to Polish, new Fabricator Landon had a meet-up in Wichita, Kansas, Spencer put-up fliers all around New Orleans campuses and @moltke and @rejon held a vigil in Berlin at the famed C-Base original hackerspace.

Thanks again to all who represented on the 1st FREEBASSELDAY. We know Bassel felt the love because everyone joined together on this day. We have very complete documentation at the FREEBASSELDAY website and on the updated Bassel Khartabil Wikipedia article.

Index Awards on Censorship Bassel Nominated 2013

Remember, we are now DAYS past the one year since Bassel has been illegally detained. The need for public exposure of Bassel’s situation is urgent. We urge all to focus now on the very public Index on Censorship Digital Freedom Award in London this week for which Bassel has been nominated. Many high profile people have won this award before, and Bassel is nominated for the Digital Freedom category. Please spread the news about this week’s award nomination for Bassel. This award is crucial because it provides a massive spotlight on Bassel’s situation, which could ultimately lead to a #FREEBASSEL!

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#FREEBASSEL by Kennisland
#FREEBASSEL, a photo by Kennisland on Flickr.

Today is FREEBASSELDAY! We celebrate our brother together to #FREEBASSEL. Its time to maximize impact, so please: Blog, Tweet, Remix, Share, Cutup, Broadcast, VRT, Promote, Hold a Party, Make a T-Shirt, Bake a Cake or Do a Cheerz for Bassel with your friendz.

Today is the 1 year anniversary of the illegal imprisonment and detainment of one of the original Fabricatorz.

A normal guy, in a bad situation. It could be you! Make something and we will #FREEBASSEL together!


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Bassel Needs Us. Join #FREEBASSELDAY on March 15.

Rainbow @freebassel! Good sign!!! Like rainbow after the rain you can see sunshine. Great future!!! Blessing #freebassel

This Friday, please join Fabricatorz, Creative Commons, Mozilla, and so many people and other organizations in hosting the first #FREEBASSELDAY. The plan is simple, visit and add to List your city, you (or your group) as the organizers of an event, a venue name and location, time and the action(s) you or your group will take. Please be as public as you can about your action! Some groups are having dinner like in France, other groups putting up fliers in Amsterdam, and more are getting together for a beer to take photos having a cheerz for Bassel. Help us free one of the original Fabricatorz, and one of our best friends, Bassel.

Here is a sample of the press release at #FREEBASSEL:

Announcing The 1st Annual #FREEBASSELDAY on March 15.

We, the supporters of the #FREEBASSEL project are inviting every person, everywhere to make an event on March 15, 2013 with other people in your city in global solidarity to call for the immediate release of open web advocate Bassel Khartibil. This day is the one year anniversary of the illegal jailing of Bassel Khartibil, well known free internet pioneer, software engineer, teacher, husband, family-man and friend. Bassel is a normal guy, in a bad situation. He is now stuck in a Syrian jail cell where he is not able to directly contribute to his local and global communities. We demand his captors to #FREEBASSEL!

Bassel is ALIVE.

Join us to create an activity, event or even a party to celebrate the great work and ongoing life of Bassel. We challenge other leaders of the free internet and open web to create events to make #FREEBASSEL t-shirts, release #FREEBASSEL software, put up #FREEBASSEL posters in your city, to make food together or even to throw a party at a local bar with #FREEBASSEL images and songs playing. Have a cheers for #FREEBASSEL and tweet the picture of your group publicly in your local language.


By freeing Bassel, you help to free the Internet. Joining the global movement is simple. List your city below, use the #FREEBASSELDAY hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and other social networks, set a goal for what you will do on this day and spread the word! For those community leaders out there like Bassel, pick an activity, a location for people in your community to meetup and make known the time for the gathering to your community. Then, let’s all have a global #FREEBASSELDAY.

The 2nd Anniversary of Syrian Uprising and #FREEBASSELDAY

If this event is successful we will #FREEBASSEL. Setup your event with an idea below, and have your community #FREEBASSEL:

✳ Update Bassel’s Wikipedia entry:

✳ Translate Bassel’s Wikipedia entry into your own language

✳ Make our event global:

✳ Make #FREEBASSEL t-shirts from the FREEBASSEL Avatar:

✳ Print out #FREEBASSEL Posters, and put them up all over your city

✳ Take pictures of your meeting raising your cups to #FREEBASSEL

✳ Create #FREEBASSEL artwork

✳ Write a #FREEBASSEL song

✳ Make a video to #FREEBASSEL, post on the web

✳ Write a blog-post or news article about #FREEBASSELDAY

✳ Release software into the public domain dedicated to #FREEBASSELDAY

✳ Release audio, video, image and texts dedicated to #FREEBASSELDAY


#FREEBASSEL is a campaign to bring about the safe and immediate release of Bassel Khartabil from wrongful detainment in Syria since March 2012. He is a well known contributor to global software and culture communities like Creative Commons, Mozilla Firefox, Wikipedia, Open Clip Art Library, Fabricatorz, and Sharism. He is missed by these communities, his family, friends and loved ones. The campaign says, “We will not stop campaigning for him until we see him as a free global citizen once again.”

For more information

Organizing Page:

Official Website:

Press Release:

Press Contact:


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Fab Fashionz: Appropriate Appropriation, Not American Apparel

Check out the beginning of a new line of Fabricatorz T’s. Since nothing is more boring than a sterile design printed on a new shirt, I hand picked a bunch of second-hand T’s in New Orleans and slapped the Fabricatorz chop on ’em. Recycling is rarely this hot,  re-contextualizing this fun. More iterations to come as well as a shop where you can cop all this hot to trot Fab Fashion.






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Free Your Soul and Your Ass Will Follow

Have you read FREESOULS: Captured and Released by Joi Ito? It’s a Fabricatorz classic, a savior, and a brilliant collection of photography and expository from the major movers and shakers pushing freedom and innovation both online and offline. Despite being published four years ago, Freesouls’ ripples are still being felt as we’re continuously reminded that images and information—and people for that matter—want to move around and dance without pesky restrictions. It’s also the first introduction of Sharism by Isaac Mao in his essay Sharism: A Mind Revolution. We no longer have to worry about the politics of the gift because Sharism is the new sheriff in town, and this time she’s actually here to protect and serve. Serve and pro-gress. Or, as Gucci Mane would say, Anytime You Ready.

But I’m moving too fast. Start here with this nice introduction from one of our own, Christopher Adams, who also served as the project’s editor. Then order a copy of the Boxed Set and/or soft-cover book because they’re limited. Oh the irony. Oh you pretty thing. Get free.

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