vgrass roots

This is the blog of Volker Ralf Grassmuck.

Contact: vgrass – ät –

On Mastodon:

On Fairtube:

On Internet Archive:

On Vimeo:

You want to know who he is? As always if you want to find out about someone or something look it up on Wikipedia (DE | EN | PT).

ORCID: 0009-0002-3998-6287

Para um CV Português consultar o Curriculo Lattes.

Mediensoziologe, freier Autor und Aktivist. Er hat an der Freien Universität Berlin, der Tokyo Universität, der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin und der Universität São Paulo über die Wissensordnung digitaler Medien, Urheberrecht und Wissensallmende studiert und geforscht. Seit März 2021 Senior Researcher im H2020-Projekt European Media Platforms (EuMePlat) am Hans-Bredow-Institut Hamburg. Zuletzt hat er am Institut für Medienwissenschaft der Ruhr-Uni Bochum unterrichtet (Mai 2020-Februar 2021). Davor war er Fellow am Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS), Bochum (April-September 2019) und hat das Forschungsprojekt “Grundversorgung 2.0” (2012-2015) am Zentrum Digitale Kulturen (CDC) der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg geleitet, das nach der Zukunft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Medien fragte. Er hat die Konferenzserie und das Informationsportal zum Urheberrecht geleitet, die Initiativen, und mit gegründet, war Vorstandsmitglied des Digitale Gesellschaft e.V., ist Mitglied von und und bloggt unter

Short Bio
is a media sociologist, free-lance author and activist, has studied and conducted research on the knowledge order of digital media, on copyright and the knowledge commons at Free University Berlin, Tokyo University, Humboldt University Berlin and University of São Paulo. Since March 2021 he is Senior Researcher in the H2020 project European Media Platforms (EuMePlat) at the Hans Bredow Institute Hamburg. Most recently he taught at the Institute for Media Studies at Ruhr University Bochum (May 2020-February 2021). Before, he was Fellow at the Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS), Bochum (April-September 2019) and headed the research project “Public Service Media 2.0” (2012-2015) at the Centre for Digital Cultures (CDC) at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg, which investigated the future of public service media. He was project lead of the conference series and of the copyright information portal, co-founded, and is, was board member of Digitale Gesellschaft e.V., member of and and blogs at


I maintain (more or less regularly) serveral collections of resouces that I find useful for my work. Those include the Sharing Licence Library with materials on legalizing file-sharing in exchange for a flat-rate remuneration. From my work on public service media there are (in German): Listen der Rundfunkstaatsverträge und der Rundfunkurteile des Bundesverfassungsgerichts sowie extern eine Liste der deutschen Dreistufentests (in der Wikipedia).


On this blog you will find urgent Calls for Action and information on my Public Appearances.

You can browse by language. Most of the texts on this blog are in English but there is some Deutsch and Português as well.

And you can browse by media type. Most of what you will find here is text, where Text includes anything from books and articles, the scientific of which I have started to put on SSRN, to manuscripts of talks and reviews. It also includes translations, news (announcements and short notices) and diary entries (more personal remarks about the crazyiness of living in the 21st century). You can also find older texts, including some from the 20th century on WASTE@HU-Berlin.

There are also some photo entries, and video and audio will follow.


The tags you obviously find in the cloud in the right-hand column. To make things a bit easier and give you some context, here are some pointers:

Many of the texts here deal with copyright. A research project together with Wolfgang Coy and Jörg Pflüger at Humboldt University got me started. It resulted in a book on free software, free-licensing and the knowledge commons, and in the conference series Wizards of OS. In particular I’m interested in the sharing licence (aka Alternative Compensations System, Kultur-Flatrate etc.) and in Remixing.Thus the large tags copyright, free culture, Internet, free software, sharing licence, public policy and remix.

Fall 2009 to spring 2011 I spent in Sao Paulo, thus the Brasil tag.

My last project before that at Humboldt University dealt with copyright issues and the computer games sector, thus the games tag.

From 1989 to 1995, I was in Tokyo, which also turned into a book, thus a small but hopefully growing Japan tag.

Before then, I wrote a book together with Christian Unverzagt on the garbage system (das Müll-System), a fascinating topic that I picked up again under the Müll tag.

I also go to conferences quite a bit.


Earlier versions of this website are archived on the fabulous Internet Archive, the oldest from 04 June 2010.


When you publish, please credit the photographer and respect the license.

selfie of reflection in a sculpture by Joana Vasconcelos, MAAT Gallery, Belém, Lisboa, November 2023
Bits & Bäume, TU-Berlin, Oktober 2022, Foto aus Video von
Wikimedia Runder Tisch Öffentlich-Rechtliche Medien, July 2019, Foto: CC BY 4.0 Steven Siebert
Ca. 2018, Foto: CC BY 4.0 Volker Grassmuck
Wärmebild, Technische Sammlungen Dresden, November 2015
Wärmebild, Technische Sammlungen Dresden, November 2015
4/2008 Foto Berit Schuck, Open Content License (3,5 MB)
4/2008 Foto Berit Schuck, Open Content License (3,5 MB)
10/2007 Oil of the 21st Century, Berlin, Foto Paul Keller (316 KB)
09/2007 ars electronica Linz, Foto Joi Ito, CC BY (4,6 MB)
09/2007 ars electronica Linz, Foto Joi Ito, CC BY (4,6 MB)
05/2007 Tweakfest Zürich, Foto Stefan Rechsteiner, CC BY (2,5 MB)
05/2007 Tweakfest Zürich, Foto Stefan Rechsteiner, CC BY (2,5 MB)
03/2007 Foto Volker Grassmuck, Open Content License (1,4 MB)
03/2007 Foto Volker Grassmuck, Open Content License (1,4 MB)
09/2006 Opening of Wizards of OS 4, Foto Sim Sullen, CC BY-NC-SA (356 KB)
09/2006 Opening of Wizards of OS 4, Foto Sim Sullen, CC BY-NC-SA (356 KB)
Yoyogi Park, Tokyo, ca. 1991
Little Rock, Arkansas, 1978
Berlin, ca. 1976

And this is a composite image of what he looks like on the Net — through the eyes of Cornelia Sollfrank’s Net.Art.Generator in its version 05:

Net.Art.Generator: Volker Grassmuck
Net.Art.Generator: Volker Grassmuck

And here are possibly experiments with live streaming:

Live streaming video by Ustream