Internet Freedom Day Gratitude

On January 18, 2012 the Internet went on strike to protest SOPA and PIPA.

I’m so grateful they did.

The strike fruitfully created Internet Freedom Day while shutting down the obtuse SOPA and PIPA legislation the U.S. Congress was foolishly contemplating.

A Justice League of tech companies participated in the online protest:
and many more.

Their bravery on January 18, 2012 to go dark, to stand up, protest and eventually defeat potentially unfair and unjust bills remains inspiring.

Internet Freedom Day should be a national holiday; a time to reflect on what has now become a utility similar to running water and electricity albeit a utility a pronounced culture.

Resistance is fertile: as VC Fred Wilson observes: “The Internet is not controlled by anyone or anything. It is a highly distributed global network that has at its core the concepts of free speech and individual liberty. This ethos, which includes but is not limited to hacker culture, is in many ways at odds with big companies, institutions, and governments which seek to control, regulate, and “civilize” the Internet.” Yup: what he said.

An open Internet allowed me to start NewMusic Ten, a music discovery platform often working with bands I’ve never met and may never meet. Monthly music nerds and music fans from all over the world, UK, America, Australia and even the Philippines visit NewMusic Ten to sample the recent bands. I’m thankful those fans have the Internet freedom to visit NewMusic Ten and of course many other music sites. Music makes our lives better. And danceyier.

More: I’m appreciative those bands have the desire to create music and push their art. We all do.

An open Internet means this is now the greatest era to become an Artist; we’re slowing ending the awful starving Artist era. Finally! With crowdfunding, fan sourcing and all kinds of platforms from Tumblr, to YouTube to Threadless, to blogging and podcasts Artists have a literal wealth of options to create, connect and charm! We’ve replaced excuses with opportunities.

Remarkable: Everyone who creates something online has lost control of their message but in the process has gained access to a global audience.” page 30 of Without Their Permission: How the 21st Century Will Be Made, Not Managed by Alexis Ohanian. What an incredible bargain!

What do you want to create today?

Crazy Talk: when I first started NewMusic Ten I’d be asked: “Are you allowed to do that? Did you ask permission from iTunes?” Bizarre ludicrous thinking, thanks for nothing public school. Did Wendy’s ask McDonald’s if it’s ok to sell fast food burgers? There is no no, only go and do! That’s the Internet motto.

Building on those Artistic opportunities is transforming an open Internet into our cyberspace kindergarten where we can all create and learn; permanently evicting the antiquated notion of permission.There is no no, only go and do! Or as Yoda classically concluded: “Do or do not.”

It’s astounding to see where we and the Internet have come in such a short time. And thanks to January 18, 2012 we now, every January 18 have the distinct ability to celebrate and ritualize our profound Internet freedoms: online thanksgiving.


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Also published on Medium.

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