A year ago today, you, me, and 24 million people defeated SOPA and Internet censorship. It was the largest online protest ever. It was amazing!
Today, a lot of friends from the SOPA fight are declaring January 18th “Internet Freedom Day,” and we want your help starting a new holiday tradition where we share stuff on the web that shouldn’t, or can’t ever, be censored. Each post you write helps to remind the world why we take action to defend free speech on the web.
How is Fight for the Future participating? Since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is coming up, we’re reminded that Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is copyrighted, and often censored on sites like Youtube. We realized that watching and sharing this speech (which could be considered illegal) to celebrate Dr. King’s work and the freedom we fought for is exactly what needs to happen.
To honor Dr. King’s legacy of nonviolent civil disobedience and to celebrate our historic defeat of SOPA, we made this video that contains the entire 17 minute speech. Join us in a small act of civil disobedience to remember what we fight for. Watch and share this video.
If SOPA had passed, you could have gone to jail for sharing a video of it, and entire websites could have been shut down for linking to it.
But even more than that, there’s a bigger question: Are you okay with a world where when someone just learning about race and civil rights goes to the web to see MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech and is confronted with a notice that says “this video has been removed”? It isn’t until 2038, when the copyright on this speech is over, that you’re even allowed to share this video.
If you haven’t done so already, send this video to a friend, tweet it, talk to your friends about it, and celebrate MLK’s work and our ability to fight back online censorship that can keep the things we love and need from us.
Aaron Swartz’s passing has been hard. It’s because he was so good at reminding us that a world where people don’t have the ability to learn from, share, and contribute from their peers has massive inequality and injustice built right into it. We are working on his dream of creating massive opportunity, abundance, and freedom through an open Internet. And we’re grateful to all of the people out there who are doing the same.
Last, but not least, our friend and Center for Rights board member, Marvin Ammori, just wrote a book called On Internet Freedom that you can download *for free* today. He describes it as “a sort of love song to the First Amendment and the Internet.” (You can download the Kindle app for free to read on your computer, phone, or anything else, and we think he’d approve if you removed the DRM to read it on other devices.)
Here’s to Internet Freedom Day!
Tiffiniy, Holmes, Evan & the Fight for the Future team