This is why the Internet matters so much to me.Posted 18:58 EST on December 23, 2015
Hey, this is a little personal, but I wanted to share it with you. If you ever wondered why we at Fight for the Future are up all night working nonstop to defend the free and open Internet, it’s because each and every one of us has a story about how the Internet has changed our lives.
Here’s mine. I hope you’ll read it. It’s probably not what you’d expect. But first, I want to personally ask you to become a Fight for the Future supporting member, so we can keep winning victories for the Internet and for a more creative, vibrant, and awesome world. Click here to learn more.
Thanks so much,
-Evan at FFTF
You might not know this about me, but before I came to Fight for the Future, I toured for about ten years as a professional musician, supporting my family playing gigs in small clubs, college cafes, dive bars, and basements.
As an independent songwriter, I was constantly bombarded with messages from the record industry about how the “Internet was hurting musicians,” but it couldn’t have been more distant from my reality.
The Internet was the best thing that ever happened to me as a musician.
I’ll never forget my very first tour of Europe, taking the train into a small town in the Netherlands with my guitar on my back, only to find a nearly sold out show full of people who knew all the words to my songs.
They’d all downloaded the music on Internet Archive, and shared it around via peer to peer networks and burning CDs. The show generated enough donations to cover most of the costs of the tour.
Flash forward half a decade, now musicians are easily crowdfunding their albums, videos, and other projects, cutting out the need for centralized record labels that for so long held a monopoly on which songs reached our ears.
The Internet has unlocked so much potential for there to be more creativity, art, humor, and knowledge in the world. It’s given more people a voice than ever before, and given us tools to make our voices matter.
And I don’t just mean in the music world. The Internet has helped overthrow dictators and expose corruption. It made it so you don’t have to be rich or famous to be heard.
When I get up every day and sit down at my desk to direct campaigns here at Fight for the Future, I know I’m not just fighting for the future of our online freedom, but also for the future of music. For the future of creativity. For the future of democracy.
The battle for the net is just beginning. Dinosaur-like corporations and overzealous politicians are scaling up their rhetoric, but over and over again Fight for the Future has helped Internet users beat back the worst attacks and even go on the offensive to gain better protections for our rights.
Can’t become a member right now? Hey, I was a broke touring musician, I understand ;-)
Old-school industries like Hollywood, big record labels, and media conglomerates like Comcast/NBC know that the Internet threatens their top-down, anti-consumer business models.
Like any good villain, they don’t want to give up their power, so they lash out and blame the Internet, pushing for policies that restrict the rights of the many to protect the profits of the few.
Right now, well-paid lobbyists from Cable companies and the record industry are trying to figure out how to convince people like you and me that the Internet should be more restricted, more censored, and less free.
They’re trying to slip extremist copyright provisions into trade agreements like TISA and the TPP, and spending millions to influence lawmakers and prevent reforms that would benefit artists and listeners alike.
They’re willing to sacrifice all of the new freedom and innovation that the Internet offers to protect their bottom line. It’s hard to quantify the cost to humanity of losing all the weird, interesting, dissident, creative, and beautiful things that we can truly only have with a free, open, and unfettered Web.
The world they’re pushing for is one that none of us would want to live in. That’s why we’re fighting back. Will you join us?
We’re in this because we care about the creativity and freedom of the web deep at the bottom of our hearts. It’s in our blood. We’ll use every penny we raise to fight, and we’ll fight to win, because to us, this isn’t just a job. It’s a calling.
Thanks so much for all you’ve done – it’s an honor to defend the Internet with you.
-Evan at Fight for the Future
P.S. I know this was kind of long, but I hope it was a welcome respite from generic year-end fundraising appeals. Without your donations, literally none of our work would be possible. If you can, please chip in.