Image credit: @backfromthefuture2 via Twenty20 If “weekend protesting” has replaced your normal “weekend brunching,” if you now have your Member of Congress’ phone number programmed into your phone, if you have Facebooked, Tweeted, Instagrammed, or Pinned any sort of political commentary in the past several months… THIS POST IS FOR YOU.
Tomorrow, July 12, 2017, Fractured Atlas will be among the numerous websites, internet users, and online communities coming together to sound the alarm about the future of net neutrality, and the internet itself, as part of the Battle for the Net’s “Day of Action.”
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In final Deutsch fellowship project, Courtney Duffy spearheads 3D/DC For the second straight year, Fractured Atlas sponsored 3D/DC, a 3D printing policy event on Capitol Hill, which was produced by our friends at Public Knowledge. While 3D/DC has grown and changed over its six years, its mission remains the same: to connect makers with federal policymakers to promote policy that will encourage, rather than hinder, innovation in the industry. This was my second year at the helm of 3D/DC — you can read up on last year’s event here — and it was sadly the last major project of my two-year fellowship.
Credit: Tim O’Brien, Source Last month, I met a lovely white woman from Texas at a friend’s Women’s March afterparty. Our conversation didn’t begin with politics — she’s the director of a Montessori school and avid biker, I’m an education policy hobbyist and avid biker — so things were going well. And then, out of the blue, she makes a casual comment about wishing she didn’t have to make the trip to Washington to protest.
Source: keepwatchstayfree.org Lessons from the SOPA/PIPA Battle Are Relevant As Ever by Courtney Duffy, Robert W. Deutsch Arts & Technology Policy Fellow at Fractured Atlas On Wednesday, January 18, 2012, major Internet websites united to protest censorship and defeat SOPA/PIPA. Five years later, it’s as important as ever that we — both the arts community and the Internet community at large — rededicate ourselves to the principles of Internet freedom. Join the conversation on Twitter by using hashtags #InternetFreedomDay, #SOPA, and #PIPA. Remind me exactly what happened. Five years ago last week, more than 50,000 websites made their homepages dark, uniting to protest both censorship and threats to Internet freedom posed by two bills in Congress: the House version, the Stop Online Piracy Act (“SOPA”), and the Senate’s Protect IP Act (“PIPA”). Participating websites included such recognizable names as Google, Amazon, Reddit, Craigslist, Wikipedia, and more. The move made Congress take notice, resulting in the failure of both bills. What was wrong with SOPA and PIPA? While the bills claimed to protect copyrighted works from piracy, their enforcement mechanisms would have had a dangerous effect on the Internet power balance, promoting censorship. The proposal was essentially a “guilty until proven innocent” model — it would have been easy, for example, for an organization to claim copyright infringement against a competitor in order to shut down the competitor’s website. Even if the accused party was innocent, they would need to pay expensive legal fees to defend themselves. It’s important for us to note that we at Fractured Atlas believe wholeheartedly in copyright law, as well as the importance of artists being fairly compensated for their work. We simply felt strongly (and still do) that the solutions proposed in SOPA and PIPA were tremendously flawed and posed dangers to the constituency of artists that we serve. Did Fractured Atlas speak out against SOPA and PIPA? We’re proud to say that we did — in fact, we were the first major national arts services organization to take a stand. Adam Huttler, our founder and CEO, urged in a letter to Senate leadership to consider other solutions and avoid passing PIPA. We were soon joined by a number of other arts organizations, who together signed onto a second letter to Senate leadership. The coalition consisted of friends like Dance/USA, OPERA America, Theatre Communications Group, and Chorus America, among others. Our efforts were part of a large coalition of Internet defenders, large and small, that spoke out against this harmful potential legislation. Has anything major happened in this space between then and now? In February 2015, the Federal Communications Commission adopted strong rules to protect net neutrality. This victory was largely a result of yet another large-scale advocacy effort that caught the attention of policymakers — 4 million people submitted official comments in support of strong open Internet rules. What does this mean to the arts and Internet communities today? As has historically been the case when the D.C. power balance shifts to a new party, the Trump administration and Congressional Republican majority will put forth their own broadband policies. There is a strong possibility of new FCC commissioners overturning the net neutrality rules, as well as other rulings made over the last several years that could resemble the frameworks of SOPA and PIPA. As artists and Internet users, we must actively keep ourselves informed about these developments, and vigilantly defend an Internet that allows for continued creativity and innovation on an even playing field. Where can I find more information? A new Medium post called “Keep Watch, Stay Free,” is chock full of additional resources. You can also check out this video about the blackout, along with articles from TechCrunch and BoingBoing. You can find Courtney on Twitter @cduffy90, and join the conversation by using hashtags #InternetFreedomDay, #SOPA, and #PIPA. Courtney Duffy is the Robert W. Deutsch Arts & Technology Policy fellow at Fractured Atlas, a nonprofit technology company that helps artists with the business aspects of their work. To learn more about Fractured Atlas, or to get involved, visit us here.
by Courtney Duffy, Robert W. Deutsch Arts & Technology Policy Fellow at Fractured Atlas Source: Flickr Fractured Atlas proudly signed on to a letter to the new administration in support of technology policies that promote universal access, an open internet, and civil rights. The letter, which was signed this month by 18 public interest and nonprofit groups, urges the incoming Trump administration to incorporate seven principles into its policy-making. Here are the principles, which can also be found in the full letter:
All toxic relationships thrive on potential. All of them. Humans are optimistically addicted to seeking comfort and rational answers at all times. As a result, we will stay far longer than we should, and behave much more passively than makes sense, working toxic jobs that offer meager promotion opportunities, breaking bread with toxic, self-absorbed friends who offer neither a helping hand nor a shoulder to cry on, and sleeping with toxic people incapable of caring for anyone but themselves. We would much rather engage in the fantastical potential of what these relationships could be than deal with the reality of what we already know they are.
by Courtney Duffy, Robert W. Deutsch Arts & Technology Policy Fellow at Fractured Atlas Source: Flickr Courtney Duffy, our Robert W. Deutsch Arts & Technology Policy Fellow, is back with the latest edition of Copyright With Courtney. She discusses a new development in the ongoing legal battle between Google and Oracle over the use of the Java programming language, and what it means in the greater conversation about fair use. You can find Courtney on Twitter @cduffy90 and join the conversation using #CopyrightWithCourtney.
a mosaic of the Fractured Atlas staff “I’m not interested in anybody’s guilt. Guilt is a luxury that we can no longer afford. I know you didn’t do it, and I didn’t do it either, but I am responsible for it because I am a man and a citizen of this country and you are responsible for it, too, for the very same reason… Anyone who is trying to be conscious must begin to dismiss the vocabulary which we’ve used so long to cover it up, to lie about the way things are.” ~ James Baldwin A few weeks ago, Adam Huttler, Fractured Atlas’s CEO, wrote a blog post in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. In that short post, he clearly stated our commitment to fighting systemic racism and other forms of oppression. However, while the post hinted that we felt our statement was long overdue, it stopped short of sharing how Fractured Atlas has navigated deep discussions about our place in the social justice movement for almost two years. Our guilt, and a desire to not seem “trite” or late to the protest had paralyzed us.