AN AGENDA FOR FREE EXPRESSION THAT RESPECTS CREATORS, AND EMBRACES DEMOCRACY
At its best, the Internet encourages us to share, use our creativity, and express ourselves freely. It fosters the same key experiences that help us preserve our imaginations and our capacity to learn as we grow from children into adults. What we’ve heard from the hundreds of thousands of Internet users worldwide who have participated in OpenMedia’s projects is that the Internet has the power to bring people together around these common learning experiences and shared values. This includes both those who want to share, and those who want to create – the Internet provides us all with new ways to exercise our right to freedom of expression. As Chris, an OpenMedia Internet Voice participant from Sweden, states: “On the Internet, free expression, creativity, education, public discourse and debate thrive like never before...The people of the world finally have a voice."1
1. “Internet Voices” come from the approximately 30,000 people who have used OpenMedia’s “Internet Voice Tool” (found at openmedia.org/facetoface) or OpenMedia’s social media platforms to submit comments to the TPP negotiators. We quote these OpenMedia supporters throughout the report to bring more attention to the lived experiences of Internet users with copyright and free expression. See the chapter on “The Process” for more information about the “Internet Voice Tool” and the hundreds of thousands of people worldwide who have spoken out for free expression.
3. See “The Process” for more information on our consultation process.
4. See “Appendix: Methodology” for full results for the drag-and-drop crowdsourcing tool.
5. Total numbers from all OpenMedia actions on free expression include: http://stopthetrap.net - 112,145 signatures, http://ourfairdeal.org - 19,694 signatures, https://openmedia.org/froman - 22,867 signatures, https://openmedia.org/censorship - 141,130 signatures, https://stopthesecrecy. net - 161,026 signatures, https://openmedia.org/expression - 62,670 signatures, https://openmedia. org/letter - 912 supporters, who used our Letter to the Editor tool, https://openmedia.org/facetoface - 29,041 participants (with duplicate actions removed, the number of unique supporters is ~316,000).
6. Other notable examples of attempts to use copyright policy to censor the Internet include the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a bill pushed through by lobbyists who sought to criminalize alleged copyright infringement, force ISPs to block websites suspected of promoting online sharing, and even ban companies from conducting business with “blacklisted” websites. (http:// www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/tech-news/sopas-most-frightening-flaw... predicts/article1358850/?page=all) Iterations of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), an international intellectual property agreement, also included provisions which seek criminal charges for copyright infringement.