Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Happy Internet Freedom Day, Y’all

Today is the first anniversary of the online protests against SOPA and PIPA that helped turn the U.S. Congress against voting for the restrictive Internet piracy legislation.

More than 100,000 websites participated in an online blackout on Jan. 18, 2012, with Google, Craigslist, Reddit, Wikipedia and others directing visitors to contact their representatives about the threat of online censorship; some of them disabled their availability in protest. Two days later, the bills were shelved.

So, some of those same people and organizations have declared that Jan. 18 is now Internet Freedom Day. They suggest taking various actions to honor the occasion. For instance, banding together in memory of Aaron Swartz, the Internet activist who committed suicide a week ago after being federally indicted for downloading academic documents with the intent to release them publicly.

There are also physical get-togethers in San Francisco and Washington, D.C.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work