May 14, 2004

iLaw mood piece

[Notes for what happened at the iLaw sessions can be found indexed at FurdLog, go there if you're interested in that material.]

People sometimes ask me why I did all the free-speech work that I've done. This is often after I mention, usually grouchily these days, that I've never gotten a cent for all my years of speech activism, and in fact it's been an extremely heavy opportunity-cost.

I say, in as wistful a tone as I can muster to try to convey my emotion:

"I wanted to keep the Internet free".

Many years ago, in 1996, when I went to my first "Internet" conference (CFP96 - The Sixth Conference on Computers, Freedom, and Privacy) I talked about being present as the bits are put in place. Today, I was flashing back to that time, to the feeling of shapings and potentialities in a conference room.

It's been a long strange trip since then.

What I try to explain, is that sense of the world in flux, of open possibilities, of seismic shifts in the works, of fundamental changes taking place as the technological advances worked its way through social organization.

Of course, one wave has by now already crested and broken (dot-boom/dot-bust). But the effect is that it means everybody knows what's at stake now.

Censorship! Copyright! Culture! ... what's at stake, where are we going, What Does It All Mean ...

Except now it's getting answered.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in politics | on May 14, 2004 11:43 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
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A lot of people don't understand what we have going on. The decisions we make now are going to affect how we use technology for years to come. This isn't just about music. Its about the right to have the freedom to expirement.

Posted by: Ryan Tanner at May 16, 2004 12:27 AM