Re:Create Recap – January 19, 2017

This Week In History: Internet Blackout Leads To SOPA/PIPA Defeat. January 18 marked the five-year anniversary of the unprecedented “internet blackout,” which led to the defeat of the SOPA/PIPA legislation. The Re:Create Coalition released a statement stating, “Five years ago, millions of Americans across the country came together by harnessing the power of the internet…Thanks to the unprecedented online protest, Congress rejected SOPA and PIPA and protected free speech and innovation on the internet.” In a Medium post, Re:Create’s Executive Director Joshua Lamel highlighted editorials from news outlets, such as the Washington Post and New York Times, that “hailed the need to protect and preserve internet freedoms.” These headlines, he states, “are just as relevant today as the internet’s reach and economic impact have only grown since then.” Also, check out Re:Create’s Buzzfeed post and discover the 12 Things You Can Do Because Congress Protected Internet Freedoms.

Keep Watch. Stay Free. Internet platforms, advocacy organizations and individuals are taking part in the Stay Free campaign to remember the fifth anniversary of the SOPA/PIPA battle, including the Center for Democracy & Technology, Consumer Technology Association, Demand Progress, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Engine, Fight for the Future, Kickstarter, Lawrence Lessig,, Public Knowledge, Re:Create Coalition, TechCrunch and WordPress. The campaign’s Medium post reminds users that the call to action “didn’t fall along party lines. It brought together libertarians, progressives, conservatives, and Tea Party activists.” The campaign also released an infographic and video.

New CopyThis Podcast: A New Era at the Copyright Office. In the second episode of the Copy This Podcast, host Kirby Ferguson talks with Re:Create’s Executive Director Joshua Lamel about the U.S. Copyright Office’s past, present and future. Josh and Kirby take a look at recent changes that unfolded with new leadership at the Library of Congress tasked with trying to catch the office up. Lamel also breaks down for listeners just who has a stake in policies handed down by the Copyright Office and why we should care about this little known — but very important — part of our government.

Op-Ed: “Internet Users Are A Powerful Constituency.” This week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Kerry Maeve Sheehan penned the Slate op-ed, Five Years Ago, Internet Users Showed Their Political Might. And They Will Do It Again, to serve as a reminder “that internet users are keeping track of what their government is up to, and they stand ready to take action again, online and in real life.” In the op-ed Sheehan writes, “Not every bad bill or good policy proposal will trigger this kind of response, nor should it. But our representatives are on notice: Internet users are a powerful constituency. We’re watching, and we will mobilize.”

MLK’s “I Have A Dream” Speech Not In The Public Domain. The Washington Post wrote the article, 53 years later, you still have to pay to use Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, noting that many people don’t realize that the iconic speech is private property that belongs to the King family and must be licensed for use. “Historians and civil rights leaders have, over the years, expressed concern about limiting access to the speech, whose power lies not only in the words but in his delivery,” according to the Post’s Valerie Strauss. Media outlets have had to pay thousands of dollars for the license and the 2014 film “Selma” was not granted permission to use the speech.