The Electronic Frontier Foundation is having a Blog-a-thon to celebrate its 15th anniversary. They are asking for stories about "click moments," the moment of first taking action in support of freedom in the digital world. This is my contribution to the EFF15 Blog-a-thon.
Like many people, I'm sure, I've taken many small steps towards online activism. But my click moment is obvious. I started this blog in January 2003. The direct impetus for starting the blog was that I was quitting my job to follow my fantasies. My fantasies, which I had been kicking around for at least six months, were based on music on the Internet. Specifically, my contention was that it was impossible to stop music from being distributed on the Internet. Rather than trying to fight it, I thought musicians should try to take advantage of that fact.
But that wasn't my real click moment. That came a few months later. By that time, my blog had mostly stalled. Then I saw a flyer for a symposium on copyright being run by the Harvard Journal of Law & Technology. Initially, I thought it sounded kind of interesting, but I'm not sure I thought much more than that. But before too long, I decided I had to go.
The decision to go was really the critical moment for me. I went. I came home and blogged about it. My blog instantly turned into a copyright blog. I attended legislative hearings. I started meeting other bloggers. And I went to more conferences. My friends started threatening interventions to save me from the copyfight lifestyle.
Copyright issues in the digital age are overwhelming. There's so much going on all the time that I eventually fell behind. I tried to play catchup, but catching up was even harder than staying on top of things in the first place. I fell out of the blogging habit. Since then, my blog posting has been somewhat hit and miss. I still post about the most important developments, but I haven't been posting regularly, despite attempts to get restarted.
But the important thing is that I still believe. The EFF is one of many groups fighting the good fight. I'm still a participant in that fight. I have faith in freedom on the Internet. I believe that action makes a difference, and has made a difference. I'm not sure that this is a fight that will ever be truly won, but I am sure that we'll keep fighting, and I'm proud to stand with the EFF on its 15th anniversary.