Reddit Writes A Law: First Draft Of The Free Internet Act Emerges
from the needs-some-work,-but... dept
As we noted last month, the community at Reddit responded to the whole SOPA mess by deciding that they should collaborate to write their own piece of legislation that protects internet freedoms. The first draft of the Free Internet Act is now available as an open Google doc, where there are additional edits and comments going on as we speak.
The Free Internet Act: To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation by preventing the restriction of liberty and preventing the means of censorship. FIA will allow internet users to browse freely without any means of censorship, users have the right to free speech and to free knowledge; we govern the content of the internet, governments don’t. However enforcements/laws must also be put into place to protect copyrighted content.
Huffington Post has a good background article on how the bill was developed. Of course, as we noted when this originally started, there is something a bit naive about how they’re going about it… but that’s kind of what makes it exciting. It was that kind of naivete that actually enabled SOPA to be stopped. Most “experts” assumed it was a done deal and nothing could stop it. But along came folks such as the Reddit community who simply didn’t know that SOPA couldn’t be stopped… and they were instrumental in getting it stopped. So I’m excited to see what that same sort of open optimism can do on the proactive side, even if at points it feels naive or cringe-worthy.
Of course, at the same time, it’s a little disappointing to see this:
“The idea is to aim high,” the thread reads. “This is the same strategy employed by SOPA/ACTA pushers. We are aiming absurdly high, so that we can back down and reach a compromise.”
The power of the Reddit community was that it aimed high and achieved. The fact that it stood by its principles rather than “looking for a compromise” was what worked. If you go into a process looking for a compromise, that’s what you’ll get. If you go into a process looking for the absolutely best solution then you’re more likely to get that. People shouldn’t be approaching a bill about internet freedom as if it’s a fight between multiple parties and compromise is needed. This should be about creating a solution that is really important and really good for everyone. Then no compromise is needed at all.
Either way, this is an interesting process to watch. I’m not sure it will actually go anywhere, but I love the enthusiasm and the proactive initiative…