On The Internet, Everyone Is A Creator
from the it's-not-a-broadcast-medium dept
One theme that we’ve covered on Techdirt since its earliest days is the power of the internet as an open platform for just about anyone to create and communicate. Simultaneously, one of our greatest fears has been how certain forces — often those disrupted by the internet — have pushed over and over again to restrict and contain the internet, and turn it into something more like a broadcast platform controlled by gatekeepers, where only the chosen few can use it to create and share. This is one of the reasons we’ve been so adamant over the years that in so many policy fights, “Silicon Valley v. Content” is a false narrative. It’s almost never true — because the two go hand in hand. The internet has made it so that everyone can be a creator. Internet platforms have made it so that anyone can create almost any kind of content they want, they can promote that content, they can distribute it, they can build a fan base, and they can even make money. That’s in huge contrast to the old legacy way of needing a giant gatekeeper — a record label, a movie studio, or a book publisher — to let you into the exclusive club.
And yet, those legacy players continue to push to make the internet into more of a broadcast medium — to restrict that competition, to limit the supply of creators and to push things back through their gates under their control. For example, just recently, the legacy recording and movie industries have been putting pressure on the Trump administration to undermine the internet and fair use in NAFTA negotiations. And, much of their positioning is that the internet is somehow “harming” artists, and needs to be put into check.
This is a false narrative. The internet has enabled so many more creators and artists than it has hurt. And to help make that point, today we’re launching a new site, EveryoneCreates.org which features stories and quotes from a variety of different creators — including bestselling authors, famous musicians, filmmakers, photographers and poets — all discussing how important an open internet has been to building their careers and creating their art. On that same page, you can submit your own stories about how the internet has helped you create, and why it’s important that we don’t restrict it. Please add your own stories, and share the site with others too!
The myth that this is “internet companies v. creators” needs to be put to rest. Thanks to the internet, everyone creates. And let’s keep it that way.