Meet The Internet Defense League (And Join It, Too)

from the defend-the-internet dept

A bunch of the folks who were instrumental in the SOPA/PIPA fight have been working together over the last few months to build The Internet Defense League, which is launching today. Techdirt is a founding member, along with a number of other organizations and sites, including Reddit, Mozilla, Cheezburger, EFF, Fark, Imgur and more. The process is being driven by the awesome folks at Fight for the Future, who were the ones behind the American Censorship Day effort during the SOPA fight. The launch is today, in part because today is also the day that the new Batman movie opens -- and part of the IDL's concept is that when the internet is at risk, it can shine a "cat signal" to alert the internet to jump in and do something:
Believe it or not, they've actually put together a few of these cat signals in real life, so look around tonight in a few cities and you might see one.

Taking a page from Kickstarter, the IDL has set up various tiers to which you can donate to get your own personal mini-cat signal or a t-shirt or some other fun offerings.

Earlier this year, I wrote about the Hacking Society gathering, put on by Union Square Ventures. During that discussion, Clay Shirky brought up the idea of an "Internet Volunteer Fire Department" and Tiffiniy Cheng, from Fight for the Future, explained the IDL and how they were already working on it. You can watch that discussion to get a sense of the thinking behind this effort:
We're proud and excited to be a part of this effort. We, like many, hope that the IDL is actually a wasted effort and is never actually needed. But, given what we see happening all the time, it seems unlikely that the IDL will never need to be called into action.

Filed Under: defense, free speech, internet, openness
Companies: cheezburger, eff, fark, imgur, internet defense league, mozilla, reddit


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  1. identicon
    bob, 19 Jul 2012 @ 7:51am

    What about my freedom to create without being pirated?

    Somehow I think that the IDL has a very narrow definition of what needs to be protected. This is all just astroturfing for Big Search, Big Hardware and Big Piracy. This is why Google supports the EFF with such generous, tax-dodging "gifts" and the IDL is just an extension of it.

    Lets say some big company takes your vacation photo and uses it without paying you squat. The IDL will be there claiming that it's "fair use" and you're merely trying to censor the Internet by trying to stop people from replicating your photo everywhere.

    The organizations involved in the IDL don't care about individuals rights-- unless they're the so-called right to pirate anything anywhere anytime. The folks in the IDL try to avoid doing anything to defend the hard work of people because that would mean defending copyright and there's nothing that Big Search, Big Hardware and Big Piracy hate more than is the copyright law and the way it can force them to respect the hard work of the average person.

    So expect that the IDL will insist that an ever expanding concept of "fair use" is essential or else the Internet will be broken. Because the billionaires who are paying for the IDL want it that way.

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