Stop the Secrecy

Open Governance

Crashing Down to Earth.

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 13:54 -- Eva Prkachin

In 2013, Canadian astronaut and all around cool dude Commander Chris Hadfield sang, recorded, and filmed a cover of David Bowie’s stargazing classic “Space Oddity.” The music video was a fitting tribute to the Bowie hit and Hadfield’s time aboard the International Space Station. On the anniversary of his return to Earth, Hadfield’s one-year license to use the song expired and he was forced to take the video down from YouTube.

Technology has enabled us to send a man into space for months at a time, where, in addition to conducting important scientific research, he shared his experiences with the rest of us on the ground via social media and live satellite feeds. Despite these incredible technological advances, laws for sharing and collaborating online have lagged behind for decades, resulting in scenarios like the above. Here’s a brief run-down of why rules for sharing and collaborating online need to be modernized and what you can do to help.

Use the Internet to save the Internet - and win an incredible pro-Internet prize pack

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 10:11 -- Thanh Lam

At OpenMedia, we love sharing and collaborating with our global community when it comes to formulating effective and game changing digital policy.

That means using the Internet to save the Internet. It also means reaching out to one another, to converse, to deliberate and of course, to combine our own unique strengths -- as well as sharing our weaknesses -- to create something that's bigger and more beautiful than our own individual efforts: a citizen-created plan for a positive and inclusive digital future.

Mythbusters: Internet Censorship edition

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 11:04 -- Thanh Lam

Back in the 1980s, there was a huge fear that video would kill the radio star - a sentiment most shockingly expressed by Jack Valenti, former President of the MPAA (Movie Picture American Association) when sounding the alarm about the arrival of the VCR:

"I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone."

This was, of course, in 1982. Over thirty years later, it's safe to assume that the VCR has not led to the untimely demise of American film producers. The opposite holds true -- we're chortling away at how ridiculous and outdated VCRs now seem (remember having to actually rewind those tapes?). Nostalgia aside, we should take a second to realize that while the technological landscape has changed, the myth that new technology will be the ruin of creativity and our cultural richness still very much persists.

Aaron’s Law: don’t criminalize everyday use of the Internet

Thu, 07/18/2013 - 15:41 -- Camille Crowther

It was just a few months ago that Aaron Swartz, a co-founder of Reddit and a distinguished Internet pioneer and activist, took his own life. Swartz had found himself in serious trouble under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), and was looking at a thirty-five year jail sentence, along with a $1 million fine, after engaging in civil disobedience for the open information movement.