Regardless of one’s policy views or party affiliations, it seems clear that the magnetic poles are shifting with regard to both tone and agenda in American politics. And because many artists are moved to respond to social conditions, we are likely to see quite a few speak out in defense of civil liberties they fear may be threatened in the current environment. This will surely include threats—perceived or real—to the sanctity of the internet as the bulwark against encroachments on the First Amendment. This is not a new theme, and it is one that has been exploited to great effect by the internet industry as an excuse to attack legislative measures to enforce copyrights online and/or voluntary measures to achieve that goal.
The sound of the rhetoric may change somewhat in the coming months. If one was inclined to believe that copyright enforcement would harm free speech before, one may be twice as likely to believe that message in an increasingly anxious climate. But it still won’t be true. If there are indeed new First Amendment infringements to come, they won’t be grounded in copyright policy. To the contrary, no matter who occupies the Oval Office, or how cybersecurity practices evolve, the fact remains that a failure to effectively protect and respect creators’ rights online only disenfranchises the professionals whose voices have always been essential to democratic principles.
Read the post by David Newhoff on Illusion of More