Share your Creative Freedom!
Connection is a Right!
Only 40 days left until YOUR Freedom is disconnected!

As my dad says, “Son, you need to think before you speak
… I urge you, please consider this statement as I have done and make your own voice heard:

Your ‘Freedom of Speech‘ is *no longer valid* if YourFreedom to Think‘ is removed! – be it about what you might say, do, create or whom you might collaborate with or be inspired by.

The Digital Britain Report published in June 2009 and Digital Economy Bill proposed in the House of Lords sets out a vision for the future that has already raised many questions and set-off many alarm bells regarding data governance, information censorship and content licensing – in short its a massive melting pot that will effect the entire Digital Landscapewhich in turn effects You and Your Freedom to Think!

Whether you’re a technology fan or not, its important for you to recognize that your bank statements, medical records, credit card transactions, phone connection, driving theory-test, wages, job applications, newspaper articles, txt messages, emails, television channels, internet services, music and even radio weather forecasts are now digitally connected and delivered – that effects your Right to Privacy and your Freedom of Speech. Obviously it needs some extremely serious consideration, however it appears to be being rushed (pushed) through in front of an election (less than 40 parliamentary days away) – this concerns me *and all of us* greatly!

Putting our Right to Privacy and our Freedom of Speech concerns aside; as a creative fellow the Freedom to Think, be inspired and inspire others is of utmost importance, I prioritize it over making money and I recognize it as more important than my Freedom of Speech. I choose to share and distribute my works and ideas openly using Creative Commons Attribution and I’m inspired by other peoples open content, ideas and conversation daily. I regard closed mindsets, corporate governance, copyright systems and patent laws as *the biggest barriers* to creativity, education, communication and innovation.

I’m not saying that making money from an idea is a bad thing – god knows its on my to-do list but I firmly believe that someone else should be able to access and share my ideas (or use them in a new way) provided they are not using them for financial gain or devaluing my design credit – in my opinion copyright and patent laws need to be redesigned to accommodate this – just imagine what we could do for charities and positive social change!

But I say again, its only the tip of the iceberg and it’s a waste of time campaigning for such things right now because we’ve got more pressing matters to handle!

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Technically, the following act is illegal. Imagine if these laws were applied to your conversation, your ideas and your Freedom to Think:

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I know I’m not the only person who thinks sharing ideas and information without boundaries is truly the key to economic growth, creative enterprise and innovation but from what I’ve seen and read I’m failing to find any evidence that the UK Government or Lord Mandelson are on my wavelength in any way, shape or form.

UK Government, driven by Lord Mandelson, recognizes that our existing communications infrastructures need to be updated. They plan to modernize us with some digital pipework, building blocks and legislation to cope with the futures demand; and to support economic growth, enterprise and innovation – this in itself sounds great!  but…

Whilst Lord Mandelson (Business Secretary and Minister for Information) is driving forward Three Strike proposals to disconnect people from the Internet in the event of copyright violations we are wasting our time arguing that copyright violations may or may not be illegal and do or don’t warrant punishment. The simple fact is this, content in all its forms is now as freely available as conversation and you can’t listen in on every conversation or introduce a giant swearbox – the ‘Business Secretary and Minister for Information’ must surely realize that the businesses of tomorrow won’t actually have secretaries, nor will information be administered – I’ll also suggest he’s smart enough not to care about our squabbling as it only buys him time to push, push, push…

If your mind is stuck on having the Internet as a Human Right or Legal Right as its already viewed by some countries in Europe then you need to look at the larger Digital Landscape and the scope of such non-future-proof policy making: If I download a pirated film, will I be disconnected from accessing my bank account or banned from attending my online Open University lecture?

Hannah Nicklin‘s recent Open Letter to Peter Mandelson was perfectly crafted, information packed and said everything it needed to in terms of a protest letter but as she points out in her more recent blog post ‘Its not working‘ – we need a more directed approach and real-world Campaign – so has anyone got any ideas?

Last Thursday (24th November 2009) I went to London to meet the founder of Louder.org.uk and the OpenRightsGroup.Org team. Together we are proposing a campaign (be it online, offline or preferably both) that focuses on today’s digital economy creators, thinkers and makers – tweeters, bloggers, designers, developers, musicians etc…

The ultimate freedom is the freedom to think, to express, to have a voice, to create, to share, to connect with others, to collaborate, to innovate, to inspire and be inspired.

Share your Creative Freedom! Connection is a Right!
We’ve got 40 days until YOUR Freedom is disconnected!

PLEASE call your MP to tell them why the Digital Economy Bill shouldn’t be pushed through before the election << CLICK LINK << and if you want to help directly please email [email protected]
Share Your Creative Freedom! and spread the word!

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Disclaimer: The ’40 Days’ reference is based upon ’40 Parliamentary Days’ as suggested in conversation by the Open Rights Group – these thoughts fell from my fingers into the keyboard – they are my honest opinions and open thinking because that’s what blogs are for right? Please do comment or contact me directly if you feel I need to correct or adjust any details or references…

3 Comments

fellowcreative

about 5 years ago

I've just written the following letter to my MP -- Dear Jonathan Shaw, I live in Rochester and I run my own business ‘Fellow Creative’ from a studio based in Chatham. I work across a wide spectrum of creative, sustainable, digital and academic disciplines. I’m also a widely networked and well known individual in Medway, London and Brighton. I’m extremely concerned about the Digital Economy Bill that is being pushed through the House of Lords ahead of the forthcoming election. I’m currently working in partnership with the Open Rights Group and other major organisations/individuals to help stimulate awareness about the vast impact such a bill will have on the UK economy, innovation and society as a whole – today, and more importantly in the future. You’ve no doubt heard arguments about copyright and file-sharing but I’m not currently concerned by these. I’m an early adopter of technology and I, like many others in my world, realize the wider implications. I urge you to please read a blog post I’ve written that highlights what a catastrophic government failure it would be if the Digital Economy Bill was rushed through without greater consideration. You can find my blog post here: http://bit.ly/CreativeFreedom I thank you for taking the time to listen, I await your confirmation of receipt and I look forward to hearing your thoughts directly. Yours sincerely, Carl Carl Jeffrey Dip BA (Hons) Creative Midwife & Joiner-of-Dots

C Randle

about 5 years ago

Why don't we do what they did in NZ and black out our avatars? Then let the press know why and put pressure on our MP's. Just a thought.

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