One year ago today, the internet community came together as never before. Users, entrepreneurs, policy experts, and activists united to defeat the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act. The downfall of SOPA and PIPA opened a new chapter in internet and technology-based activism and sent a resounding message to Washington: protect the free and open internet.
Today, we’re launching “Stop The Wall” a video that shows how Engine fought to stop SOPA and PIPA, and how we as a community succeeded through the dedication of so many engaged individuals across the United States who took the time to call their legislators.
With the new Congress, we aim to make startups and entrepreneurship a central priority for lawmakers -- beyond copyright. Patent, immigration, spectrum, data, and financial regulation will all be debated in the coming months. The Engine team expects to be at the fore of these debates, connecting our members to Washington and reminding policymakers that the internet is powering our economy.
The last year hasn’t been without its blows. The recent passing of Aaron Swartz is an immeasurable loss, foremost to his family and friends, and also to the internet’s collective voice. Demand Progress, Aaron’s organization with whom Engine collaborated during the SOPA/PIPA fight, is just one aspect of his important body of work, which touches everything from public policy, Creative Commons, Reddit, and RSS. As we celebrate our community’s efforts on January 18th last year, we also remember Aaron and strive to continue the work he devoted his life to.
Tonight, we’re gathering with members, friends, and fellow activists to celebrate the end of SOPA and PIPA. We will also reflect on the life, work, and spirit of Aaron Swartz.
His life demonstrates yet again the power of the internet to enable one voice to overcome a chorus of conventional wisdom. Aaron empowered many in the fight against a closed internet and obsolescent legal structures. Engine aims to continue this fight and to act as an agent of change in government.
Thank you for your commitment in 2012. The internet is, and will continue to be, better because of the work of people committed to our internet and our economy.