Mail to the MEPs – Please don’t kill the future
2012/06/28 12 kommentarer
I’ve just sent this e-mail to all the MEPs (se Ricks post to get the addresses) about my concerns over ACTA and the EU-politics regarding the Internet in general. It would be interesting to know if anyone will take the time to read it, but, well, I guess actually being part of the protest is the important thing here…
My name is Martin Persson. This last half year I’ve quit my day job and started working as a software specialist contractor. Two months ago I learned Android and wrote my first app for a smartphone. Last week I learned C# and .NET so I could write a Windows program that updates the software in computerised carburettors for two stroke engines.
All these things have been possible because of one thing only; the Internet as we know it.
When I was young I studied at the university. Not only do I no longer work within the field I studied, the knowledge is long since ago obsolete anyway. Yet, despite not having taken one single relevant course at the university in the field where I now work as a specialist, I am successful enough to make a living.
Once more these things have one thing in common; the Internet as we know it.
Back in the 90’s I and some friends founded a company that were among the first to explore the possibilities with e-commerce. We were so early we had to help the banks develop systems to make it possible for the customers to pay for what they ordered over the net. Most of my career has been about developing new technology and exploring new possibilities, for this I use the Internet daily to compare products, search information, communicate with others in the same situation on online forums and educate myself about new technologies.
A third time the lowest common denominator is the Internet as we know it.
My career wouldn’t be possible without the Internet and I’m not alone. The success of Linux, for example, is a direct result of the existence of the Internet and the possibility to freely share information over it. If ACTA had been in power back in the early 90’s Linux would not have existed and a lot of things we today take for granted wouldn’t exist or would look very different. Things like Android smart phones, modern TVs and digital VCR’s, most super computers in the world, Japanese high speed rail, robotic systems for milking cows, CERN and even Google, Amazon and Facebook.
ACTA, SOPA, PIPA, CISPA and other ideas about regulating, locking down and censoring the Internet will grind innovation to a halt and effectively kill the next wave of technology, exactly like it would’ve killed Linux 20 years ago. There’s no way of saying what companies won’t be founded or what innovations won’t be invented, but it will mean it will be harder for me to get contracts, it will definitely hit the EU economically in a negative way, it will be harder to found new companies around new innovations and it will, sadly, not even help the obsolete industry (more than possibly very briefly) that is doing its best to break the Internet in a vain attempt to stay in business.
My experience is that the cutting edge ideas almost exclusively happen in small companies or organisations operated by a handful of people obsessed by a vision. Most (if not all) of these companies depend on the Internet for searching and sharing information, buying and selling products, marketing, finding business partners and so on. You have the power to make it tremendously harder for these companies by clamping down on the Internet, but it’s also within your grasp to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship by protecting the Internet. You can start with voting against ACTA.
Please don’t kill the future.