Yesterday, ICONTALKS joined 16 organizations that represent creators of color in urging Congress to consider the unique challenges of the digital creative economy, including the “massive theft and exploitation of creative works on the internet” that particularly damages diverse and independent artists, as part of their ongoing review of abuses facilitated by many online platforms.
In a letter signed by multicultural film festivals and professional, educational and advocacy organizations, the groups made clear they “celebrate the internet as a platform for creativity, expression and innovation” but warn that “if something isn’t done to make it a safer, more equitable, more welcoming place, the promise of the internet will be lost.”
The signatories note that overbroad legal immunities discourage many big platforms from taking aggressive action to diminish piracy and other harms:
As creators, we are keenly aware of the responsibility we bear for our creative decisions, which can have consequences for our communities and society, not to mention our own careers. But online, little such accountability exists, because expansive “safe harbor” laws have largely absolved internet platforms from responsibility for the content they choose to display to users.
As such, there have been few consequences for the dissemination of illegal and abhorrent content online, and the problems this arrangement creates are becoming increasingly apparent.
Ultimately, what is needed, the creators argue, is “a national conversation about how we can restore the original promise of the internet” – one that provides new avenues and opportunities for diverse creators and that connects fans and artists in new and revolutionary ways.
To read the full letter, click here.