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The Fight for the Future: How to Save the Internet

This event will explain how a grassroots movement involving millions of people was able to defeat money, politicians, Hollywood, and the copyright lobby, all in the name of a "free and open Internet." People used Facebook, Twitter, and other social media to organize and launch protests against SOPA and ACTA, two controversial copyright proposals in the United States and European Union that many feared would lead to Internet censorship. Participants will learn how the Internet helped people fight for their Internet freedoms--and do the unthinkable in stopping powerful lobbyists and the entertainment industry in their effort to clamp down on online piracy at all costs.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. Why did Wikipedia, Google, and thousands of websites black out their sites on January 18, 2012?
  2. Why did over a hundred thousand people demonstrate on the streets of 250 cities in Europe in below freezing temperatures following the Wikipedia blackout?
  3. Who were some of the key people involved in organizing the grassroots movement to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in Congress and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in the European Union?
  4. How did Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, and other social media help people organize and wage the grassroots opposition to SOPA and ACTA?
  5. What is at stake in the fight for future of the Internet, and how can it be saved from censorship and restrictions?



Edward Lee, Professor of Law, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law

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