The environmental case for keeping the Internet and its markets free

by Doc Searls

The Generative Internet is more than a seminal brief on behalf of the Net. It provides the intellectual and legal foundations for many arguments to come.

The response to "Saving the Net", posted here last Wednesday, has been overwhelming to the verge of embarrassment. Bret Faucett called it "The Internet's Lexington Green" Geek News Central said I deserved "some sort of award". Phil Windley wrote,"if you take the time to read just one essay on the ‘Net and the politics surrounding it this year, read this one". It even got Slashdotted. There are 54 comments under the piece so far, many of them thought-provoking and helpful. (And I promise, when I'm back from the road trip I'm on, I'll respond to as many as I can.)

Meanwhile, there have only been 61 downloads so far of The Generative Internet, by Jonathan Zittrain in the Harvard Law Review. We need to change that.

The Generative Internet is entirely consistent with what I wrote in Saving the Net, and describes in much greater depth the fecundity of the Internet as an environment that supports commerce, culture and governance. It also makes a reasoned and passionate case for protecting it from those that seek to limit its services in their own selfish interests.

It is also something we desperately need: a case anchored in an understanding that works across all political sympathines. For those on the left, it makes the environmental case. For those on the right, it makes the free market case. For all of us, it makes the case for keeping a place we all share as open and free as it was designed to be in the first place.

It is, in short, required reading.