On the internet, everyone is a creator.

Are you a creator empowered by the internet? We want to hear your story.

We're sharing stories from creators big and small who have used internet platforms to make, share, promote and monetize their work. Send us your story with the form below!

Featured Creator Stories:

Amanda Palmer, Bestselling Author and Musician:

“I escaped a rotten deal with a major record label in my mid-twenties and managed to re-build my career from the ground up using the free and open tools of Internet. I listened to the music of other bands in nearby cities, I found my tribe, I collected knowledge, I wrote prolific blogs that connected me ever more closely with my audience, and I relied heavily on the open flow of information and music from open sources. If I hadn't had this tool, I think my entire career wouldn't have been possible. We need an internet policy that protects the creators and the users — not one that simply serves convenience and profit.”

Barry Eisler, Bestselling Novelist:

“I've written fourteen novels, four short stories, a screenplay, a television pilot, and innumerable blog posts. It's safe to say I'm a content creator. So you might think I'd feel supported by ceaseless corporate attempts to further expand copyright laws. But I don't. Instead, I feel threatened.

Sharing is the lifeblood of the Internet, and if giant corporations succeed in their latest attempts to gut fair use of copyrighted materials and to hold people liable for anything, even a comment, someone else posts on a website, then Internet sharing, and the creativity it enables and fuels, will be severely impaired. Small companies will go out of business. Speech will be chilled. Content will be restricted. Giant corporations, which are the only entities that will have the resources to police their sites in the absence of robust fair use and safe harbor laws, will be further empowered at the expense of the wider society. It's a great deal for oligarchs. For the rest of us, not so much.

So don't fall for the 'copyright is good for content creators' head fake. Proper copyright protection, with common-sense limits, is essential. Beyond that is just an attempt by corporations to control the Internet at the expense of everyone else. And they'll get away with it, too — unless we stop them.”

Cory Doctorow, Bestselling Novelist:

“For once, let America be a net exporter of sane internet policy: fair use and safe harbors are how I, an artist who feeds his family with the proceeds of his art, earn my living. Only delusional, self-serving fools believe that their art springs solely from their imaginations, without being inspired by the people who came before. If we allow the dead hands of our artistic forebears (and the corporations who own their catalogs) to sit on our shoulders as we create, we deny ourselves the opportunity to rise to the stature they attained by plundering those who came before them.”

Iain Thomas, Author & Poet:

“I'm Iain Thomas and I'm an author who lives in South Africa. In 2007, I started a poetry and photography blog with a friend of mine in Japan who I'd never met, he sent me a photograph once a day and I wrote a poem or a short story about it. It became incredibly popular. A Canadian indie publisher picked us up and in 2011, I Wrote This For You went from being a successful blog to a bestselling book, predominantly in America. This global creative collaboration could only have happened with a free and open internet. Being able to reach people in America and elsewhere, from where I live on the tip of Africa, is literally how I pay for the mortgage on my house and the diapers on my daughter.”

Kirby Ferguson, Filmmaker:

“I'm Kirby Ferguson, and I'm a filmmaker, writer and speaker as well as the man behind the popular online video series Everything is a Remix. To be frank, I wouldn't be able to do what I do without balanced copyright provisions. I rely on fair use to sample clips in my videos, and my livelihood depends on safe harbor provisions that protect the online platforms I use to grow my audience and generate revenues: sites like Patreon, YouTube, and social media. Independent businessmen and creators like me need NAFTA to explicitly promote America's balanced copyright, encourage creativity, and support innovation.”

Peter Hollens, A Capella Artist:

“The future of music goes hand-in-hand with technology. Thanks to the internet and social media, I can use YouTube to create and share my a cappella cover songs with fans all over the world. In turn, my online video career has boosted my traditional music career — this winter my wife and I will live out our lifelong dreams of performing on Broadway. In addition, I'm starting my own Online Education platform with over 10,000 students and two division one colleges to help other creators make a living doing what they love. The DMCA's safe harbor provision and fair use are two key reasons for my online success and thriving professional career. Without them, a restrictive copyright system would make it significantly harder for me to do my job and pursue my passions. Balanced copyright lets people do what they love for a living — NAFTA and other trade agreements should reflect that.”

Rob Sheridan, Designer & Photographer:

“As a teenager in the 90s, I taught myself HTML by making a fan site for my favorite band, Nine Inch Nails. They discovered my site and hired me to create their official site, which led to me becoming their art director for 15 years and launched my career to places I never could have imagined in my wildest dreams. Now as an independent artist, I rely on the internet to promote and sell my work and engage with my fans. Protecting the internet's unique empowerment of independent creators is vital not only to small businesses, but to the innovators of the future who are tinkering in their bedrooms right now like I did, dreaming of the possibilities.”

Whitney Avalon, Actor/Singer & Writer/Producer:

“Thanks to the internet, I've gotten to make hundreds of millions of people laugh with my videos. Balanced copyright is vital to artists in the digital age. We so often draw on the creations of artists before us, innovating upon, adding to, and commenting on their creations. Much of my art relies on fair use protections to reference others' work, and most of the platforms which allow creators to reach an international audience and earn revenue rely on safe harbor protections. While I certainly support the defense of copyright — illegal use, online or off, should not be tolerated — it is important to also continue to protect artists and our livelihoods with fair use and safe harbor.”

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