Last week, Public Knowledge hosted its annual celebration honoring the dedication of those working to represent consumers in Internet protocol, intellectual property and information policy. This year we honored Shari Steele of the Electronic Frontier Foundation for information policy, Rebecca Tushnet of Georgetown Law for intellectual property, and Chip Pickering of COMPTEL for Internet protocol.
Shari was nominated for working tirelessly at EFF to fight for free speech, privacy and innovation. Shari joined EFF as a staff attorney in 1992 and went on to be EFF’s legal director for eight years before becoming executive director in 2000. Shari has passionately guided EFF into becoming the world-recognized defender of digital rights it is today.
Rebecca was nominated for advocating that fan-created works be treated as fair use, for founding the Organization for Transformative Works, and for establishing an archive for fan fiction. She also successfully petitioned the copyright office for 1201 exceptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to facilitate the creation of fan works — no easy feat.
Chip was nominated for supporting net neutrality at COMPTEL as fervently as any public interest group. He led his association of broadband providers and other communications companies in support of Title II, making the case that an Open Internet is just as essential to competition in the marketplace as it is to consumers. He also added a conservative voice for the principles of competition and openness, making these perspectives central to advocacy efforts at a critical moment.
Opening remarks were given by Public Knowledge President Gene Kimmelman, who also honored Helen Brunner for her longtime support for the work of advocates for diversity and inclusion in media and the Internet, and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler for his enormous accomplishments ranging from Open Internet rules to promoting cable and spectrum competition. Chairman Wheeler also gave remarks, commending public interest groups for serving as a counter-balance to corporate interests.
Thank you to all who attended to support Public Knowledge and the work of these incredible people. We can't wait to see you again next year!
Images by RMN Photography.