One Cold Saturday this January I decided to head up to Speakers Corner in Hyde Park and play a few songs from my new album. I’d asked around for ideas of a good location to record a music video for YouTube – Speakers Corner was the suggestion of a good friend of mine Olly, it turned out to be an interesting choice.
The weather was beautiful, a cold and frosty winters day, you can see the moisture in my breath condensing as it hits the air when I sing. The sun cast some really nice lens flares and formed a radiant backlight, all in all it looks very pleasing visually. People stopped by to listen on their way through Hyde Park and it felt good to sing freely without any kind of agenda.
Speakers Corner has hosted free public speech every Sunday since the right of free assembly was recognised in 1872 in the Royal Parks and Garden’s Act. It is a place where information and opinions (sometimes controversial) can be openly shared and discussed, debate is led by individuals standing on ‘soap boxes’ and orating to the crowds. Speakers in the past have included Karl Marx, Lenin, George Orwell, and William Morris.
When I went online to look into the history of Speakers Corner I immediately navigated to Wikipedia and was surprised to see that it is currently blacked out for 24 hours.
“This is in protest against SOPA and PIPA (Two bills in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate respectively) They are efforts to stop copyright infringement committed by foreign web sites, but, in [Wikipedias] opinion, they do so in a way that actually infringes free expression while harming the Internet” *
It seems poignant that I should upload my video today. Speakers Corner represents a place where the ideals of free speech are practiced, cherished and guarded. From my point of view as a creative individual the SOPA and PIPA bills worry me because they could have a serious impact on the future of information sharing online. The internet, like Speakers Corner should be a place where freedom of expression is nurtured and protected.
Click here to check out the music video
For more information about the SOPA and PIPA bills click here.
* Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:SOPA_initiative/Learn_more