Who Is the Tennessee Digital Freedom Network?
We are a group of IT professionals, students and concerned citizens who have dedicated ourselves to protecting the right of Tennesseans to freely use digital technology in their lives. Currently, our primary focus is the new "Super-DMCA" bill proposed by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which has been proposed in Tennessee's state legislature as Senate Bill 213 and House Bill 457.

Only a short time ago, most of us were blissfully unaware of the threat that the MPAA's secretive activities were about to present. Few of us were politically active beyond voting and the occasional EFF contribution. Then on Monday, April 21st, 2003 came a bolt from the blue: this Slashdot article announced that Tennessee's version of the "Super-DMCA" would to be heard by the State Senate Judiciary Committee at 3:30pm the next day.

On little more than 24 hours notice, nearly two dozen people were able to show up at the judiciary committee hearing, prepared to demonstrate their opposition to SB213 (the Senate version of the bill). Some came from Nashville and nearby Clarksville, while others came from as far away as Knoxville. Several people spoke out against the bill, and we were able to delay (we discovered later) almost certain committee approval of SB213. Shawn Garbett took some great notes on the hearing, which tell the whole story.

Afterwards, a senator in attendance remarked that the committee had probably given us the two weeks because they did not expect us to return to continue our opposition. If that's what they thought, they were wrong. Less than 24 hours later we had a website, an email list and online discussion forums, and began to shape ourselves into what is now known nationally as the Tennessee Digital Freedom Network.

In the short time since, we have developed many resources, legislative and media connections, and a reputation for organization (!), intelligent opposition, and swift action. We still have a long way to go, but we we will continue to develop our group's potential to shape and drive the debate on technology-related legislation in Tennessee, as well as provide resources for activists in other states and at the national level.

Compiled and maintained by Tony Campbell for the Tennessee Digital Freedom Network