Non-profit

Fight for the Future

Website:

www.fightforthefuture.org

Location:

Worcester, MA

Tax ID:

45-3951426

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Formation:

2011

Formerly:

Center for Rights in Action

Fight for the Future (formerly “Center for Rights in Action”) is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit advocacy group focused on Internet-related issues such as support for net neutrality regulations in the Federal Communications Commission. The organization has also fought against an online privacy bill it dubbed as censorship and promotes causes dealing with copyright legislation.[1]

But critics of Fight for the Future say it bands with like-minded groups to distort the truth and stands against free-market principles.[2]

Initiatives

Fight for the Future’s first battle was against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a bill intended to “promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property,” according to the bill’s text. [3]

These bill would have expanded U.S. law enforcement’s ability to combat online copyright infringement and the online trafficking of counterfeit goods. Proponents said the legislation would not only protect intellectual property, but also save jobs and industry revenue, particularly from foreign websites. Supporters included the National Governors Association, National Conference of Legislatures, National Association of Attorneys General, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, AFL-CIO, and multiple labor unions. [4]

Opponents such as Fight for the Future claimed the bills threatened innovation and free speech, giving law enforcement too much power to block access to certain websites. It organized online petition drives against the bill and several websites participated in temporary blackouts on Jan. 18, 2012. [5]

That led Jonathan Lamy, spokesman for the Recording Industry Association of America, to tell the Boston Globe that “it’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users and arm them with misinformation.” [6]

Fight for the Future organized the “Battle for the Net” campaign, which resulted in 3.7 million people contacting the Federal Communications Commission in support of net neutrality rules, which would prevent Internet service providers from charging customers more for bandwidth-intensive services than for low-bandwidth services. [7]

Former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler (D) passed a regulation regulating internet service providers as public utilities, which Fight for the Future supported. His successor as FCC Chairman, Republican Ajit Pai, has sought to reverse the rule; Fight for the Future’s “Battle for the Net” website was active as of 2017 looking to stop the move. [8]

Fight for the Future also advocated against a congressional effort to overturn an FCC rule approved under former Chairman Wheeler that would have required Internet service providers to get permission from consumers before selling their data. Those ISPs said the regulation put them at a disadvantage compared to providers like Google and Facebook who face less stringent regulation from the Federal Trade Commission. [9]

After Congress voted to overturn the FCC rule, Fight for the Future crowd-sourced the funding of billboards in the districts of U.S. Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) and John Rutherford (R-Florida) and Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) and Dean Heller (R-Nevada) listing the amount of donations they had received from the telecommunications industry and criticizing them for their votes. [10]

People

Tiffiniy Cheng and Holmes Wilson co-founded Fight for the Future and serve as its co-directors. The two also founded Open Congress, an inactive website that encouraged transparency from that body, and Miro, an open Internet infrastructure. [11]

Cheng received total compensation of $41,671 in 2014, while Wilson received total compensation of $33,958 that year, according to the organization’s IRS form 990. [12]

Nick Reville, co-founder of Fight for the Future, also serves as president of the board of directors. He co-founded Participatory Culture Foundation and Participatory Politics Foundation. [13]

Funding

Also see Fight for the Future Education Fund (nonprofit)

The fundraising arm of the group, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Fight for the Future Education Fund, shows $312,034 in revenue and $324,476 in expenses on its 2015 IRS form 990. [14]

Groups that have donated to Fight for the Future include the Shuttleworth Foundation, Ford Foundation, Proteus Fund, Knight Foundation, Media Democracy Fund and Wallace Global Fund. [15] Other contributors include Yelp, DuckDuckGo, Data Foundry, Mother Jones board member Dave Glassco and actress Evangeline Lilly. [16]

References

  1. Fight for the Future: About Us. Accessed August 22, 2017. https://www.fightforthefuture.org/aboutus/ ^
  2. Farrell, Michael B. “Internet’s big names unite against antipiracy bills.” The Boston Globe. January 19, 2012. Accessed August 22, 2017. https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2012/01/19/internet-protest-spurs-flood-tweets-calls-congress/15UqDwprL2SMnmxfal29JL/story.html ^
  3. Web Cite: Text of H.R. 3261 in the 112th Congress. Accessed August 22, 2017. http://www.webcitation.org/63oCICqjh?url=http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/pdf/112%20HR%203261.pdf ^
  4. Cleland, Scott. “SOPA Fixes Isolate Opponents, especially Google.” Forbes December 14, 2011. Accessed August 22, 2017. https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottcleland/2011/12/14/sopa-fixes-isolate-opponents-especially-google/#7a563421196d ^
  5. Goodman, Amy. “The Sopa blackout protest makes history.” The Guardian. January 18, 2012. Accessed August 22, 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/jan/18/sopa-blackout-protest-makes-history ^
  6. Farrell, Michael B. “Internet’s big names unite against antipiracy bills.” The Boston Globe. January 19, 2012. Accessed August 22, 2017. https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2012/01/19/internet-protest-spurs-flood-tweets-calls-congress/15UqDwprL2SMnmxfal29JL/story.html ^
  7. Battle for the Net: Home page. Accessed August 22, 2017. https://www.battleforthenet.com/ ^
  8. Battle for the Net: Home page. Accessed August 22, 2017. https://www.battleforthenet.com/ ^
  9. Naylor, Brian. “Congress Overturns Internet Privacy Regulation.” NPR March 28, 2017. Accessed August 22, 2017. http://www.npr.org/2017/03/28/521831393/congress-overturns-internet-privacy-regulation ^
  10. Lecher, Colin. “Billboards target lawmakers who voted to let ISPs sell user information.” The Verge. May 4, 2017. Accessed August 22, 2017. https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/4/15545266/congress-privacy-vote-isp-billboards ^
  11. Fight for the Future: About Us. Accessed August 22, 2017. https://www.fightforthefuture.org/aboutus/ ^
  12. Guidestar: Fight for the Future Eduction Fund IRS form 990. Accessed August 22, 2017. http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2015/452/852/2015-452852041-0c0ca00b-9.pdf ^
  13. Fight for the Future: About Us. Accessed August 22, 2017. https://www.fightforthefuture.org/aboutus/ ^
  14. Guidestar: Fight for the Future Eduction Fund IRS form 990. Accessed August 22, 2017. http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2015/452/852/2015-452852041-0c0ca00b-9.pdf ^
  15. Fight for the Future: Supporters. Accessed August 22, 2017. https://www.fightforthefuture.org/supporters/

    ^

  16. Fight for the Future: Supporters. Accessed August 22, 2017. https://www.fightforthefuture.org/supporters/ ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Nick Reville
    Co-Founder

Coalition Memberships

  1. Ragtag
  2. Ragtag Education Fund
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Fight for the Future

146 WEST BOYLSTON DR
STE 302
Worcester, MA 01084