EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow's visionary 1996 text A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace has stirred hearts since he penned it in 1996 — and now you can own a beautiful recording Barlow reading it in his wonderful, gravelly voice.
The limited-edition 180g vinyl edition from the Department of Records is a beautiful package, in a black-on-black sleeve with an embossed title, a high-quality printing of the Declaration inside, and the B-side sports a version backed by an original score from Drazen Boznjak, and an instrumental-only version of that score.
All three recordings are free, CC-licensed downloads, of course.
At the time the Manifesto was written, Barlow had already written extensively on the Internet and its social and legal phenomena, as well as being a founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation EFF.org along with fellow digital rights activists John Gilmore and Mitch Kapor. "The Economy of Ideas", the classic essay he published on digital copyright in March 1994 for Wired magazine (he has been on the masthead since Wired was founded), which is taught in many law schools also made allusions to some of the ideas he would write about in his Declaration. The manifesto was written primarily in response to the passing of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (which was later overturned) in the United States which the EFF saw as a threat to the independence of Cyberspace and was published online on February 8TH, 1996 from Davos, Switzerland while he was attending The World Economic Forum.
Barlow is a fellow at Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet & Society and spends the majority of his time on the road, lecturing and consulting civil rights, freedom of speech, the Internet and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, of which he serves as vicechairman of their board of directors. He is also on the board of directors for Freedom of the Press Foundation along with Daniel Ellsberg, Laura Poitras and others. Barlow is currently the only person to be inducted into both The Internet Hall of Fame and The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.