Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

John Perry Barlow: 1947

Share It Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google+ Copy link Share It Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google+ Copy link
Stacy Diaz | 08 February, 2018, 14:49

She continued: "It is no exaggeration to say that major parts of the internet we all know and love today exist and thrive because of Barlow's vision and leadership".

Following his death, Cindy Cohn, the foundation's executive director, released a statement.

John Perry Barlow, a lyricist for the Grateful Dead and an internet pioneer, died on Wednesday. The news was confirmed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which Barlow founded in 1990.

He attended high school with Grateful Dead co-founder and guitarist Bob Weir in Colorado; their songwriting partnership was chronicled in the recent documentary "Long Strange Trip". Starting in the early '70s, Barlow became the primary lyricist and co-songwriter for Weir's contributions to the Dead catalog, eventually amassing a collection of songs that included "Mexicali Blues", "Cassidy", "Estimated Prophet", "The Music Never Stopped", "Hell in a Bucket", "I Need A Miracle", "Black-Throated Wind" and "Throwing Stones", among others. The organization was founded after Barlow had a run-in with the Federal Bureau of Investigation over some Macintosh ROMs. "And as always, we will continue the work to fulfill his dream".

In his work as a digital activist, Barlow was influenced by the "tapers welcome" philosophy of the Grateful Dead, which famously invited fans to make their own recordings of concerts. "I argued with Barlow a lot, and lost a couple of times, and was always better for it". Barlow also worked with Dead keyboardists Brent Mydland and Vince Welnick and others, later writing lyrics for The String Cheese Incident's Michael Kang. Barlow died on February 7, 2018.

In 1996, Barlow published the "Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace", where he wrote that the internet is: "A world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth". He fought for net neutrality and open Internet, often suing the federal government over its role in privacy affairs and online information, according to website Engadget.

"Governments of the Industrial World, you tired giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. You have no sovereignty where we gather", Barlow wrote.

He is survived by his wife Elaine and three daughters.