Oh God. I've been staring at a blank page for two days trying to draft this thing and every word I write down is like a knife to the stomach. We have so much pride. So much pride. This is the hardest thing we've ever had to do. I loathe this, we all do. But we need this. We need you. Our lives, our very freedom depends on this. We can‚€™t do it alone.
Quotes are starting to come in as to the cost of the defense. We are looking at six to seven digits and it's going to be pure hell.
... We have nothing. Nothing at all. They took... everything.
Precedents are being made upon our heads. Never before has a site like ours been targeted in this way. We ask you... if you are vested in this case, this landmark case on the future of Internet Sharing and Internet Rights, that you speak to your friends, your family, your co-workers, your bosses. Perhaps you are affiliated with the ACLU, Google, Youtube, MegaUpload, Rapidshare, The Pirate Parties around the world. Perhaps you are financially comfortable and you feel passionately about the issue at hand. We need... NEED... legal sponsorship in addition to legal donation. Perhaps the future of your own site is at risk and it is this case that will put it in the crosshairs of the next raid. Perhaps it will be you who will see your home, dear lord, your home, ripped apart by THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY.
There are huge sites out there, organizations backed by those sympathetic to this cause. They, the Feds, have shone a spotlight on all of us, and pointed it directly upon NinjaVideo. But it doesn't mean they will stop there. You might think this doesn‚€™t affect you personally, but it does. It really does. We ask you... we need you all to consider stepping in and aiding us. Contact others on our behalf. Lend advice and give financial support. We need you. We are worried... we are a tiny group of people standing in front of a behemoth. We need a virtual army behind us to even stand a chance.
We have never demanded anything of our users. Ever. We never once forced a fee upon our members... in any form. And we still won't. However, today... today we ask you to look into your hearts, as well as your wallets, and consider donating to the Legal Fund. If every person that ever used Ninja donated $1, just $1... we would have a fighting chance. We are up against the Federal Government of the United States. They are petrifying. PETRIFYING. And they are backed by Hollywood. And they have chosen us to be an example. I think you understand how much money is on the other side.
We're a few twenty to thirtysomes. I have a cat. Wads likes to bicycle, etc... We're normal people. We always were, every step of the way. No one did this to get rich. We supported independent artists, released podcasts, fostered growth and debate. We were on our way to opening the Ninja Design Firm, wanted to set up an Independent Film Festival, a Spotlight Artist Music Concert... We had and still have so many wonderful plans. So many ideas to change this world. At least part of it. Ninja was the beginning of something that meant more than money. It was a small corner in a much larger debate. Now Ninja is the debate. And we are Ninja personified. We‚€™re not bankrolled by a major corporation. We‚€™re not funded by taxpayers. We‚€™re individuals who banded together through the internet, just like you did. We played in the grey space of the internet, and they‚€™re going to try to use our case to shade that area black.
They want to cage us. They most likely will.
Please don't let them. All it takes is $1 from each of you.
Lastly, we feel that those willing to support on a major level, be they individuals or organizations, should be directly involved with us behind the scenes. This is not a staff position per se, but an organized effort to band together those with the fiscal power to help this entire movement. Those that can put four digits towards the donation fund will hold a prominence with the behind the scenes action. This is worldwide. And you will be instrumental.
We're backed into a corner facing quite literally the most powerful force in the world. The US Government. o_O ... How does one actually capture the enormity of those words in text? This is our lives, our very freedom. But it's yours too. The United States Government vs NinjaVideo. The United States Government vs All of Us. We need your help.
Your prayers, your posts, your words, your art... your support in general is priceless. Unfortunately, in the world we live in, it will be your money that gives us a fighting chance. The former gives us the strength to close our eyes and take it one breath at a time, the latter gives us the opportunity to take that breath outside of a prison cell.
We love you, NinjaVideo. We always will.
Phara & All the NV Blue