On September 15, 2014, Future of Music Coalition submitted the following reply comments in the FCC’s public docket on Promoting and Protecting the Open Internet. Our comments are in direct response to those filed by telecommunications and cable companies in the initial phase of this proceeding.
While last week’s internet slowdown protest brought Net Neutrality to the headlines, resulting in the most comments to the FCC on any topic ever, this week is going to be equally busy and important for defenders of the open internet. For those who need a refresher, net neutrality is the principle that all legitimate web traffic should be treated equally by internet service providers; it’s fundamental to how the internet can function as a democratic platform where all voices can be heard, and especially important for independent musicians and labels. Read on for the full details!
Today, you may have noticed that a whole bunch of your favorite websites (us included!) are participating in a symbolic “Internet Slowdown.” This day of action brings together a very diverse group of companies, organizations, and individuals to stand up for real net neutrality. Net neutrality is the principle that all legitimate web traffic should be treated equally by internet service providers; it’s fundamental to how the internet can function as a democratic platform where all voices can be heard.
Creators gotta stick together. That’s why Future of Music Coalition is proud to join Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) in urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to block the proposed merger between cable and internet behemoth Comcast and the slightly smaller behemoth Time Warner Cable (TWC).
We probably don’t have to tell you that both companies routinely win the top (dis)honor for worst customer service. What might be new information is how much control Comcast already has over what you see and hear. If the company is permitted to acquire TWC, they’ll possess unparalleled power over the future for music and video.
Our joint petition to deny the merger, filed before the FCC on August 25, 2014, makes the case that a combined company would reduce opportunities for creators of all kinds—including the folks that write for television and movies, as well as musicians and composers.
On August 25, 2014, Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and Future of Music Coalition (FMC) submitted formal opposition to the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, petitioning the Federal Communications Commission to deny the transaction. In 2010, both WGAW and FMC raised concerns about the vertical integration between Comcast and NBC Universal. Both organizations urged the FCC to adopt strong conditions to protect content creators, consumers and competition. But, in the three years following the merger, Comcast has used its market power to harm content competitors on both traditional and online content platforms.
On July 15, 2014 Future of Music Coalition submitted the following comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s public docket on Net Neutrality. You can submit your own comments at http://www.fcc.gov/comments ; reply comments will be due in mid-September.
The arrival of broadband Internet has reshaped how music is accessed and enjoyed while presenting new challenges and opportunities for creators and the music industries. Though these developments had an early, disruptive initial impact on traditional music business models, there is every reason to believe that Internet-engendered innovations will also pave the way for a brighter future for music, provided that the ability for creative entrepreneurs to reach audiences online is not compromised. read more
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, prominent musicians and songwriters urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish rules to keep the Internet open for creativity and entrepreneurship. In a separate filing, more than two dozen of the America’s most influential arts and culture organizations called for the strongest rules possible to prevent Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from picking winners and losers online.
Musicians and songwriters including OK Go, R.E.M., Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Nate Query of the Decemberists, Laura Balance of Superchunk and Merge Records, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Laura Veirs, Rebecca Gates, Martín Perna of Antibalas and Daptone Super Soul Revue and more described the dangers of a “pay-to-play” Internet, where only those with deep pockets can reach audiences without interference.
On July 15, 2014, a consortium of musicians submitted the following joint comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s public docket on Net Neutrality. You can submit your own comments at http://www.fcc.gov/comments or email openinternet [at] fcc [dot] gov; reply comments will be due September 10. Participating musicians included:
Laura Ballance, bass player/ song writer for Superchunk, label owner, Merge Records
Charles Bissell, The Wrens
Rebecca Gates, musician/composer/producer
Merrill Garbus, tUnE-yArDs
Jim James, My Morning Jacket
Cheston Knapp, writer/editor
Sean Meadows, Everlasting the Way
Brett Lyman, co-owner of M’lady’s Records, Machu Picchu Records, and musician (Chain & the Gang, Hive Dwellers)
Neal Morgan, drummer/arranger
Thao Nguyen, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down OK Go
Alec Ounsworth, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Jeff Parker, (guitarist/composer/jazz musician/member of Tortoise)
Tony Perez, Editor, Tin House Books
Martín Perna (saxophone- Antibalas, Daptone Super Soul Revue)
Nate Query, bassist, The Decemberists, Black Prairie REM
John Strohm, musician and attorney
Laura Veirs, singer-songwriter
Michael Wells, Dir. of Ops & Digital Light @ In The Attic Records, bassist for The Walkabouts YACHT
I. Artists Make The Internet Incredible
We file these comments as musicians, songwriters, entrepreneurs, rabble-rousers, advocates, innovators, Internet users and members of the public. Each of us uses the Internet in practically every aspect of our lives and careers, from connecting with fans to booking tours, to selling music and merchandise to collaborating with other artists. Those of us who remember the small army of personnel it took in the old days to do even a couple of the things listed above are grateful for the innovations that have come from an open Internet. read more
On July 15, 2014, a consortium of national arts and culture organizations submitted the following comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s public docket on Net Neutrality. You can submit your own comments at http://www.fcc.gov/comments ; reply comments will be due September 10. Participating organizations included:
Americans for the Arts
American Community Television
American Composers Forum
Association of American Arts Presenters
Chamber Music America
Future of Music Coalition
League of American Orchestras
Independent Film & Television Alliance National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture National Alliance for Musical Theatre National Performance Network Network of Ensemble Theaters New Music USA OPERA America Performing Arts Alliance Sundance Institute Theater Communications Group Writers Guild of America West
In a relatively short period of time, broadband Internet service has inspired tremendous innovation, which has in turn enabled individual artists and arts organizations to reach new audiences, cultivate patrons and supporters, collaborate with peers, stimulate local economies and enrich cultural and civic discourse. read more