The jockeying ahead of a vote at the Federal Communications Commission on net neutrality is heating up — and now it’s pitting big cable conglomerates against indie entertainers.
On Tuesday, two groups released dueling letters to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on his draft plan for the future of the Internet. On one side: executives from broadband providers like AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox, Time Warner, and Verizon. On the other: a rag-tag coalition of songwriters, actors and filmmakers.
What happens to the Internet will shape what happens to music, along with every other aspect of culture and free speech. A reported plan that would change the way cable and telephone companies can charge for online content goes to a crucial vote at the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday, May 15.
The proposal, which — according to The Wall Street Journal — would allow the likes of Comcast and Time Warner Cable to demand extra fees from websites for faster download speeds, has already faced so much public backlash that the Journal now reports FCC head Tom Wheeler has tweaked the plan in hopes of getting it approved.
Today, the<Federal Communications Commissionvoted to bring forward a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking onnet neutrality—a process meant to preserve an open and accessible Internet.FCCCommissioners voted 3-2 in favor of opening a 120-day comment period in which the public is invited to weigh in on the proposed rules.
The proposal, which had been previously amended in the face of unprecedented response from creators and the public, asks questions about the best way to prevent Internet Service Providers from picking winners and losers online.
Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to bring forward a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on net neutrality—a process meant to preserve an open and accessible Internet. FCC Commissioners voted 3-2 in favor of opening a 120-day comment period in which the public is invited to weigh in on the proposed rules.
The proposal, which had been previously amended in the face of unprecedented response from creators and the public, asks questions about the best way to prevent Internet Service Providers from picking winners and losers online. read more
According to The Pulse Of Radio, PEARLJAM’s Eddie Vedder, Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry and many other musicians and creative artists have signed a letter in favor of keeping net neutrality, the policy that makes the Internet a level playing field for all web sites. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering a change in the rules that would allow corporate behemoths like Comcast and Time Warner Cable to demand extra fees from websites for faster download speeds, potentially allowing discrimination against online content that is not able to pay for special treatment. read more
The Future of Music Coalition and Free Press have organized a letter to encourage FCC chairman Tom Wheeler to uphold net neutrality. The letter argues that new rules proposed by Wheeler would favor corporations like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon over individual artists and creators.
The letter was signed by a number of musicians, including Michael Stipe, Jeff Mangum, Fugazi, tUnE-yArDs, Neko Case, Roger Waters, Eddie Vedder, Fred Armisen, Kimya Dawson, Tom Morello, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s Alec Ounsworth, Mirah, YACHT, the Postal Service’s Jimmy Tamborello, Kronos Quartet, and many others.
Since then the internet has erupted in widespread and passionate public outcry, generating tens of thousands of emails & phone calls. Protestors have encamped in front of the FCC building for six days straight. Musicians, actors, comedians and other creative professionals are raising their voices. The independent label community (represented by the American Association of Independent Music) has once again come out swinging in favor of protecting the online playing field, joining a broad array of activists, organizations and companies.
WASHINGTON, DC—On Monday, May 12, 2014, dozens of creators came together on a letterto Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, urging the agency to do more to prevent discrimination against lawful content by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Wheeler’s current proposal—to be considered by the Commission at a meeting on Thursday, May 15—reportedly allows for a “fast lane” that would disadvantage creators, innovators and entrepreneurs who depend on a level online playing field.
“The open Internet’s impact on the creative community cannot be overstated,” reads the letter, which was signed by Eddie Vedder, Neko Case, Roger Waters, Michael Stipe, Erin McKeown, Joe Perry, Tom Morello, OK Go, Fugazi, Ozomatli, David Loweryof Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven, Jeff Mangum & Astra Taylor of Neutral Milk Hotel, Fred Armisen, Mark Ruffalo, Evangeline Lilly and Oliver Stone, among others. “The Internet has enabled artists to connect directly with each other and with audiences. It has eliminated the barriers of geography and taken collaborations to new levels. And it has allowed people—not corporations—to seek out the film, music and art that moves them.”
The Honorable Tom Wheeler
Federal Communications Commission 12THSTSW
Washington, DC 20554
May 13, 2014
Dear Chairman Wheeler:
The open Internet has powered the creative community’s pursuits and offerings in the 21st century. As members of this community, we urge the Federal Communications Commissionto protect the open Internet as a vehicle for free expression and collaboration. read more