On Wednesday, April 23, reports indicated that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to significantly modify broadband Internet service and the level playing field it once provided to creators and other entrepreneurs.
WASHINGTON, DC—On Wednesday, April 23, reports indicated that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to significantly modify broadband Internet service and the level playing field it once provided to creators and other entrepreneurs. Under the leadership of Chairman Tom Wheeler, the FCC would allow Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to charge those offering content online a higher fee for priority delivery, establishing a two-tier Internet that could disadvantage smaller operators, such as artists and developers. read more
Interim Executive Director Casey Rae Speaks to MN Musicians and Composers
Monday, March 10, 2014
Good morning. Thank you for all for being here, and thank you for having me at the Minnesota Music Summit. It’s truly an honor to be joining you at this amazing event. Today, I want to explore the future of music, which is still being written, and which you all can play a part in writing. Some of the issues I’ll be bringing up will no doubt be familiar to you. Others may not be as familiar. But it’s not just about me giving some prepared remarks, it’s about dialog. It’s about the very real connections between people who are passionate about music, who create it and nurture it. And those are the connections that I love to make. In 2014, there’s no single approach to being a musician or composer, so it’s become critical that we listen and learn from one another.
High costs, crappy customer service and speeds well below what’s advertised. How much do you love your Internet Service Provider (ISP)? If you have Comcast or Time Warner Cable, chances are not a lot. These two cable behemoths consistently come in at the top of “worst companies ever” lists, and we’re sure plenty of musicians can count themselves among the frustrated. Now these two companies wanna get married. But will the government allow it?
That’s something that Washington, DC is grappling with as we speak. On one side of the debate you’ve got well-heeled corporate lobbyists working on behalf of ISPs keen to make more money from controlling even more of the broadband marketplace. On the other, you’ve got regular Internet users, consumer groups and creative entrepreneurs who are tired of being promised one thing and paying out the nose for another.
You might think a two-time Grammy-nominee more than once named America’s Best DJ by DJ Times would be immune to label pressures. But as DJ and producer Kaskade explained in a series of tweets last month, that’s not the case. The frequent festival headliner (real name: Ryan Raddon) announced he is “in between labels,” leaving behind former label/publisher/mangement company Ultra Music (part owned by major label Sony): read more
Pono, the Toblerone-shaped personal hi-res audio player backed by Neil Young and endorsed by a gaggle of high-profile rockers, recently made waves at SXSW, and its Kickstarter campaign has already zoomed past its stated goal and raised over $5 million with 16 days to go. But will the device live up to the hype? More importantly, what will it mean for musicians? read more
Back in January, we shared the crummy news that a federal appeals court had overturned the FCC’s Open Internet Order, which established basic rules of the road for ISPs (Internet Service Providers). The upshot is that net neutrality—so important to preserving a level playing field online for musicians and everyone else—is once again in jeopardy.
Then in February, we shared the more encouraging news that incoming FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was now fully determined to do something about it, having just received a million signatures in support of an open, accessible Internet. As the new head of the independent government agency tasked with regulating communications technologies, Wheeler announced an action plan and asked for feedback.
You won’t be surprised to learn that we had a lot to say!
The proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable into a telecommunications behemoth is the media equivalent of “too big to fail” banking. If the largest cable provider in the United States is allowed to merge with the second-largest, people living in major cities, suburbs and small towns across the country will find themselves even more tightly locked into a dysfunctional relationship with a monopolistic corporation focused on maximizing profits rather than serving local citizens. At the same time, the new cable giant will own national news, entertainment, sports and Spanish-language networks.
Ever see the movie Groundhog Day? Sometimes Washington feels a little like that. Case in point: the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today announced its intent to move forward with a net neutrality rulemaking proceeding via a statement from Chairman Tom Wheeler. We’ve seen this movie before, but now we’re gearing up for the sequel.
Déjà vu aside, this is a significant development. On January 14, 2014, a federal appeals court threw out the FCC’s Open Internet Order meant to preserve a level online playing field for creators and other entrepreneurs. Since then, we’ve been waiting to see what Chairman Wheeler’s next move might be. Today, we have our answer.
In a nutshell, Wheeler’s plan involves a public comments proceeding, followed by an expected rulemaking under a different legal rationale than the one the court rejected. Wheeler seems confident that the Commission can issue new rules based on its existing Congressional mandate to “encourage broadband deployment by, among other things, removing barriers to infrastructure deployment, encouraging innovation, and promoting competition.” Others, FMC included, are concerned that this approach may not be the clearest way to protect an open, accessible internet.