News has just broken about a supposed Google/Verizon agreement regarding how to handle web traffic. This is significant due to the ongoing conversations about preserving the internet as an open platform for innovation, creativity and commerce.
Regular readers will know that Future of Music Coalition is staunchly supportive of clear rules of the road for the internet. In fact, we’ve been advocating for net neutrality since before it had a catchy name and policy platform. (OK, maybe the name isn’t that catchy.) Why do we care? Because we understand that musicians depend on the open internet to cultivate direct relationships with fans and manage their careers. Without a level playing field online, creators and other entrepreneurs may not be able to continue to enrich our lives and create the music business of tomorrow.
It may be that a private agreement between Google and Verizon can serve as an example of how major internet industries can play nice for the benefit of the public. It’s also very possible that any real resolution to this issue depends on the ongoing interplay between Congress, the FCC and the courts. The point is, we just don’t know which at the moment.
FMC is not in the habit of commenting on scant news reports. We prefer to see the substance. Minus any official statements from these two players (and remember, there are other Internet Service Providers and web services who have their own preferred outcomes), we can simply tell you that we’ll be keeping a close eye on developments.
To us, it’s all about making sure that the internet can continue to be a platform where artists can compete right alongside the biggest companies without having to ask permission. Do we think that something needs to be done sooner than later to clarify this stuff for the sake of the entire online ecosystem? Absolutely. And we’re gonna be keep working towards that goal alongside our partners and friends in the music community and beyond.