Arts & Culture Organizations, Musicians, and Advocates Call For Real Net Neutrality

Individual artists and creator groups tell the FCC to use its authority to preserve an open, accessible Internet

July 15, 2014

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.

The artist comments can be accessed here.

“We music people know payola when we see it. And what we see in Chairman Wheeler’s proposal doesn’t give us any confidence that we won’t end up with an Internet where pay-by-play rules the day,” the artists said. “We’ve heard this song before, and we’re frankly pretty tired of it.

“Thousands of us have already told the FCC that losing an open Internet would be disastrous to the music community, and we suppose there’s no harm in telling you again. But this time, we really hope you’ll listen. We may not be telecom lawyers, but we get this issue pretty clearly. You have the legal authority to prevent discrimination and paid prioritization online. You only need to exercise it.”

The following arts and cultural organizations told the FCC to do everything in its authority to ensure that American creators can compete on a level online playing field:

Alternate ROOTS
Americans for the Arts
American Community Television
American Composers Forum
Association of American Arts Presenters
Chamber Music America
Chorus America
Fractured Atlas
Future of Music Coalition
Independent Film & Television Alliance
League of American Orchestras
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

The cultural organization comments can be accessed here.

“The groups behind these comments believe strongly that the Federal Communications Commission must safeguard an open and accessible Internet for many reasons, including our sector’s ability to inspire new generations of cultural ambassadors, creators and innovators using the most important communications platform in history,” the filing states. “Users must be able to access the lawful platforms of their choosing and experience the unfettered delivery of a diverse range of content, including that offered by members of our community.”

In addition, Future of Music Coalition—a national research, education and advocacy organization—filed comments telling the FCC that the best way to preserve an open Internet for creators and innovators is to reclassify broadband service as a “common carrier” under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.

The Future of Music Coalition comments can be accessed here.

About Future of Music Coalition

Future of Music Coalition is a national non-profit education, research and advocacy organization that seeks a bright future for creators and listeners. FMC works towards this goal through continuous interaction with its primary constituency — musicians — and in collaboration with other creator/public interest groups. More

FMC Press Release

kevin [at] futureofmusic [dot] org (Kevin Erickson )
Communications Associate
Future of Music Coalition
p: 202-822-2051 x121
c: 509-546-1282