Musicians and Writers Urge FCC to Protect the Open Internet

R.E.M., Jackson Browne, the Roots, OK Go, Moby, Bonnie Raitt, Roseanne Cash, Erin McKeown, Charles Bissell of The Wrens and Writers Guild of America, East highlight importance of “net neutrality”

September 22, 2010

Washington, DC—Some of the biggest names in music have joined the Writers Guild of America, East in urging the White House and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to act immediately to preserve the open internet for the benefit of musicians and other creative entrepreneurs. The diverse list of musicians include Jackson Browne, R.E.M. the Roots, Rosanne Cash, OK Go, Moby, Bonnie Raitt and Jamie Kitman, (manager, OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Doughty and Mike Viola).

Net neutrality — the principle that preserves an open internet — lets musicians and independent labels compete in a legitimate digital music marketplace alongside the biggest companies.

These musicians and writers support clear rules to preserve the internet as a platform for creativity, commerce and free expression. “That’s why we support efforts to preserve Net Neutrality for the benefit of innovation and free expression — and urge the FCC to act immediately to ensure that the Internet is kept free and open,” the letter states. With the FCC set to meet tomorrow in Washington, the musicians and writers have aligned to send a message to the Commission: “The future of the Internet depends on decisions made today, as does the future of music. We believe that Net Neutrality is the best and only way to ensure that both futures remain bright.” Since 2007, Future of Music Coalition’s Rock the Net campaign <http://futureofmusic.org/issues/campaigns/rock-net> has served as a platform for artists and independent labels to make their voices heard on this crucial issue.

FMC was co-founded by musicians and independent label entrepreneurs, so net neutrality is something we’ve always stood behind,” says FMC Communications Director and Policy Strategist Casey Rae-Hunter. “We’re thrilled that literally thousands of artists, indie labels and other creators understand the importance of a level online playing field.”

Recently, groups such as MoveOn.org Political Action have mobilized to bring take this pro-artist and pro-innovation message to even more music fans.

The full text of the letter is below:

 
Dear FCC Commissioner Julius Genachowski:
 
The Internet has facilitated an explosion of creativity and commerce, offering
unprecedented opportunities to musicians and music entrepreneurs. Due to the
open structures of the Internet, musicians and other creators and innovators can
compete on an equal technological playing field with the biggest companies. The
result is a blossoming and legitimate marketplace that compensates creators while
rewarding fans with access to an incredible array of music.
 
None of this could have happened without Net Neutrality — the principle
that protects the open Internet. That’s why we support efforts to preserve Net
Neutrality for the benefit of innovation and free expression — and urge the
FCC to act immediately to ensure that the Internet is kept free and open.
 
As artists, we are encouraged that the Commission recognizes the importance of
net neutrality. We encourage you to apply its core principles to any and all
broadband points of access, including the wireless space. We also encourage you
to consider the perspectives of musicians, who depend on an open Internet to
compete in a crucial marketplace and express ourselves creatively.
 
We will continue to support the Commission on the road to achieving clear and
enforceable rules of the road for the Internet for the benefit of creators, innovators,
entrepreneurs and the public. However, we also feel that the time to act is now, to
avoid prolonged uncertainty for all stakeholders, including musicians and music
entrepreneurs. The future of the Internet depends on decisions made today, as
does the future of music. We believe that Net Neutrality is the best and only
way to ensure that both futures remain bright.
 
Sincerely,
 
R.E.M.
The Roots
Rosanne Cash
Bonnie Raitt
Jackson Browne
Moby
OK Go
Jamie Kitman (manager; OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Doughty, and Mike Viola)
Erin McKeown
Charles Bissell (The Wrens)
Writers Guild of America East
 
Launched in 2007, FMC’s Rock the Net campaign includes thousands of artists and independent labels who depend on the open internet. Rock the Net founding artists include Pearl Jam, Kronos Quartet, OK Go, Boots Riley of The Coup, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Death Cab for Cutie, Calexico and more. As part of the campaign, musicians and composers have held concerts, written statements and testified in Congress in support of the open internet.
 
Rock the Net:

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

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