National education, research and advocacy nonprofit organization Future of Music Coalition (FMC) has launched an online comments tool to help artists, labels and fans file comments with the Federal Communications Commission as it considers adopting formal rules on net neutrality — the principle that protects the open internet.
Artists such as R.E.M., Kronos Quartet, Erin McKeown, Martín Perna (Antibalas, Ocote Soul Sounds), Franz Nicolay (The Hold Steady), Pearl Jam, Imani Winds, Dead Prez and more are submitting comments in this proceeding. Through the comments tool, FMC is offering a means by which all musicians — established and developing — can tell their stories about how they use the internet in their lives and careers and voice their opinions on specific questions related to this historic FCC proceeding.
FMC has long supported the codification of net neutrality principles to preserve access to a legitimate music marketplace for creators and independent labels. Currently, the internet allows all users to compete on an equal technological playing field with the biggest companies: a bedroom artist with a website can use the same technology to reach potential audiences as a superstar act. If Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are allowed to charge higher prices to content providers — including musicians and other entrepreneurs — many smaller operators would be forced into the slow lane of the information superhighway.
“Without clear and enforceable net neutrality principles, we may lose an incredible platform for creativity, innovation and commerce,” said FMC Policy Director Michael Bracy. “Artists should not be forced into a situation where reaching potential audiences comes down to their ability to cut deals with a handful of powerful players. We’re pleased that the FCC has undertaken this proceeding, which makes it all the more important that artists are part of the process.”
In October 2009, the FCC took affirmative steps in preserving the open internet for all users. Through this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the issue of net neutrality (GN 09-191), the Commission has opened a transparent process by which stakeholders and the public can register their perspectives on about this crucial issue.
According to the FCC, the goal of the proceeding is to adopt “clear, enforceable, common sense rules of the road” meant to keep the door open for continued innovation online, while allowing users access to the broad range of ideas and services today’s internet provides.
The FCC is seeking public input on draft rules that would codify and supplement existing principles to safeguard the Internet’s openness. This process is intended to secure and protect the many economic and social benefits of the open Internet by preventing anyone from restricting the free flow of lawful content and applications online.
FMC’s Rock the Net campaign — which was launched in 2007 and includes thousands of musicians and independent labels — has helped demonstrate to policymakers the importance of net neutrality to the creative community. These activities and more reflect an ongoing commitment to a legitimate digital music marketplace where artists have access and fans can find the music they want.
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.
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