A group of musicians that includes R.E.M., Jackson Browne, The Roots, Moby, and OK Go has sent a letter to the FCC urging legal protection for net neutrality, the principle (and current reality) that all information can travel equally quickly on the Internet.
The FCC isn't actually discussing net neutrality
at the meeting going on right now in Washington, but that of course didn't stop the musicians from sending a very sincere-sounding plea to commission Chairman Juilius Genachowski. It also didn't stop another group from serving waffles in an effort to protect net neutrality. Yum.
An excerpt of the musicians' letter (You can read the full letter with signatures on Digital Music News):
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.
It's good to see established artists standing up for net neutrality, because it's the little guys who stand to lose the most if it goes away. Without net neutrality, the moneyed likes
of Jay-Z (or any other big-dollar-buoyed artist) could make their sites easier to load and their songs easier to stream than those who couldn't pay.
Along with the musicians' letter, a media reform group called Free Press
passed out waffles in front of today's meeting as a reminder to Genachowski not to "waffle" on his promise to preserve net neutrality. Follow-through tastes delicious, Julius.
According to the Washington Post
, the FCC is taking feedback until early November on net neutrality, when it may actually decide something on the issue. Until then, we will continue to remind you how important it is.Follow us on Twitter @SFAllShookDown and @iPORT