Today (March 12, 2015), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published its Open Internet Order that was approved in a vote on Feb. 26, 2015. Following Congressional guidelines, the rulemaking includes comments from the two dissenting commissioners, along with full details on the Commission’s framework for “reclassifying” broadband Internet service under Title II of the Communications Act.
Future of Music Coalition (FMC) and the many musicians, composers and independent labels that comprise our community have long sought basic rules of the road preventing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T from picking winners and losers online. The Title II approach gives the FCC the surest legal footing with which to protect creators and consumers, free speech and free markets online.
The following statement is attributed to Future of Music Coalition CEO Casey Rae:
“The FCC Order offers important protections for anyone who goes online—from budding artist to superstar, from app developer to end user. We applaud the Commission for closely considering the views of some 4 million Americans—including musicians and independent labels—in its rulemaking. This Order will protect the Internet from being controlled by massive Internet companies whose lobbying power essentially makes them unelected government.
“Moreover, these rules will protect small businesses and safeguard speech on the Internet. Creators depend on these protections, because they are both entrepreneurs and drivers of our cultural dialog. They also depend on the innovations borne of an open Internet, where new applications and services can give them the ability to compete alongside well-funded media conglomerates.
“FMC will work with artists and creative entrepreneurs from across the political spectrum to ensure that Congress understands the importance of preserving these light-touch rules of the road. Net neutrality is the engine of a free and competitive marketplace where a great song, idea or innovation has a chance to find an audience. We appreciate the work of the FCC to craft rules that will preserve the dynamism of the Internet for generations to come.”