On January 14, 2010, a broad array of independent creator organizations, including Future of Music Coalition, filed comments in the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Preserving an Open Internet. The comments demonstrated the need for enforceable net neutrality rules to ensure that all creators — regardless of size, affiliation or category — can compete in a legitimate digital marketplace.
The FCC sought 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.
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.
Co-signers include American Composers Forum, American Music Center, Center for Creative Voices in Media, Film Independent, Fractured Atlas, Future of Music Coalition, International Documentary Association, International Music Manager’s Forum, Just Plain Folks, Meet the Composer, Nacional Records, National Alliance for Media Art and Culture, and Writers Guild of America West.
The groups submitting comments described how the cultural sector is using the open internet to forge the future for entertainment and creative expression. The power of the internet means that contemporary artists and their representatives have a better chance at reaching potential audiences than through traditional media:
Over the past two decades, government policymakers have frequently relaxed the media ownership rules for radio and television, which have led to a breathtaking amount of consolidation of both ownership and access to audiences for both of these media. Thishas made it enormously difficult for the majority of creators to reach audiences throughthese mediums.
By contrast, the internet has enabled unprecedented and direct communication forany American who enjoys access. Furthermore, the open internet has fostered unbridled innovation that promises to yield greater returns for creators, provided the underlying structures of the web are not altered to favor a select group of players while discriminating against less economically privileged users.