The proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable into a telecommunications behemoth is the media equivalent of “too big to fail” banking. If the largest cable provider in the United States is allowed to merge with the second-largest, people living in major cities, suburbs and small towns across the country will find themselves even more tightly locked into a dysfunctional relationship with a monopolistic corporation focused on maximizing profits rather than serving local citizens. At the same time, the new cable giant will own national news, entertainment, sports and Spanish-language networks.
On February 12, 2014, news broke that Comcast, already America’s biggest Internet service provider and video distributor, would attempt to buy Time Warner Cable for 45.2 billion dollars. The deal would impact everything from internet access and pricing to how media is delivered.
The following statement is from FMC Interim Executive Director Casey Rae: read more
Part one of a series by FMC Policy Fellow Rachel Allen
In the past few years, streaming music and video have changed the way artists connect with fans. Popular music services such as Spotify and Pandora, high-quality video sites like Vevo, and a number of other digital platforms and applications have been important tools for fans to discover music and for artists to get paid for their work (even if the business models aren’t uniformly agreed upon). Recent studies have found that applications for music comprise the fastest growing activity among mobile phone users. Moreover, artists like Jay Z and Lady Gaga, as well as smaller acts such as Dan Deacon, are using mobile applications to create new interactive music experiences (but as was the case with Jay Z, not all of these experiments are embraced).
Why do we bring this up now? Well, streaming music and video services would not be possible without access to high-speed broadband. However, as the music and video industries go mobile, the price and quality of connections has become more and more uncertain.
This series will explore how the evolution of the Internet impacts musicians and other creators—whether the connection is on a desktop, a laptop or a mobile device. We’ll explore the ins and outs of how artists connect, and why accessible technology platforms are essential to today’s creative entrepreneurs.
This post was researched and assembled by FMC policy, legal and communications interns Alexandra Wood, Gloria Ho and Rachel Smith.
On Monday, August 9, 2010, Verizon and Google released a joint proposal for a legislative framework for broadband internet service. Although the proposal has no legal effect on its own, it is important to understand because it could serve as a model for future legislation or FCC rulemaking. We weighed in yesterday via a short media statement, which you can read here. read more
Today’s post was co-authored by FMC Google Policy Intern Alexandra Wood.
On July 14, Future of Music Coalition submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission regarding the legal framework it uses to support its broadband policy. The FCC opened this Notice of Inquiry after the April court decision in Comcast v. FCC undermined the Commission’s ability to enforce open internet rules and bring broadband internet access to rural communities. We know that all sounds ridiculously wonky, so let us break it down for you. read more
Lately, the FCC has found itself in a tricky position with regards to two of its biggest goals: getting broadband internet to more Americans and ensuring the web remains an open platform for all users. read more
Move over, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson: FMC has created a movie trilogy that will dazzle the senses, uplift the human spirit, and maybe even win an Oscar or two. After a grueling 72 day shoot, we are proud to announce the world premiere of a new series of videos briefly explaining policy issues that impact musicians. And, unlike the Harry Potter movies, you don't even have to watch them in order.
In the first video, FMC Communications Director Casey Rae-Hunter discusses a topic that you may have come across in your RSS reader lately: net neutrality.
Net neutrality is the principle that protects the open internet. Without it, the web could change dramatically, and probably for the worst. If you're a musician who depends on the internet to promote your music, sell merch, book tours, interact with fans – and who isn't? — you should definitely familiarize yourself with the issue. This video will give you the basics on net neutrality and how it relates to musicians and fans. If you don’t have much time, don’t worry — it’s under four minutes. read more
As you probably heard, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 last Friday that, according to the official FCC statement (PDF), “Comcast’s network management practices discriminate among applications rather than treating all equally and are inconsistent with the concept of an open and accessible Internet.” The Commission’s decision ordered Comcast to stop interfering with legal internet traffic, disclose to the FCC its network management practices and to alert consumers to any future changes. read more