February 13, 2015 marked another milestone for free expression and compeition online, as the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) new rules on net neutrality were officially published in the Federal Register, after being adopted in a 3/2 vote by the FCC on February 26. Despite widespread public support for these policies including countless musicians and a strong majority of the 4 million comments submitted, net neutrality opponents in congress haven’t given up without a fight, with ISPs introducing lawsuits in the courts and some in congress introucing measures to slow or block the new rules, resulting in the five grueling congressional hearings at which FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler delivered a forceful defense of his proposed rules.
The most recent attempt to stop net neutrality also landed on April 13, as Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) introduced a new resolution in the house, calling for an expedited review of the FCC’s recently proposed net neutrality rules. In effect, the resolution seeks to enact a fast-tract repeal the FCC’s proposed rule—known now as the Open Internet Order—which requires internet service providers (ISPs) to afford consumers open and accessible networks, free from content-based discrimination, and reclassifies broadband internet service under a “common carrier” framework. These rules, based in Title II of the Communications Act, are important for all musicians and independent labels alike who rely on the internet as a level playing field to reach audiences and promote their work.