Jeff Tweedy, Spoon, R.E.M. + More Sign Open Letter Supporting Net Neutrality
Days away from a vote on new net neutrality regulations presented by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, a group of musicians – which includes members of R.E.M., Spoon’s Britt Daniel, Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy and many, many more -- have published an open letter to Wheeler, urging him to move forward with his proposal.
Titled "We’ve Got Your Back on Net Neutrality," the open letter writes, “As musicians and composers, we want to thank you for moving forward with strong net neutrality rules. As so many creators have already noted, reclassification under Title II is the best way to ensure that the Internet remains open for us to build businesses, reach audiences and earn a living in what is a challenging marketplace for creative content” (via Future of Music Coalition).
Title II would reclassify internet service providers as common carriers, thus making them subject to FCC regulations – something advocates for the new proposal argue will allow for an open internet.
“You certainly have our appreciation,” the letter continues. “And we urge you to remain steadfast in your efforts to keep the internet a viable platform for creative entrepreneurs. Without clear and enforceable rules that let us compete alongside the biggest companies, our ability to create and innovate will be threatened, if not extinguished.”
“The reason is simple: Creators of all genres and backgrounds will benefit from the protections your proposal would enshrine,” the collective of artists write. “Net neutrality is not only a powerful engine of creative expression and civic discourse, it is the very oxygen of a free and competitive marketplace built on technological and cultural innovation. And artists are drivers of both.”
Other signees of the open letter include Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the Blow, Death Cab for Cutie, Devotchka, Neutral Milk Hotel, former Dead Kennedys frontman Jello Biafra, Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, Tune-Yards, the New Pornographers, OK Go, the Magnetic Fields, Speedy Ortiz, Ted Leo and more.
Read their complete letter here. The FCC is scheduled to vote on Wheeler’s proposal on Feb. 26.