Net Neutrality establishes rules that attempt to keep the Internet a level playing field, providing users with access to all websites and content when using the internet. Newly appointed FCC chairman Ajit Pai released this FCC plan to completely dismantle the safeguards provided under Net Neutrality. The committee will vote TOMORROW, December 14th. In order to protect independent businesses, like all of ours, and independent artists, and people and causes that already face an uphill battle to have their voice heard, we ALL must TAKE ACTION NOW.
If Net Neutrality is overturned, independent music labels and artists will be hit hard. The end of Net Neutrality could very well limit our ability to reach fans and future customers. Overturning Net Neutrality will benefit only a few special interests at the expense of everyone else. It will make the Internet less free and independent. It will stifle innovation, choice, creativity, and competition. It will make it even more difficult for people and causes that already have to work extra hard to be seen and heard.
So much of the recent rancorous election cycle boiled down to people feeling like they aren’t part of the system anymore, that Wall Street is winning out over Main Street, that the little guy is getting even more marginalized and feeling even more powerless. The Net Neutrality issue speaks directly to this. It cuts across party, ideological, and socio-economic lines.
The rise or rebirth of communities with their small and local manufacturers, restaurants, breweries, bookshops, and hundreds of other businesses and organizations has been one of the great successes in the age of the worldwide web. It was facilitated by a neutral Internet. New ideas and products flourished or failed on their own merit, not by outside forces dictating winners and losers. Isn’t that what the free market is all about?
Right now, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, etc. are required by law to treat all websites and content as equal. Net Neutrality ensures that they cannot show a bias (for example, through faster and more reliable service) toward one company or organization or sole proprietor over another. Without Net Neutrality, ISPs will be able to dole out access on their terms (i.e. money, or more sinisterly, censorship). They can slow down internet connections of any and all small businesses, non-profit orgs, schools, churches, and community groups, while allowing or encouraging corporations, political organizations, and wealthy individuals to pay to make their websites and content (or websites and content they support) run faster and more efficiently.
Here is what you can specifically do TODAY to help before tomorrow’s vote. The more information they have, the better. This will go to the courts after the vote, and all meaningful messages from constituents will be important as the fight continues.
EDUCATE YOURSELF ON THE ISSUE:
LET YOUR FEELINGS AND YOUR CONCERN FOR OTHERS BE KNOWN!
1 (888) 225-5322
Nan Warshaw & Rob Miller, co-owners of Bloodshot Records