Hundreds of Musicians and Record Labels Sign a Letter to Protect Net Neutrality

Music News Net Neutrality
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Hundreds of Musicians and Record Labels Sign a Letter to Protect Net Neutrality

The FCC will vote to repeal net neutrality on Dec. 14. This would be a disastrous ruling for many different reasons, as it would essentially allow internet service providers to pick and choose how Americans receive the internet. Your favorite sites could become unreachable, or unbearably slow. You could be charged extra for different “services,” as these “services” would be fragmented pieces of the internet you currently enjoy.

In response to this unprecedented assault on the American internet, hundreds of musicians from around the world have signed a letter spearheaded by nonprofits Future of Music Coalition and CASH Music, pleading with the FCC to preserve net neutrality, rather than eradicate it. A few highlights from the list of signatures: R.E.M., Allison Mosshart, Killer Mike, members of Wilco and Neutral Milk Hotel, My Morning Jacket, Neko Case, Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards, BATHS and even Ned Flanders parody metal band Okilly Dokilly.

You can read the letter and the full, extremely extensive list of undersigned artists below, and find out more about the push here.

As musicians, composers, producers, and independent labels representing diverse backgrounds, traditions, genres, and communities, we urge the Federal Communications Commission to protect the open internet as a vehicle for free expression and collaboration.

We’ve built careers and big parts of our lives around our passion for music — creating it and connecting with listeners. Today, the internet is one of the primary places this work happens. We rely on it for everything from booking tours to selling merchandise, to collaborating with musicians on the other side of the globe. The fundamental principle of openness online has enabled artists to connect directly with each other and with audiences, empowering us to distribute our work and reach fans in a multiplicity of ways. At its best, the open internet has allowed for a flourishing of diverse voices, allowing to compete alongside the biggest companies, creating connections across geographic barriers, offering choice, flexibility, and creative autonomy.

To truly make good on the remarkable democratic potential of the internet, the fundamental infrastructure underpinning it all must be neutral and nondiscriminatory. Unfortunately, the FCC’s current proposal would amount to a sharp turn in the opposite direction. It would allow big cable and wireless companies to create new pay-to-play fast lanes, disadvantaging those who cannot pay for preferential treatment, and replicating the industry’s past problems with payola. Allowing broadband providers to control this once-open platform shifts leverage away from individual artists, creators, and small businesses, and interferes with freedom of speech and expression.

The implications for free expression also extend to digital service providers. Without strong net neutrality protections, digital retailers will have to compete to better meet the needs of the ISPs that can block, throttle, or slow down access to their offerings. These services should instead be competing to better serve the needs of diverse musicians and listeners. Artists and labels’ choices about how and where to bring their work to the market could likewise be constrained by what the ISPs prefer, rather than what works best for their individual business and creative goals.

Of course, network neutrality alone is not sufficient to ensure a healthy internet, where free expression thrives, creative labor is fairly compensated, consumer privacy is respected, and diverse voices can reach audiences. But it is a necessary foundation for fair competition.

We urge the FCC to sustain the existing, strong net neutrality rules, based on Title II of the Communications Act. The FCC should maintain bright line rules against blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization on both fixed and mobile connections, as well as maintaining ongoing oversight of other types of discrimination.

18th & Addison
Aaron Wagner
Afi Scruggs
AJ Pantaleo
Alan Epstein
Alec Ounsworth (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah)
Alison Mosshart (The Kills, The Dead Weather)
Allan Wilson (!!!, Secret Drum Band)
Alot Alot
Amanda Palmer
American Lions
Amy Klein
Andrew Adkins
Anna Altman
Apostle of Solitude
Arthur Noll
Arrington de Dionyso
Asa Horvitz
Auburn X
Beauty Pill
Bedroom Hijinks
Betsy Ganz
Black Belt Eagle Scout
Blue Lotus
Bob D’Amico (Sebadoh, Fiery Furnaces)
Bottle Caps For Dollars
Bound by Entrails
Braille Stars
Brave New Girl
Brendan Canty
Brent Knopf (Ramona Falls, Menomena, Eyelids)
Brian Henneman, Bottle Rockets
Brodie Jenkins (Cathedrals)
Bryan Divisions
Bunny’s A Swine
Calamity Jane
Ché Aimee Dorval
Chris Faroe
Citizen Ten
Craig Finn (The Hold Steady)
Cuddle Formation
Dagan Thogerson (Murder by Death)
Dan Friel (Parts & Labor, Upper Wilds)
Daniel Wagner
Daniel Wander
Dark Rodeo
Darrell Westrick
Dave Easley
Dave Narcizo (Throwing Muses)
David Bazan
David Poe
David Rosane & the Zookeepers
Deborah Crooks
Declan Zapala
Delerium Tremors
Dennis Driscoll
Denver Meatpacking Company
Dethrone the Deceiver
Devin Gallagher (Typhoon, Ghosties)
DJ Spooky
Downtown Boys
Dude York
Eli Janney
Emily Reo
Erin McKeown
Erocka Kwal
Flash Car
Fred Thomas
Franz Nicolay
Gabriel Teodros
Gaian Heart Tribe
Gas Hound
Golden Hour
Good Shade
Harry & The Potters
Hazel Atlas
Helen Kellers Ukulele
Helen Kelter Skelter
Holly Herndon & Mat Dryhurst
Hurry Up
Ian MacKaye
Insect Ark
Iron Curtain
It Keeps Snowing
J Shogren
Jace Clayton
James Radcliffe
James William Roy
Jane Don’t
Jared Benge
Jay B
Jeff Mangum & Astra Taylor, Neutral Milk Hotel
Jeff Rosenstock
Jeff Tweedy & Spencer Tweedy
Jeffrey Lewis
Jen Strickland
Jeremy Bible
Jesse R Berlin
Jill Sobule
Jimmy Keane
Joe Royall
John Kyle
John Wilkes Booth
John Zay
Jon Spencer
Jonathan Edwards (Panic Room, Luna Rossa)
Jonny X and the Groadies
Julie Cafritz (Free Kitten, Pussy Galore)
Julie Cira & The Wake
Kathy Foster (The Thermals)
Keba Robinson (Crosslegged)
Kevin de Souza (Uptown Boys Choir)
Killer Mike
Kimya Dawson
Kristin Forbes
Kristin Hersh
Kronos Quartet
Kyle McDonald (ZAUM)
Kyle Morton (Typhoon)
Laurie Marie
Lee Baines III & The Glory Fires
Lee Rose
Lisa Schonberg (Secret Drum Band, Explode Into Colors)
Little Big Noise
Loch & Key
Lovely Little Girls
Mad Hallelujah Tribe
Marcia Liebenow
Mark Empire
Matthew Caws (Nada Surf)
Matthew Romain
Merrill Garbus (tUnE-yArDs)
Maggie May Morris (Genders, Sunbathe)
Michael Peterson
Mike Sturgill
Mike Watt
Mike Wroblewski (Genders, Paper Brain)
Muse en Lystrala (Sirenne, Geek Musica, Crown of Melusine, Umbra Oceania)
Mutual Benefit
My Morning Jacket
Naked Blue
Nate Sabat (Mile Twelve)
Neko Case
Nicholas Hewitt
Nichole Wagner
Nylon Otters
Of Sleeping Bears
Okilly Dokilly
P.J. Franco and The Burnouts
Pallet House
Personal Best
Pete Gitlin
Peter Fish
Peter Stone Brown
Pieter Hilton (Typhoon, Deathlist, Sunbathe, Genders, Secret Drum Band)
Rachel Blumberg
Rachel Marco-Havens
Radiator Hospital
Rah Zen
Rebecca Gates
Reeves Gabrels
Rob Alley
Robert “Neutron” Sound
Roland Marconi
Sacha Mullin
Sarah Fausett
Sarah Shook & the Disarmers
Seconds Before Landing
Silvio Navarro
Simone White
Skating Polly
Skye Wallace
Slow Mass
Slow Wolves Club
Snow Bored
Space Coyote
Speedy Ortiz
Spencer Douglas
Stay Inside
Steven Shanks (TimidBlue)
Summer Cannibals
Swearing At Motorists
TW Walsh
Tanya Donelly (Belly)
Tara Jane O’Neil
Team Dresch
Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
The Beginner’s Mynd
The Blow
The Buzzards of Fuzz
The Easy Leaves
The Furr
The Goat Wizard
The Josephines
The Moonracers
The New Restaurants
The SpeNerds
The Superweaks
Thrust Club
Tift Merritt
Tim Lulofs
Tobi Vail (Bikini Kill, Spider and the Webs)
Told Slant
Tom Smith
Trash Panda
Turnip King
Tyler Stacy
Universal Doctrine
Vince SanFilippo/The Artist Formally Known As Vince
West of 69
Wild Cody
Wild Nothing
Will Johnson
Will Sheff (Okkervil River)
Will Stratton
World Children’s Choir
Zachary Lipez (Publicist UK)
Zohra Atash (Azar Swan)
Zoë Keating

Label + industry signers include:
15 Passenger
American Association of Independent Music
Andrew Hill (Off the Record Studio)
Army of Bad Luck
Atlantic Rhythms
Bad Friend Records
Bloodshot Records
Cadence Independent Media
Captured Tracks
Carpark Records
Crash Symbols
Cuneiform Records
DZ Tapes
Decoder Magazine
Disposable America
Don Giovanni Records
Ear Trumpet Labs
Ergotone Records
Exotic Fever
Exploding In Sound
Fandango Records
Fire Talk Records
Furious Hooves
Hardly Art
Heirship Records
Heavy Gel
IFS Records
Ingrown Records
Interrobang Records
JMC Aggregate
Kill Rock Stars
Kitten Charmer
Lame-O Records
Master Hand Records
Merge Records
MilShap Music
Misra Records
Objectively Good Records & Tapes
Old Line Audio
Omnian Music Group
Partisan Records
Polyvinyl Records
Posture Records
Regalia Records
Related Records
Rob Budowsky (Manager, Jacuzzi Boys)
Sarang Bang Records
Secretly Group
Shaking Shanghai
Sinderlyn Records
Sister Polygon Records
Slumberland Records
Sooper Records
Sub Pop
Tape Modulator
Temporary Residence
Third Man Records
Thirsty Ear Recordings
Thrill Jockey
Tiny Radars
To Live A Lie Records
Top Shelf Records
Trubee Records
Viva Ska Radio
Wallflower Records
Warpaint Records