More than 150 entertainers have come together in support of net neutrality, signing an open letter to Congress calling to stop the FCC’s planned vote to end net neutrality protection on Dec. 14. The list of artists that cosigned the letter include Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Prophets of Rage), Michael Stipe (R.E.M.), Incubus, Atmosphere, Bassnectar, Charlie Hunter, Emancipator, Graham Nash, Gramatik, STS9, Talib Kweli, and The Glitch Mob, among many others.
On a party-line vote, the FCC voted for the first step of Chairman Ajit Pai’s plan to hand control of the internet to giant telecom corporations. Not only is ending net neutrality a threat to freedom of speech online, it means Comcast and Verizon can demand companies and consumers pay shakedown fees for decent speeds – those who don’t pay get pushed into “slow lanes.”
As the “Fight For The Future” letter states, “The medium that allows us to be great artists is under threat. Without a free and open internet, so much music, writing, film, art, culture, passion, and creativity would be lost. or the artists of the future, and the culture of the future, we will not be silent.”
The letter continues, “A few corporations will have control over what you see and hear, while independent and up-and-coming artists’ ability to make a living will be devastated,” the letter reads. “Without net neutrality there will be less awesome art. Period. The open Internet lets artists reach each other and audiences across the world in unprecedented ways. We are able to collaborate, learn, improve our worlds, participate in our society, and bring the things we love to people who are moved by them. Freedom of speech and freedom of expression are guaranteed by our constitution, and we demand that such freedoms continue online. Net Neutrality is essential to our democracy.”
You can sign a petition officially stating your opposition to the FCC’s plan to abolish net neutrality here. To read the full list of artists that signed the “Fight For The Future” letter in support of saving net neutrality, head here.
[h/t – Billboard]