Friday, August 01, 2008

The Internet Is Open & Free...For Now...

Following the FCC decision to sanction Comcast for violating the Commission’s Network Neutrality principles and interfering with users’ rights to access lawful Internet content and use the applications of their choice, this statement was issued by Jonathan Rintels, Executive Director of the Center for Creative Voices in Media.

The Center for Creative Voices in Media applauds today’s FCC decision to protect and promote an open Internet where consumers have the freedom to access the lawful Internet content of their choice and use the lawful applications of their choice. The FCC today marked an important victory in the battle over whether consumers will have the freedom to enjoy the full Internet, or whether they will they be restricted to visiting sites approved by – or in business with – the cable, telephone, or media conglomerate “gatekeeper” that provides broadband Internet access.

Because extreme media consolidation and concentration have eliminated so many independent voices and visions from America’s mainstream media, a growing number of creative artists now share their video, music, and creative visions directly with their audience over the Internet. Today’s FCC decision protects these artists from discrimination by broadband providers, promoting more independent and diverse voices in our media. That benefits creative artists and the American public.

The implications of the ongoing battle over whether the Internet will be “open” or “closed” can hardly be overstated. As FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps once observed, “This Internet may be dying. It may be dying because entrenched interests are positioning themselves to control the Internet’s choke-points and they are lobbying the FCC to aid and abet them… We seem to be buying into a warped vision that open networks should be replaced by closed networks and that traditional user accessibility can be superseded by a new power to discriminate. Let this vision prevail and the winners will be entrenched interests with far greater power than they have today to design and control the Internet of the future.”

Today, the FCC, led by Chairman Kevin J. Martin and Commisioners Copps and Jonathan Adelstein, delivered a crucial blow against that “warped vision” and in favor of giving all Americans full access to an open and non-discriminatory Internet. We salute them.

The Center for Creative Voices in Media is a nonpartisan nonprofit group dedicated to preserving free speech, free expression, and independent and diverse creative voices in our nation’s media. Members of the Board of Advisors of Creative Voices include Warren Beatty, Steven Bochco, Peggy Charren, Blake Edwards, Tom Fontana, Sissy Spacek, and other Oscar, Emmy, Peabody, Tony, and other award-winning creative artists.


If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Jonathan Rintels
Center for Creative Voices in Media
202.903.4081 (v)
202.318.9183 (f) (blog)

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