Press Releases

Tom Morello, Kimya Dawson, DIIV, Deerhoof, and 100s of Other Artists Issue Net Neutrality Support Letter

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  As reported this morning by Rolling Stone, over 275 musicians, writers, and artists signed an open letter urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reinstate net neutrality and Title II authority. Included among the letter’s signatories are artists Tom Morello, Kimya Dawson, DIIV, Deerhoof, Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre, Julia Holter, Xenia Rubinos, and Eve 6. The FCC’s final deadline for public comments on a proposed new rule to restore the regulations is Wednesday, January 17.

The letter organized by Demand Progress and Fight for the Future argues that, without net neutrality, giant corporations will take even more power over what we see and hear online, further hurting artists who are already struggling in an ever more monopolized arts economy.

“Giant corporations already hold so much power over the digital music landscape that it’s become virtually impossible for most artists to make a sustainable living,” said Joey La Neve DeFrancesco, musician and Senior Campaigner at Demand Progress. “Without net neutrality, these companies can and will sap even more resources out of our industry. For instance, Verizon and AT&T could cut deals with the big record labels for their artists’ music to load faster than music from independent artists, or from artists they deem too politically controversial. We cannot allow these corporations to take even more control over our art and livelihoods.”

In 2015, the Obama FCC first enacted net neutrality rules with the Open Internet Order. But in 2017, the Trump FCC under Ajit Pai overturned the regulations, putting corporate internet providers back in control of the internet. The FCC’s current proposed rule would reverse the Trump FCC’s disastrous decision and restore net neutrality.

“With vertically-invested tech giants actively squeezing the air out of many artists’ ability to make a dignified living, it’s never been more important to ensure that big telecoms are blocked from throttling artists and creators who don’t pay them a premium, “ said Lia Holland, author and Campaigns and Communications Director at Fight for the Future. “What hundreds of artists are saying to the FCC with this letter is: please don’t let Verizon and Comcast hold us hostage behind paywalls, please don’t make our fans pay a ransom to access our work—and please make sure that internet access is defended as the basic human right it is in the digital age. Without net neutrality, all the power the internet gives artists will dissolve into fodder for corporations’ insatiable greed.”

Since Demand Progress and Fight for the Future launched the Battle for the Net campaign in 2014, millions of people have utilized the campaign infrastructure to contact the FCC and Congress in support of a free and open internet. It was originally launched in 2014 in support of strong net neutrality protections. The site has been the hub for some of the largest online days of activism in history, including the 2014 Internet Slowdown Day, which generated millions of comments and helped ensure passage of the 2015 Open Internet Order. In 2017 the Trump FCC reversed net neutrality rules, and the groups involved in the Battle for the Net campaign helped organize thousands of in-person protests across the country in opposition to the repeal.