THE president, I’m pleased to say, has now taken a fair and reasonable stance on an issue that exerts a strong effect on the creative class. Do we want the web to be skyboxed– the rich over here, in the good seats, the rest over there, fighting for crumbs — the way American society is? I don’t, and that’s what net neutrality, in its simplest form, is about — keeping the playing field level so that independent artists have access to the same kind of web that deep-pocketed corporations do. “Simply put: No service should be stuck in a ‘slow lane’ because it does not pay a fee,” President Obama said.
Here’s Obama on “common carriage”:
To be current, these rules must also build on the lessons of the past. For almost a century, our law has recognized that companies who connect you to the world have special obligations not to exploit the monopoly they enjoy over access in and out of your home or business. That is why a phone call from a customer of one phone company can reliably reach a customer of a different one, and why you will not be penalized solely for calling someone who is using another provider. It is common sense that the same philosophy should guide any service that is based on the transmission of information—whether a phone call, or a packet of data.
The artists advocacy group, Future of Music Coalition, puts it this way:
Today, President Barack Obama stood with millions of Americans across political linesin urging the Federal Communications Commissionto preserve an open and accessible Internet. This is a huge deal for all Internet users, including artists, whose creative expression, sites and services must not be discriminated against on the whims of a few powerful Internet Service Providers, like Comcast andVerizon.
… This isn’t a partisan issue. In fact, it’s probably the least partisan issue out there. At its core, net neutrality is about everyone’s ability to participate in a free market powered by creativity, innovation and connectivity. We applaud the president for standing up for what millions of Americans on both sides of the aisle are already demanding: real net neutrality that allows anyone—and not just those with the deepest pockets—to communicate, create and inspire.
Even as someone skeptical about the migration of culture to the Internet, I can applaud this. If that’s where the creative class will have to ply their trade, CutureCrash wants the game to be fair.
Senator Ted Cruz made a characteristic dumbass comment about Obama’s position; an excellent retort is here.