Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Music Media Your Rights Online

Musicians Demand the Internet Stay Neutral 203

Posted by kdawson
from the bits-is-bits-man dept.
eldavojohn writes "124 bands — including R.E.M., Sarah McLachlan, and Pearl Jam — and 24 music labels are sending a clear message to keep Net traffic neutral. The Rock the Net campaign wants all traffic to be equal instead of allowing providers to charge a fee for certain pages to load faster than others. These musicians are the latest to join the Save the Internet campaign, which has the chair of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet in its camp. Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., spoke at the campaign's kickoff. I think it's obvious that musicians (especially independents and small labels) will find themselves with the short end of the stick if they are asked to pay a fee to have their music streamed as fast as larger bands or even corporations."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Musicians Demand the Internet Stay Neutral

Comments Filter:
  • by moseman (190361) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @09:51AM (#18527549)
    Well, if REM says so, then it must be a good thing. That really helped me solidify my stance.
    • by CRCulver (715279)
      Considering that R.E.M. essentially is a corporation, I think it's funny that here they are being portrayed as fighters for the independent musician against the corporate machine.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        That is just slick marketing, like when Marilyn Manson's lyrics decry capitalism. It helps get a bigger share of the disaffected youth dollar.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by shotgunsaint (968677)
          I'm a HUGE Manson fan and I can't think of one song that decries capitalism. He definitely goes after the disaffected youth market though, it's what we call his bread-and-butter.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by k_187 (61692)
            Just off the top of my head, from 'The Beautiful People': Capitalism has made it this way, Old-fashioned fascism will take it away It presumably taking about the eponymous beautiful people and society's desire to be like them.
      • Re:Well, if REM (Score:5, Informative)

        by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @10:11AM (#18527799)
        Considering that R.E.M. essentially is a corporation, I think it's funny that here they are being portrayed as fighters for the independent musician against the corporate machine.

        You obviously don't know their history or it would make perfect sense to you. R.E.M. got their start on I.R.S. Records, which was an independent label. It was a large and successful independent label, but this was largely through good management that signed a lot of really good bands at the time. R.E.M. was the kind of band that the majors wouldn't have touched in their early days, but they toured and built up a following on the college circuit and eventually signed a major label contract and became big stars. However, without I.R.S. Records, probably nobody outside of Athens would have ever heard of them.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by CRCulver (715279)
          The independence of IRS has been debunked by nearly every biography of R.E.M. written. IRS cultivated an independent image, but had partnerships with major distributors the whole time. Furthermore, R.E.M. came to fame through Rolling Stone, hardly a bastion of independent thought but rather a place that knew just the right "big new thing" to pitch.
        • by faloi (738831)
          However, without I.R.S. Records, probably nobody outside of Athens would have ever heard of them.

          So without the backing of a large and successful label, which was being distributed by major corporate distributors (which include a few of the "big four" in the RIAA) and that had a show on MTV, they'd still be known mostly in Athens?
      • Re:Well, if REM (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jocknerd (29758) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @11:05AM (#18528503)
        Let me guess. You probably are one of those who thinks a band is cool until they start to sell. After that, you consider them sell-outs. Am I accurate on this?

        I remember the 80's radio scene. My local rock station was pretty much like this from 1981-85:

        Van Halen, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, Pink Floyd, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Aerosmith. There was no R.E.M. or U2 or INXS or Husker Du or The Cure any alternative band being played on mainstream radio.

        While you may consider these guys corporate now, they were not corporate bands in the early to mid 80's. 1987 seemed to be the breakout year for U2, R.E.M., The Cure, and INXS and alternative music in general to get actual air play. Then Nirvana came along in 1991 and alternative became mainstream.
      • Sign the Petition (Score:2, Informative)

        by jimbojw (1010949)

        The article references the Rock the Net campaign, which has an Online Petition [futureofmusic.org] you can sign.

        Unfortunately, it appears to be down - I get this stacktrace when I try to sign it:

        java.sql.SQLException: [Macromedia][SQLServer JDBC Driver][SQLServer]Arithmetic overflow error converting IDENTITY to data type tinyint.
        at macromedia.jdbc.base.BaseExceptions.createExceptio n(Unknown Source)
        at macromedia.jdbc.base.BaseExceptions.getException(U nknown Source)
        at macromedia.jdbc.sqlserver.tds.TDSRequest.processEr

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by skorbutrage (983250)
      Since I am a member of the R.E.M fan club, I get the fan letters, in these Michael Stipe has repeatedly stated his preference for net nutrality, the band as a whole took interest long before many others did, so I'm not quite sure why that is news, although publicity is always good, especially on a place like slashdot.
    • Well, if REM says so, then it must be a good thing. That really helped me solidify my stance.

      I'm waiting until the Pet Shop Boys weigh in.

  • CNN.com... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lilomar (1072448) <lilomar2525@gmail.com> on Thursday March 29, 2007 @09:53AM (#18527583) Homepage
    I think one of the best things I noticed about this article is the news site it is taken from. Not Wired online, not the Register, not any of the usual, tech-oriented news sites. CNN is read by the technoelite and the public in general. The entire Net Neutrality issue needs to be in the public view-space.
    • Re:CNN.com... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Spudtrooper (1073512) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @10:06AM (#18527723)
      Agreed - the cable companies have been running anti-neutrality ads trying to convince the public that the average consumer will be the one footing the bill for net neutrality. It's good to see the pro-neutrality camp finally showing up to the public discourse in the mainstream (i.e., non-geek-oriented) media.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Spudtrooper (1073512)
        P.S. - Here's the cable company's mumbo jumbo. [youtube.com]
        • by amazon10x (737466)
          Has someone created something like this, except in support of NN? Something along the lines of this [lafkon.net] would be great. If enough money (think big-name musicians) was banded together, something like that could possibly make it on mainstream T.V. as a commercial.
      • Agreed - the cable companies have been running anti-neutrality ads trying to convince the public that the average consumer will be the one footing the bill for net neutrality. It's good to see the pro-neutrality camp finally showing up to the public discourse in the mainstream (i.e., non-geek-oriented) media.

        But the consumer WILL be footing the bill for net-neutrality. The mis-direction is the implication that the consumer WON'T be footing the bill without net neutrality. Without consumer dollars, the ISP's fold up and go away, as does the infrastructure.

        What I don't get are the anti-neutrality personalities on /. - some are obviously plastic people for the Verizons and the Comcasts.But some are /.'rs who've been around much, much longer than that. I wonder how any IDIOT would prefer to have their ISP make

    • Absolutely. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by raehl (609729)
      And somebody needs to come up with a better name for it than Net Neutrality.

      Something like...

      'Uncrippled Internet'

      As in...

      'Don't support a crippled internet!'

      'Stop a crippled internet!'

      'Verizon wants to cripple your internet!'
      • CrippleNet.
        • by karnal (22275)
          So if Verizon and Qwest start fighting about the internet, we could call it a cripplefight?
      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        "As in...

        'Don't support a crippled internet!'

        'Stop a crippled internet!'

        'Verizon wants to cripple your internet!'

        And for those less techie types in DC,

        "they want to put some serious kinks in the tubes...."

  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @10:01AM (#18527671) Homepage Journal

    and the Pearl Jam
    I'm glad the Pearl Jam is in on this. I love the Pearl Jam, I listen to the Pearl Jam all the time on the CD and the MP3.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Not more Net Neutrality crap. I have to love /.'s double-stance on this. First they decry ISPs for not disconnecting clients that have been botted - then they demand that laws get passed to prevent that.

    Why shouldn't ISPs be allowed to implement QOS? Do I have to give up decent ping times on VOIP calls solely because the idiots next to me absolutely have to BitTorrent the latest episode of American Idol? Should someone sending spam be given equal priority to the 'net as someone trying to send emails to coll
    • by Volante3192 (953645) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @10:22AM (#18527905)
      Apples and oranges. Botted systems represent a security risk to the ISP and to other customers and are not providing a commercial service. (Incidentally, it's also probably against their Terms of Serivce to run a botted system, but TOS is only pulled out when it benefits them...) Net neutrality is ISPs charging companies to use the faster lanes which ends up getting passed to the consumer and is nothing more than a money grab.

      Should someone sending spam be given equal priority to the 'net as someone trying to send emails to colleagues?

      Oddly, if you QOS port 25 the spam goes through just as fast as the legit email. Incidentally, this is an argument for quarantining systems, not net neutrality.

      Net Neutrality means throwing up our hands in the air and allowing the Internet to become a useless mess of spam and viruses since the power to handle them would be stripped from ISPs. It means giving up on streaming video and audio. It means giving up on VOIP. ...like ISPs do anything about spam and viruses now to begin with. They'd claim common carrier and do nothing like usual.

      Plus it's not giving up on video/audio and VOIP...it's giving up on third party streaming video and audio and VOIP. Why should Verizon allow Vonage's VOIP (yea, i know the patent issues, bear with me) to travel as fast as Verizon's VOIP solution? Without competition, Verizon has no reason to improve their service either.

      Net neutrality = competition allowed to exist = better for consumers.
    • by Lisandro (799651)
      I don't think it's worth it. Why the hell shouldn't I be allowed to pay more to get a better connection?

      Because, by doing this, you're automatically enabling providers to charge you for a better connection. How much and for what, exactly, is up to them. Not you. This creates a lot of possible abuse scenarios.
    • by peragrin (659227) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @10:43AM (#18528205)
      net neutrality isn't about an ISP blocking a spam bot, it's about ISP double billing their customers, and then taxing certian traffic at higher rates.

      Google has to pay an ISP for service. now that ISP wants to not only charge google for data coming out of there services but also for giving that data premium bandwidth at the cost of something else.

      Net neutrality is to prevent the AOL'ing of the Internet. the ISP's want to nickel and dime you to death to increase their revenue. Just like how when AOL, Prodigy and compuserv first came online you couldn't send email between them, unless you were a premium suscriber if at all. Now ISP's want to do that to IM's emails, videos, file transfers. If you want music from itunes but your ISP only supports Zune-live then your screwed and have to pay more per megabyte for a slower transfer.

      That way only the rich companies could afford the bandwidth and premium charges to make them popular. Companies like Youtube wouldn't be able to even get started under such a situation.
    • The solution (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jonwil (467024) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @10:47AM (#18528269)
      Most of the people who want "net neutrality" probably don't want to ban QOS outright.

      This is what I think ISPs should be prohibited from doing:
      1.Discriminating or throttling or blocking based on source/destination addresses (and that includes forcing companies like google to pay more if they want full speed over the ISPs network)

      2.Applying any kind of throttling based on port number. QOS is fine (that is, giving VoIP packets priority over BitTorrent packets) but throttling is NOT. If a network link is 1.5MBps and no-one wants to send traffic other than BitTorrent traffic over that link, the BitTorrent traffic should be able to use the entire 1.5MBps link (obviously if someone starts sending VoIP packets, then the network link wont accept as many BitTorrent packets and the BitTorrent download will slow down). This would specifically prevent the (increasingly common) practice where ISPs give you 1.5MBps or whatever speed but no matter how perfect the network conditions, BitTorrent or Emule or whatever else is limited so it can never go over 128KBps or 256KBps or whatever. Write in an exemption for cases where there is a direct threat to the network or to another network (e.g. someone spewing out packets as part of a DDOS attack)

      These measures would still allow ISPs to completely block ports used by malware as well as measures like blocking port 25 to cut off spam zombies. And it would allow ISPs to apply QOS so that your VoIP packets have higher priority than the BitTorrent packets. But it would prevent ISPs from deciding that if you access CNN.com you can have the full 1.5MBps speed (assuming the rest of the network can handle that) but if you access YouTube.com or download something over BitTorrent, you cannot ever get more than 256KBps unless you pay extra for it (or google pays extra for it in the case of YouTube)
    • by phoenixwade (997892) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @11:59AM (#18529341)

      Not more Net Neutrality crap. I have to love /.'s double-stance on this. First they decry ISPs for not disconnecting clients that have been botted - then they demand that laws get passed to prevent that.
      No, Net neutrality means equal access to all services. Shutting down BOTS means removing a service that affects equal access. the difference is Quarantining the bots, as opposed to choosing say CNN over FOXNEWS by providing more bandwidth to one over the other.

      Why shouldn't ISPs be allowed to implement QOS? Do I have to give up decent ping times on VOIP calls solely because the idiots next to me absolutely have to BitTorrent the latest episode of American Idol? Should someone sending spam be given equal priority to the 'net as someone trying to send emails to colleagues?
      Because you are misrepresenting the issue. Represent the issues AS IT IS, steering of a consumer to one or more services in favor of other services. Quality of service isn't the issue. Net neutrality is tuning down bit torrents so long as you tune down ALL bit torrents equally. It's eliminating VoIP entirely if you eliminate it at all. It's applying the ISPs rules of QoS equally for all users and for all services. It's not favoring one provider over another, and allowing the consumer to choose what provider of what service they want, rather than the ISP.

      Net Neutrality means throwing up our hands in the air and allowing the Internet to become a useless mess of spam and viruses since the power to handle them would be stripped from ISPs. It means giving up on streaming video and audio. It means giving up on VOIP.
      Where did that load of crap come from? Where is the data to support this? Even if you were right (and you very much are not) it's not like the CONNECTION provider is doing all that much to stop either of these. the SERVICES provider is where the work is being done, at the Email server, for example.

      I don't think it's worth it. Why the hell shouldn't I be allowed to pay more to get a better connection?
      You are misrepresenting again.... Anti-net neutrality (Your support of the Crappynet) doesn't allow you to pay more to get a better CONNECTION, it forces you to pay more to choose to use services that compete with the services that have not struck a deal with the ISP that YOU are paying.

      You can choose to pay more for a faster connection right now. In our area, you can still buy dialup, multiple flavors of dsl, cable, t-1's, t-3's, fibre, WiFi.... and other choices that I have forgotten about. Each come with different prices and speeds. More remote situations are limited in connectivity choices, certainly. But in all cases, the contract between me and the provider involves connection speeds. I don't have to, and do not WANT to, have to pay more to use iTunes or BMG music, because it's not on the favored list.
  • Why the big fuss? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dkf (304284) <donal.k.fellows@manchester.ac.uk> on Thursday March 29, 2007 @10:16AM (#18527837) Homepage
    OK, there's a good argument that everyone's email or web traffic ought to be the same, but for some applications you really do want the net itself to not be totally neutral. For example telesurgery, where a surgeon conducts operations remotely through the use of a robot, and where you really don't want packets getting delayed and are willing to pay for the elevated service. Do we really want such applications blocked (or made unreasonably hazardous) just because of poorly written regulations that are attempting to prevent possible future abuse? Would it not be better to break up the big telco monopolies instead and so allow competition to work in customers' favour?
    • by R2.0 (532027) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @10:36AM (#18528105)
      The problem with that reasoning is that EVERYONE thinks their application is critical. And the arbiters of who gets the priority access are not neutral - they want to give it to whoever pays the most. So...

      Situation #1: providers oversell "priority access", leaving the "critical" applications fighting it out for bandwidth just like they do now (and the "non-critical" apps wishing they had their 56k back)

      Situation #2: Providers ration "priority access", which keeps speeds high for "critical" applications but drives up the price of that access via the laws of supply and demand. Providers realize that therey have no incentive to use those higher profit margins to invest in better infrastructure, as the poorer the infrastructure, the more they can charge for "priority access". (Think Enron pulling plants offline to make electricity rates spike and California brownouts)

      Situation #3: Government, quasi-gov't (ICAAN), or NGO control of access. Does ANYONE think this is a good idea?

      Here's another thought - maybe telesurgery isn't that good an idea.
    • by steelfood (895457)
      Actually, in the case of critical applications like telesurgury, they'd be using dedicated fiber lines instead of a shared line like cable. So the point is moot. The hospital/doctor is already paying for a very high speed, dedicated line, and there's nothing to interfere with that traffic (unless telesurgury generates enough packets that it overloads the ISP's connection to the backbone, or the backbone itself, which is neigh impossible given a large enough ISP for the former and really not possible for the
    • by illumin8 (148082)

      For example telesurgery, where a surgeon conducts operations remotely through the use of a robot, and where you really don't want packets getting delayed and are willing to pay for the elevated service.

      Here's a novel thought: The internet was never designed for mission critical (lives depend on it) type services. ALL packets you send across the internet get delivered on a "best effort" type of basis. If you are doing anything as critical as telesurgery where lives depend on it, just buy dedicated lines to

  • by boyfaceddog (788041) on Thursday March 29, 2007 @10:17AM (#18527857) Journal
    And in other news, Mice demand Cats stop chasing them.

    Yawn.
  • Please tell us what zookeepers and botanists think about net neutrality next. Thanks in advance.
  • "I think it's obvious that musicians (especially independents and small labels) will find themselves with the short end of the stick if they are asked to pay a fee to have their music streamed as fast as larger bands or even corporations."

    I think it's obvious that musicians (and too many other people) don't know how the Internet works.

    Nobody "owns" the Internet. If some ISPs or backbone companies decide to limit bandwidth to certain sites, then they will simply lose business to the service providers

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Imagix (695350)
      > Nobody "owns" the Internet. If some ISPs or backbone companies decide to limit bandwidth to certain sites, then they will simply lose business to the service providers who don't limit bandwidth.

      And then you have the people that only have a "choice" of 1, maybe 2 ISPs. If that one ISP, or both ISPs do the throttling, then the user doesn't have the ability to change service providers. That theory might work if one realistically had a choice of a multitude of service providers. It doesn't work in a mon
      • ...because it is totally correct. In a true competitive landscape where you have a half-dozen choices for broadband connectivity, lack of Net Neutrality wouldn't be a concern. However, if I want broadband, I have exactly one choice: Comcast. We're too far from the DSLAM for DSL, and FiOS won't be coming to Illinois any time soon. So if Comcast starts screwing around with traffic shaping, bandwidth limitation, and the like, I am out of luck, and so is everybody else in my area.

        "Let the market sort it out
    • by jvkjvk (102057)
      Unfortunately, someone does "own" the Internet - it's not just a single line of ownership. The Internet is made up of nodes and edges, which are physical things. SOMEONE owns every single bit of each of those physical things, even if that someone is a legal fiction such as a Corporation or a Government.

      I think you are forgetting the primary reason Corporations exist - to strip money from those that have it on the pretense of giving a service.

      The schemes suggested by the ISPs and backbone companies are int
  • I'm so glad, musicians — the real experts — are finally weighting in on this issue. Why are the FAG [wikipedia.org] still quiet, I wonder?

  • Are they hoping "Rock The Net" will be as successful as "Rock The Vote"?
  • The argument about "some bands getting their music streamed faster than others" makes absolutely no sense to me.

    I'm like most discerning music lovers in that I pretty much know what artists I like and what music (on CD in my case) I am going to buy. Therefore, I'm not going to go buy a particular CD by one artist because it's cheaper than a CD by another artist - instead, I've pretty much decided which CD I want and just go looking for the cheapest place to buy it.

    Other than that, I may buy a CD by an a

  • I read the opening line as ""124 brands-- including R.E.M., Sarah McLachlan, and the Pearl Jam..."

    Which actually made more sense to me.
  • Ya. We were talking about net neutrality at the barber shop last Saturday morning. We're still pretty much half and half, but once we come to a concensus I'll make sure to post it on Slashdot.

Optimism is the content of small men in high places. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack Up"

Working...