Artists Stand Up for the Open Internet

What do Mark Ruffalo, Michael Stipe and Evangeline Lilly have in common?

Besides being awesome in their own spheres, they’re among the many artists, musicians and actors who signed a letter urging FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to abandon his Internet payola proposal and stand up for real Net Neutrality.

“The Internet has enabled artists to connect directly with each other and with audiences,” the letter reads. “It has eliminated the barriers of geography and taken collaborations to new levels. And it has allowed people — not corporations — to seek out the film, music and art that moves them.”

Other signers include Eddie Vedder, Neko Case (pictured), Michael Ealy, Roger Waters, OK Go, Tom Morello, Corin Tucker and Fred Armisen. And the signers had a lot to say about the thought of losing Net Neutrality:

“Artists should quake at the prospect of an Internet that works better for those with deep pockets,” said filmmaker, writer and Neutral Milk Hotel musician Astra Taylor.

“My wife, Billie, and I want to speak out against the new proposed ruling by the FCC,” said Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry. “We feel it is another step towards our collective loss of freedom of speech and expression. We are losing our rights as U.S. citizens at an unprecedented rate in the history of the United States of America. We feel we need to be vigilant in order to keep America the land of the free and home of the brave.”

“Maybe the term Net Neutrality is unfamiliar to most folks, but the concept it describes is one that everyone can and should care about: that the Internet shouldn't be divided into fast lanes for the wealthy and slow lanes for everyone else,” said singer-songwriter Erin McKeown. “I am proud to stand with my fellow artists and citizens in support of an open Internet for everyone.”

Click here to read the letter, which Free Press coordinated with the Future of Music Coalition. While you’re at it, sign up to join the rally outside the FCC on May 15 and take action at

Original photo by Flickr user Laura Fedele