Monday, April 7, 2008

Ok Go's Damian Kulash Scribes for the Times

We love it when rockers transcend the stereotype of self-absorbed slackers. And there's really no better example of a socially engaged, civic-minded musician than Damian Kulash of OK Go.

As you may recall, Damian recently testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the importance of net neutrality to the music community. And just this week, the New York Times published his opinion piece on the same subject. (Extra props for mentioning FMC in the first paragraph!)

Damian makes a strong case for net neutrality, saying that "the internet shouldn’t be harnessed for the profit of a few, rather than the good of the many." He also provides some background info on how the internet grew up under the same "common carriage" laws that allowed people to use their phones without interference from the phone companies. That system is now threatened by ISPs who want to charge content providers for the faster loading of their sites. Those who couldn't afford to (or didn't want to) pay this toll could get stuck in the slow lane.

Damian makes some apt comparisons:

. . .there are only two guitar companies who make most of the guitars sold in America, but they don’t control what we play on those guitars. Whether we use a Mac or a PC doesn’t govern what we can make with our computers. The telephone company doesn’t get to decide what we discuss over our phone lines. It would be absurd to let the handful of companies who connect us to the Internet determine what we can do online. Congress needs to establish basic ground rules for an open Internet, just as common carriage laws did for the phone system.

Right on. Click here to read the whole article, and don't forget to sign on to FMC's Rock the Net campaign.

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