Our long-awaited, star-studded compilation CD, Rock the Net: Musicians for Net Neutrality, hits stores tomorrow (Tuesday, July 29). It feels like Christmas in July!
Wilco, Bright Eyes, They Might Be Giants, Aimee Mann, DJ Spooky, Portastatic, The Wrens, Palomar, Guster, The Classic Brown, Matthew Shipp, BC Camplight, David Miller, David Bazan (ex-Pedro the Lion) and Free Form Funky Freqs (Vernon Reid) all donated a track in support of our Rock the Net campaign, which raises awareness about the importance of net neutrality to the music community. The disc has already received mention in Rolling Stone, Ars Technica, Pitchfork and CMJ.
The current structure of the web lets the biggest companies and the smallest bedroom recording artist exist on an equal technological playing field. But big telecommunications and cable companies want to charge content providers (artists, labels — anyone who puts stuff on the web) a fee for the faster delivery of their sites. Those who couldn't afford — or didn't want to — pay a toll would be stuck in the slow lane.
The Internet works because it belongs to everyone. All artists — big or small — have been able to use the web as a powerful tool to engage audiences. This all takes place without interference from gatekeepers and middlemen. But if net neutrality goes away, musicians lose an important connection, and fans lose the freedom of choice. That's why we started the Rock the Net, which includes founding artists Death Cab For Cutie, R.E.M., Pearl Jam, Kronos Quartet and Ted Leo. If you're a musician or label, you should sign up and show your support for this crucial principle. If you're a fan, you can sign the petition and tell Congress that the internet is for everyone.
And don't forget to pick up the CD (or download it from your favorite digital retailer). And let us know what you think!