The Internet has become the critical distribution channel for artists and their work. It has opened new opportunities to reach and engage audiences, reduced the need for gatekeepers and middlemen, and established powerful new fundraising channels.
A newspaper, a magazine and a cable wire coming into your house are all owned by private entrepreneurs. And the First Amendment guarantees that the government can't tell private people how they can speak.
FCC chairmen often fall into one of two camps -- stern regulators focused on compliance or free-market stalwarts eager to spark private sector growth. Chairman Genachowski is rare in his ability to simultaneously accomplish both goals.
Even though current FCC Chair Julius Genachowski has not announced that he is leaving, there is still much talk about who is being considered to be his successor. The trade press has been throwing out names of the supposed frontrunners every few weeks or so.
The answer to the question of which part of society should censor the Internet is: neither government nor industry. Both institutions can be equally dangerous to Internet users, but only one has the capacity to be a guarantor of rights if it so chooses.
Net Neutrality guarantees a level playing field for all websites and Internet users. It ensures that everyone has a voice on the Internet and that no one can be silenced simply because they can't afford to pay. We need to keep it that way.
The Internet will be a different place if we rig the playing field. It's not right to give service providers the opportunity to stop you from making your own decisions -- you shouldn't have to eat pizza when you really want chicken.
Net Neutrality protects a level playing field on the Internet, where anyone can connect, create and innovate. Without Net Neutrality, Al Franken says, Internet service providers would be able to return as gatekeepers to all expression.