Writers Guild of America, East Files Comments With FCC In Support of Net Neutrality
Union Represents Thousands of Content Creators Working In Film, Television & New Media
“The time to protect the open framework of the Internet is now.”
NEW YORK, NY (March 13, 2014) – The Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE), a labor union representing thousands of content creators working in film, television and new media, has filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission urging the agency to reapply the principles of the Open Internet Order, which were recently struck down by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
In comments formally submitted this morning, WGAE wrote:
"We believe the public and the economy benefit from an Internet that offers a greater variety of options than what is currently available on television and radio and in movie theaters. Digital technology presents a vast range of possibilities to content creators and consumers alike, and it would be a tragedy to squeeze all of that into a narrow commercial band.
"The no-blocking and non-discrimination principles are essential to maintaining the Internet as a place of innovation and access, a system that offers the American people a greater variety of options and information than are available off-line, and we encourage the Commission to apply and enforce them."
The Guild called particular attention to the problems posed by vertically-integrated behemoths like Comcast/NBCU, which – as the Court of Appeals recognized in its opinion – have clear incentives to discriminate in favor of content which they own, or which is most profitable for them. The Guild wrote that "Americans increasingly get all of their information and entertainment from a unified system of cables and cords which are controlled by a relative handful of gatekeepers. This is not the open, innovative Internet the American public needs and wants."
The comments conclude that, “The convergence of broadband with other forms of content distribution is the new world the Commission must address by deepening its commitment to the no-blocking and non-discrimination principles. The stakes have never been higher, and the time to protect the open framework of the Internet is now.”
Download the full comments filed by the Writers Guild of America, East here.