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April 24 at 7:04pm

Don’t Let Them Shut Down Your Independence!

By Ted Hope

Ted Hope Blasts FCC Proposal To End Net Neutrality” proclaimed Variety today.  Meanwhile… 

Over in Fandorland, our CTO and Co-Founder Dan Aronson laid it out pretty clearly what Net Neutrality — and the loss of it — means for independent filmmakers and film lovers.  He starts:

“Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith banded together to form United Artists nearly a hundred years ago,  with hopes of controlling their own work and liberating it from the studios’ grip. Filmmakers today face similar challenges in gaining control of their work from faceless commercial entities. While there are, of course, more opportunities for creating work than ever before, filmmakers are also increasingly facing roadblocks to getting that work seen by the public. This is where Net Neutrality comes into play.”

Read the whole post here.

The print media seems to recognize what a crisis this is for a free society.  Filmmakers have yet to rise up in protest though.  Hopefully some of these articles will change that:

Goodbye Net Neutrality; Hello Net Discrimination” Tim Wu, The New Yorker

Creating A Two Speed Internet” The Editorial Board, The New York Times

I wonder what the DGA, PGA, IFP, Film Independent, and Sundance have to say about it.  Tribeca is now funded by AT&T so I don’t expect they will be able to say much unfortunately.

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  1. Opsoclo Films / Apr 24 at 7:04pm

    An apparent thought of mine says, a lot of filmmakers does not know what it means (the cause & effect). Hoping to see they bumped into this article and learn the obstacles they-we-future filmmakers will be facing if this happens…

  2. brian_newman / Apr 24 at 7:04pm

    Ted, it’s good that you are pushing this, but as you know – those who know about this issue have been raising hell and trying to get film orgs and filmmakers involved for about 10 years now with no results. I tried to get those orgs involved myself, in coordination with Ford Foundation and Public Knowledge, Free Press and others about 7 years ago, and all we got was crickets. As a good cynic, I think the fight was lost way back then.

  3. Christopher J. Boghosian / Apr 24 at 7:04pm

    I’m now (finally) getting around to this issue. Two points:

    Morality is at its core. Don’t believe me? Let me quote Tim Wu from the very article you link to above: “To put it mildly, the cable and telephone companies don’t need more money.” Who determines that? The president? The FCC? Religious leaders? Filmmakers? LOL

    By definition, Capitalism, is first and foremost a for-profit venture, a free market enterprise driven by an endless acquisition of wealth. We all benefit from Capitalism; it’s the very infrastructure we all live within. So to regulate profit is, essentially, a betrayal of the very thing we all benefit from. In other words, if you want to profit from the system, then you must allow others to freely profit as well.

    Finally, and this is crucial: the broadband companies OWN the serves, the internet infrastructure. Who the hell are we to tell them how much they can charge for it? Who the hell are we to tell them what their pricing structure can and cannot be?

    Net Neutrality is a MORAL position that completely calls into question our entire economic system, our culture, our way of life. THAT IS A GOOD THING!!!! But without a moral revolution, like Wu warns in his book, the internet will go the way of telephone, radio, and TV.

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