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Save the Internet! Or Watch YouTube, Google, indieWIRE, et. al. Suffer

by Anthony Kaufman
April 27, 2006 3:46 AM
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Yesterday, a Republican-dominated House committee shot down an amendment put forth by a Massachusetts Democrat that would have prohibited broadband providers (such as AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast) from blocking or degrading Internet connections to websites that they may deem as competitors. "Net Neutrality" has suffered a major setback. Filmmaker Magazine's Scott Macaulay has recently been blogging about the issue here and here; if you don't think this affects your livelihood and freedom as artists, consider this similar to the Showtime/Smithsonian deal: It's all about privatizing and monetizing institutions and archives (be they physical or digital) that should be free and equal to the public.

The House committee rejected the amendment, on a vote of 34-22, with all but one Republican opposing. "This will stifle openness, endanger our global competitiveness, and warp the Web into a tiered Internet of bandwidth haves and have-nots," said Democrat Edward Markey, who wrote up the amendment.

As the vote hits the House floor, you can make a difference. For more on the issue, check out savetheInternet.com , but more importantly, contact your House representative HERE (via Evan at Alternet).

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