Hundreds of musicians issue open letter supporting net neutrality

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Run the Jewels, Michael Render, Killer Mike, El-P, Jaime Meline

Run the Jewels perform at the National Civic Center in San Jose on Feb. 2, 2017.

A diverse group of musicians ranging from REM to GWAR issued an open letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Tuesday opposing his plan to end net neutrality.

About 280 musicians and 69 other members of the music industry signed the letter, published in full at, “[urging] the FCC to sustain the existing, strong net neutrality rules, based on Title II of the Communications Act.”

“We’ve built careers and big parts of our lives around our passion for music—creating it and connecting with listeners,” the letter reads. “Today, the internet is one of the primary places this work happens. We rely on it for everything from booking tours to selling merchandise, to collaborating with musicians on the other side of the globe. The fundamental principle of openness online has enabled artists to connect directly with each other and with audiences, empowering us to distribute our work and reach fans in a multiplicity of ways.”

Other signatories also include Killer Mike of Run the Jewels, Amanda Palmer, My Morning Jacket, Wilco, and Jack White‘s Third Man Records.

In addition to the musicians’ statement, other efforts include Break the Internet Day, spearheaded by a group of tech firms, and a statement by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The five-member FCC commission is scheduled to vote on Pai’s proposal on Thursday. Despite the opposition, it is expected to pass, though it’s likely to be challenged in court.

Follow editor Daniel J. Willis at

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