Net Neutrality Repeal Reactions: Hollywood, Politicians & Others Vent Their Anger; A Few Heap Their Praise


Refresh for updates… The vote is in: The FCC has repealed the Obama-era net neutrality rules, which Republican Chairman Ajit Pai prefers we call his “Restore Internet Freedom Order.” Predictably, Hollywood, the broader entertainment industry and many Democratic politicians aren’t happy about today’s 3-2 party-line vote by the FCC, and many are posting their gripes on social media while some are supporting the “reclassification of the Internet.” Here is a sampling:

Writers Guild of America West:
“That FCC Chairman Pai secured the necessary votes today to completely gut the Commission’s open Internet rules is no surprise, but his gift to the ISPs will be challenged in court. The Chairman’s position is not based on what’s best for our nation. In his view the future of the Internet should be decided by a few powerful gatekeepers whose monopoly control over Internet access allows them to decide what content reaches viewers. The WGAW is ready once again to join with its coalition partners and take legal action to protect the open Internet.”

Directors Guild of America:
“We are deeply disappointed with the FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality rules. All lawful internet traffic should be treated equally. The FCC’s ruling is a blow to the creative community and threatens the ability of our members, and other creators, to make their works available to internet users without interference. While we share Chairman Ajit Pai’s concern that there should be a level playing field between Internet Service Providers and Edge Providers such as the major Silicon Valley platforms, we believe – as expressed in our filings – that the best way to achieve that objective is to extend net neutrality rules to apply to all of the online gatekeepers, including the dominant platforms that control the flow of content to viewers’ screens. The FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality takes us in the wrong direction.”

Jean Prewitt, President & CEO, Independent Film and Television Alliance
“Today’s 3-2 decision by the FCC to repeal the critical ‘net neutrality’ safeguards established by the 2015 Open Internet Order is a significant setback for the independent sector of the film and television industry and the consumers which we serve. Without the protection of a clear and enforceable legal framework, the internet as a commercially viable means of content distribution for independents is seriously compromised: there is now no restraint on the major service providers to prevent their favoring self-owned or affiliated content, services and applications, and thus preventing diverse and independent offerings from reaching consumers on equal terms and conditions.”

Yaël Ossowski, deputy director of the Consumer Choice Center:
“Today’s reclassification of the Internet by the FCC as a Title I information service will bring us back to the President Bill Clinton-era Internet “soft touch” rules which generated so much innovation and creativity online in the past 2 decades. Consumers will be better off, as companies will be able to invest more to serve the best products at the most reasonable prices. …The best thing for American consumers is for a more transparent, open Internet, free from governmental oversight and control like in so many oppressive countries throughout the world. The FCC made the right decision.”

Dirk Morris, Untangle Founder & Chief Product Officer
“We were greatly disappointed by today’s assault on a free and open internet. This is a sad day for consumers who already had their internet browsing data for sale. The FCC has now opened the door for companies to block, throttle and charge for content––opening the door to censorship and the creation of internet dead zones for those not able pay for service.”

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