May 18, 2006 3:43 PM PDT

Musician Moby raises voice for Net neutrality

A correction was made to this story. Read below for details.

WASHINGTON--Net neutrality believers have officially ordained a celebrity poster child.

Musician-turned-cafe-proprieter Moby turned up on Capitol Hill on Thursday to urge passage of a proposal by Massachusetts Democrat Edward Markey that would write Net neutrality principles into law. Sporting his signature dark-rimmed glasses, with his head clean-shaven as usual, the artist said that a world without legally binding Net neutrality principles would mean that today's "egalitarian" Internet would be privatized by large telecommunications companies.

Moby on Capitol Hill

"Here we have a system that works fine," the Grammy-nominated musician said in his customary mild-mannered tone, referring to what Net neutrality advocates tout as the Internet's historically open architecture. "Why do we want to change anything?"

The concept of Net neutrality says that network operators should not be allowed to charge content providers extra for the privilege of faster delivery or other preferential treatment.

Moby's not the only musician who feels Net neutrality is the right way to go. A newly formed group identifying itself as Artists and Musicians for Internet Freedom now includes rockers REM and Wilco, country act the Dixie Chicks, and hip-hop artist Q-Tip, among others.

With Markey by his side, Moby urged members of Congress to vote in favor of the congressman's proposal. If they don't, "don't be surprised if your constituents vote against you" in the upcoming elections, he warned.

The sparsely attended press conference took place on the corner of a House office building, with the dome of the Capitol providing a conspicuous backdrop. Markey and Moby were flanked by about a dozen Net neutrality supporters hoisting orange signs prepared by the event's organizers that read "Save the Internet." A couple of others toted signs backing the opposite position.

A brief scuffle ensued when one "Save the Internet" picketer bopped a representative for rival group FreedomWorks in the face with the foam sign, both sides confirmed Friday. A Save the Internet spokesman said the alleged attacker had apparently stopped by the event by chance and was not part of the campaign's crew. He was asked to leave, and the event continued without incident.

 

Correction: This story was updated to clarify an incident between participants at Thursday's Net neutrality rally on Capitol Hill.

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44 comments

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I smell Death Match 3000
In the blue corner - the DRM musicians "pay for what you get" & in the red corner, the "we want a Porsche for the price of a Geo - out for what we can get" musicians.

Whatever happened to "get what you pay for - pay for what you get" ?
Posted by DryHeatDave (79 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I smell Death Match 3000
In the blue corner - the DRM musicians "pay for what you get" & in the red corner, the "we want a Porsche for the price of a Geo - out for what we can get" musicians.

Whatever happened to "get what you pay for - pay for what you get" ?
Posted by DryHeatDave (79 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This story is FALSE!
I am the FreedomWorks staff member who was assaulted by the MoveOn thug.

The sound was his sign hitting my face. There were plenty of witnesses. I reported the incident to the Capitol Police, but did not ask them to arrest the guy.

CNET needs to correct this error.

Also, I was not blocking his sign, he was blocking mine. Your reporting is woefully mistaken.
Posted by bstein (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
More Pictures from the Press Conference
These pictures clearly show that FreedomWorks signs were not blocking ANYONE's signs.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.freedomworks.org/informed/issues_template.php?issue_id=2588" target="_newWindow">http://www.freedomworks.org/informed/issues_template.php?issue_id=2588</a>

As you can see, we were holding signs above or beside the Hill staffers who were there. The rest of the media can vouch for this fact.
Posted by bstein (7 comments )
Link Flag
heh
lol so you actually reported the guy to the police for hitting you with his paper sign? or was it cardboard? i mean if it was cardboard i... still wouldnt understand. heh o well
Posted by alexgp87 (75 comments )
Link Flag
This story is FALSE!
I am the FreedomWorks staff member who was assaulted by the MoveOn thug.

The sound was his sign hitting my face. There were plenty of witnesses. I reported the incident to the Capitol Police, but did not ask them to arrest the guy.

CNET needs to correct this error.

Also, I was not blocking his sign, he was blocking mine. Your reporting is woefully mistaken.
Posted by bstein (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
More Pictures from the Press Conference
These pictures clearly show that FreedomWorks signs were not blocking ANYONE's signs.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.freedomworks.org/informed/issues_template.php?issue_id=2588" target="_newWindow">http://www.freedomworks.org/informed/issues_template.php?issue_id=2588</a>

As you can see, we were holding signs above or beside the Hill staffers who were there. The rest of the media can vouch for this fact.
Posted by bstein (7 comments )
Link Flag
heh
lol so you actually reported the guy to the police for hitting you with his paper sign? or was it cardboard? i mean if it was cardboard i... still wouldnt understand. heh o well
Posted by alexgp87 (75 comments )
Link Flag
Hey Moby, just play your music and SHUTUP!!
I'm sick and tired of people being heard only because they're well-known in some way. Moby isn't an expert on anything. I wish people like Moby and Bono would just SHUT UP!!!
Posted by lingsun (482 comments )
Reply Link Flag
So being famous
means you can't have an opinion?
Posted by vidyman (18 comments )
Link Flag
Hey Moby, just play your music and SHUTUP!!
I'm sick and tired of people being heard only because they're well-known in some way. Moby isn't an expert on anything. I wish people like Moby and Bono would just SHUT UP!!!
Posted by lingsun (482 comments )
Reply Link Flag
So being famous
means you can't have an opinion?
Posted by vidyman (18 comments )
Link Flag
More Government bureaucracy
Why let the government regulate the Internet? If corporations truly wanted to charge these "egregious prices" for internet use not only would they lose business but they probably would have already put them in place.

Net Neutrality is yet another instance of the left attempting to overstep its boundaries and begin "fixing a problem" that does not exist. There was no net neutrality in the mid to late 90's when the Internet became a central part of America's economy and society, why put it in place now?
Posted by bbuckner38 (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
My problem with the whole thing is this...
1) Content providers are already paying for their bandwidth from the telcoms. If they make money off of that bandwidth as a result of the content they provide, booyah for them. If the business model for the telcoms is no longer working, instead of trying to charge the content providers for a "fast track" maybe they should find a new business model. Sorry, but when I buy a car and go out and make a million dollars with it I don't think that the dealership has a right to come and ask for a cut of my profit just because they sold me the car.

2) The ability to be able to reach a particular website on network b from a computer on network a is contingent on the packets being able to cross at least one other network (network c). While the phrade "net neutrality" is relatively new, the idea that network c should route packets originating from network a and going to network b without discriminating against the originating or destination network is fundamental to allowing the Internet to work the way we are accustomed. In other words, if Verizon hadn't been routing packets originating with ATT and destined for WhoEverTelecom without additional charges, you wouldn't have been able to get to your Russian porn all these years.

3) Other organizations, such as the postal services and similar agencies, already have peering arrangements. This basically means that the telcoms need to work out some kind of exchange rate and swap money between each other. I.e. Verizon tells AT&#38;T that we estimate that we route xGB of data coming from your network every month and you route xGB of data coming from ours. Let's exchange some cash for the trouble and call it even.

4) The entire tiering scheme could result in a fractured Internet (alluded to above) where you can only access websites that are part of the package that you purchase. Just because the telcoms are on their best behavior now ("Oh, we wouldn't restrict access to website based on that site not being part of our preferred network") doesn't mean that in the future you won't have to buy blocks of domains that are accessible to you based on cable TV-like service packages. That goes against the spirit and the letter of how the Internet was built.

That's all just me though...
Posted by binarysins (3 comments )
Link Flag
You Have It Backwards
You have that backwards. Net Neutrality exists now, but lobbiests are trying to get congress to change it so corporations have more control over the Internet.

This is to stop the goverment from messing things up by changing what currently exists. It does not add extra bureaucracy.
Posted by AEBOG (2 comments )
Link Flag
Back to 1860?
Frankly, the false argument that "the left" always has a negative
impact in its relations with government gets boring. Anyone
with even a minimal grasp of history knows that "the left" is
responsible for the reforms that have created a more livable and
equitable society, ranging from ending slavery to environmental
regulation. The campaign for net neutrality is another effort to
protect the defenseless from the powerful.

If the bbuckners had had their way, people would still be owning
other people, women would be barefront and pregnant, there
would be no wage and labor laws, we would be need to carry our
own oxygen supplies in our cities. . . .It boggles the mind that
anyone even bothers to listen to the nonsense spouted by
reactionaries.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Link Flag
More Government bureaucracy
Why let the government regulate the Internet? If corporations truly wanted to charge these "egregious prices" for internet use not only would they lose business but they probably would have already put them in place.

Net Neutrality is yet another instance of the left attempting to overstep its boundaries and begin "fixing a problem" that does not exist. There was no net neutrality in the mid to late 90's when the Internet became a central part of America's economy and society, why put it in place now?
Posted by bbuckner38 (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
My problem with the whole thing is this...
1) Content providers are already paying for their bandwidth from the telcoms. If they make money off of that bandwidth as a result of the content they provide, booyah for them. If the business model for the telcoms is no longer working, instead of trying to charge the content providers for a "fast track" maybe they should find a new business model. Sorry, but when I buy a car and go out and make a million dollars with it I don't think that the dealership has a right to come and ask for a cut of my profit just because they sold me the car.

2) The ability to be able to reach a particular website on network b from a computer on network a is contingent on the packets being able to cross at least one other network (network c). While the phrade "net neutrality" is relatively new, the idea that network c should route packets originating from network a and going to network b without discriminating against the originating or destination network is fundamental to allowing the Internet to work the way we are accustomed. In other words, if Verizon hadn't been routing packets originating with ATT and destined for WhoEverTelecom without additional charges, you wouldn't have been able to get to your Russian porn all these years.

3) Other organizations, such as the postal services and similar agencies, already have peering arrangements. This basically means that the telcoms need to work out some kind of exchange rate and swap money between each other. I.e. Verizon tells AT&#38;T that we estimate that we route xGB of data coming from your network every month and you route xGB of data coming from ours. Let's exchange some cash for the trouble and call it even.

4) The entire tiering scheme could result in a fractured Internet (alluded to above) where you can only access websites that are part of the package that you purchase. Just because the telcoms are on their best behavior now ("Oh, we wouldn't restrict access to website based on that site not being part of our preferred network") doesn't mean that in the future you won't have to buy blocks of domains that are accessible to you based on cable TV-like service packages. That goes against the spirit and the letter of how the Internet was built.

That's all just me though...
Posted by binarysins (3 comments )
Link Flag
You Have It Backwards
You have that backwards. Net Neutrality exists now, but lobbiests are trying to get congress to change it so corporations have more control over the Internet.

This is to stop the goverment from messing things up by changing what currently exists. It does not add extra bureaucracy.
Posted by AEBOG (2 comments )
Link Flag
Back to 1860?
Frankly, the false argument that "the left" always has a negative
impact in its relations with government gets boring. Anyone
with even a minimal grasp of history knows that "the left" is
responsible for the reforms that have created a more livable and
equitable society, ranging from ending slavery to environmental
regulation. The campaign for net neutrality is another effort to
protect the defenseless from the powerful.

If the bbuckners had had their way, people would still be owning
other people, women would be barefront and pregnant, there
would be no wage and labor laws, we would be need to carry our
own oxygen supplies in our cities. . . .It boggles the mind that
anyone even bothers to listen to the nonsense spouted by
reactionaries.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Link Flag
 

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