Wednesday, May 17, 2006

R.E.M. and Moby Speak Out for Internet Freedom, Against Corporate Web Takeover


-- R.E.M. and Moby Speak Out for Internet Freedom, Against Corporate Web Takeover

-- Musicians band together to demand Net Neutrality with congressional showdown over the future of the Internet imminent

Conference Call with Moby

Date/Time: Thursday, May 18, 12:15 p.m. (EST)/9:15 a.m. (PST)

Participant Dial In: 1-800-905-0392 - Password: Net Neutrality


Rock group R.E.M. is joining Moby and a growing list of musicians pushing Congress to protect the Internet from corporate takeover by AT&T, Verizon, and other telecommunications giants.

Major artists and musicians are signing the Artists and Musicians for Internet Freedom petition -- joining Internet advocates, political groups on the right and left, consumer advocates, and over 600 diverse organizations on the Coalition. This coalition is uniting Internet users against a congressional proposal to gut Net Neutrality-the Internet's First Amendment.

"This is yet another attempt by corporations and their congressional buddies to pull our society backwards rather than moving us forward," Michael Stipe of R.E.M declared. "These corporations are trying to set up tollbooths on the information superhighway. We need to keep Net Neutrality so the Internet remains a free and level playing field."

R.E.M. also blogged about this issue as the top item on their Web site,

Net Neutrality is the long-held principle that all online speech is treated equally. It ensures that small music blogs and independent news sites open just as easily on people's computers as large corporate sites. Companies like AT&T are spending millions lobbying Congress to let them decide which Web sites work best on people's computers based on which corporations pay them the most.

"If Congress guts Net Neutrality, independent music and news sites would be choked off, consumer choice would be limited, and the Internet will be become a private toll road auctioned off by companies like AT&T," warned Moby. "We need to stand up for Internet freedom now. Congress must uphold Network Neutrality."

Moby will join Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), ranking Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Internet, for a Net Neutrality event Thursday in Washington, D.C.

The Save the Coalition -- an alliance of organizations from across the political spectrum, consumer groups, educators, small businesses and bloggers that have banded together to protect Internet freedom -- has galvanized support for Internet freedom from non-traditional sectors, including artists, musicians and hundreds of thousands of average citizens who will hold their Representatives accountable on this issue. Close to 700,000 people have signed an Internet Freedom petition to Congress, over 6,500 friends have joined's MySpace, and thousands of blogs have linked to the coalition. Google, Amazon, Yahoo, eBay, and others are also fighting on the side of Net Neutrality.

R.E.M's announcement on -- Coalition:

RSVP for Thursday's conference call with Moby to


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