May 13, 2014 10:56 am

Evangeline Lilly among stars protesting proposed net neutrality changes

Evangeline Lilly, pictured in December 2013.

Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images

TORONTO — Canadian actress Evangeline Lilly and singer Neko Case of Canadian group The New Pornographers are among those urging the chair of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to “protect the Internet as a vehicle for free expression.”

In an open letter to Thomas Wheeler, dozens of notable people from the arts community said “the open Internet’s impact on the creative community cannot be overstated.”

Story continues below

The FCC has proposed allowing Internet service providers to charge content providers premiums for priority access to users — a plan that has been widely criticized.

Actors Fred Armisen, Mark Ruffalo and Judah Friedlander and musicians Michael Stipe, Eddie Vedder and Joe Perry are among those who signed their name to the letter.

READ MORE: The latest tech news

“The Internet has enabled artists to connect directly with each other and with audiences,” it reads. “It has eliminated the barriers of geography and taken collaborations to new levels. And it has allowed people — not corporations — to seek out the film, music and art that moves them.”

The artists claim the FCC proposal “would open the door to widespread discrimination online” and “give Internet service providers the green light to implement pay-for-priority schemes that would be disastrous for startups, nonprofits and everyday Internet users.”

Last Friday, Wheeler wrote in a letter to tech companies opposed to the proposal: “I will not allow some companies to force Internet users into a slow lane so that others with special privileges can have superior service.”

© Shaw Media, 2014

Report an error