We at Museums and the Web are deeply concerned about the impact of the new Internet regulations proposed by FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler. The new rules would allow ISPs to charge a premium for those (wealthy companies) who can afford to pay to deliver their content better and faster to their online audiences. Needless to say, museums, libraries and archives, not to mention artists, writers, scholars, and everyone else publishing digital content online without the financial backing of global conglomerates like ESPN, Disney, Google, Yahoo, Apple, (fill in the blank) would struggle to compete. It’s not hard to imagine a scenario in which the only way museum content gets seen online is if the museum has done a deal with a major online publisher.
Are you and your museum colleagues concerned? Will you and your museum’s director contact local representatives, the FCC and the press to protest? Can you sign this petition and join the “firewall” to picket the FCC in Washington, DC from May 7-15?
The Association for Computers and the Humanities has written this open letter signed by 33 presidents, chairs, founders, leaders, and editors of 27 major, international digital humanities scholarly organizations and platforms. What can museums do to lend their considerable voice and constituency to the movement? We’d like to hear from you and invite all who want to preserve freedom of speech and equal access to the Internet to get involved TODAY, before the FCC’s vote on May 15.
Here are links to online resources and organizations who are leading the protest. Please add more in the comments on this post!