Legendary director Francis Ford Coppola wrote a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai urging him not to repeal the agency’s net neutrality rules.
“Trusting the leadership of huge corporations with America's artistic heritage is a crucial mistake, and can already be seen in the 'monotony' of contemporary major studio cinema,” the “Godfather” director wrote in a letter given to The Hill by the advocacy group Public Knowledge.
“The Internet was conceived and designed to be a free medium, with network neutrality assured and the resurgent power of big business held in check on behalf of the public's greater interests.”
Under Pai’s direction, the FCC will vote later this month to start the proceedings to eliminate the net neutrality rules.
The regulations, passed in 2015, require internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally.
Pai has criticized the rules for reclassifying internet providers as telecommunications services, which he believes is an example of regulatory overreach that could stifle the industry.
Coppola and other critics argue that getting rid of the rules will allow broadband companies to promote or suppress internet content and could hinder free expression on the web.
“The changes you are making at the FCC will only make the fragile balance between artist and businessman more impossible to maintain,” Coppola wrote.
“I assure you that none of the films that I or my contemporaries are known and celebrated for could exist today in such a climate. Please appeal to the artist in yourself to protect us, something the FCC always has done.”