WGAW Casts Write-In Vote for Title II

TV and film writers are not ready to write off Title II.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai has proposed reversing that common carrier classification of internet access providers and rethink the rules in the 2015 Title II-based Open Internet order.

But not if the Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) can help it.

Comments were due July 17, and the writers group met the deadline, telling the commission in its filing that the end of Title II would be the end of an open internet and the "dynamic growth" in the digital video marketplace.

"With unfettered access to consumers, edge providers have invested billions in new content, services and applications. A repeal of these rules will eliminate the level playing field that has generated such investment," said WGAW.

The writers said their particular concern is the impact on the online video market as a competitive force.

“As a 27-year-veteran writer, who started out in television in the days when there were only three BIG networks and one smaller one, Fox, I can honestly say that an open Internet has created a revolution in creative content the likes of which I’ve never before witnessed,” said Nicole Yorkin, co-creator of Amazon's Z: The Beginning of Everything, in the filing.

"In contrast to the tightly-controlled model of cable television, the open Internet has enhanced competition, increased consumer choice and expanded the availability of independent and diverse content from a wide range of sources," said WGAW, urging the FCC to "abandon the ill-conceived proposal."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.