ASCAP Claiming That Creative Commons Must Be Stopped; Apparently They Don't Actually Believe In Artist Freedom
from the protectionism-all-the-way dept
About a year and a half ago, we reported on the news that ASCAP, who represents songwriters and publishers as a collection society, was holding strategy sessions on how to “counter” proponents of free culture, as if they were some sort of attack on ASCAP. Since then, we’ve actually noticed a growth in both the number of hilarious conspiracy-midned “attack blogs” from people tied to ASCAP, as well as an increase in the number of “anonymous” commenters on the site coming from IP addresses used by a few law firms that have connections to ASCAP. Funny that.
Now it appears they’re stepping things up to stage two: they’ve sent around fundraising emails that specifically ask for money to fight Creative Commons, EFF and Public Knowledge. What’s amusing (but really sad) is that this proves that the rhetoric out of ASCAP about protecting “artists’ rights” is bunk. Creative Commons does nothing whatsoever to undermine artists’ rights. It merely offers them more options for how they choose to license their works. It’s the sort of thing that ASCAP and the rest of the music industry should embrace. In fact, when confronted, many of these organizations often make the point that they have no problem with Creative Commons, and they’re happy if artists choose to use CC licenses.
But ASCAP’s blatant attack on Creative Commons (and EFF and PK; both of whom focus on consumer rights, but not undermining artist’s rights at all) shows their true colors. They’re not about artists’ rights at all. They’re about greater protectionism — which is not (at all) the same thing.
Of course, all this makes me wonder why ASCAP members would support an organization that is, in fact, actively trying to diminish their options for licensing? ASCAP has a huge ulterior motive, of course. If alternative business models and things like Creative Commons become more widely used, the reliance on ASCAP diminishes, and ASCAP doesn’t want that at all.
Below is the letter itself, which was posted by Mike Rugnetta: