Larry Lessig Challenges ASCAP Boss To A Debate Over Whether Or Not Creative Commons Undermines Copyright

from the throwdown dept

We've already written a couple of times about ASCAP's bizarre anti-artist decision, as part of its fundraising campaign, to falsely imply that Creative Commons, EFF and Public Knowledge are seeking to undermine copyright. So far, about all this has done is piss off a bunch of ASCAP members who actually like these groups (especially those who use Creative Commons). Larry Lessig has now written a response, where he points out that Creative Commons relies on copyright and doesn't seek to force anyone to use it at all. It just offers artists more choices in how they license their music. More interesting, however, is that Lessig then challenges ASCAP's president, Paul Williams, to a debate on the topic:
So here's my challenge, ASCAP President Paul Williams: Let's address our differences the way decent souls do. In a debate. I'm a big fan of yours, and If you'll grant me the permission, I'd even be willing to sing one of your songs (or not) if you'll accept my challenge of a debate. We could ask the New York Public Library to host the event. I am willing to do whatever I can to accommodate your schedule.

Let's meet and address these perceived differences with honesty and good faith. No doubt we have disagreements (for instance, I love rainy days, and Mondays rarely get me down). But on the issues that your organization and mine care about, there should be no difference worthy of an attack.
So, will ASCAP and Williams -- who has been on an anti-Lessig rampage for a while now -- step up and actually debate? And if Williams agrees to such a debate, will he finally stop making false claims about these groups?

Filed Under: copyright, debate, larry lessig, paul williams
Companies: ascap, creative commons, eff, public knowledge

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  1. icon
    Karl (profile), 14 Jul 2010 @ 12:50am

    Re: Re: Lessig would wipe the floor with him

    at the end of the day, creative commons, copyleft, and other systems do in fact undermine the copyright system by creating doubt in the publics mind.

    Well, they certainly created doubt in your mind - since you can't grasp that Creative Commons, copyleft, GPL, and so on are all forms of copyright.

    The notion that copyright ever was about "there being really one system" is utterly ridiculous.

    this could lead the public to make false assumptions about copyright work, or allow people to create such false assumptions by illegal adding creative commons attribution to a work.

    I have no idea what "false assumptions" you think the existence of a legitimate form of copyright could give to the public. It might get them to think about the issue though, and I'm betting that's what you don't want to happen.

    And CC does not allow people to "create such false assumptions by illegal [sic] adding creative commons attribution to a work." If you are the rights holder, adding a CC license is not "illegal" in any way. If you aren't the rights holder, putting a CC license on that work is just like any other form of copyfraud.

    Clearly, what you're against is for copyright holders to license their "intellectual property" in any way that you don't approve of.

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