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


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jul 2010 @ 10:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: "Let's address our differences the way decent souls do. In a debate."

    Mr. Williams chose some rather inarticulate language, as perhaps was done by Mr. Israelite from the NMPA.

    Mr. Israelites recent speech identified 10 specific areas where the believes that certain of these groups are engaged in activities that in his view are inconsistent with current US law.

    Clearly the EFF, CC, PK and other similar groups are not anti-copyright per se. Equally clearly, however, is that their views are based upon a philosphy that bumps up against the philosophy held by at least the ASCAP and the NMPA. EFF et al. place a very heavy emphasis on the First Amendment, but in doing so are out on a limb given that the Supreme Court has decided their view of copyright law advocates a position regarding fair use that would swallow up copyright law as a whole and render in many respects the remaining portions of copyright law superfluous.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.