by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
composers, copyright, propaganda, songwriters


ASCAP Continues Propaganda Campaign With Laughably Bad Video [Updated]

from the but-you're-giving-it-away-for-free dept

While ASCAP is apparently too busy to debate Larry Lessig, they aren't too busy to produce silly and ridiculous propaganda. ASCAP member Damian Sol notes that he recently received an email from ASCAP asking him to "spread the word" about ASCAP's new propaganda video that compares getting songwriters paid for music to getting chickens and cows paid for their eggs and milk. Seriously. I'd embed it here, but the technologically savvy folks at ASCAP are apparently too clueless to figure out how to include an embed on a video they claim they want people to "share." Update: Aha. While they don't make it clear on the page, the video has also been uploaded to YouTube, where it is embeddable:

Anyway, since ASCAP believes that every public performance needs to be paid for, and the idea of "free promotion" is a myth, I do have to ask: is ASCAP paying Peter Himmelman, the guy who made the video, each time it's played?

Update 2: Also, as many in the comments have noted, they've also produced a second video, which is just ridiculously misleading. You can watch it here:
Two major problems with the video. The first is that ASCAP continues to falsely portray "open source" believers as being somehow against compensation. It includes a guy in a t-shirt that says "open source dude," which morphs into "fair payment man" in the video.

The bigger problem is that it sets up a total strawman to knocks down, in saying that people don't think music is "as valuable" as a variety of tangible goods because you can hold/eat/watch those goods "and because people made them." The conclusion of the video? Music is valuable because "people made it." Uh, ok. Except that the debate isn't over the value of music. It's about the price of music, and it's intellectually dishonest to pretend that value and price are the same thing. And while some people might actually find a TV set or a pair of shoes more valuable than music, it's not because one is tangible and the other is not. It's because they simply value one more than the other. What people are actually arguing -- a point that ASCAP won't address because it can't -- is that setting up a bureaucracy that gets a government granted ability to demand money from venues promoting musicians music can actually do serious harm to musicians by making it that much more difficult to find venues that can promote their music.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2010 @ 4:49pm

    Re: playmobile

    Don't forget about the Asics sign at the beginning. I may never buy another pair of their shoes now.... or ride a Ferris wheel. Did Ferris give his permission as well?

    That video was a giant pile of crap. What artist would be swayed by that unartistic ####.

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