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Creative Commons Responds to ASCAP

Creative Commons Responds to ASCAP

Yesterday, we reported that ASCAP said that organizations like Creative Commons were undermining their copyrights. Today, we’ve received an official response from Creative Commons with regards to the letter writing campaign.

In the same article, we discussed how Creative Commons was, contrary to what ASCAP said, not about undermining anyone elses copyrighted material, but rather, giving artists an option that was not the Public Domain (no rights reserved) nor Copyright (all rights reserved).

Eric Steuer, a Creative Commons spokesperson, thanked ZeroPaid for the earlier posting as being well-thought out and was happy to respond to ASCAPs letter.

“It’s very sad that ASCAP is falsely claiming that Creative Commons works to undermine copyright” Steuer told ZeroPaid. He explained, “Creative Commons licenses are copyright licenses – plain and simple, without copyright, these tools don’t even work. CC licenses are legal tools that creators can use to offer certain usage rights to the public, while reserving other rights. Artists and record labels that want to make their music available to the public for certain uses, like noncommercial sharing or remixing, should consider using CC licenses. Artists and labels that want to reserve all of their copyright rights should absolutely not use CC licenses.”

It does make sense because Creative Commons is voluntary. The creator can choose whether or not to use Creative Commons or not.

“Many tens of thousands of musicians, including acts like Nine Inch Nails, the Beastie Boys, David Byrne, Radiohead, and Snoop Dogg, have used Creative Commons licenses to share with the public. These musicians aren’t looking to stop making money from their music. In fact,” Steuer added, “many of the artists who use CC licenses are also members of collecting societies, including ASCAP. Incidentally, that’s how we first heard about this email campaign – many musicians that support Creative Commons received the email and forwarded it to us. Some of them even included a donation to Creative Commons.”

A number of ASCAP members have already expressed disapproval for the language found in ASCAPs letter. Comments from ASCAP members can be found on BoingBoing and Mind the Gap to name two sources.

Overall, though, ASCAPs attack on Creative Commons in their letter was a very bad error in judgment. One can hope ASCAP issues an apology over this.

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Drew Wilson
Drew Wilson is perhaps one of the more well-known file-sharing and technology news writers around. A journalist in the field since 2005, his work has had semi-regular appearances on social news websites and even occasional appearances on major news outlets as well. Drew founded freezenet.ca and still contributes to ZeroPaid. Twitter | Google Plus
Billy Wenge-Murphy
Billy Wenge-Murphy

I don't care if they apologize, their opinion is forfeit forever. They've shown their true colors: They're a criminal cartel that seeks to smash freedom in order to lock in more control for themselves.

albert
albert

ASCAP used to protect songwriters, but now, since the 'work for hire' rules (where the record company owns the copyright), they protect the record companies. I think the record companies are behind this. Why not just put a clause in the contract prohibiting the artist from using CC copyrights? Problem solved...

Joe Biden
Joe Biden

Money and power! Only my bosses can't have enough.

Anonymous
Anonymous

And what about free software? GPL, Apache, BSD anyone? It's "free as in speech" with some restrictions on distribution.So let's see, we have wikipedia, a large amount of free music, videos, etc, a large portion of the server market (apache), a big chunk of the database market (MySQL, among others), many webbrowsers (Firefox, etc), and countless other things.ASCAP really does not want to go there (i.e. ASCAP vs. ACLU, FSF, CC...........)

David Gerard
David Gerard

In attempting to get CC licences legally hobbled by Congress, ASCAP would be effectively getting Wikipedia banned - it's almost entirely under CC-by-sa. Does ASCAP really want this fight?

waz
waz

Sometimes I wonder if the letter was sent to provoke artist into supporting CC :P

Billy Wenge-Murphy
Billy Wenge-Murphy

It would be great if they did take on the OSI or something - that would be the death of them. Big businesses are now entrenched in the open source lifestyle, and challenging it directly would bring the wrath of multi-billion dollar companies upon them, and their highly paid legal teams (I realize as you do that their broad challenge to copyleft automatically extends to open source, of course).Some companies are two-faced about their open source support and actually want to kill it, like Microsoft that tries to undermine it with their own "open" licenses that are crafted to be incompatible with existing ones (Microsoft Permissive License. Michael Tiemann, the president of OSI, said it was crafted for "maximum incompatibility) but there are a lot of big companies that now see the legitimate business sense in open source, and of course there's powerful non-profit foundations that deal in open source exclusively, and can fight back and crush them (Mozilla foundation)



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