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ASCAP Attacks Creative Commons, The EFF & Advocates Of Free Music

"our biggest challenge ever."

Last week ASCAP sent a fund raising letter to its members launching a campaign to counter the efforts of  the country's most vocal advocates of copyright reform.

image from radio2020.files.wordpress.com "Many forces including Creative Commons, Public Knowledge, Electronic Frontier Foundation and technology companies with deep pockets are mobilizing to promote 'Copyleft' in order to undermine our 'Copyright.' They say they are advocates of consumer rights, but the truth is these groups simply do not want to pay for the use of our music. Their mission is to spread the word that our music should be free."

"music will dry up"

"...We fear that our opponents are influencing Congress against the interests of music creators. If their views are allowed to gain strength, music creators will find it harder and harder to make a living as traditional media shifts to online and wireless services. We all know what will happen next: the music will dry up, and the ultimate loser will be the music consumer."

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The attack on Creative Commons is particularly puzzling since use of it's licenses are fully voluntary and act as additional rights of use tools on top of the very copyright laws that ASCAP says it is fighting to maintain.

Creative Common's responds:

“It’s very sad that ASCAP is falsely claiming that Creative Commons works to undermine copyright” Eric Steuer of Creative Commons told ZeroPaid. “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.”

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.”

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