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Lessig Fights Back, Challenges ACSAP To Debate


(UPDATED) In a recent letter to its members, ASCAP took Creative Commons, Public Knowledge and EFF to task for allegedly pushing an agenda that would undermine copyright protection and advocating that music should be given away for free.

Yesterday Creative Commons founder Lawrence Lessig fought back, even challenging ASCAP president Paul Williams to a debate. "Creative Commons is a nonprofit that provides copyright licenses pro bono to artists and creators so that they can offer their creative work with the freedom they intend it to carry," wrote Lessig. "These licenses are, obviously, copyright licenses. They depend upon a firm and reliable system of copyright for them to work, " he continued. "These licenses are also (and also obviously) voluntary. "

Creative Commons Wants To "Free Artists", Not Music

In what is perhaps the biggest challenge to traditional copyright and thus ASCAP and its member publishing companies, Lessig wrote, "The only thing Creative Commons wants to make free is artists - free to choose how best to license their creative work. This is one value we firmly believe in -- that copyright was meant for authors, and that authors should have the control over their copyright."

Lessig also challenged songwriter and ASCAP President Paul Williams to a debate along with a little singalong, "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."

More here.