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Music Your Rights Online

Creative Commons Responds To ASCAP Letter 161

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-wouldn't-like-us-when-we're-angry dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Drew Wilson at ZeroPaid has a followup to the story about ASCAP telling its members that organizations like EFF and Creative Commons are undermining copyright. A spokesperson from Creative Commons said, 'It's very sad that ASCAP is falsely claiming that Creative Commons works to undermine copyright. Creative Commons licenses are copyright licenses — plain and simple, without copyright, these tools don't even work.' He also said, '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.' Many ASCAP members are already expressing their disappointment with the ASCAP letter over at Mind the Gap. Sounds like ASCAP will be in damage control for a while."
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Creative Commons Responds To ASCAP Letter

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26, 2010 @11:01AM (#32702450)

    here you go:
    http://jamendo.com

  • Re:DONATE (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26, 2010 @11:10AM (#32702500)

    In Czech Republic you actually have to pay OSA (they collect money for music usage) if you want to publish your own work (they actually claim that they will return you 70% of that if you sign with them).

  • Re:DONATE (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26, 2010 @11:14AM (#32702514)

    I read the letter from ASCAP yesterday, and as far as I can tell they are just trying to keep copyright as is (or possibly make it stronger); it didn't seem like they wanted to invalidate copyleft. As for copyleft, I don't see what the big deal is. If somebody wants to use a restrictive copyright license, fine; if somebody wants to use a permissive copyleft license, fine. The two can (and should) coexist without any issues. If one side doesn't like the other side, tough titties; the artist should have the freedom to do whatever he wants. The only concern is the strength of copyright, which I think we all agree has grown too much; however, that is a separate discussion from copyleft vs copyright.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26, 2010 @11:46AM (#32702668)

    Off the top of my head, you've got all the artists on the newgrounds audio portal, as well as artists on soundclick, mp3.com, last.fm, jamendo, and loads of smaller niche portals like them.

    If you don't limit it to just musicians, then you've also got Youtube (obviously), Deviantart, most webzines (such as slashdot itself, and arstechnica), a lot of the projects on moddb, not to mention thousands of independents on services like livejournal and blogspot. CC is a *huge* part of the internet and its culture, and it's worrying that someone like ASCAP can even consider attacking it. The only way you could realistically fight a CC license would be to radically redefine copyright law - and I'm pretty sure that if someone tried that, the approach would also kill off the Apache license, the GPL, , or even just the busker on the street corner trying to give out demo tapes. Even broadcast TV could go down the pan - after all, you receive it on an implied license. End result? Essentially, a complete shutdown of the internet and culture as we know it.

    Not a world I want to be a part of. Thankfully, I don't think ASCAP can affect copyright legislation in the UK and Europe, and the EC seems sane enough not to let something like this happen.

  • Re:DONATE (Score:4, Informative)

    by rjlieb (1714418) * on Saturday June 26, 2010 @12:22PM (#32702882)
    I don't agree with what ASCAP is doing in this case. But, the information in the post above is simply wrong. Based on the information found here (http://www.ascap.com/licensing/licensingfaq.html), only businesses greater than 2.000 sq ft and more than 6 speakers installed need to worry about a license.
  • by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @12:58PM (#32703072) Homepage

    The big problem with your argument is that you don't have a model for creators to be paid.

    First, not all authors need to be paid. For example, no one is paying for you to write posts on Slashdot, which are perfectly valid creative works, and presently protected by copyright; you're choosing to do so yourself. So we could probably abolish copyrights for works where the author would have created and published the work if he couldn't get a copyright. (Lacking the ability to read minds, probably the best way to do this is to require authors to register and pay a nominal fee to get copyrights; authors who don't care probably won't bother, while authors who do care probably will.)

    Second, copyright as we know it only dates back to the early 18th century, and didn't become widespread until well into the 19th and 20th centuries. Yet there have been plenty of authors, all around the world, through recorded history. While some of them would've done their work at a loss, it seems likely that there were plenty of them who would only work if they could make a living at it. How then, in the absence of copyright, did they get paid?

    Well, there are several means. Authors could have a patron, who pays them to create works that he likes, or could have a collective of patrons, who pays for works that they would collectively like. E.g. if 1,000 hard-core fans of a particular author each chip in $20 for a new work, the author can gross $20,000 right there, plus whatever else he could exploit the work for. Authors could sell specific works, as opposed to mass-reproduced copies of that work, on the basis that not all copies are equal, even if they communicate the work equally. This is how most fine artists make money, even today, with copyrights; an original Van Gogh painting is worth millions, but a postcard of a the same painting is worth almost nothing. Authors can sell their labor, rather than copies of their works, just as many people sell their labor, rather than the fruits of their labor. For example, a wedding party might hire a band to play music.

    There are other ways as well; I don't want to get into an exhaustive list.

    Personally, I think that a carefully designed copyright system can provide a greater benefit to society than the harm it causes. But copyright only adds one additional means for authors to make money; it doesn't detract from any of the others, and it may not even be the most important or best way of encouraging the creation and publication of art. Certainly it is at best useful, but is not at all necessary.

  • Re:DONATE (Score:4, Informative)

    by WCguru42 (1268530) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @01:07PM (#32703118)

    I don't agree with what ASCAP is doing in this case. But, the information in the post above is simply wrong.

    Based on the information found here (http://www.ascap.com/licensing/licensingfaq.html), only businesses greater than 2.000 sq ft and more than 6 speakers installed need to worry about a license.

    2,000 sq ft is not as big as you think it is. And it's not hard to get up to six speakers, hell, most boom boxes are pushing that now, especially if you consider the woofer and tweeter as separate components on the same mold.

  • Re:DONATE (Score:5, Informative)

    by dgatwood (11270) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @01:48PM (#32703358) Journal

    I read the letter yesterday as I was getting on a plane to the 75th anniversary celebration for Foster Music Camp. I was not happy. By painting the CC as the enemy, they are supporting the chaos of incompatible one-off licensing for such uses prior to its existence. I wrote them a letter pointing out their mistakes.

    I concluded by saying that I would reconsider my membership if they do not stop these baseless ad hominem attacks on organizations that do so much to improve the rights of authors, content users, and those who license content created by others. I encourage other content creators who feel similarly to do likewise. The only way they'll ever "get it" is if we members keep driving home the point that absolute control of copyright is not in anyone's best interests, including content creators.

  • Re:DONATE (Score:5, Informative)

    by bennomatic (691188) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @03:44PM (#32704118) Homepage
    Not only that, but ASCAP may come asking for a triple-payment. They may assume that the owners don't understand that fees have already been paid twice.

    In fact, I'm not certain of the rules myself; it's my understanding that even if the source is a regular broadcast radio--and those stations have most certainly paid to play the music--businesses are still "required" to pay ASCAP fees.

    Funny thing is that once upon a time, ASCAP was the artist's friend. Folks like Little Richard had their music stolen and used for profit by mega-moguls like Disney and others, and didn't see a cent of it. ASCAP was built to protect against that, and it's slowly devolved into a group of thugs that go after Girl Scouts doing public performances of the Macarena dance.
  • by David Gerard (12369) <slashdot@@@davidgerard...co...uk> on Saturday June 26, 2010 @03:52PM (#32704166) Homepage

    Some say this just happened [wikipedia.org]. And ASCAP has been running anti-CC campaigns for a few years now, those need mention.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @05:28PM (#32704830) Journal

    >>>Penn basically made the argument that recycling is unnercessary because it requires material separation by each person throwing stuff away

    Partly but his MAIN argument was that most of the separated items can't be sold, so they are then thrown into the central landfill anyway. So all that work of separation was for naught.
    .

    >>>The other one was the toilet seat

    The only thing I remember about that episode is Penn swabbing the fine-looking ass of a model. Mmmmm. BUT if I recall correctly, the point was that cold dry areas are not really contagious, and it's stupid to be afraid of trivial stuff (like getting hit on the head by a meteorite). Penn & Teller is a hit-or-miss show but even when they miss, they are funny. And at least they make you *think* unlike most TV today. "ORGASMS" is the episode I did not like. No particular reason... just felt that it has no real point for existing, plus I was turned-off by the disgusting closeups of guys/gals orgasming and so I never watched it again.

    Vice-versa I really liked that Cheerleader episode. I didn't realize that cheerleading was the most dangerous sport in high school or that it's unregulated by the government. It is rather ridiculous we put our young women into such a dangerous hobby/sport and don't bother to protect them despite injury after injury after injury
    .

  • by rjlieb (1714418) * on Saturday June 26, 2010 @07:30PM (#32705600)

    Okay, I get it. I really didn't want to sound as if I was defending ASCAP. The post I responded to said that a small business owner could be fined tens of thousands of dollars and be put out of business by turning on a portable radio behind the counter. That simply isn't true.

    There are plenty of bad things that ASCAP does that I don't think we need to resort to exaggerations like that.

  • Re:DONATE (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26, 2010 @10:22PM (#32706392)

    Well, ASCAP wasn't the friend of every artist. There were some race and class issues that led to the creation of competitor BMI in 1939, who licensed a good deal of R&B artists that ASCAP didn't touch.

  • Re:DONATE (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kirijini (214824) <kirijini@y a h o o . com> on Sunday June 27, 2010 @02:21AM (#32707356)

    What you're talking about is the technical amendment to the 1976 Copyright Act that was passed in the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act of 1999 - specifically, in Public Law Number 106-113, app. I, sec. 5005 (which can be found here [gpo.gov], but you'll have to search for "sound recording" - it's near the bottom). Semi-contemporary coverage of this can be found here [salon.com]. The legal ramifications of that attempt at stealth-legislation are discussed in David Nimmer's Sound Recordings, Works for Hire, and the Termination-of-Transfers Time Bomb [ssrn.com].

    But, that scandal was fixed - in the Work Made for Hire and Copyright Corrections Act of 2000, Public Law Number 106-379, which can be found here [wikisource.org].

    The greater scandal is the Vessel Hull Design Protection Act, Pubic Law Number 105-304, which is still codified at 17 U.S.C. ch. 13 (the law can be found here [wikisource.org]). David Nimmer has speculated in his treatise and elsewhere [google.com] that the sui generis protection for boat hull designs is a trojan horse to later allow new designs to be protected by this bizarre "copyright" provision. And in fact, such protection has been considered for fashion designs [copyright.gov].

    Fact of the matter is that stealth amendments happen all the time. Copyright is not an area of that law that congress people pay much attention to.

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