Aug 3 2010

Paul Williams Responds to Copyleft Challenge

Anti-copyright crusaders are currently engaged in a publicity campaign to discredit ASCAP’s efforts to defend the copyrights of our professional songwriter and composer members.

As the basis of their publicity campaign against ASCAP, they are using a letter from ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams to ASCAP members asking for voluntary donations to the ASCAP Legislative Fund for the Arts, a political action committee established in 1986 under Federal Election Committee guidelines. In that letter, Williams mentioned the threat posed by the “copyleft” movement, who are mobilizing to undermine the copyright protections on which our members rely to earn a livelihood from their creative works.

The copyleft movement has encouraged a culture of disrespect for copyright by defending corporate and individual infringers; undermining every effort to provide more effective protection, no matter how limited or reasonable; promoting a reduction in copyright protection; supporting the dismantling of our rights through the courts; and questioning the basic premise that the tidal wave of infringements and unlicensed uses online hurts creators.

Paul Williams was recently challenged to a “debate” by a founding leader of the copyleft movement, Lawrence Lessig.
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