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ASCAP War On Free Culture Escalates

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the so's-yer-old-man dept.

Music 335

An anonymous reader writes "After ASCAP declared war on free culture and Creative Commons responded on the incident, the war of words is escalating. Drew Wilson of ZeroPaid has been following this story closely. The EFF responded to the ASCAP letter, saying 'we don't think that ASCAP characterized EFF and its work accurately. We believe that artists should be compensated for their work, and one proposal we have for that is Voluntary Collective Licensing.' The response from the EFF came with a study and a letter written by one irate ASCAP member who donated to the EFF and to Public Knowledge as a result of the ASCAP letter. Public Knowledge also responded to the letter, saying, 'It's obvious that the characterization of Public Knowledge is false. Public Knowledge advocates for balanced copyright and an open Internet the empowers creators and the public. What we oppose are overreaching policies proposed by large corporate copyright holders that punish lawful users of technology and copyrighted works.' Now the National Music Publishers Association has weighed in to support ASCAP, saying that organizations like Public Knowledge and the EFF 'have an extremist radical anti-copyright agenda,' according to a transcript of a speech posted on Billboard. Public Knowledge has dismissed those allegations, saying 'anybody who has spent more than five minutes on our website or talking to our staff knows that these things are not true.'"

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Ha. (5, Interesting)

bbqsrc (1441981) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742732)

It gives me great pleasure when these things escalate, because the more they escalate, the higher chance the media may accidentally make these arguments mainstream, and people might actually wake up and notice how flawed the system currently is.

Re:Ha. (0, Offtopic)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742744)

Not that you'd do anything on your own to improve the system and or improve the masses, weeny fucktard!

Re:Ha. (5, Insightful)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743070)

I shouldn't feed the trolls, but have you tried talking to a normal person about the conspiracy against them? If so, were they an American? They listen to you talk for about five minutes and then the eyes roll back into their sockets and if you're really lucky they continue to sit there pretending to listen to you even though they're just praying for something, anything to actually make you stop going on and on, especially since American Idol comes on in a half hour and all they want to do is run down to McDonalds to pick up a 50 piece McNugget meal before it comes on so they don't have to miss any of it. An individual can't make a difference in this country until they get on the big glowy box the people here venerate like a god. America the Proud, indeed.

Re:Ha. (5, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743256)

"Ya know that new CD you bought? ASCAP and RIAA won't let you copy it to your iPod."

"What?!?!?"

"That's right. They expect you to buy the song twice - once on CD and again for your iPod and then a third time for your computer. It's nuts." - That's how you get people to pay attention.

Re:Ha. (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743340)

Too mild.

"you know that New CD you bought? ASCAP and RIAA think that you are a stinking dirty THIEF scumbag if you put it on your ipod."

"They also think you are a complete douchebag that needs to go to jail and be raped if you loan the CD to someone..."

That is the approach you need to take, it get's attention far more than "they dont want to let you"

Re:Ha. (2, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743574)

ASCAP doesn't really have a horse in that race. They don't represent composers or publishers in licensing of mechanical rights.... If they are expressing an opinion at all, they're kind of exceeding their bounds. Either way, they are not a party to such transactions, making their leadership's opinions largely if not wholly irrelevant.

Re:Ha. (5, Insightful)

Seriousity (1441391) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742798)

Indeed, the sheer audacity of the industry giants behaviour has increased over the years and is becoming more and more visible.

If only we had better coverage of the issue offline. The mainstream media is wroth to anger their corporate overlords.
But millions of people are discovering the war on freedom through websites online...
Hence the need for an INTERNET KILL SWITCH!

Honestly, it's nearing the point where we should physically confront these politicians and smack them upside the head. The farcical pretense of democracy has been stretched so damn far that it might just tear down the middle.

Re:Ha. (2, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742916)

Exactly. Most people may not understand the intricacies of DRM and its inherent flaws but they can recognize greed when they see it. More importantly, I wish some artists (which by definition have an audience) take some positions. They will determine how this thing ends.

Re:Ha. (1)

dov_0 (1438253) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743500)

It's always a shock when the old guard has to recognise modern techniques or attitudes... In this case, we have the old guard trying to protect their corporate monopoly.

ASCAP is (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742736)

ASCAP = All Sound Cr@p Always Prevails .....?

Re:ASCAP is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32742794)

Too complicated.

Just call them ass-crap and be done with it.

Re:ASCAP is (5, Informative)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742800)

No, it's easier than that.

AS = Ass.
CAP = Hat.

They're just a bunch of asshats. I don't think there is an actual composer or author left in the group; ASCAP years ago drove anyone with any common sense into either individual publishing and licensing, or the arms of rival groups.

I mean seriously. These are the same group of dickfaces who tried to sue 5-year-olds for singing songs at summer camp. [steinski.com] No joke.

David Bollier (5, Informative)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742868)

I mean seriously. These are the same group of dickfaces who tried to sue 5-year-olds for singing songs at summer camp. [steinski.com] No joke.

For those who are not going to click the link, the material referenced there is from David Bollier [bollier.org] 's book "Brand Name Bullies".

That is still on my bookshelf, but I can highly recommend Bollier's work [bollier.org] generally, as a promotion of the concept of a "commons" - "Silent Theft" being a prime example, or, for those who prefer shorter reading matter, Bollier's paper, which gave rise to the book, "Public Assets, Private Profits" [bollier.org] .

(As a lawyer with a keen interest in this area, I'm a big fan of David's work, and his easy-to-access writing style.)

Re:ASCAP is (-1, Troll)

William Robinson (875390) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742844)

troll -1

Haha....some more

Active Shit Creator At Place.

OR

Asmuch Shit Creation As Possible.

Personally, I do have a radical agenda (4, Insightful)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742750)

I think that copyright should exist to promote the creation of content. Once the money involved in creating that content has been paid, copyright should automatically expire.

This isn't just about money. It's gotten to the point where I can't go a month without hearing someone mention something they'd like to do, or would like to track down, or would like to show others, but can't because of short-sighted copyright laws. How many books, movies, TV-shows, radio plays, and other content, is irretrievably lost for all time, not because of a lack of technology or willingness required to preserve it, but because of some insane and nonsensical copyright laws which prevent archival of content whose monetary incentive was long-since paid? This must end. Culture is dying.

Re:Personally, I do have a radical agenda (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32742878)

Almost nothing is lost in modern societies where there are publicly funded institutions that have the job of preserving works, so that they can be studied and eventually enjoyed when they pass into the public domain. I.e. when hell freezes over.

The problem is not that works are lost, the problem is the part about hell freezing over before anything passes into the public domain.

Copyright would basically work as intended if it was limited to about 15 years and if it was enforced only by the police and never by made-up private police forces.

Re:Personally, I do have a radical agenda (2, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742944)

We lost many of 19th century plays because on the beginning of the 20th century they refused to be recorded (yes, copyright law). We lost many movies of the first part of the 20th century, save for a few blockbusters. Most books are not edited anymore, but copying them instead of letting the content die is forbidden. They fight for copyright, we fight for culture. Yes we indeed have an agenda, and they have none, save personal greed.

Re:Personally, I do have a radical agenda (4, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742946)

Once the money involved in creating that content has been paid, copyright should automatically expire.

It sounds to me like you are unfamiliar with Hollywood Accounting. Have you ever wondered how the MPAA can claim that the companies it represents keep losing money, yet somehow those companies never seem to go out of business? The movie studios never post profits, because they deliberately spend money on nonexistence services -- they have contracts with shell companies that simply hold their money and use it to fund the next movie. The purpose here is to cheat actors out of their fair share of the profits. Any copyright system that maintained monopolies on works up to the break even point would only result in even more widespread use of these tactics.

Really, copyright terms should be shortened, reined back to 20 years, maybe even less. This would be a compromise that helps establish a strong public domain without eradicating copyrights entirely. Of course, that will never happen, since the copyright lobbyists have more power in congress than the rest of the population...

Re:Personally, I do have a radical agenda (2, Insightful)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743232)

Maybe we should all discuss the most appropriate expiration for copyright (say 10 to 30 years), and then create a website and try to change copyright to the new limit.

Re:Personally, I do have a radical agenda (2, Insightful)

PeterWone (985476) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743464)

Twenty years? Five years, for movies. Seriously, five years later a movie only gets played on TV if

  • It's cheap because it's rubbish
  • It's awesome and can support ten minute ad breaks all through it

If a movie is so awesome it can support ten minute ad breaks all through it, then arguably it is a cultural icon and should move to the public domain.

Music is a little different. The chances of repeat play are much much higher.

I could go off on a long rant but the long and the short of it is that the value of music companies to society was the services of distribution and promotion. Google and youtube have reduced the sell price of these services to zero, so the commercial value of music company services is close to zero. In a free market economy they would have gone broke five years ago and rightly so.

Re:Personally, I do have a radical agenda (1)

CrashNBrn (1143981) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743132)

The worst to my recollection would be WKRP in Cincinatti. The company that wound up with the rights to the show was unable to reach a reasonable deal for the music rights (possibly ASCAP et al) -- so all the shows (originals IIRC) were dubbed with other tracks.

In the 80s (and early 90s) at least, I know the CBC still had originals - though doubtful they would be allowed to air them if they still did.

You certainly cannot buy the DVD's as they originally aired.

Re:Personally, I do have a radical agenda (2, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743270)

That's unrelated to ASCAP. ASCAP does not have any part in negotiating synchronization rights. Those are negotiated individually between the composer, the publisher, and the company wanting to do the synchronization. All ASCAP can do in the matter is provide contact information for the publisher and composer.

The problem is not unusual. Most TV shows don't pre-license the rights for subsequent DVD release, and when they decide they want to do so, the publishers feel like they have them over a barrel, and try to extort as much as they can out of them. Ultimately, this is all caused by the short-sightedness of the TV show producers not getting the license agreements in place up front. Had they done so, they might have chosen different music in some cases, but they would not have needed to change things between broadcast and DVD release.

Re:Personally, I do have a radical agenda (1)

wolverine1999 (126497) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743226)

Also you can't translate a work into a language with not so many speakers as english, as a result, as it would not be commercially viable.

Only free stuff or very old stuff gets translated.

Re:Personally, I do have a radical agenda (4, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743280)

Art, like science, is built on what has come before. Nothing is created in a vacuum; culture feeds on itself. If the Grimm Brothers' work had still been under copyright at the time, most early Disney cartoon could not have been made. This journal [slashdot.org] is a violation of copyright, for example, but it shouldn't be; the copied part is 35 years old. Copyrights should be short so the work can pass into the public domain, like they are supposed to.

ASCAP and their ilk are against fair use and the public domain. Who's the radical extremist here?

wrong product and/or wrong line of work (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32742756)

if you want to sell air, don't bother the politicians, the law makers, and law enforcement with your "intellectual property" security concerns.

the politicians are supposed to serve the people. the greater good. not the good of companies with ideas that are akin to selling me a license to breath the air in my own house.

if you can't create works that you or a service provider can't secure, then you need to find another product to sell, or job to do.

I'd love to be paid every time someone used the word "yeppers". and with enough money and attorneys and influence in the district of columbia, I could probably get it to pass.

Then I'd start suing all the john does...

Re:wrong product and/or wrong line of work (4, Insightful)

Seriousity (1441391) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742860)

The line between the government and the corporation has been blurred.

In fact, every time something like this happens we scramble to find that line, and it's nowhere to be found.
And some of us can scarcely remember what it looked like.

What we have now is a global Corporatocracy, the compromise between government and corporation.
What have the compromised? Our rights.

If we don't fight ACTA, our grandchildren will have no idea that a line ever existed at all.

Welcome to the USA (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743324)

Hi, I see you are new here. Some basics:
  1. Citizens are supposed to vote for politicians that represent them; however, those citizens rarely take more than 30 seconds to look at what those politicians are actually doing, and less than half of those citizens even bother voting
  2. The two dominant political parties serve the interests of corporations. One of those parties is up front about it, the other pretends to serve the interests of the majority of the citizens while really pandering to corporations
  3. Corporations send people to Congress to represent their interests, ensuring that even those politicians who are considering representing the interests of the average citizen will have a nonstop stream of communication with corporations; most citizens do not bother contacting their representatives (many are not even sure who represents them)
  4. Anyone who dares question this system is immediately labeled as a "socialist," which is something you are supposed to be terrified of; most Americans cannot actually define what socialism is, but they "know" it is a bad thing
  5. You do have a right to protest all of this; however, the government will tell you where to hold your protest, and if you try to hold it somewhere where it will be more effective (say, in front of a major stock exchange, instead of the park 3 miles away where nobody will notice), you will be arrested because you did not exercise your rights the way you were told to -- after all, we can't have protests that disrupt anything!

While you are here, do try to follow all our laws. Unfortunately, there are so many of them, that nobody is even sure what the exact number of those laws are, and most people wind up breaking them anyway, but you should at least try to follow them.

Re:Welcome to the USA (1)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743580)

Sad but true. You'd get my mod point... if i had any to give...

Extremism (5, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742776)

...is their word to associate us with terrorists in the public's mind.

Fine with me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32742880)

Hope they keep using that language; between that and the music industry talking about pulling $1.5 trillion out of Limewire, maybe the general public will start to get the message about where the problem really lies with copyright.

Re:Extremism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32742972)

The irony here is that the word "terrorist" has been sometimes used to associate leftist dissidents with extremists in the public's mind.

Re:Extremism (2, Interesting)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743000)

A Canadian politician used the same language a week ago, coincidence?

Re:Extremism (2, Informative)

Saint Aardvark (159009) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743040)

Up here in Canada, we've got a new copyright bill [michaelgeist.ca] coming down the pike. It's been spearheaded by two Cabinet ministers, Tony Clement (Industry) and James Moore (Canadian Heritage). While Clement has been sensitive and seems open to suggestions [michaelgeist.ca] , Moore has definitely taken a more combative approach.

In fact, in a recent speech, Moore decried copyright "radical extremists [www.cbc.ca] " with a "babyish" attitude toward copyright.

Notice the same phrase?

Re:Extremism (1, Insightful)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743122)

Extremist capitalists... Who terrorize ordinary civilians with bankruptcy... What a bunch of wankers, I hope this will get a *lot* of publicity!

And if this war breaks out and the EFF shows they can stand their ground I will support them (i'd rather give all my money to the EFF than let a dime go to these thugs), and I hope many others will because of this.

Re:Extremism (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743492)

...is their word to associate us with terrorists in the public's mind.

And our Vice President's mind. RMS may have assassins in his bedroom again soon.

The EFF is just a tool of the hardware guys (2, Funny)

cornicefire (610241) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742778)

The EFF is incredibly clever. They propose an unwieldy collective sharing system that's incredibly bureaucratic and then spend the rest of the time undermining every other system out there. The existence of this proposal lets them claim that they're not anti-artist, but the net effect is that they just make Google and the hardware companies richer. And who's their biggest donors?

Re:The EFF is just a tool of the hardware guys (1)

Dogun (7502) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742882)

I am having a very difficult time making sense of this comment. Elaborate?

Re:The EFF is just a tool of the hardware guys (3, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743102)

It makes sense once you're paid enough to think it makes sense.

Re:The EFF is just a tool of the hardware guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32743116)

Astroturf much?

Re:The EFF is just a tool of the hardware guys (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743174)

an unwieldy collective sharing system that's incredibly bureaucratic

"Pool all the money and divide among the scavengers who claim their part of the loot"... seems to me this bureaucratic part is already being done with the tax on CD-R's. And that sure as hell wasn't an idea from the EFF!

Re:The EFF is just a tool of the hardware guys (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743246)

So they're just a tool of big hardware? Somewhere, Nathan Lane's ears just perked up.

Radical extremists? (5, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742808)

It looks to me like it's the established music (and film as well) industry whose position on copyright is radical and extreme.

ASCAP itself is an incredibly mafia-like entity. I've known bartenders who have been shaken down by ASCAP thugs for fees that they clearly didn't owe, as bands that performed in those bars played their own, non-ASCAP compositions. The bar owners soon find out that the ASCAP fees are far cheaper than the legal fees.

And these lying, theiving sociopaths have the gall to say that the EFF is radical and extreme? I'd laugh if it weren't so pathetic. ASCAP execs belong in prison for their extortion of bar owners (and likely other establishments).

Re:Radical extremists? (4, Insightful)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742850)

Have to agree. Since when is it considered illegal for me to give away my own content, if I chose to do so? How is that forcing anybody else to give away content? How is that stealing anything?

Re:Radical extremists? (2, Informative)

grahamd0 (1129971) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743046)

Since when is it considered illegal for me to give away my own content, if I chose to do so?

It isn't. ASCAP's position is that it should be.

Re:Radical extremists? (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743306)

Since when is it considered illegal for me to give away my own content, if I chose to do so?

It isn't. ASCAP's position is that it should be.

That's very true. ASCAP (and the RIAA, and all other such abominations) feel that they are entitled to a piece of every sale or performance of every copyrighted work. Doesn't matter if they have no rights to such works. Doesn't even matter if the work is under an expired copyright, is public domain, or was released under some other terms. So far as they're concerned, we owe them for the right to "consume" creative material, whatever the source because, well, we just do that's all. Bloodsuckers, all of them.

And they call Public Knowledge and the EFF "extreme"?

Their level of hypocrisy is just stunning, really, it is.

Re:Radical extremists? (1)

NekSnappa (803141) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743418)

Exactly. There was some tool in the comments section of the Wired story on this whose take was essentially.

If you write something and release it under a Creative Commons license. An ad agency could use it for free. Which means they won't pay me what I want to be paid for what I write for something similar. Therefore you're taking my lunch money. How am I supposed to make a living living?

Of course he is completely unaware of the fact that a CC license doesn't mean that you're giving it away for free. And that if you have a non-commercial CC license the ad agency can't use it for free.

Re:Radical extremists? (5, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742902)

It looks to me like it's the established music (and film as well) industry whose position on copyright is radical and extreme.

Moreover, their own extreme position is the real motivator behind their opinion of the opposite side of the debate. It's similar to debates in the culture wars or similar debates where one side accuses the other of having an "agenda" when in reality it is they who have ulterior motives beyond the matters at hand.

Essentially what is going on here is that the copyright industry is trying to label those in favour of reform as extremists in an effort to shut them out. It's actually surprising that its taken them this long to reach this strategy. As history has shown, such tactics work very well--in the US in particular--where you can turn a debate completely on its head by proclaiming the exact opposite of what's going on. The best example of this is: "The Media has a Liberal Bias."

The ultimate objective here is to make copyleft illegal and ensure that copyright is legally the only game in town. It's not implausible that ASCAP et al may succeed in this endeavor.

Re:Radical extremists? (2, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743074)

I see a large amount of cognitive dissonance in your post.

Essentially what is going on here is that the copyright industry is trying to label those in favour of reform as extremists in an effort to shut them out.

This, at least, is true.

As history has shown, such tactics work very well--in the US in particular--where you can turn a debate completely on its head by proclaiming the exact opposite of what's going on. The best example of this is: "The Media has a Liberal Bias."

Hmm. Oddly enough, a long-term political science analysis done by UCLA (not exactly a "right-wing bastion") found quite the opposite [ucla.edu] .

Re:Radical extremists? (2, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743260)

I'm sorry, rationality and human compassion have a liberal bias.

Re:Radical extremists? (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743380)

Excuse you? Rationality and human compassion argue against most of the things liberals do today.

Re:Radical extremists? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743518)

And rationality and human compassion argue FOR most of what so called conservatives do?

Re:Radical extremists? (2, Insightful)

sorak (246725) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743412)

Of course, they arrived at that figure by assuming that the 2005 congress was "centrist", and comparing everything between 1995 and 2005 to them. Anything to the right of the Republican controlled congress was considered "liberal". I am curious how that exact same study would work if the 1995-2005 coverage were compared to the current congress, or, for that matter, if the 2000-2010 coverage were compared to the current congress.

Why can't we have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32742810)

Real wars, with babes, muscular GI-JOE men like I've been brainwashed to desire to be in the 80s with all the (vietnam based) single action hero's?

Who get the chicks? And fight Russians or Koreans. Nothing like the unarmed children we une as cannonfodder right now with sortof hi-tek. WEAK. You think McGuyver needed a GPS AND laserguided missle to hit a rebellion? Think not.

What % of $$ is made in the first year? (2, Interesting)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742818)

I don't know, but I suspect that most money from movies, books, or songs, is made in the first year.

Re:What % of $$ is made in the first year? (1)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743302)

I can confidently say that most movies, books and songs don't make money at all (though it's hard to back up with stats). But the lure of the gravy train is strong.

The sad thing is that it isn't just some evil lawyers behind this. Would-be artists want to think of themselves as "professional", and will support mandatory licensing, copyright violation detectors in every device, suppression of speech and knowledge, whatever it takes. Even though they themselves are hurt far more by it than they ever stand to gain for it - kind of like poor people who support tax breaks for the insanely rich because they want to win the lottery.

In some ways this is a good sign (2, Insightful)

electricprof (1410233) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742846)

At least to me it confirms my belief that big media is absolutely terrified of its own demise. The complete hyperbole of their statements only makes sense to me as a expression of this terror. Unfortunately, since they have great influence I don't forsee them doing anything but morphing into some other greedy monopolistic form. Still ... watching the terror makes for a good show.

Re:In some ways this is a good sign (1)

Jade_Wayfarer (1741180) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743554)

There is an old Russian proverb: "fear has the biggest eyes". If they do really believe their own words, they must be on the edge of dying from fear. Good sign, right?

Too late. (4, Insightful)

AntEater (16627) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742862)

'anybody who has spent more than 5 minutes on our website or talking to our staff knows that these things are not true.'

That, in a nutshell, is why the public in general will ever know what is true. We've pretty much reduced our collective thinking to ingesting media prepared "sound bites" and have no motivation to think beyond that point. I heard a politician or campaign manager once summarize the problem with the statement: "if you're explaining, you've lost" (or something to that effect.

Re:Too late. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32743298)

Bingo! And the irony, of course, is that your comment was posted on a site where visitors make bad jokes every single day about how none of us here read TFA.

This is just more of the same obstructionist, no-responsibility attacks we see across the spectrum of topics. Another good example is climate change. The deniers make ridiculous attacks based on blatantly false information, send scientists death threats, and no one is ever held accountable. In fact, one of their favorite tactics is to cite a published paper that directly contradicts their position and claim it supports them, since they know very few people will actually read the paper, and the refutation requires (as you pointed out) an explanation. It's asymmetrical information warfare, in which the defenders have to play by the rules and the attackers get to ignore the rules and say and do anything that sticks. We're fighting bumper stickers with essays, and losing.

Buffer Copies? (5, Interesting)

Dogun (7502) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742864)

From the speech, item #7 on the list of reasons they hate the EFF et. alia: 'They favor the elimination of the songwriter and publisher rights for server, cache and buffer copies.'

I am actually rather shocked that ANYONE can rationalize royalty fees for 'server, buffer, and cache' copies of content. This is content that people are not seeing or hearing. These are invisible pink unicorn copies.

Greed (2, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742998)

The answer is greed, pure and simple. Whether people actually hear the music is irrelevant, the point is that a copy is made in the most extreme technical sense, and the greedy folks from ASCAP 'n pals want to charge everyone for that.

Re:Greed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32743424)

This is the point so many people have trouble understanding at a visceral level: If corporations are in charge of running an organization (or a government), then their highest priority, making money, will override everything else. Period.

Sure, we see for-profit corporations giving money to charity and doing other good deeds, but only to the extent that it helps them. Eventually push comes to shove and they outsource jobs, reduce or kill off benefits to retirees, provide insanely bad customer "service", etc., and pursue every possible revenue stream that's legal. If they have to buy legislators to make what they want to do legal, no problem -- it's just another cost of doing business, another number in a spreadsheet.

Re:Buffer Copies? (2, Interesting)

salesgeek (263995) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743064)

Perhaps a demo of what happens to the average streamed MP3 without buffering and with no caching. Or without allowing access to server copies.

Re:Buffer Copies? (2, Funny)

chichilalescu (1647065) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743082)

everybody has a right to their opinion. the ASCAP believes that the invisible pink unicorn are real, even though nobody is seeing or hearing them. or are you one of those who thinks if a tree falls in the woods it makes no sound unless there's someone there to hear it?

you, sir, are the perfect example of a radical extreme terrorist! the way you say "invisible pink unicorn" makes me think that you don't even like unicorns, so you are obviously a very bad man.

the dollar bill says "In God we trust". and everybody pays for dollar bills. why shouldn't you pay for the invisible unicorn copies?

In fact, I will propose that they start asking for royalties from people who think about songs. I mean... the church says you are not allowed to think about adultery, so it's obvious that thinking matters, and you should pay for it.

Re:Buffer Copies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32743254)

"'They favor the elimination of the songwriter and publisher rights for server, cache and buffer copies.'"

Ye gods. Next they'll be complaining about songwriter and publisher rights for client browser cache copies, on-screen copies sitting in video card memory for images or in sound card buffers for audio. Will I need a special, extended license for copies of photographs sitting in an off-screen buffer?

What next? Songwriter and publisher rights for the "copies" floating in mid-air between speakers/instruments and the listener's ears?

These people are ridiculous. They're the copyright maximalists and extremists.

Two Words (2, Funny)

Dogun (7502) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743326)

Untapped revenue. All your sound waves (and their reflections) are belong to us!

Re:Buffer Copies? (2, Funny)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743490)

You'd better just hope that you don't listen to your music someplace that has an echo or you'll really need to pay. And if you watch a video on your smartphone in one of those store dressing rooms with mirrors on opposing walls (creating an "infinite" array of reflections) you'll go bankrupt pretty quickly.

Irrelevant. (5, Insightful)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742898)

These ASS-CAPS have been largely irrelevant for a long time, at least for me. The problem as I see it, is that copyright is all about money for them - it's not about art anymore. In order to be fair, they should re-publish their entire back-catalogs clear back to World War One, on CD's for $8 each. Basically if they're going to lock up copyright for that long, then they should be required to publish and sell for an equal lenghth of time, else they should STFU. I have *hundreds* of record albums recorded back in the 1950's and 1960's that you won't find anymore, and I wouldn't mind getting them on CD's from the original labels. If the labels cry that this would cost them too much, then I guess that shows a lot about them, and what they're really after. If they're not making anything off a recording anymore, then they should relinquish the copyright on it.

Beat 'em at their own game (4, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742920)

Copyrights are government granted monopolies contrary to the free market. That should be the argument against ASCAP's belief that anyone who disagrees with them are radical anti-copyright extremists.

The EFF should be hammering it: Why does the copyright industry need increased government handouts and draconian government monopolies to survive? Let the free market sort it out. If they can't survive in a free market without massive government help and an erosion of our rights, so be it.

Re:Beat 'em at their own game (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742952)

It's definitely a good argument, but I think that most of the big organizations on the freedom side are too classy for that.

Re:Beat 'em at their own game (2, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742974)

If they're too classy to tell the truth about copyrights, they'll certainly lose. (Heck, they'll lose anyway, the copyright industry is way too powerful.)

Re:Beat 'em at their own game (2, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743350)

The ASCAP is waging a war against culture, rationality and freedom. In war there are no rules, it only matters that you win. The time to play nice and be respectful is over. With all due respect, they are due negative.

Re:Beat 'em at their own game (2, Insightful)

LihTox (754597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743476)

Creative Commons, for one, is NOT anti-copyright. Look at the "no commercial use" clause in particular: people who use that CC license are relying on copyright law to keep large corporations from using their work without royalties.

CC's best strategy is not to take down copyright or even to take down ASCAP and their like, but to displace them. Persuade enough artists to take out copyright licenses that allow for non-commercial copying, and persuade enough people to prefer artists who do, and the draconian copyright organizations will become much less powerful and less relevant than they are today. Their ranting about copyright in general, however, will only make ASCAP a sympathetic character.

There goes a donation to the EFF (2, Informative)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742940)

They should find a better use for my money than the music industry.

Here's the EFF donation [eff.org] page, for those who'd want to contribute as well.

Chilling effect (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 4 years ago | (#32742948)

I wonder about the chilling effect these guys would have on creativity especially where the Creative Commons is concerned. Do they want to stifle all creativity unless it's bought and paid for, brokered by them? The world would be a lot poorer that way. Assholes.

Re:Chilling effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32743016)

"Do they want to stifle all creativity unless it's bought and paid for, brokered by them?"

Um, yea. That's kind of the point.

Re:Chilling effect (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743360)

Yes. Yes they do.

Please edit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32743078)

From TFS

Public Knowledge advocates for balanced copyright and an open Internet the empowers creators and the public.

I had to read that a few times. I think what you should do / should have done is:

Public Knowledge advocates for balanced copyright and an open Internet [that] empowers creators and the public.

Libraries (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743092)

To be fair, I'm sure they think my local library has an extremist, leftist agenda.

I'd say the opposite... (2, Insightful)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743100)

EFF is pretty much moderate copyright/freedom balance organization.
OTOH, ASCAP is a rabid extremist radical pro-copyright agenda.

Uh, the newspaper's name is ZeroPaid (1)

cornicefire (610241) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743108)

This is a story on a website called "ZeroPaid". It is funded by ads from paid Usenet repositories and BitTorrent software companies. Yet, they claim they're not "anti-copyright". Hah. The only people who are zero paid are the artists.

Re:Uh, the newspaper's name is ZeroPaid (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743192)

Usenet and BitTorrent are not inherently anti-copyright. I've used bittorrent for downloading GNU/Linux distros, public domain works, a CC-licensed TV series, and some other legal uses. Also, most everything being said is cited by the parties involved. The one thing that we don't have rock solid evidence of is the original ASCAP letter, but it seems to be substantiated.

Re:Uh, the newspaper's name is ZeroPaid (2, Insightful)

dyingtolive (1393037) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743208)

Funding from ads != profit. Or did you not know there are operational costs incurred with running a website? If that's your best scrutiny of this issue, then I'd say you should probably try harder to find something else.

Re:Uh, the newspaper's name is ZeroPaid (1)

cornicefire (610241) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743466)

Dude. You really should check out Giganews. They're making a boatload of cash. Check out the houses of the owners on Google Maps. They've got tennis courts and pools. The only people not getting paid are the artists. This dude Drew is just their paid shill. He's a tool of the folks who make their money encouraging downloading.

More telling (2, Insightful)

mystik (38627) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743128)

What's more telling is rather than defend their positions with facts, economic or otherwise, they are simply name-calling groups that are attacking them. "They're stupid because their ideas are stupid" Bonus points for using words like 'extremist' to label their opponents in there too.

Part of the strong-copyright groups problem is that they have been producing reports in their favor for years, and folks are finally coming around to realizing that those reports were wildly inaccurate, and skewed heavily in favor of their position.

The art of debate in politics and policy has been lost. No --- the art has simply been reduced to kindergarten-like school fights.

John Perry Barlow (5, Informative)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743164)

Some of the older Slashdotters here may remember, but one of the founding members of the EFF was John Perry Barlow, who is intimately associated with the Grateful Dead, having collaborated as a lyricist, primarily as a partner with Bob Weir (Garcia tended to collaborate with a poet named Robert Hunter). The reason this is relevant is because the Dead is perhaps one of the best examples of the model that "free culture" advocates promote. The band pretty much encouraged bootlegging of concerts, sometimes even letting the occasional fan tap into the mixing board. There are millions of bootlegged recordings available, yet they still sell tonnes of records. More importantly, they were a huge concert draw and one of the biggest touring acts prior to Garcia's death. The spin-off bands with the remaining members, such as Dark Star and Rat Dog continue to go pretty strong, as do bands who were culturally influenced by them, and not just musically influenced, such as Phish.

While EFF is probably more famous around here for providing defense funds for MOD hackers in the late 80s and early 90s, outting NSA wiretapping programs, and stuff like that I think it really is kind of important to remember that from their founding, they were probably the most qualified organization to take a stand on this particular issue.

Re:John Perry Barlow (1)

NekSnappa (803141) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743504)

the Dead is perhaps one of the best examples of the model that "free culture" advocates promote

So was Metallica until they made it big.

Buffoons (1)

jimwormold (1451913) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743176)

I'd like to put a cap in their ass.

Going About This Wrong (3, Insightful)

PantherX (23953) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743194)

Typical. Instead of just defining what copyleft is and isn't we get into a dickering match with people that have more money and resources. Let's get to the point already. In small bites so your grandma can understand in less than 2 minutes.

Here's a start, under typical creative commons copyleft:

Copyright - a way to make sure nobody plagiarizes your material, so you get credit for your work, usually with a motive to make profit.

Copyleft - a way to make sure nobody plagiarizes your material, so you get credit for your work, with little regard to how that material is used, copied, improved, changed, etc.

The main difference being copyright can be used in a Daffy Duck method. "MINE! MINE! MINE!" and copyleft is generally a "Hey, if you want to use this to do something else with, go ahead. Just make sure I get credit."

Flame on.

Why won't ASCAP or BMI people show themselves? (5, Informative)

Wansu (846) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743214)

I'm a musician, one of the people ASCAP claims to be helping. I don't feel helped. ASCAP and BMI shakedown establishments who hire live music. Either they pay this extortion or no cover tunes can be played there. If you post your rendition of a cover tune online to promote your fledgling local band, you may be sued or extorted. Sure makes it more difficult to get a band off the ground.

I despise these sons of bitches and I'm sure I'm not alone. I also think ASCAP and BMI people are aware that their policies and activities make them unpopular. I've never seen or heard anyone who identifies themselves with ASCAP. I understand why.

Re:Why won't ASCAP or BMI people show themselves? (2, Insightful)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743546)

In contrast, I'm largely a visual artist nowdays -- traditional oil painting and drawing. For the last thousand years, the traditional way to teach and learn the craft, is to study and copy the Masters. As long as one gives credit to the master, everyone is happy. Usually this is done by saying something like "Study after [insert-master's name]" on the title. Such practice is encouraged, and one can even freely sell studies. But visual artists usually retain copyright under almost all conditions regardless. So if you do a study, then you have copyright on your study; the master still has copyright to his masterpiece. In the case of a master who died 500 years ago, one must still give credit to them regardless of copyright; or else it would end ones career, to be ignored or put down by other artists and peers.

naah, EFF is not extremist enough (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743240)

That's not extremist, here is an extremist: [slashdot.org]

For whatever reason the governments of the world got into misguided attempts to 'promote' wealth creation by actually limiting human ability to do so by copying, these misguided attempts include copyrights and patents (though trademarks are really not such a big problem).

Having a good working economy relies on production, not on consumption, and when society starts artificially limiting human ability to produce by copying or in any other way, that society starts losing the edge on its productive capacity and eventually loses its main wealth generator - production (unless of-course, that society does not rely on production but on something else - raw material extraction or wars and stealing things others produce).

Copyright and patent laws kill economy, that's all there is to it.

Is it just me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32743402)

I can't see ASCAP without thinking that a cap is just hat. Making ASCAP ASHAT. Which seems more accurate.

Radicalism all around (2, Insightful)

pyalot (1197273) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743448)

The EFF and Public Knowledge are doubtlessly on the relaxed side of copyright. Also doubtlessly the ASCAP is not in any way relaxed about copyright. In fact, it would seem that the ASCAP is a fervent pro-draconian-copyright troll.

The question isn't weather the EFF and Public Knowledge are radical contra-copyright. The question is who will be radically contra-copyright if the radical pro-copyright trolls force an equal opposition to emerge to their radical pro-copyright views. I've got doubts though that the EFF or Public Knowledge would be polarizable enough in the coming copycalypse. I'd peg them as mid-field. The Pirate Party (I'm a member of the swiss one) seems a much more natural contra pole to the pro-draconian-copyright trolls.

Can't we enlist... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32743480)

Can't we enlist the help of somebody at a major network (I'm thinking a Glenn Beck type)? I mean love em or hate em (personally I hate them but I'm willing to exploit them), but wouldn't it make sense to have them get Americans all up in arms over "losing their freedom"?

I mean this in all seriousness, I'm not trying to troll here but can't some talking head crying over the loss of his rights to manipulate goods he purchased in any way he wants actually help? I also acknowledge that this would be a tough sell on a network that is very much pro-corporate and pro-copyright.

ASCAP's whole bit is pretty funny (1)

xtrafe (1262576) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743484)

"We're here to protect your rights. If it weren't for us, you'd be going broke. In fact, the sky could come falling right down on top of you! ... so, uh... got a dollar?"

Walks like a scam, talks like a scam, I think I'll call this a scam. That ASCAP is working for the good of society is a pretty tough sell when it has declared war on organizations that work to make things free to the public, and ASCAP itself is looking for a handout.

The EFF's proposal is ASCAP (1)

cornicefire (610241) | more than 4 years ago | (#32743556)

The irony is that the EFF's voluntary collective licensing is pretty much the same as ASCAP. It's not much different from Rhapsody and it never caught on. People like the idea of "ownership" for whatever reason. Maybe it's Steve Jobs' reality distortion field.
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