Hypocrisy & Lies From the Pro-Copyright Crowd

In a bit of irony, err hypocrisy, Microsoft has been running anti-IP (Intellectual Property) ads for nearly a year. It all started when Microsoft unveiled “Windows 7” claiming to have compiled 1 billion ideas. What makes this both ironic & hypocritical is the fact that Microsoft has been involved in numerous IP lawsuits claiming illegal use of their products. Obviously Microsoft is both pro-IP & anti-IP at the same time and sees no conflict in it’s “position” or lack thereof.

Personally, I support alternatives to copyright such as Creative Commons & the more recently introduced Creator-Endorsed Mark. Collectively, these alternatives are called “copyleft.” Creative Commons “is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright. Creative Commons defines the spectrum of possibilities between full copyright and the public domain. From all rights reserved to no rights reserved. Our licenses help you keep your copyright while allowing certain uses of your work — a “some rights reserved” copyright.” While “the Creator-Endorsed Mark is a logo that a distributor can use to indicate that a work is distributed in a way that its creator endorses — typically, by the distributor sharing some of the profits with the creator.”

Neither Creative Commons nor the Creator Endorsed Mark requires an artist/author to relinquish copyright nor do they advocate the complete abolition of copyright (as some claim). Wired Magazine reports,

“The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is urging the membership to donate money to battle the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge and even Creative Commons.
In a letter sent to members this week, ASCAP said those groups and unnamed “technology companies” are “mobilizing to promote ‘Copyleft’ in order to undermine our ‘Copyright’.” The letter continues, “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.”
ASCAP’s attack on EFF and Public Knowledge are farfetched. Those groups do not suggest music should be free, although they push for the liberalization of copyright law.
But the attack on Creative Commons is more laughable than ASCAP’s stance against EFF and Public Knowledge.
While lobby groups EFF and Public Knowledge advocate for liberal copyright laws, Creative Commons actually creates licenses to protect content creators.”

Creative Commons responded to ASCAP stating in part,

“CC licenses are legal tools that creators can use to offer certain usage rights to the public, while reserving other rights. Without copyright, these tools don’t work. 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 musicians, including acts like Nine Inch Nails, Beastie Boys, Youssou N’Dour, Tone, Curt Smith, David Byrne, Radiohead, Yunyu, Kristin Hersh, 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, many of the artists who use CC licenses are also members of collecting societies, including ASCAP. That’s how we first heard about this smear 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.”

ASCAP is only concerned about being able to collect revenues and not about protecting the rights of the music’s creator. ASCAP, Microsoft and many others in the pro-copyright crowd are simply attempting to have their cake & eat it, too.