We'll, not exactly a duel, but the knowledge economy equivalent of one - a debate.
The kerfuffle began last week when the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) began to raise money based on false threat to copyright from groups including Creative Commons. This past Saturday, Creative Commons founding board member Lawrence Lessig responded to this untrue attack in a Huffington Post column, and challenged ASCAP president and chairman, Paul Williams, to a debate. And yes, that's Paul Williams, the 70s singer-songwriter. Hmm, maybe they should do a duet instead.
In a letter to members yesterday, Joi Ito, CEO of Creative Commons, called the campaign a "smear" and thanked members for the outpouring of support in the form of donations, tweets, blog posts, and letters.
The whole thing boils down to this. Creative Commons works with copyright giving creators a tool to specify how they'd like to share. It doesn't undermine copyright in the least. It strikes me as dumb of ASCAP to base a fundraising campaign on a lie and attack something that actually helps artists, perhaps even some of their members, make money. Here's what Creative Commons had to say about it.
To memorialize this kerfuffle, here's an ambient psychedelic hiphop mashup called "The Rain Boss" that samples a substantial riff (starting at 1:15) from Paul Williams' smaltzy 70s blockbuster hit "Rainy Days and Mondays" and stock footage from the Prelinger Library. Enjoy.
Teaser image credit: uwdigitalcollections
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