2 men enter, 1 man leaves

Lawrence Lessig Challenges

ASCAP PRESIDENT Paul

 Williams to a debate on Whether

 Creative Commons

Unermines Copyright   

from the throwdown dept (of Techdirt)

We’ve already written a couple of times about ASCAP’s bizarre anti-artist decision, as part of its fundraising campaign, to falsely imply that Creative Commons, EFF and Public Knowledge are seeking to undermine copyright. So far, about all this has done is piss off a bunch of ASCAP members who actually like these groups (especially those who use Creative Commons). Larry Lessig has now written a response, where he points out that Creative Commons relies on copyright and doesn’t seek to force anyone to use it at all. It just offers artists more choices in how they license their music. More interesting, however, is that Lessig then challenges ASCAP’s president, Paul Williams, to a debate on the topic:

So here’s my challenge, ASCAP President Paul Williams: Let’s address our differences the way decent souls do. In a debate. I’m a big fan of yours, and If you’ll grant me the permission, I’d even be willing to sing one of your songs (or not) if you’ll accept my challenge of a debate. We could ask the New York Public Library to host the event. I am willing to do whatever I can to accommodate your schedule.

Let’s meet and address these perceived differences with honesty and good faith. No doubt we have disagreements (for instance, I love rainy days, and Mondays rarely get me down). But on the issues that your organization and mine care about, there should be no difference worthy of an attack.

So, will ASCAP and Williams — who has been on an anti-Lessig rampage for a while now — step up and actually debate? And if Williams agrees to such a debate, will he finally stop making false claims about these groups?

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