ASCAP Targets “Copy Left / Free Culture” Enemy

Performance rights organization (PRO) ASCAP is now pondering ways to defuse the influence of non-traditional copyright thinkers, according to correspondence shared Thursday with Digital Music News.

According to an invitation mailed to certain members and executives, ASCAP is coordinating a luncheon on February 3rd to discuss a number of top issues.  That includes “licensing and rate proceedings in the digital area,” “the new Congress,” and “working together to counter the growing prevalence of the ‘copy left/free culture’ pontificators in the public discourse about creators rights.”

That appears to be a thinly-veiled reference to Lawrence Lessig, though others – including Gerd Leonhard – could also be targets.  Instead of a traditional copyright, Lessig has argued for a “some rights reserved” structure that allows greater sharing and fewer usage limitations.  In fact, Lessig started the “free culture movement,” a concept tightly aligned to Creative Commons, also founded by Lessig.

The Los Angeles luncheon will be hosted by ASCAP president and chairwoman Marilyn Bergman, as well as chief executive John LoFrumento, according to the leaked correspondence.