ASCAP v. Lessig Continues; Kay Challenges Copyleft

The love affair between performance rights organization ASCAP and controversial copyright thinker Lawrence Lessig continues, and onlookers are now sharing the mudslinging with Digital Music News.

Just recently, ASCAP hosted a luncheon to discuss ways to challenge “copyleft / free culture,” a not-so-subtle jab against Lessig.

Now, the jabs appear to be getting more overt.  In a letter emailed to members, longtime ASCAP board member (and distinguished songwriter) Dean Kay stamped on the Lessig ideology.  But instead of directly countering core Lessig points, Kay offered a collection of articles, reviews, and even a video interview with Stephen Colbert to undermine the less-restrictive copyright thinking that Lessig espouses.

The commentary was predictably ASCAP-friendly.  “Lessig … too often blurs remix culture with ‘ripoff culture’,” Adam Thierer comments in a review of the Lessig book, Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy.  Others approach Lessig with similar levels of doubt, including a tongue-in-cheek Colbert, reviewer Lawrence B. Solum, and Mark Fischer.