Saturday, June 26, 2010

#ASCAP undermines its own foundation

ASCAP advertises itself as the "worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters, composers and music publishers". Fine. The basis of performance royalties is copyright. In order to legally extract payment there is a need for a license that insists on this. There is a quid pro quo; you sell a license to me and I pay you money.

To grant a license is the prerogative of a copyright holder. ASCAP is an organisation that is owned and run by "songwriters, composers and music publishers" and as such they have a monopoly by their own admission. Recent publications indicate that ASCAP is raising funds to fight organisations like Creative Commons.

What they seem to forget is that it is the copyright holder that decides what license to give to its work. When this connection is lost, when ASCAP takes the position that music must mean royalties and royalties to be paid to ASCAP, they clearly behave like a monopolist.

The record of organisation like ASCAP is less then stellar. There have been frequent law suits intended to get major amounts of royalties paid to the rights holder.

PS it is odd for a music related website where no music is to be heard.

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