[Foundation-l] ASCAP comes out against "copyleft"

Jeffrey Peters 17peters at cardinalmail.cua.edu
Sat Jun 26 01:57:50 UTC 2010

Dear Andre,

I think I have made it clear in my hundreds of megs worth of donations to
material to WMF projects that I am in support of the actual licensing. I
believe it is important to allow for people who wish to have their content
be free to be free.

But as I pointed out from the WSJ, the person behind CC is also behind much
of the pro P2P movement that was, early on, illegitimate and piracy based.

If you want to know my fair use credentials and my involvement, I was one of
the people involved in the fringe of one of the most important internet fair
use court cases of the modern era, but I was lucky enough to not have any of
my reproductions of newspaper articles be chosen as part of the lawsuit, so
I was able to get out of the mess that ensued. However, I had the ability
to, when young, witness the battle of fair use between the various groups
first hand.

Being on the other side, as an academic and one who publishes, I see a clear
need to be able to separate what is free (my hundreds of articles and such
donated to WMF) to what is not (my person column, works, etc).

I have also been a major advocate against those who plagiarize or blatantly
steal material from others and post it on Wikipedia. I am a strong believer
in producing content that is free, but not taking it and making it free. The
means must be proper in order to prove that we are proper. There is a
difference between copyleft and piracy, even though some of the founders of
the copyleft movement (free material existed before them) are supportive of
the piracy/anti-copyright movement.

To protect the free licenses, it would be necessary for us to stamp out
plagiarism and the rest. We are not "Robin Hoods" who seek to "steal from
the rich to give to the poor". We should be those who originate our own and
serve our cause through our own sweat and blood. If someone wants to give up
their effort for free, it should be through their own choice. The ASCAP is
concerned about efforts within the copyleft community that is based in
piracy and not legitimate copyleft originating materials. Those in the
copyleft movement should also be concerned about piracy, as it undermines
and destroys our cause.

Jeffrey Peters
aka Ottava Rima

On Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 9:26 PM, Andre Engels <andreengels at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Jun 26, 2010 at 2:07 AM, Jeffrey Peters
> <17peters at cardinalmail.cua.edu> wrote:
> > Thank you for clarifying. I put forth another email based on the
> expectation
> > of the point you just made (so, thus, I am sorry for assuming you were
> > speaking against the law and not in support of the license itself).
> We can only go with the information we have. And the information in
> this case was the actual letter. That letter _nowhere_ specifies what
> law they are fighting for or against. Instead, it says that they are
> fighting against groups that "promote Copyleft in order to undermine
> our Copyright." When _I_ read that, I get the impression that they are
> fighting against copyleft. Clearly, others have understood the same
> thing. Apparently to you the combination of having that understanding
> and being in favor of copyleft is enough for you to attack people and
> flame them to death. I find that worrysome.
> --
> André Engels, andreengels at gmail.com
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