Songwriter Paul Williams ‘State of the Union’ Address at ASCAP (Video) — Video of ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams at last month’s annual ASCAP membership meeting. Skip to 5:55 for great remarks on recent copyright developments, including SOPA/PIPA. From 16:29-18:30, stirring remarks about the craft of songwriting: “You are participants in a mystical and a magical craft… it isnt the ones and zeros, it isn’t data or devices — you reach into people’s hearts and minds and you make a difference in the beauty and meaning of their lives. If you can do that, you deserve to be paid for your work.”

The Art of the Steal: Warhol Didn’t Get Away With It. Why Should Richard Prince? — Much ink has been spilled over appropriation art’s “challenge” to copyright law. PDNPulse reports on an Art Newspaper storythat calls into question some of the claims. The implied claim of appropriation art defenders: “Where would civilization be without the great works of appropriation artists like Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg? Credit The Art Newspaper, a British publication, with taking on that argument. Yesterday they reported that Warhol, Rauschenberg and other big name appropriation artists quit stealing the work of others–and started getting licenses instead–after they got sued once or twice (or five times) for infringement.”

Why No Web Blackout For CISPA? Google It — Rob Levine with an important piece on internet activism. “Following the money is important since so many activists crowed about how ‘the Internet community’ resisted the power of corporations. Most neglected to mention that much of this activity was funded by another powerful corporation, as well as the venture capitalists that count on a lawless web to turn companies like Pinterest into rich IPOs.”

Naming names – the free culture witch hunt is on — John Degen looks at Rep. Zoe Lofgren’s questions to US Register of Copyright Maria Pallante at a hearing last month. “After smilingly admitting to the constituent pressure she herself is under, and reading copyright opinions that come straight from Silicon Valley’s free culture manual, it takes some kind of shamelessness for the Congresswoman to suggest there was undo influence on a public servant who is appointed rather than elected. As well, Ms. Pallante showed impressive restraint in not simply laughing at the question about copyright law being for authors first, instead directing Rep. Lofgren to the section of the U.S. Constitution, supporting legislation, and Supreme Court decisions that support her view.”

Those who want freedom from copyright will really deliver feudalism — Helienne Lindvall delivers another great column on the aversion to creators being able to control the products of their labor. “Why do Kroes, CI and A2K want to take this fundamental right, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, away from me? Their ‘solutions’ would create either a corporate feudalism where I would have to go around hat in hand, or a communist state, where the state would decide how much or even if I should get paid when my music is used. And to think that these solutions come from people claiming to be forward thinking? If this is their version of freedom and innovation, I can live without it.”

Facebook Kicks off Grooveshark — In apparent preparation for its IPO, the social network has deleted Grooveshark’s page and app from its site. Facebook joins iTunes and Google in kicking off the increasingly criticized music service.

Considering TPP: Local economies thrive when artists’ rights are protected— The Copyright Alliance’s Lucinda Dugger remarks on the organizations signing, along with over 30 other organizations, of a letter in support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. “Strong copyright enforcement proves to encourage creative and cultural development in all economies – both established and developing – as it provides the individual creator an opportunity to profit for a limited time from his creative works, through licensing, royalties, or other sales. Working with artists all around our country, I see on a regular basis how mom and pop shops, sole-proprietors, and individual creators produce works that excite and move us and our communities. Through ownership of works, they additionally develop an identity that allows local economies to thrive, grow, and prosper.”

Hollywood takes up veteran causes with ‘Got Your Six’ effort — The LA Times discusses Got Your 6, a new initiative to build awareness about veterans issues. “Companies participating include Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal, Time Warner Inc.’s HBO and Warner Bros., News Corp.’s Fox, Sony, Walt Disney Co.’s ABC, as well as talent agencies Creative Artists Agency, United Talent and William Morris Endeavor. Also on board are the Directors Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild of America, West.”

State Film Tax Credits Good For Local Economies: Study — Deadline Hollywood reports on a recent study that examines the impact of film tax credits on state economies. “Thirty-seven states currently have film credit programs. The programs, with Louisiana, Illinois, Florida and Georgia among the most utilized by studios in recent years, draw from an estimated $1.2 billion in tax dollars annually nationwide.” Long-term benefits include “increased tourism, if the location ‘plays itself’ in productions, infrastructure development and seasoned local crews which can lead to increased tax revenues, spending and investment.”