Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Music company takes on Internet law guru Lawrence Lessig in silly copyright fight; defendant may get damages if original claim found frivolous

Internet law professor and writer Lawrence Lessig is in a legal battle with Liberation Music, which had sent a DMCA takedown notice when his YouTube video showed a few brief clips from a presentation of “Lisztomania” by the French band Phoenix.
Lessig claims fair use, and, in a manner atypical with cases, was threatened with a suit when he resisted the takedown notice. So Lessig and EFF are suing back, claiming a frivolous or abusive claim, allowing a counterclaim possible under 512(f) but rarely successful in practice.
Arstechnica has a story by Joe Mullin here.
The case could be compared to Lenz v. Universal, where Universal had backed down after a DCMA replay.
BBJ Morning Buzz (Boston) has a story on the Lessig matter by Galen Moore, here
People often make videos of drag shows in bars, which are usually pantomimed to music. I’ve always wondered if people could face DMCA if they put these (or Karaoke performances) on YouTube   I almost never make music recordings in public, except at outdoor demonstrations and then only very brief excerpts.  Yet, there are a lot of possibly “illegal” music (including classical performances) on YouTube that seem to stay up for years.  

Update: March 3, 2014

Liberation Music will compensate Lessig and change its policies, according to a confidential settlement, here

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