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EFF, Lessig battling copyright takedowns

Oz record company's DCMA notice in cross-hairs

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Lawrence Lessig and the Electronic Frontiers Foundation are joining forces to fight off what they see as DCMA-trolling from Australian record company Liberation Music.

At issue is a lecture series Lessig put together for a Creative Commons conference in South Korea. The Harvard Law School professor's talk included short clips of amateur dance videos that used French band Phoenix's Lisztomania as the soundtrack.

After delivering the lecture, Lessig uploaded the clips to YouTube, and the fun started. Of the roughly 33,000 uploads (according to The Register's search) of Lisztomania present on YouTube, Liberation Music has chosen to pursue Lessig's lecture as the subject of its takedown notices.

As the EFF puts it:

“Earlier this year, Liberation Music, which claims to own the license to the Phoenix song, began the process to block the video through YouTube's copyright infringement system. After the company submitted a DMCA takedown notice, Lessig filed a counter-notice that asserted the clips were fair use. After Liberation Music threatened to sue Lessig, he retracted the notice. But Lessig did not concede this issue. Instead, he enlisted EFF's help to take Liberation Music to court.”

The EFF now wants a federal court in Massachusetts to rule that the video is fair use. Its full filing is here. ®

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