Band Whose Label Threatened Larry Lessig Comes Out Strongly In Favor Of Fair Use

from the good-for-them dept

In the wake of Liberation Music settling with Larry Lessig over its direct threat to sue him for clear fair use, the band whose music was involved in the dispute, Phoenix, has put out a strong statement in favor of fair use. Not only have they posted Lessig’s original video to their own blog, but they note that they did not at all approve of the way the label acted. Furthermore, they support copyright reform that would better protect fair use, and encourage people to build on their music to get “inspired.”

We Support Fair Use of Our Music!

We were upset to find out that a lecture by professor Lawrence Lessig titled ‘Open’ was removed from YouTube without review, under the mistaken belief that it infringed our copyright interests.

This lecture about fair-use included -as examples- bits of spontaneous fan videos using our song Lisztomania.

Not only do we welcome the illustrative use of our music for educational purposes, but, more broadly, we encourage people getting inspired and making their own versions of our songs and videos and posting the result online.

One of the great beauties of the digital era is to liberate spontaneous creativity – it might be a chaotic space of free association but the contemporary experience of digital re-mediation is enormously liberating.

We don’t feel the least alienated by this; appropriation and recontextualization is a long-standing behavior that has just been made easier and more visible by the ubiquity of the internet.

In a few words: we absolutely support fair use of our music, and we can only encourage a new copyright policy that protects fair use as much as every creators’ legitimate interests.

Nicely said. If only the label they contractually worked with to manage the band’s own copyright interests had recognized that.

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Companies: liberation music

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Comments on “Band Whose Label Threatened Larry Lessig Comes Out Strongly In Favor Of Fair Use”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It’s possible that the label simply ‘forgot’ to tell them about it, and they only just recently learned about the lawsuit filed ‘on their behalf’, but yeah, the timing does make it a little suspicious.

Still, that said, even if it is just damage control, they do seem to be trying pretty hard, making it absolutely clear that they object to such actions by the label, something that will hopefully keep the label from pulling something like this again, and showing quite strong support for remixes and fair use in general.

btrussell (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Kind of what I had thought at first, but
“Not only do we welcome the illustrative use of our music for educational purposes, but, more broadly, we encourage people getting inspired and making their own versions of our songs and videos and posting the result online.”

I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens here as it doesn’t sound like they are in control of the copyrights.

Jay (profile) says:

Put up or shut up

I know that some people believe this is damage control.

I’m one of them. So I have an idea to have these people bring out a strong statement in regards to copyright…

Release your works to the public domain. Show us and your label how important copyright is to you. You tried to charge a professor of law with copyright infringement as if he was a petty criminal. For showing off YOUR work. I think that the best punishment that fits this allegation would be to remove all shadow of a doubt that the public should lay claim to this dying.


Or a public domain license. It’s not that hard. Put up exactly what you would have “lost” and show us your “loss”.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Put up or shut up

Putting all of their works in the public domain might be overkill, but putting the song(s) in question in the public domain would certainly make their stance unmistakable.

That said, it’s entirely possible that they couldn’t, it depends on whether they’re bound by a ‘traditional’ ‘all your songs belong to us’ type contract, or if they managed to get a more fair contract written up when they signed to their label.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Put up or shut up

Release your works to the public domain.

They’re on a label, which means they likely don’t hold the copyright to their songs any more. So, that option is out.

It’s also a good guess as to why they didn’t say anything sooner. If they would have said anything like that, especially while litigation was ongoing, the label would have come down on them like a ton of bricks.

zip says:

While it’s good to see any band stand up for fair-use, in reality they really had little choice. An up-and-coming band can’t afford to have fans turn against them just as they’re starting to achieve success.

On the other hand, washed-up has-beens like Chaim Witz (AKA Gene Simmons) don’t care how many fans they alienate by showing their greed and preaching scorched-earth copyright enforcement, when they know that their glory days are long behind them and they have nothing to lose.

Anonymous Coward says:

i think this little snippet says a hell of a lot

‘removed from YouTube without review’

not only does it at least imply that YouTube didn’t check first rather, it just removed, as is the usual case, playing right into the open, greedy little mits of the entertainment industries, it also implies that a fairer system is required. that would be a system where checks have to first be made to reveal infringement before acting to close or remove and also that politicians need to get in on the act, doing something constructive that allows for checks. how it is atm, the removal takes place first. that’s crazy! but even more crazy is the lack of punishment when the C&D is abused. that needs change. i’m surprised why some like Senator Wyden hasn’t had a go at this. it’s right up his alley!

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