Not Smart: Warner Music Issues DMCA Takedown On Larry Lessig Presentation

from the this-is-going-to-hurt dept

If there were anyone out there to whom you would not want to send a random takedown notice for an online video, it would probably be Larry Lessig. Given that Lessig has become the public face for those who feel that copyright has been stretched too far, as well as being a founder of Stanford's Fair Use Project, and who's written multiple books on these issues, you would think (just maybe) that any copyright holder would at least think twice before sending a DMCA takedown on a Larry Lessig presentation.

Apparently, you'd be wrong.

Lessig has announced that Warner Music issued a DMCA takedown on one of Lessig's own presentations, in which his use is almost certainly fair use. Lessig, of course, is a lawyer, and a big supporter of fair use, so it's no surprise that he's also said he's going to be fighting this.

The thing that I can't understand is who at Warner Music would decide this was a good idea? We've seen Warner make a number of highly questionable moves over the past six months, but this may be the most incomprehensible. Warner Music may claim it was an accident or that it didn't mean to send the takedown, but that's hard to fathom as well. The DMCA rules are pretty clear, that the filer needs to clearly own the content, and previously lawsuits have said they need to take fair use into account. I'm guessing we haven't heard the end of this yet...

Update: Some people have been asking which Lessig presentation was taken down. It's been reposted elsewhere, so you can check it out, and then explain how Warner Music has any claim to a takedown.

Filed Under: copyright, dmca, fair use, larry lessig, takedown
Companies: warner music group


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Apr 2009 @ 8:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And do you think that Lessig, someone so familiar with the law as he is, would violate the law?

    It is not at all beyond the realm of possibility. Lessig has firm and definite views about the "public domain", and constantly advocates fair use to try in part to achieve that end. He is, however, not the only one associated with copyright law, and in many learned circles involving both academics and practitioners his positions are viewed with skepticism, perhaps the most well-known being his argument before the Supreme Court in Eldred v. Ashcroft. It was sad to read how dejected he felt when the Supreme Court decision overwhelmingly rejected his arguments and upheld the power of Congress to enact the Copyright Extension Act (aka, the "Sonny Bono Act").

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