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.