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The Courts Music

Lawrence Lessig Wins Fair Use Case 89

Posted by samzenpus
from the play-it-again-lawrence dept.
just_another_sean writes "An Australian record label that threatened to sue one of the world's most famous copyright attorneys for infringement has reached a settlement with him. The settlement includes an admission that Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard Law School professor, had the right to use a song by the band Phoenix. From the article: 'In a statement, Liberation Music admitted Lessig's use of the song was protected by fair use — a legal doctrine that allows copyrighted material to be used for education, satire and a few other exceptions. Liberation Music says it will also pay Lessig for the harm it caused. The amount is confidential under the terms of the agreement, but it will be dedicated to supporting work by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital civil rights group, to work on causes that were important to Lessig's friend Aaron Swartz, a technologist and activist who committed suicide last year.'"
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Lawrence Lessig Wins Fair Use Case

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  • by Joce640k (829181) on Friday February 28, 2014 @04:34AM (#46365875) Homepage

    Settlements do not set a precedent.

    Which is why the corporations prefer them to losing in court.

  • by Kartu (1490911) on Friday February 28, 2014 @05:53AM (#46366077)

    Shouldn't he had won the actual court battle, to set a precedent?

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) on Friday February 28, 2014 @08:55AM (#46366577) Homepage Journal

    Aaron Swartz was an asshole, good riddance.

    General Clapper, is that you?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 28, 2014 @09:04AM (#46366613)

    'You have to wonder, at what point did they realise they were taking a copyright case against one of the world's most famous legal authorities on copyright!'

    After it was waaay too late.

    I suspect Mr. Lessig has gone fishing.
          First choosing a type of fish. (A copyright holder known to use indiscriminate tactics on YouTube.)
          Choose a location to fish. (AU, not sure why here, but I bet there's a reason.)
          Choose a bait. (His educational video with a bit of their song for their bots to find.)
          Wait for a bite (Their takedown notice to him)
          Set the hook so they couldn't get away. (His counter action.)
              (They likely figured it out about here.)
          Have his way with them. (The settlement requiring them to mend their ways.)

    Even if you are the fish, you have to admire his style.

  • by SpzToid (869795) on Friday February 28, 2014 @09:12AM (#46366635)

    There are two ways to learn anything.

    One way is if you are fortunate to learn from Someone Who Knows Already and is patient and gracious enough to try to explain and share with you what they have already learned. Or perhaps you can learn from simply observing and paying attention of those Wise Folks Who Have Already Learned. (Or you could apply science, but let's not digress)

    The other way to learn stuff which works really very well, perhaps even better than the first method, especially if forgetfulness is a variable we should also take into consideration is the method I like to call, 'pain and suffering', is somewhat self-explanatory, and really works well also.

    And by all means try to go with the first option if at all available to you when you try to learn stuff, because it is most-preferable for sure. This much I have learned for myself the hard way too many times.

  • by tunabomber (259585) on Friday February 28, 2014 @10:13AM (#46366989) Homepage

    As others have mentioned, there is no need for precedent because once the plaintiff actually started reading the laws, there wasn't much legal ambiguity- Liberation Music was wrong and Lessig was right. I think he got the upper hand here. From TFA:

    In winning this tussle, Lessig was also able to score a larger victory for his cause. Liberation Music agreed to adopt new policies around issuing takedown notices. The label has promised to work with Lessig to improve its YouTube and copyright policies to make sure this doesn't happen again.

    Being in the right is never enough to avoid being sued or legally threatened, but at least this settlement is an attempt to fix that problem in the context of YouTube. Oh- and all the settlement cash is going to the EFF.

All life evolves by the differential survival of replicating entities. -- Dawkins

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