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Censorship Your Rights Online

A Second Lessig Fair-Use Video Is Suppressed By WMG 187

Bios_Hakr points out an ironic use of the DMCA: for the second time, a video tutorial on fair use that Larry Lessig uploaded to YouTube has been muzzled. This time the sound has been pulled from the video; last time the video was taken off of YouTube. (Video and sound for the new "webside chat" can be experienced together on BlipTV.) Both times, Warner Music Group was the party holding copyright on a song that Lessig used in an unarguably fair-use manner. TechDirt is careful not to assume that an actual DMCA takedown notice was issued, on the likelihood that Google's automatic copyright-violation detectors did the deed. "The unintended consequences of asking tool providers [e.g., Google] to judge what is and what is not copyright infringement lead to tremendous problems with companies shooting first and asking questions later. They are silencing speech, on the threat that it might infringe on copyright. This is backwards. We live in a country that is supposed to cherish free speech, not stifle it in case it harms the business model of a company. We live in a country that is supposed to encourage the free expression of ideas — not lock it up and take it down because one company doesn't know how to adapt its business model. We should never be silencing videos because they might infringe on copyright."
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A Second Lessig Fair-Use Video Is Suppressed By WMG

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  • Re:Free Speech (Score:5, Informative)

    by twidarkling ( 1537077 ) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @06:59PM (#31337394)

    Thank you. Free speech isn't for allowing you to say whatever you want in a video that's being hosted by someone else. YouTube has every right to take down the video for absolutely no reason other than they don't like his face, if they so desire. Free speech means that the government is the one that simply cannot go to YouTube and tell them to take down the video without certain circumstances. Is it right that corporations have more ability to muzzle people than the government? I don't know. My opinion is that neither should be able to, barring defamation of character or other malicious speech.

    However, that's currently beyond the scope of free speech as commonly enshrined in the laws of countries. It only applies to governmental abilities.

  • .. does not give you the right to use someone's property to express it.

    Music is not property. Video is not property. Words are not property. Someone can have copyrights of some content, but that does not mean the content is somehow "theirs". It's supposed to mean they were the ones that created it, though it doesn't mean that anymore.

    Mickey Mouse is not the property of the Disney corporation, no matter how much they stamp their feet about on the issue. He isn't their property because he can't be their property. Mickey Mouse is not a real mouse. He's not a thing. He's an idea. And you can't own an idea. However, in our great free society, you can control the distribution of an idea.

    People own things. They can sometimes also own rights. Sometimes they can own rights over ideas. But they can't own ideas, or sounds, or images. I can't believe I've even making a post which has to explain this fact. This is where the madness of modern "intellectual property" pundits has lead us.

  • by nsayer ( 86181 ) <> on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @08:31PM (#31338616) Homepage

    Additionally, 100 years ago, the exact same situation we have today was being played out vis-a-vis recorded music. Only back then, it was piano rolls instead of MP3 files. Playing the part of the big music companies today, were the big sheet music publisher of years ago.

    Same arguments, almost word for word.

  • Lenz v. Universal (Score:5, Informative)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <{tepples} {at} {}> on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @09:14PM (#31339066) Homepage Journal

    And so far they've never been found guilty of it because they've been able to stretch the meaning of "in good faith".

    They haven't been found guilty of perjury yet. In Lenz v. Universal, on August 20, 2008, Judge Jeremy Fogel held [] that sending a takedown notice under OCILLA without giving the first thought to whether the use of a work is a fair use is misrepresentation:

    An allegation that a copyright owner acted in bad faith by issuing a takedown notice without proper consideration of the fair use doctrine thus is sufficient to state a misrepresentation claim pursuant to Section 512(f) of the DMCA. [...] The DMCA already requires copyright owners to make an initial review of the potentially infringing material prior to sending a takedown notice; indeed, it would be impossible to meet any of the requirements of Section 512(c) without doing so. A consideration of the applicability of the fair use doctrine simply is part of that initial review.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @10:13PM (#31339496)

    Try It's in China where they don't really do the whole western copyright thing. Just don't diss the locals and you should be fine.

  • by element-o.p. ( 939033 ) on Tuesday March 02, 2010 @10:28PM (#31339602) Homepage
    No, that's just an abuse of the law, which I thought was supposed to be punishable under the DMCA. Don't see that happen very often, though, which is truly a shame.

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury