In any list of ‘People You Don’t Want To End Up In Court With Over A Fair-Use Dispute’, Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig would be right at the top. But the copyright campaigner has filed a lawsuit against Australian music firm Liberation Music after a YouTube takedown dispute, and something tells us he’s unlikely to settle out of court. The dispute concerned a lecture given by Lessig in June 2010 at a Creative Commons conference in South Korea, which included several clips of Phoenix’s song ‘Lisztomania’. The lecture was later uploaded to YouTube, but was then taken down after a DMCA request from the song’s copyright owner Liberation Music. After some back-and-forth which – according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation – included Liberation threatening to sue Lessig, he came back with the EFF’s backing and his own lawsuit. “I have the opportunity, with the help of EFF, to challenge this particular attack. I am hopeful the precedent this case will set will help others avoid such a need to fight,” he says in a statement. “There’s a long and sorry history of content owners abusing copyright to take down fair uses, but this one is particularly shocking,” adds EFF intellectual property director Corynne McSherry.
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