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Newest YouTube User To Fight a Takedown: Lawrence Lessig

timothy posted 1 year,28 days | from the one-hand-tied-behind-his-back dept.

Music 154

onehitwonder writes "Lawrence Lessig has teamed with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to sue Liberation Music, which recently demanded that YouTube take down a lecture Lessig had posted that features clips from the song 'Lisztomania' by the French band Phoenix (on Liberation Music's label). Liberation claimed copyright infringement as the reason it demanded the takedown, but in his countersuit, Lessig is claiming Liberation's 'overly aggressive takedown violates the DMCA and that it should be made to pay damages,' according to Ars Technica."

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Stupid comment... (5, Insightful)

Arkh89 (2870391) | 1 year,28 days | (#44660881)

(Rhetorical question ahead)
Why do we never hear what the artists, the ones who actually made the song or tune, have to say about this "infringements"?

Re:Stupid comment... (5, Informative)

dk20 (914954) | 1 year,28 days | (#44660909)

They did the work "for hire" and don't own the rights, the labels do.

Re:Stupid comment... (4, Informative)

sortius_nod (1080919) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661193)

Exactly it. No matter how much effort you put into music, most labels retain copyright over the works. Smaller indie labels don't tend to do this, but the big players all do it.

Then again, most of these synthetic bands/artists don't write their own music or lyrics, they're just glorified cover bands. Not to say Phoenix is like this, I quite like their music, but I'm not sure how I feel about their label now.

Re:Stupid comment... (4, Insightful)

dk20 (914954) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661291)

Its a really bad and lopsided relationship which hopefully comes to an end in my lifetime, but i'm not optimistic this will happen. Too many players and too much money at stake. "artists" which cant write a song, cant play an instrument, and cant read sheet music.. just pretty faces and autotune earning boatloads of money....

Re:Stupid comment... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44662293)

You're looking in the wrong places. There are lots of real musicians out there, but they're not multi-millionaires (and why should they be?) and their music isn't played on commercial radio stations or popular tv shows. You'll have to go watch them in a small venue like we used to before there was a music industry.

Re:Stupid comment... (4, Informative)

Teancum (67324) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662337)

There are a number of musicians who still get screwed over by the major record labels, even if they haven't made their millions. Sometimes all they do is simply play songs perhaps for a wedding or bar mitzvah and then jam in a local park for fun most of the time.... and they still are required to pay fees to ASCAP or other similar "industry groups" even if they are performing original music they wrote themselves.

Life sucks sometimes, and it is hard to be a musician in America or even most of Europe right now and avoid getting entangled with the music industry at some level.

Re:Stupid comment... (3, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662821)

It suggests, to me, that musicians are stupid, myopic, and desperate.

"Gosh, feller! You're gonna make me a super rock star if I sign over all ownership and rights to my music for eternity? Where do I sign?!"

Writers are in a similar position of being in a profession that everyone wants to be in, having a high rate of competition, having little bargaining power because everyone is so desperate to be published, being in a creative field, and wanting to be famous against all odds . . . and yet they still manage to push for ownership of their material. Writers generally either retain rights to their material on certain media or require that rights to their material return to themselves after a certain period.

If you're so desperate to be "a golden god", then you get what you deserve.

Re:Stupid comment... (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661755)

They did the work "for hire" and don't own the rights, the labels do.

In that case, "intellectual property" doesn't mean a whole lot because the intellect from which the work came into being is no longer a party to the property.

It's a truly twisted system, being abused by some very powerful people, who didn't create a goddamn thing.

I don't think that was the original purpose of copyright.

Re:Stupid comment... (1)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661797)

who didn't create a goddamn thing.

They created profit. That's all that matters

Re:Stupid comment... (2)

dk20 (914954) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661837)

Like almost everything, IP can be bought/sold. Whoever owns the "catalog" owns the rights and this is independent of who created the work. Almost every record label structures things as work done "for hire" to make sure the actual creators never receive the rights. Original purpose or not, this is what it has come down to.

Re:Stupid comment... (1)

Seumas (6865) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662835)

It's fair to mention that the "intellectual property" wouldn't be worth jack shit if there weren't a market for it. People purchasing your "intellectual property" give it a value and a market.

No, they aren't (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44662607)

They aren't "Work for hire" because that would require a different licensing and the copyrights expire earlier.

They're work for hire in the contract to reduce the artists' rights, but to the label, they aren't work for hire, they're independent artistic works with the license transfer as the payment. In addition to the monetary payment of the loan handed over...

Yes, it's fraud.

Re:Stupid comment... (3, Informative)

Pieroxy (222434) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662631)

Untrue in France at least (since the original band is French). In France, the original artist of a piece of art *cannot* sell 100% of the rights on the work of art. They retain a minimum of 50%.

That said, the problem doesn't really change as the label owns 50% of the copyrights and hold the band by the balls anyways.

Re:Stupid comment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44660913)

Because they're hung by the balls by the same people suing the pirates (or hiring other companies to do so). I wouldn't be surprised if you could get a label drop by talking about it negatively.

Re:Stupid comment... (1)

Stoutlimb (143245) | 1 year,28 days | (#44660963)

Because most artists have no say.

Re:Stupid comment... (3, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661035)

Sure they do, and they used "their say" to sign a contract.

Luckily we live in a society where contracts are taken seriously.

Re:Stupid comment... (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661129)

Unless the contract ends up hurting a corporation, and then they just really get thrown out. Ask people who have lost their pensions.

Seriously... anyone that doesn't understand the practicality of this is being a corporate sycophant. The way that the legal and legislative system is right now corporations wield a HUGE amount of power.

Re:Stupid comment... (1)

dywolf (2673597) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661443)

companies with pensions have to honor them. its the law. if a company should fail and not be able to pay its pensions there is a government agency that insures them and will replace the money stream such that hte pensioners still get most of their benefit.

now, they can sell (techinically its not selling though...) them to a management company, such that that other company now takes the risk. legally, the original company is still"honoring" it. but its now handled by this other company. and if THAT company fails....the law empowering the government agency doesnt kick in, and THEN pensioners can lose their pension. which is a problem with that law (that it doesnt cover "pension management companies").

but the statement as written is a bit simplistic and disengenouus

Re:Stupid comment... (2)

hedwards (940851) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661771)

When that happens, the pensioners generally get a small portion of what they were promised, and there are few, if any, consequences for not properly funding the pension plan. Now, if there's fraud involved, the people committing it might end up in a minimum security prison, but the people who were supposed to get the pension are out of luck.

Suggesting that the protections in place are sufficient to guarantee that the obligations are met, is disingenuous as the amount the government pays out after taking over the fund is generally substantially less than what the people getting the pensions were promised.

Re: Stupid comment... (1)

A Pressbutton (252219) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662459)

actually, in the UK, the pensions regulator has very extensive powers to do just about anything that protects the pension fund. this includes preventing mergers, going after foreign parent companies after they have sold the subsidiary, and the directors. sounds draconian but it is there to protect your 80 yo grannies pension - otherwise you would have to look after her

Re:Stupid comment... (2)

hrvatska (790627) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662133)

Private pension plans have reached a record level of underfunding. As reported here [] , companies in Standard & Poor’s 500 collectively reported that at the end of their most recent fiscal years, their pension plans had obligations of $1.68 trillion and assets of just $1.32 trillion. General Electric's pensions are underfunded by over $20 billion. AT&T, Boeing, Exxon Mobil, Ford Motor, I.B.M. and Lockheed Martin all have pension plans that are underfunded by over $10 billion. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which insures pensions, has a deficit of over $30 billion. The PBGC attributes its shortfall to its inability to charge private employers adequate premiums for insuring pensions. When a private pension plan goes bust there's no guarantee that workers will get anywhere near what they had been promised. The PBGC ensures a maximum of $45,000 a year in benefits for those who retired at 65, but considerably less for those who retired younger. The PBGC's maximum coverage for those who retire at 60 is $28,000. It's not too hard to find instances of retirees seeing their pensions falling by 50% when the company funding them goes bankrupt.

Re:Stupid comment... (1)

Teancum (67324) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662355)

They weren't really underfunded. The rules covering pension plans got screwed over in the 1980's when companies were allowed to co-mingle funds from pensions or be able to set unrealistically low minimum requirements and then take the excess. This turned into a corporate merger mania where a "leveraged buy out" became a common term where many companies were purchased explicitly so their pension funds could be taken and used to pay off any loans used to acquire the stock to buy the companies in the first place.

That pretty much emptied any of the larger pension funds. Furthermore, additional work rules and tweaks in tax laws (usually written to "soak the rich") made what was left of pension funds to be abandoned and encouraged companies to completely abandon them as an employee benefit.

Re:Stupid comment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44662241)

I call BullShit
United's Pension Debacle []

On Tuesday, when it received a federal bankruptcy court's permission to terminate its pension plans, United Airlines became the biggest pension defaulter in the history of corporate America. Analysts fear that Delta may also default, as well as other ailing airlines, followed by auto parts companies and perhaps even, in five years or so, the carmakers themselves.

When the court's decision is finalized, United will unload $6.6 billion of obligations onto the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the federal agency that insures corporate pensions. Some of the 134,000 employees and retirees of United will see little change in their retirement payouts because the government insures a big chunk of promised benefits - up to $45,614 this year for someone retiring at age 65. But for others, especially pilots, who typically accumulate six-figure pensions and must retire at age 60, the cuts will be draconian.

Re:Stupid comment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44662401)

OK, I read what you said, and its a lie. I've seen corporate owners take the company pension plan and use it to pay off company debts, then the owner sold the company. When he sold the company, he told the long time employees that the pension was gone. You have to understand that the company pension plan wasn't something that the company contributed to, it was taken as a deduction from employee wages. Some employees had 25+ years of service, and had put upwards of over $200,000 into the plan, and the owner took it and sold everything out from under them. Never faced jail. And the whole copyright thing is a lie too. It should never have been extended beyond one generation (20 years), software should never be allowed to be patented, and sales of patents should either be prohibited, or allowed with the provision that the length of the remaining copyright term is cut in half.

Re:Stupid comment... (1)

Seumas (6865) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662837)

How's that going for all those ENRON employees?

Re:Stupid comment... (1)

dk20 (914954) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661489)

Or contracts which forbid class action lawsuits and force "third party mediation". Didn't know you could "sign away" a right, but i guess if a corp wants that right removed you can...

Re:Stupid comment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44662237)

Welcome to life in the fascist shithole known as the USA.

Re:Stupid comment... (1)

Imrik (148191) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662811)

They sign a contract for two albums then the label refuses to release the second one until they sign a contract for more. Since they signed the contract they can't release their music any other way.

Re:Stupid comment... (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | 1 year,28 days | (#44660989)

we did, a while ago, when Lars Ulrich claimed that most young people who had ever heard a Metallica track had downloaded it from a bootleg site.

Re:Stupid comment... (1)

alen (225700) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661025)

because they don't have time to do everything and that is why they sign record company contracts. they are essentially outsourcing a lot of their work.

most businesses have net profit margins in the 5% to 10% range. just about what a record company contract gives you

Re:Stupid comment... (3, Interesting)

hedwards (940851) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661787)

Sort of, what you're failing to account for is that the contracts themselves are crooked and the labels don't generally release the sales figures without being sued. For example, the artist pays for the studio time and the record label gets paid for that again on the back end. The label also frequently gets to charge breakages of discs to the artist, and that includes cases where the case of MP3s was dropped when the movers were taking it out of the truck.

Re:Stupid comment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44662765)

I can't quite tell whether "case of MP3s" is supposed to say "case of CDs". Could you calibrate my sarcasm detector?

Re:Stupid comment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44662249)

You actually believe those walking jizz rags they call music executives play fair? My god, are you naive or what?

Lars Ulrich (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44661261)

(Rhetorical question ahead)
Why do we never hear what the artists, the ones who actually made the song or tune, have to say about this "infringements"?

Google "Lars Ulrich" and "copyright infringement"

Re:Stupid comment... (1)

chrismcb (983081) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661287)

In this particular case, because the artist is dead. In other cases, we have heard what the artists have to say. You also have to define "made" as more than just the "artist" is involved in making a song or tune.

Re:Stupid comment... (1)

Guru80 (1579277) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661413)

Easy, the artists are indebted to those that are no better than mafia in less stylish suits. They have a history of signing musicians that see riches but get pennies and no rights to their songs. Their opinion is irrelevant in infringement matters.

Re:Stupid comment... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661583)

Because one time, Metallica did that [] . As a result, they lost a lot of fans. Now, you might say that Metallica never deserved fans in the first place, but ever since then, no band has wanted to risk it (whether they deserve their fans or not). So they let the RIAA take care of the problem, and say whatever makes their fans happy.

Re:Stupid comment... (5, Interesting)

sg_oneill (159032) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662265)

Artist checking in.

Pirate my music, its out there to be enjoyed so do it, just don't sell it without asking me first, and please don't make copies of my shirts (The stuff that actually DOES put food on my table).

Re:Stupid comment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44663047)

Why do we never hear what the artists, the ones who actually made the song or tune, have to say about this "infringements"?

Copyright rewards those who copy lots (that is, the distributors), not those who create. The distributors get the money and they are the ones who care. Most artists get squat and don't have much reason to care. In fact, the extra exposure might even be good for them.

pay damages? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44660903)

on the contrary. Those who post overly aggressive takedown notices should be jailed. No fines are needed.

My Book About Intellectual Property (4, Interesting)

conner_bw (120497) | 1 year,28 days | (#44660951)

The book is titled "Chef Ramsay's Replicator Wars" It's about how in the future wide spread use of food synthesizers turn meals into intellectual property and people share recipes online illegally to eat. In this future Monsanto genetically modified foods taking over all the crops were, in fact, preemptive copyright infringement claims.

In the future, criminal organizations poison online food banks with bad data. Many people fear getting food from ill-reputable sources.

In the future, everyone speaks in motivational English, a sort of ambiguous coaching and slogan infested sales gibberish. The book is narrated from the past so as to not read totally crazy all the time.

In the future, people are intelligent . They simply no longer reason using language. Words are too slow and have become some sort of status symbol, or like song. Actual discourse occurs by aggregating a collection of media into themes and asking someone to download your "curation;" which if accepted is a near instantaneous dump of ideas into your mindspace. This suggests that, even if an argument isn't coherent, 100 arguments, some yours, some others, some verbal, some not, curated together into a single theme and instantly dumped on demand, gets a point across faster. People no longer care about word efficacy, rather coolness factor or Likes.

In the future, everyone is on Segways because computers got smaller but not microscopic. The Segway is actually a sleek compact design for a thousand of today's server farms. The Segway acts as a personal Googleplex to interface with all the features of life 3000 (Segways in the future are actually Google Glass that got bigger) Hence their slogan: A Segway for your face.

In the future, there is the serious problem of "exposure" where a criminal asks you to accept a discourse then, instead, dumps corrupted memories of executions, murders, and sexual abuse into your mind space. This is a serious crime. If not contained it causes widespread psychological problems and degenerates society as a whole. This is why individuals connect to their own personal Googleplexes instead of sharing a centralized one.

Re:My Book About Intellectual Property (1)

sowth (748135) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662209)

Off topic? I don't know. I think the poster's genius just went over the moderator's head. this beat... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44660959)

I had Warner Media try to takedown a video that was a conference/lecture at Duke on Fair Use by an artist that had been sued by U2; all because it contained a song that was at the center of the dispute, which was what that section of the lecture was about. I have rarely had as much fun as handing them their ass simply by pointing out that it was a *lecture*........about Fair Use..... in regards to *that* song. They never tried again. this beat... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661589)

I have rarely had as much fun as handing them their ass simply by pointing out

FYI, 'pointing out' rarely counts as 'handing someone their ass.' this beat... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44662035)

Take everything literally, do ya? this beat... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662095)

To 'hand someone their ass' you've at least got to make them feel bad in some way. In that case, they basically ignored you. this beat... (2)

stox (131684) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662075)

Would that happen to be Negativland? If so, one of the greatest examples of parody and fair use, ever. this beat... (1)

jrumney (197329) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662129)

If it's Negativland you're talking about, didn't they already settle that out of court, and allow them to use the song? I recall it being available for download from their website some years ago. this beat... (2)

Raenex (947668) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662983)

Unless you got damages, big fucking deal. After being hassled, you were just allowed to do what you should have been able to do in the first place.

tldr (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44660973)

Lawrence Lessig laments Liberation's 'Lisztomania' limitations. Litigation likely.

Re:tldr (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662639)

Lawrence Lessig laments Liberation's 'Lisztomania' limitations. Litigation likely.



Re:tldr (0)

Seumas (6865) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662849)

Alliteration is a tool of the truly stupid.

Re:tldr (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662949)

Oh, lighten up.

Unfortunate for the artist as well... (2)

Jahoda (2715225) | 1 year,28 days | (#44660975)

I obviously can't speak for the band Phoenix, but I enjoy their music and based on my personal interpretation of the "spirit" of their work, I find it hard to believe they would have ever endorsed this action. Of course they themselves didn't, it was certainly yet another of these industry lawyers at the ironically-named "Liberation Music" who is responsible. I'm only saying this because I imagine it has to be terribly frustrating for a group of musicians to potentially have their reputation and name damaged because of such a ridiculous abuse of the DMCA.

I ANAL !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44660983)

Is with what Lessig really should lead EVERYTHING !!

Re:I ANAL !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44661199)

Get here you did when, Yoda?

My take on where we are so far (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44660995)

When a li'l old professor made fair use of a small clip of a band's music, maybe giving them free PR in the process, the band's label turned into Big, Bad Bullies and slapped a Big, Legalistic Testosterone-Fueled DMCA Notice to said professor.

Well. It so happens, that the l'il old professor is an expert in Internet Copyright Law at Harvard Law School. And according to his complaint:

17. Professor Lessig has been named one of Scientific American's Top 50 Visionaries

So, said professor turned into a Big, Bad Bully and slapped a Big, Legalistic Testosterone-Fueled Civil Complaint Seeking Damages against the band's record label.

Remember... we're the good guys here!

Re:My take on where we are so far (5, Insightful)

dmbasso (1052166) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661173)

So, said professor turned into a Big, Bad Bully

Wrong. Standing up against a bully doesn't turn you into one.

Re:My take on where we are so far (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44662391)

It doesn't have to turn you into a bully, but it can. There was a very special Family Guy episode on the subject..

(Tongue in cheek.)

Re:My take on where we are so far (1)

richlv (778496) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662475)

So, said professor turned into a Big, Bad Bull

Yes it does. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44663095)

It sure isn't turning the other cheek.

Re:My take on where we are so far (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661371)

Hmmm. I dunno. "Testosterone-Fueled"... Isn't rabidly protecting your babies from even minor harm more likely to be an "Estrogen-Fueled" thing? I mean, if we're going to be sexist assholes let's at least apply labels realistically.

Fair use "exemptions" (0)

abigsmurf (919188) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661041)

I'm not as convinced his case is as strong as he's making out.

As it's not clear how long the clip was or how it was used (was it the subject of the lecture? was it background music? Was it intro music?) we're probably missing the most important facts. Fair use doesn't mean you get free backing or intro music, for it to be fair use, there has to be original content involving that song.

The non-profit / no loss to the record label doesn't seem relevant. That could protect you against damages or criminal prosecution but not against a takedown. It would also be trivial to argue that even if he didn't make any money from the lecture and putting it on youtube, it serves as a valuable bit of self promotion that could help him make money. The educational aspect is another dead end avenue, all the record label would have to show is that they've licensed out their music to educational material in the past.

Ultimately, it's just going to come down to the length of the clips and/or if they're used properly which is something we can't tell.

Re:Fair use "exemptions" (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44661245)

from the fine article:

According to the complaint, Lessig showed clips of different groups of amateurs dancing to the song in Brazil, Israel, Brooklyn, Latvia, and Kenya. His point was such spontaneous outbreaks of online culture are "the latest in the time-honored 'call and response' tradition of communication."

So, he had video clips of people dancing to underscore the point of the presentation. People dancing in random parts of the world is the original content, and material (hell, the point) to his presentation. The non-profit/no-loss part is COMPLETELY relevant, as it is two of the four tests used in determining if something is fair use:

The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
The nature of the copyrighted work
The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work

--United States Copyright Office []

finally, you could just watch the presentation and judge for yourself. []

Re:Fair use "exemptions" (5, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661571)

The non-profit/no-loss part is COMPLETELY relevant, as it is two of the four tests used in determining if something is fair use:

Yeah, but that's only one component of the case here. The video can get reinstated fairly simply under fair use provisions, but Lessig will have to prove the rightsholder sent the DMCA takedown in bad faith to win damages.

The DMCA makes illegal the process of knowingly abusing the takedown notices. The 3rd party must oblige the DMCA notice and take the vid down, then a counter notice by the alleged infringer saying they want the video back online can cause and reinstatement of the video by a 3rd party who is no longer culpable for the alleged infringement being that they complied with the DMCA. At that point the alleged infringer has taken responsibility for the content.

I want Copyright abolished, but this is actually a part of the DMCA that I like -- It gives you a warning instead of a lawsuit right out of the gate, and a chance to not re-instate the video. My issue, and it seems Lessig's issue, is that these takedown notices are being sent apparently without review of the alleged infringing content -- Any fool copyright holder would realize a presentation about copyright law shouldn't be DMCA'd, that's asinine. I mean, sure it might be found infringing because fair use is so fuzzy, but it's dumb even from a PR nightmare standpoint...

Additionally, the 3rd party often times provides no means for the alleged infringer to reinstate the video, thus the 3rd party often complies with only part of the DMCA takedown procedure, omitting the reinstatement procedure, and given their TOS they can refuse to display content at their discretion. IMO, that may weakly classify as a form of editorial oversight of the content -- Videos sent takedowns staydown... Were I a judge I would strip Safe Harbor protections from such entities that don't treat both sides of the DMCA dispute equally by implementing the full process of takedown and restoration.

Note: It's been a long time since I had a DMCA takedown of a Youtube video, so I'm not sure if Google now has some facility in place to get the vids back online or not, but such didn't used to exist...

It's a hard case to make that the DMCA takedowns were intentionally abusive or in bad faith. I would say that those rights holders that use automated detection and filing of DMCA takedown requests MUST know the possibility exists that such notices can affect Fair Uses. That means it's known in advance that some DMCA takedowns are going to be fraudulent. That means violation of the DMCA.

As long as all the DMCA takedowns are against infringing users no one can make the case that the system is being used unfairly (no harm = no foul). However, once the takedowns sent with little or no human review DO affect Fair Use then said user can bring a case of DMCA abuse against the rights holder.

Of course, I'm just speculating on Lessig's probable case. The main point is that it's a hard case to make because the rights holder filing DMCA takedown notices can say, "Well, I didn't know for absolute sure the notices were fraudulent." IMO, there's no way they could not have known some would be fraudulent, and here is the fraudulent DCMA use they knew might happen, and did. It will be up to the courts to decide. Such erroneous takedowns have occurred many times; I'm just glad someone is actually taking a stand against them at all. I couldn't have picked a better guy for the fight than Lessig.

Re:Fair use "exemptions" (1)

Teancum (67324) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661899)

The largest problem I've ever had on YouTube is having the commercials and banner ads stripped off of a video because I didn't include proper links to where I obtained licensing for supposed copyrighted content. Basically I had to cite everything or clearly claim that all of the content I was producing was original. By making those citations (including noting what software I used to create the video), YouTube didn't have a problem and accepted my videos.

Yeah, YouTube does have the system to put things back up in a copyright dispute, although I am going to treasure Lessig's reply as precisely what should be sent in response if I feel I have not violated copyright. I'm usually very careful about copyright infringement and prefer music and other content that is available under an open source license of some sort. I'm glad that YouTube makes you go through the hoops on stuff like that, as it really does make my videos a little more professional as well. Besides, the guys who stuff I'm using in this manner deserve credit for the effort they made that I reused... and I'm very careful about making sure I'm using a license that permits commercial reuse as well.

Re:Fair use "exemptions" (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44662023)

Everything related to DMCA is done in bad faith.

Hanlon's razor (1)

epine (68316) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662411)

Wow, that was a tortured vortex. I was losing track of which puppet hand had grabbed the microphone, or if it was just one especially wishy-washy devil's advocate.

If the bar is bad faith, we've got a problem, commonly known as Hanlon's razor:

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

The party being sued just needs to slit their own throat with Hanlon's razor (duh I'm stoopid) and your case melts away. Unless it takes confessing to a level of stupidity sufficient to get the other party's lawyer disbarred. Then things get interesting.

However, I don't think Hanlon's razor properly belongs in the court room in the first place, where it would more likely be the other way around: never attribute to stupidity, faulty memory, or the dog eating your homework what can adequately be explained by malice, tactical dithering, and premeditation. The line between culpability and incompetence in the courtroom is more gerrymandered than FLA. 5.

Imbalance of Power []

By comparison, the dividing line between pornography and naked flesh seemed so obvious that some judge muttered to himself absent-mindedly "I know it when I see it". I suspect that same judge would give his right arm to be able to reliably discern when the defendant protests too much about his own imbecility.

It's an extremely tricky business to write laws which boil down to where having a clue self-incriminates. It's pretty easy to flush clue down the toilet for the duration.

In my opinion, a standard of abuse needs to be set such that ignorance of the law is no excuse, reducing the scope of honest error to where the nuance of the law itself is hark to grok as applied to the relevant circumstance.

Wikipedia informs me of N.C. 12 that `The Wall Street Journal called the district "political pornography."` Note that Democrats holding a huge majority in one seat benefits the Republicans in every other seat they win by a narrow margin.

But your honour, my hand slipped!

Do have medical records to show that you've sought treatment for this dangerous condition?

Uh, no. It only happened just that once.

Fascinating. I've heard that three times already this morning. What I have here (pulls out Hanlon's razor) is a very sharp and heavy blade which you shall hold above your own head for ten minutes. If it slips out of your fingers during that interval, you will receive my sincere apology and a favourable verdict to go along with your stitches.

Re:Fair use "exemptions" (1)

Alef (605149) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662807)

Of course, I'm just speculating on Lessig's probable case. The main point is that it's a hard case to make because the rights holder filing DMCA takedown notices can say, "Well, I didn't know for absolute sure the notices were fraudulent."

It seems that is going to be one freaking hard claim for them to make, given that they went on and threatened to sue Lessig after they got his counter-notice. From TFA:

The fact pattern is different [from an earlier dispute involving the EFF]: Universal immediately backed down over the Lenz video, but still got slapped with an EFF lawsuit. Liberation, by contrast, threatened Lessig with a suit even after getting his counter-notice, which convinced him to keep his video offline until he was prepared to go to court.

Re:Fair use "exemptions" (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662669)

And? Just because it's non-profit, that doesn't mean it doesn't diminish the value or market.

"Why should I pay a sum to licence some music when there are a bunch of other videos using it for free".

Re:Fair use "exemptions" (1)

chrismcb (983081) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661311)

As it's not clear how long the clip was

Fair Use doesn't specify what percentage is ok. In some cases 100% of the original can still be fair use.

or how it was used


... and snippets of that song featured prominently in Lessig's lecture. According to the complaint, Lessig showed clips of different groups of amateurs dancing to the song in Brazil, Israel, Brooklyn, Latvia, and Kenya.

Looks like it was pretty clear how it was used.

Re:Fair use "exemptions" (1)

Teancum (67324) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661921)

Fair Use doesn't specify what percentage is ok. In some cases 100% of the original can still be fair use.

The situations that permit 100% content reuse are pretty narrow and typically fall under either personal fair use (it is legal to make personal copies of something you own as long as you don't give it to somebody else) or educational (such as a teacher making a hand-out in a classroom or showing a video to the class). These applications also have all kinds of weird exceptions to exceptions and is a minefield to walk through if you aren't careful. A great many times I've seen assertions of fair-use privileges claimed on YouTube and on web pages that simply don't even remotely apply.

Wikipedia used to be awful in some situations until some of the more clueful editors started to crack down on the situation and narrow the scope of permitted fair use considerably. I think they've gone too far in that regard in reaction to the previous loose standards, but that is another fight elsewhere. Most of the time when you see somebody who has copied something 100%, either they have an explicit license to make that copy or they are ignorant (perhaps willfully ignorant) of the laws involved.

Re: Fair use "exemptions" (3, Informative)

Niris (1443675) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661329)

I actually have seen a lecture of his from when he released Free Culture back in 06 I believe? I was in high school and went to see him give a speech at a museum. He used a lot of music for his presentation, but every bit of it was a clip to demonstrate a point and served a solid purpose to his discussion.

Re:Fair use "exemptions" (4, Interesting)

Teancum (67324) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661843)

IAs it's not clear how long the clip was or how it was used (was it the subject of the lecture? was it background music? Was it intro music?) we're probably missing the most important facts. Fair use doesn't mean you get free backing or intro music, for it to be fair use, there has to be original content involving that song.

You ought to read the actual complaint. Lessig went over every single one of your points in detail, including how it was used, how long it was used, and went point by point over the Fair Use Doctrine about why his use of the clips were very clearly fair-use.

He even went further to state that Liberation Music has lawyers who are well versed in copyright law and practice that particular specialty of law on a full time basis, thus they should also be well versed in the fair-use doctrine in particular (or be made fools in front of a judge for their decided lack of knowledge in regards to that topic). Essentially, he wants to teach these guys an expensive lesson in copyright law and have a judge be the lecturer.

I would say every single complaint you have made here is based off of your own ignorance, not anything that Mr. Lessig failed to provide. Frankly, these guys stepped into the wrong bear trap here and went after the wrong person. For crying out loud, Lawrence Lessig has argued copyright cases before the effing U.S. Supreme Court. I'd say he knows what the hell he is talking about. He certainly would be willing to meet in person members of that court again and knows how to get a case there if necessary.

The best thing that Liberation Music could do right now is to simply drop the stick and back away real slowly..... with a million dollar donation to the EFF if they would be so kind. Otherwise, they are royally screwed and clueless as it sounds.

I'm confused (1, Informative)

Tastecicles (1153671) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661049)

Fair Use is pretty well defined, in a nutshell you can use 30 consecutive seconds of audio before it becomes an infringement, or the entire track in the case of a narrative or analysis of the track. Clips? This is where it gets interesting; if I use multiple fades and play a track through, am I infringing? I would say not, others might disagree.

On the other hand, I've used a track with no fades, from the first bar to the last, as a theme for a Youtube video. UMG put in a DMCA complaint, my response was that as far as I was concerned, the only person who had any right to complain if he felt the need was Scott Stapp, the individual who wrote the song. I contacted Scott Stapp through his agent, he wrote back himself and pretty much said "I've seen the video, I like it, you go for it."

Big label publishers can go fuck themselves. I'll engage with the artist, not the museum.

Oh, little tip for anyone wanting to use an instrumental background: The KLF back catalogue is all Public Domain, has been since 1993. Some great stuff in there, and you can use any DMCA notices that come as a result to lay harassment charges against the labels.

Re:I'm confused (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661121)

Got a citation for KLF back catalogue being Public Domain?

Re:I'm confused (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661189)

It wasn't put in public domain, it was deleted. I.E. taken out of print. Big difference.

People copy the hell out of KLF music and I don't think that Bill Drummond cares, though, which might be the reason someone is think it is in the public domain.

Re:I'm confused (2)

niftydude (1745144) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661209)

3rd paragraph of the wikipedia article [] . Note that deletion has a specific meaning in the music industry. Their stuff is definitely public domain in the UK, but I think the issue is more complex for the US.

Re:I'm confused (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661217)

ok.. thanks for that. I always thought deletion was simply not selling it anymore.

Re:I'm confused (1)

rHBa (976986) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661297)

I can't find a citation either but it wouldn't surprise me [] :

Initially The KLF's earnings were to be distributed by way of a fund for struggling artists managed by the K Foundation, Drummond and Cauty's new post-KLF art project, but, said Drummond, "We realised that struggling artists are meant to struggle, that's the whole point."[11] Instead the duo decided to create art with the money.

Re:I'm confused (2)

Tastecicles (1153671) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661415) []

there's a video somewhere as well which expands on the press statement as read on stage by Drummond, I think it's on the full uncut version of "Fuck The Millennium" under the name "Blacksmoke" (runs around 20 minutes and is mostly extremely caustic jazz)

Re:I'm confused (5, Informative)

Frobnicator (565869) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661159)

Fair Use is pretty well defined, in a nutshell you can use 30 consecutive seconds of audio before it becomes an infringement, or the entire track in the case of a narrative... if I use multiple fades and ...


We're talking US law, right?

Fair Use is covered by Title 17 of the U.S.Code, section 107: "Limitations on Exclusive Rights: Fair Use". [] Note that the law does not talk about 30 consecutive seconds of one type of clip or entire lengths for other types of tracks. You are confusing details from a mish-mash cases with the actual law.

Fortunately Lessig is a lawyer, and knows the details of copyright law better than most anyone.

Re:I'm confused (4, Informative)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661177)

Where does this come from and why can't it ever be debunked once and for all?

When I was studying broadcast, one of the first things they teach when talking about copyright is that fair use is more complex than you can "use 30 seconds of this" or "300 words of that." It's another tricky legal concept defined by "we know it when we see it."

The "300 words" misconception is mentioned directly on the Fair Use wikipedia article: []

And here is a good article about the non-existent 30-second rule (which probably comes directly from someone morphing the 300 words rule) []

Re:I'm confused (4, Informative)

mysidia (191772) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661663)

Where does this come from and why can't it ever be debunked once and for all?

I would call it a Meta Rule. A rule that is not what copyright says; but was proposed once as a guideline, and took on a life of its own through the power of word of mouth -- with various institutions codifying it. With various degrees of strictness --- if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time and use 31 seconds of a media recording; I suppose you might get expelled from some school, because you're over the limit.


Halldavidson: This copyright chart form was designed to inform teachers what tehy may do under the law []

Music: Up to 10% of a copyrighted musical composition may be reproduced, performed and displayed as part of a multimedia program produced by an educator or student for educational purposes. ---- Authorities site a maximum length of 30 seconds. See notes by congressman below.

Temple University: College of Liberal Arts: Fair Use Policy [] :
Educators May use their projects for teaching, for a period of up to two years after the first instructional use with a class. ....
Music, Lyrics, and Music Video Up to 10% but no more than 30 seconds from any single musical work Any alterations shall not change the basic melody or fundamental character of the work. .... Motion Media Up to 10% or 3 minutes, whichever is less

WILEY: Permission requirements [] .... . A single quotation or several shorter quotes from a full-length book, more than 300 words in toto. ..... A single quotation of more than 50 words from a newspaper, magazine, or journal. .... Material which includes all or part of a poem or song lyric (even as little as one line), or the title of a song. ...

The Law of Fair use and the Illusion of Fair use Guidelines []

Pikes Peak Community College: Copyright Portion Limits; Rules of the road [] : Music, lyrics, music video - Up to 10%, but no more than 30 seconds Arlington Independent School District: Copyright: Portion Limitations []
CCSJ: Copyright Fair Use: 'Allowable portion for fair use' []
Public Schools of North Carolina: Copyright in an Electronic environment [] :

Up to 10% of a body of sound recording, but no more than 30 seconds

St. Olaf College: Copyright guidelines []

Music, lyrics, music video: up to 10% but in no event more than 30 seconds of an individual work

MolStead Library; North Idaho College [] The amount of work to be copied is based on the “portion limit” set for that “medium.” [....] In general, you should never use more than 30 seconds or 10 percent of a piece of recorded music. Ball State University, guidelines for educational media [] :

4.2.3: Music, Lyrics and Music Video : Up to 10%, but in no event more than 30 seconds, of the music and lyrics from an individual work. No alteration(s) of the music and/or lyrics are allowed.

Middlesex Community college []
Westminster College [] :
Single copy of up to 10% of a musical composition in print, sound, or multimedia form may be performed and displayed as part of an educator or student multimedia program... Some authorities limit use to a maximum of 30 seconds.
University of Maryland University College [] : Consistent with BOR Policy IV-3.20, the UMUC Library has developed guidelines for the use of copyrighted materials...... [...] Music, lyrics, and music video: Up to 10 percent of the work but no more than 30 seconds of the music or lyrics from an individual musical work.

University of Texas copyright limitations [] :

Educators may use their educational multimedia projects created for educational purposes under Section 2 of these guidelines for teaching courses, for a period of up to two years after the first instructional use with a class. Use beyond that time period, even for educational purposes, requires permission for each copyrighted portion incorporated in the production. Students may use their educational multimedia projects as noted in Section 3.1.

Up to 10%, but in no event more than 30 seconds, of the music and lyrics from an individual musical work (or in the aggregate of extracts from an individual work), whether the musical work is embodied in copies, or audio or audiovisual works, may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as a part of a multimedia project created under Section 2. Any alterations to a musical work shall not change the basic melody or the fundamental character of the work.


4.2 Portion Limitations
Portion limitations mean the amount of a copyrighted work that can reasonably be used in educational multimedia projects under these guidelines regardless of the original medium from which the copyrighted works are taken. In the aggregate means the total amount of copyrighted material from a single copyrighted work that is permitted to be used in an educational multimedia project without permission under these guidelines. These limitations apply cumulatively to each educator’s or student’s multimedia project(s) for the same academic semester, cycle or term. All students should be instructed about the reasons for copyright protection and the need to follow these guidelines. It is understood, however, that students in kindergarten through grade six may not be able to adhere rigidly to the portion limitations in this section in their independent development of educational multimedia projects. In any event, each such project retained under Sections 3.1 and 4.3 should comply with the portion limitations in this section.

4.2.1 Motion Media Up to 10% or 3 minutes, whichever is less, in the aggregate of a copyrighted motion media work....

4.2.2 Text Material Up to 10% or 1000 words, whichever is less, in the aggregate of a copyrighted work consisting of text material may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of an educational multimedia project created under Section 2 of these guidelines. An entire poem of less than 250 words may be used, but no more than three poems by one poet, or five poems by different poets from any anthology may be used. For poems of greater length, 250 words may be used but no more than three excerpts by a poet, or five excerpts by different poets from a single anthology may be used.

4.2.3 Music, Lyrics, and Music Video Up to 10%, but in no event more than 30 seconds, of the music and lyrics from an individual musical work

4.2.4 Illustrations and Photographs The reproduction or incorporation of photographs and illustrations is more difficult to define with regard to fair use because fair use usually precludes the use of an entire work. Under these guidelines a photograph or illustration may be used in its entirety but no more than 5 images by an artist or photographer may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of an educational multimedia project created under Section 2. When using photographs and illustrations from a published collective work, not more than 10% or 15 images, whichever is less, may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of an educational multimedia project created under Section 2.

4.2.5 Numerical Data Sets Up to 10% or 2500 fields or cell entries, whichever is less, from a copyrighted database or data table may be reproduced or otherwise incorporated as part of an educational multimedia project created under Section 2 of these guidelines. A field entry is defined as a specific item of information, such as a name or Social Security number, in a record of a database file. A cell entry is defined as the intersection where a row and a column meet on a spreadsheet

4.3 Copying and Distribution Limitations Only a limited number of copies, including the original, may be made of an educator’s educational multimedia project. For all of the uses permitted by Section 3, there may be no more that two use copies only one of which may be placed on reserve as described in Section 3.2.3. An additional copy may be made for preservation purposes but may only be used or copied to replace a use copy that has been lost, stolen, or damaged. In the case of a jointly created educational multimedia project, each principal creator may retain one copy but only for the purposes described in Sections 3.3 and 3.4 for educators and in Section 3.1 for students.

Re:I'm confused (1)

Teancum (67324) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661957)

The 30 second rule is based upon some case law (numerous cases here) that have basically said that 30 seconds or 10% of a work clearly is on the righteous side of fair-use. In other words, if you are using about that amount of material, you are clearly doing something legal and any lawyer claiming otherwise should have their head smacked real hard by a judge and be told to sit in a corner to shut up. Ditto for the 300 word rule used for printed works.

It says nothing about the 31 second penalty that you are claiming here. It just means you are moving into grey areas where you need to be much more careful about what could be considered copyright infringement. Obviously there are people without a clue in regards to copyright law in the form of school administrators or other kinds of people that get bent out of shape when one of their employees, faculty, or even students tries to push the boundaries a little bit. No intelligent lawyer would dare claim that a 31 second clip where that extra second actually conveys some important information (thus why it still needs to be included) is in violation of copyright just because it is 31 seconds long and not 30.

Unfortunately school administrators and sometimes bosses can be anal and do all sorts of nasty things to you like get you fired or otherwise be jerks "because my lawyers said this is the law, thus it is". If these organizations have a no exception policy, they are just being stupid about this idea too.

Re:I'm confused (1)

Kjella (173770) | 1 year,28 days | (#44663085)

No intelligent lawyer would dare claim that a 31 second clip where that extra second actually conveys some important information (thus why it still needs to be included) is in violation of copyright just because it is 31 seconds long and not 30.

But if 31 seconds is fair use, surely a 32 second clip is too as one second can hardly make a difference. Then someone makes a 33 second clip because hey, when all these 32 second clips are fair use... and so it goes. It's hard to say which little step crosses the invisible boundary from fair to non-fair use, but if "the amount and substantiality of the portion taken" is the deciding factor in the four factor test then one of those steps will be one step too far. And you won't actually know until you've gone too far, been taken to court and lost. Any reasonable lawyer must then say "I can't with certainty say whether this is legal or not" and then as an administrator I wouldn't want to take responsibility for a policy of questionable legality nor let my employees carry them out. The institution will be at trial here, not the employee.

Re:I'm confused (1)

mysidia (191772) | 1 year,28 days | (#44663091)

The 30 second rule is based upon some case law (numerous cases here) that have basically said that 30 seconds or 10% of a work clearly is on the righteous side of fair-use.

Nonetheless... a 20 second clip can fail to be fair use -- due to what it contains and its use; meanwhile, a 90 second clip for the right purpose can be fair use.

Re:I'm confused (1)

mendax (114116) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662413)

Keep in mind that the rules of thumb used in the Wikipedia and elsewhere as examples of the boundary that should not be crossed when using copyrighted material according to "fair use" are conservative. The theory is that if you use these rules you're highly unlikely to be sued (except by copyright trolls who ought to be hunted down and disemboweled alive by real trolls). An author can probably get away with using more. ANY use of copyrighted material runs the risk of an infringement lawsuit. But then producing and published ANYTHING runs that risk. How many performers and/or song writers been sued stealing bits of others songs because they seem familiar?

Oh boy! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44661059)

Oh boy! I can't wait for Lessig to lose this case too [] , thereby setting a precedent that even further increases copyright holder's powers over "their" works!

Re:Oh boy! (1)

Teancum (67324) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661967)

Try to read the dissenting opinions in that case too. They are pretty powerful stuff, and with the kind of split decision made by SCOTUS, it definitely opens an opportunity for the concept to be revisited and the decision overturned in a future case. I'd call that something huge, even if it is just a modest victory after a fashion.

I'd also say that if Lessig ends up back in the Supreme Court, particular on this issue, he will be much better prepared and just nail the case. I seriously doubt he will even get that far as I think a federal judge is going to be doing a major smack down in this situation.

Limited Vs Perpetual (1)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662047)

I cannot believe that the law didn't say something to the effect, limited in nature and not to exceed "X" amount of years. The non-dissenters argued that as long as the copyrights werent perpetual then that wasnt a problem. What the heck does perpetual even mean? As long as it's not "forever"? That is, as one dissenter stated, virtual perpetual extensions.

Re:Limited Vs Perpetual (1)

Teancum (67324) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662115)

The problem wasn't the law, as the law itself was the thing being challenged in Eldred v. Ashcroft. The law was very specific with regards to how many years would pass before copyright was expired.

Also note the constitutional restriction on the laws, and what authority Congress had to pass the law:

The Congress shall have Power To:

To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

-- Article I, Section 8, Paragraph 8

Unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court essentially ruled that meant Congress could essentially make that limited time the heat death of the universe minus one day and would still therefore be "limited". It would eventually pass into the public domain, therefore this part of the constitution would be satisfied.

Yeah, it is stupid. Even worse, and the part of this case that really mattered, was the retroactive nature of the legislation that made things which would have expired and passed into the public domain to suddenly have the newer and longer copyright terms apply. Funny thing about that is this section of the Constitution:

No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

- Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 3

The Supreme Court in this situation basically said that ex post facto laws can indeed be passed... as long as it covers copyrighted content.

The whole opinion turns my stomach. At least a couple of the judges saw there was a serious problem here. To solve this situation will take getting Congress to see that this situation is stupid, but they don't seem to care about the Constitution either.

If Lawrence Lessig is known as a failure on this case, it is a pretty epic failure and I think in the long run he will be on the righteous side of history. I certainly wouldn't complain if he was the representing counsel who lost Dred Scott v. Sandford, and I personally think SCOTUS did nearly the same kind of screw up as that case too, even if it was "just a copyright case".

Re:Limited Vs Perpetual (1)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662445)

"No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."

I dont see anywhere where it says , No bill... shale be passed... except when talking about Copyright. Did they just make that part up on a whim? I know that they have made up things in the past, like declaring that somehow there is a "separation of church and state" in the constitution where that phrase never is mentioned in any founding document. Not only did they have to go outside of the any of the founding documents to declare this clause part of the constitution but the intent behind the Danbury letter had a totally different context/meaning/circumstance that is well documented in history and they, (SCOTUS) chose to ignore/were ignorant of the facts.

Again, in the Ashcroft case, it looks like they just made up laws on the whim which is not their job anyway.

I hate that song (0)

ClassicASP (1791116) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661171)

Thats gotta be one of the most annoying tunes to have hit the airwaves in the last decade. What on earth was Lawrence thinking when he picked that one? Liberation Music should do humanity a favor takedown the rest of the videos on YouTube featuring that audio in the background.

Stepped on a landmine (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44661183)

Of all the youtube videos to hit they accidentally demanded the takedown of one of Lawrence Lessig's lectures!

There's definitely a good Bad luck Brian meme in there.

What's next? A tech conference organiser's decide to ditch paper lecture timetables in favour of timetable.exe blobs to be given to attendees on USB sticks on the very same year that Richard Stallman is invited to speak.

Re:Stepped on a landmine (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661355)

What's next?

For an encore they should spitball Chuck Norris in the back of the head at a steak house.

set a precedent (3, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | 1 year,28 days | (#44661229)

I do hope they manage to set a precedent with this case and pry open the door to a flood of such awards. even if they're small amounts, it'll at least fool me into believing that maybe the system sometimes works?

Get out the popcorn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44661239)

This is going to be fun to watch.

What an idiot... (1)

Bazman (4849) | 1 year,28 days | (#44662507)

He clearly forgot to add one of those notes on the YouTube video, like "All rights belong to their respectful owners" or the amazing "Under the copyright act of 1976, this video may stay up (if democracy still exists) as it is for DEMONSTRATION PURPOSES ONLY".

Just search for your favourite artist name + "full album" on YouTube for more gems.

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