Phoenix support fair use, Lawrence Lessig and a change in copyright laws

Phoenix support fair use, Lawrence Lessig and a change in copyright laws

Liberation Music have had to learn a lesson the hard way; never take on a Harvard law professor at his own game, especially not when the people you claim to be representing are on his side too.

The story begins when noted academic Lawrence Lessig used snippets of the French rock pop band Phoenix's 'Lisztomania in a video lecture on fair use and copyrights entitled 'Open'. The video, which was posted to YouTube in 2010 eventually caught the attention of Liberation Music who distributed the LP from which the track comes, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, in Australia and New Zealand and they issued a take down request to YouTube and threatened to sue Lessig. Lessig responded in kind by suing the music publishing company for "misusing copyright law." The suits have no been settled, Liberation paid a fine and apologised and the video is back up on YouTube.

The people that it seems everyone forgot to ask about this whole thing though are Phoenix themselves. They however have now issued their own statement, via a Tumblr account and yes, they are very much in favor of people using their music for their own creative ends:

"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 sometimes but the contemporary experience of digital re-meditation 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."


If you are feeling very brainy you can also watch Professor Lessig's restored lecture below:

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