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Fair Use, YouTube and Larry Lessig

Photo by iSummit global icons/FlickrThe future of fair use is threatened by bogus and even sometimes feckless demands for takedowns on digital content platforms like YouTube. Now, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is once again challenging a copyright holder's inappropriate demands, in an incident triggered by copyright lawyer Larry Lessig's work. Techdirt has the story

Lessig uploaded versions of a speech that included some copyrighted musical material to YouTube. The copyright owner demanded a takedown, and YouTube complied, as it must by law. But YouTube also gave Lessig the chance to explain whether his work was a legal use of copyrighted material under fair use, as it is also required to. Lessig responded that it was, and the owner, Liberation, still insists he is infringing, and forced him to retract his claim under threat of a lawsuit.

Now, Electronic Frontier Foundation is challenging Liberation's claim, and demanding repayment for lawyers' fees and damages, as the law also permits. No one, including EFF, has yet won such a claim, but many eyes are on this case. Winning damages could discourage bogus and feckless future claims.