via ars technica:
Lawrence Lessig, the well-known legal scholar and copyright reform advocate who founded Creative Commons, was surprised to discover that Warner Music issued a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice against one of his presentations on YouTube.
Lessig, who is a leading expert on the legal principle of fair use and an outspoken critic of DMCA abuse, intends to fight the takedown notice. Warner Music just flunked out of common sense 101 and is about to get some unpleasant remedial schooling from the irate professor.
The growing volume of infringing content on YouTube has made it a major target for DMCA takedown notices. Unfortunately, the content producers that are flooding the site with takedowns are rarely taking adequate steps to ensure the validity of their claims and are indiscriminately targeting videos that fall within the boundaries of fair use.
Such DMCA abuses have been going on for several years and little has been done to address the problem. It's so far-reaching that even a high-profile presidential campaign was recently impacted by bogus takedowns that blatantly disregarded fair use rights.
In some cases, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and other organizations have stepped in and filed lawsuits against takedown abusers in an effort to protect fair use. Such efforts are time-consuming and often fraught with difficulty. It's pretty clear that the content companies aren't really getting the message, as their claims continue to descend into increasingly ludicrous territory.
Big content believes that it should be permissible to issue takedowns whenever it wants, regardless of whether the content is fair use, and that there should be no consequences or liability for doing so, even when the basis for the takedown is clearly bogus.
Lessig is strongly committed to educating the public, lawmakers, and the content industry about the importance of protecting fair use from DMCA abuses, so it seems likely that he will take advantage of Warner's mistake to raise awareness of the issue. The fact that the notice was issued at all serves as yet another reminder of how easily the barrage of poorly considered DMCA takedowns can hit innocent bystanders.
Hat tip to TechDirt for first noticing the tweets.