Harvard Professor’s Online Lecture Prompts Fight With Record Company

A Harvard University law professor and an Australian record company are wrapped up in a court fight over the professor’s use of a French band’s hit single in a video that was part of an online lecture, The Boston Globe has reported.

The professor, Lawrence Lessig, used music from the band Phoenix’s 2009 song “Lisztomania” during a lecture that he recorded and posted on YouTube. The lecture described how people had used the song to create dance videos, putting them online and creating something of a phenomenon on the Web.

The Australian record company Liberation Music then threatened to sue Mr. Lessig, a scholar of Internet law and advocate for fewer copyright restrictions, over his use of the song.

Mr. Lessig, in turn, sued the record company last week in federal court, accusing it of abusing copyright laws and of singling him out even though his actions constituted fair use of the material. He teamed up with the Electronic Frontier Foundation in the lawsuit against the record company.

Return to Top