.

Phoenix 'Encourage a New Copyright Policy' in Open Letter

Group upset to learn that video of fair use lecture using their music was removed from YouTube

Phoenix
Courtesy Phoenix
February 28, 2014 5:55 PM ET

Phoenix have posted a detailed blog on their Tumblr explaining that they support and even encourage the "fair use" of samples of their music. In a 188-word essay written in dramatic, finely-serifed capital letters, the group first explained that they were upset to learn that a lecture by Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig had been excised from YouTube due to someone flagging it for copyright infringement on their behalf. The 49-minute lecture, entitled "Open" and officially back on YouTube, used part of their 2009 track "Lisztomania" synced with Ally Sheedy dancing in The Breakfast Club.

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"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," Phoenix wrote. "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 remediation is enormously liberating."

Moreover, the group credit the "ubiquity of Internet" with giving people a canvas for "appropriation" and "recontextualization" to experiment with. And they closed their open letter by asking lawmakers to rethink the laws that govern fair use for the modern day. "We can only encourage a new copyright policy that protects fair use as much as every creator's legitimate interests," the wrote.

Read their whole letter below in capital and lower-case lettering.

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 remediation 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 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 creator's legitimate interests.

Phoenix

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