I am now under attack by Lord Finesse’s lawyers

Did Lord Finesse get permission to sample all the records in his back catalogue?

Yesterday I uploaded a video about the hypocrisy of Lord Finesse‘s lawsuit against Mac Miller. It was about copyright and the importance of sampling and remixing in our culture. I have spoken out many times about the way copyright law can be abused to restrict free speech. Today, this is precisely what has happened to me.

Earlier, I tried to log into YouTube, only to be faced with a warning message saying Lord Finesse’s lawyers have had my video criticising him taken down. My entire YouTube channel and 6 years worth of work are now under threat, because I made an informative critique about a piece of music, and used a section of that piece of music to illustrate it.

Lord Finesse himself has used unauthorised samples countless times; in fact the very piece in question contains a sample of jazz musician Oscar Peterson. For some reason Finesse thinks it’s fine for him to do that, but if anyone else uses a sample of his work, which itself uses a sample of someone else’s work, that is not allowed.

Mike Masnick of Techdirt has written the following article. I now have to decide what my next step is.


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8 Responses

  1. FirstAmendmentLover says:

    Well first, I say make more music about this garbage. Write a good song. Then, go through all his beats and songs, remix them, and pull little pieces of his lyrics out and stick them together so that it’s him rapping your words. Put a notice at the beginning that says what you did and why, then post it. Enjoy the interwebby celebritibby.

    Then, please please please file a lawsuit for abuse of the DMCA! This abuse happens all the time and you have a clear and obvious case of abuse. Go after the entire process. It might have been constitutional at the time it was enacted, but not now. A takedown should not happen until after a judicial determination. At the very least, there should be some kind of an adversarial process, even if it’s private. It shouldn’t be “censor first, ask questions later, sue if abuse occurred.” That’s a recipe for exactly what happened here: censorship of legitimate criticism.

  2. FirstAmendmentLover says:

    Also, could you repost the video or torrent it?

  3. Nils R Grotnes says:

    First. Never take legal advice from forum posters! Second. If you can, get a real lawyer’s opinion. Avoid getting burnt by starting with that, instead of waiting until the situation has been messed up sufficiently…

    Good luck!

  4. Sheng-ji says:

    Wow, that is so messed up. I like Lord Finesse, well, turns out I like his music but think that he is a prick suffering from small man syndrome. The worst thing is, that mac miller using his music would have bought more fans to his doorstep. The guy is so far removed from the spirit of hip hop it’s not even funny.

    Anyway, I hope you don’t take this too much to heart, I have received countless takedowns on youtube because of copyright violations. I hasten to add that I wasn’t guilty of any of them, I used music with permission and the companies claiming the violation were not anything to do with the music I used. Most of them are back up now, as Youtube do listen to channel owners too! You may be on dodgier ground though because you did use his sample – I mean I understand the context and why it was fair use, and it’s certainly worth going through the youtube appeal process but don’t pin your hopes on it!

    Looking forward to your next vid anyway, chin up!

  5. FirstAmendmentLover says:

    I agree that you shouldn’t take legal advice from Internet posters, even ones like me that are paralegals with lots of First Amendment experience. But there are plenty of good attorneys in the USA (like the EFF and the CDT) who would probably be willing to help if you decided to take on the DMCA takedown process. It would be a giant middle finger to the industry if you destroyed their favorite censorship toy after storming the charts and getting famous without them, and I am confident that the Interwebs would fund your fight if you rapped about it.

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  8. kissass says:

    hands of music bitch, clearly u dont know process, sampels used are firstly paid and agreed by law agreemwnt, atats in small print on every cover. …and now.. go to aid box, take out all possible medication, and… 1,2,3 ..its a challange! SWllow ALL, TAKE UR PHONE BATTRERY OUT..AND LAY 2 DIE. THANK U .

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