The EFF on behalf of Lessig has argued that "use of the clips in question, particularly in the context of a public lecture about culture and the Internet, is permitted under the fair use doctrine and, therefore, does not infringe the defendant's copyright." The use of the copyrighted material by Lessig was minimal and for non-commercial purposes and was also transformative as the purpose was no longer entertainment but educational. The lecture video did not cause any market harm as it was "not a market substitute for a sound or video recording of the song 'Lisztomania' and the lecture did not harm any market for the song," according to the complaint.
Liberation Music did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Its automated reply to email states, among other things, that YouTube's Music Match service creates copyright claims automatically based on its copyright ownership. "Unless you're advertising a product or using our music for something we wouldn't reasonably agree to, this automated claim will not have any negative effect on your account !" It adds that if an automatic claim is disputed, it will cause removal of the video.
Lessig has asked the court for a declaration that the publication of the lecture video is protected under the fair use doctrine, and also asked for damages.