A Court Win for Fair Use

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) comes good news regarding the fair use of copyrighted material, in the form of a decision in a lawsuit over a video of babies dancing to music:

Stephanie Lenz, who -- back in 2007 -- posted a 29-second video to YouTube of her children dancing in her kitchen. The Prince song "Let's Go Crazy" was playing on a stereo in the background of the short clip. Universal Music Group sent YouTube a notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), claiming that the family video infringed the copyright in Prince's song. EFF sued Universal on Lenz's behalf, arguing that Universal abused the DMCA by improperly targeting a lawful fair use.

Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that copyright holders like Universal must consider fair use before trying to remove content from the Internet. It also rejected Universal's claim that a victim of takedown abuse cannot vindicate her rights if she cannot show actual monetary loss.
Among the good ramifications of this decision noted by the EFF is that it should halt DCMA takedown abuse by politicians wishing to quash criticism employing media clips.

-- CAV

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