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Fair Use Fights Back

It all started in 2008 when Stephanie Lenz saw her baby dancing around to a song by Prince.  Like all moms, she thought this was the Most Pwecious Ting Evah, videoed it, and, to facilitate sharing it with her friends, uploaded it to YouTube.  At least it was only 29 seconds, I've sat through worse home videos.

Universal Music Group sent YouTube a takedown notice, citing the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.  YouTube took it down.  Six weeks later, the video was back up.  Lenz had filed a counternotice, and she was being repped by those fine upstanding citizens, the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  Their stance was simple -- in jumping the gun to take down the clip, Universal did not consider if Lenz had a Fair Use right to use the music in the clip.  The EFF is basically using Lenz's case to test the scope and damages that can be claimed for wrongfully hitting people with DMCA takedowns.  The DMCA is bad as it is, but the wording just encourages it to be abused.

The judge ruled that the EFF had a point.  They have to prove damages were incurred (the crux of Universal's defense), but this is significant in that the ruling establishes that the DMCA can be abused and if you do abuse it, you should pay somehow.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 28th, 2010 03:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you for bringing this to my attention...
Feb. 28th, 2010 06:55 pm (UTC)
Score one for common sense!
Feb. 28th, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC)
The Kings are a Canadian rock group from the 80's. They had one sort of hit (which my brother had the 45 of) called This Beat Goes On/Switchin' To Glide. They wrote and performed the song. They paid money from their own bank accounts to produce a music video to use as advertising for the song (that's what music videos are, advertising for the songs).

The Kings are still together and have their own YouTube channel (who doesn't?). They posted the video for their hit single on their channel, and YouTube was forced to take it down by WMG (Warner Music Group) because why? The number 1 answer is... because they own the song (although it was written and performed by the same people who posted the video that was also produced by them). This happened a little over a year ago. The Kings then posted a response video explaining the missing video and told their fans the are trying to get it sorted out. The video is still stripped from their channel siting copyright violation.

Damned DMCA.
Feb. 28th, 2010 09:53 pm (UTC)
I have The Kings two-fer CD with their first two albums....
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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