Appeals judges hear about Prince’s takedown of “Dancing Baby” YouTube vid

10 07 2015

A long-running copyright fight between the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Universal Music over fair use in the digital age was considered by an appeals court today, a full eight years after the lawsuit began.

EFF and its client Stephanie Lenz sued Universal Music Group back in 2007, saying that the music giant should have realized Lenz’s home video of her son Holden dancing to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” was clearly fair use. Under EFF’s view of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Universal should have to pay damages for a wrongful takedown.

If EFF wins the case, it could have repercussions for how copyright takedowns work online. The group is trying to make Universal pay up under 17 USC 512(f), the section of the DMCA that penalizes copyright owners for wrongful takedowns. Currently, victories under that statute are exceedingly rare and happen only in extreme circumstances.


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