YouTube ‘Dancing Baby’ Copyright Ruling Sets Fair Use Guideline

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This is legitimate progress. Only took 8 years to figure this out.

(From The New York Times)

The suit, known as the “dancing baby” case, has become famous for its focus on the kind of Internet activity that millions of ordinary people engage in, posting candid videos of family and friends that may only incidentally include copyrighted media like songs. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group that represented Ms. Lenz in her lawsuit against Universal, called the judges’ decision a victory for Internet users.

“Today’s ruling sends a strong message that copyright law does not authorize thoughtless censorship of lawful speech,” Corynne McSherry, the foundation’s legal director, said in a statement.

A spokesman for the Recording Industry Association of America, Jonathan Lamy, said, “We respectfully disagree with the court’s conclusion about the D.M.C.A. and the burden the court places upon copyright holders before sending takedown notices,” referring to the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

In her suit, Ms. Lenz argued that her use of Prince’s music was protected by fair use, which allows the use of copyrighted material under certain conditions like commentary, criticism or news reporting.

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