Tomorrow the Federal Court of California
will be asked to decide whether a takedown notice issued by Universal Music in
respect of a home video
posted on You Tube is an abuse of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
“Let’s Go Crazy”, by Prince. In 2007, Universal Music claimed that
this particular dancing baby video (and there are many many dancing baby videos
on YouTube) infringed Universal’s rights in “Let’s Go Crazy”. Stephanie Lenz, the baby’s mother, responded saying
that the video was a fair use of the song. She asked for declaratory judgment
that her home video did not infringe any Universal copyright, and also claimed
damages and injunctive relief restraining Universal from bringing further
copyright claims in connection with the video. In 2008
the court held that copyright holders cannot order the removal of an online
file without first determining whether the posting reflects fair use of the
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF),
an organisation which seeks to protect online free speech, will represent
Stephanie Lenz in court tomorrow. It will ask the court to grant Lenz’s motion
for summary judgment and rule that Universal’s takedown was improper and an
abuse of the DCMA.
that “Parents are allowed to document and share moments of their
children’s lives on a forum like YouTube, and they shouldn’t have to worry if
those moments happen to include some background music.”
The pleadings and court orders so far can be
found on EFF’s website.