Universal Music might have to pay for pulling video of a dancing baby off YouTube

April 2010


U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel has ruled that Universal will have to pay damages to Stephanie Lenz for ordering YouTube to drop a 29-second video of her son dancing to the music of Universal artist Prince. Lenz still must prove her case before collecting anything, but this  appears to be the first answer to the question of how an apparently ill-brought takedown notice should be punished under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act.   The Electronic Frontier Foundation brought the action against Universal on behalf of Lenz in 2008, arguing that the music company’s lawyers should have taken a moment to consider whether Lenz had a fair-use right to post the clip before firing off a takedown notice to YouTube. YouTube removed the video, but restored it six weeks later when Lenz filed a counter notice.

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