Mum turns on Prince over YouTube takedown

August 2008

Internet, record labels

A mother who uploaded a video of her son dancing to a Prince track is taking the artist and his label to court over their efforts to have the video taken off YouTube. Stephanie Lenz of Pennsylvania made a video of her 13-month-old boy dancing to an almost inaudible song, and posted it on YouTube as thousands of parents do world wide. In the background “Let’s go Crazy” is the “barely distinguishable song” in the background – it is by Pirnce and the copyright is owned by Universal Music’s copyright and they issued a “take down notice”. YouTube initially took it down but Lenz fought back and he sent a letter to YouTube, demanding her video be reinstated. They in turn sent a letter to Universal Music, which represents Prince. Eventually YouTube posted the video back up because Universal Music never answered. And that’s where it would have ended, except Lenz decided to file a lawsuit against Universal Music with the legal help of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco. A federal judge in San Jose will hear arguments in a lawsuit filed by Lenz. She claims Universal Music misused the takedown notice, are abusing copyright law and that the use of the track is covered by ‘fair use’ provisions in the US.

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