Future of fair use to be shaped by a dancing baby

The ‘Dancing Baby’ Lawsuit Will Shape Future of Fair Use http://tinyurl.com/27eue2xSat Oct 30 03:58:25 via NetNewsWire for iPad

Universal, which administers the copyrights to Prince’s songs, claims
that the “dancing baby” video violated copyright law because of the
Prince background music. [Stephanie] Lenz, after initially taking down the video,
later put it back up on YouTube and called the Electronic Frontier
Foundation
, a digital rights group, which promptly took her case pro
bono and filed a countersuit against Universal in a San Jose federal
court. Last week, lawyers from EFF and Universal filed opposing briefs
arguing for summary judgment. A decision on those motions could come in a
matter of months, and will likely decide the case.

However it turns out, the case will help define the limits of “fair
use” in the digital age. Fair use is the doctrine that allows the use of
copyrighted material if it’s used for criticism, commentary, or
transformed in a meaningful way. If copyright owners have to give
greater consideration to fair use before sending takedown notices, it
could make it more difficult for them to police sites like YouTube;
advocacy groups like EFF say that’s a small price to pay for defending
fair-use rights.

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