Next Step Trial, the Appeal Ruling is Out for ‘the Dancing Baby’ Lawsuit
If you haven’t heard of ‘the Dancing Baby’ lawsuit here is a brief history in early 2007 Stephanie Lenz did what any other great mother does, she uploaded a video of her child dancing to the internet. The baby was movin’ and groovin’ to Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy, and is utterly adorable. Just in case you also don’t know Prince is a stickler about copyright infringement and has sued dozens of internet based users in recent years. Sorry Steph, you messed with the wrong song. Quickly after she uploaded the video the Universal Music Group pulled it, claiming copyright infringement. Have you ever seen the Youtube sad face while trying to look for some silly video of a dog? That might be because of the song choice in the background BUT NO LONGER! This gal has claws, and came back calling their BS and argued the video was fair use, thus not breaking any part of the copyright law, and didn’t stop there! She counter sued Universal, for improperly using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to target fair use cases. BAM. SNAP.
Needless to say this has been a long process, it’s 2015- EIGHT years after this first happened and yesterday important rulings were decided. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit helped pave the road to trial, stating that any copyright holder must consider fair use prior to sending a take down notice. No longer can their computers just troll the internet using keywords and auto-send a take down!
Corynne McSherry, the foundation’s legal director, had this to say in reference to the ruling “today’s ruling sends a strong message that copyright law does not authorize thoughtless censorship of lawful speech,”. While it doesn’t change the take-downs that have already happened, it might change where they go in the future. This case, depending on the final outcome, could mean quite the headache for companies who auto-issue take downs, and have done so in the past for users who think they lie in the fair use category.
Here is the video, what do you think copyright infringement or fair use?