YouTube ‘Dancing Baby’ Video At Center Of Landmark Copyright Appeals Case

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It’s a big few days for YouTube, copyright, creators, record labels and pretty much the entire internet. Currently a three judge tribunal is presiding over a lawsuit brought against Universal Music for their takedown of a popular YouTube video.

The video, a baby dancing to the music of Prince, has been reactivated online in the wake of a judge ruling that he effectively wouldn’t rule on the matter in 2013. It was a move that cleared the way for the appeals trial, but has left the video with its over 1.2 million views hanging in limbo.

A ruling on the matter could essentially change the way DMCA takedowns are handled and could allow for more accurate accounting of “fair use” of copyrighted material in home video.

The suit, which was initially filed in 2007, occurred after Universal Music issued a takedown notice for the video uploaded by Stephanie Lenz. Ms. Lenz, in conjunction with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a watchdog group working in human rights, filed for damages in the matter.

According to Ars Technica, “Universal’s lawyer, Kelly Klaus, told the three-judge panel that DMCA takedowns are ‘meant to be a rapid response mechanism’ for the massive copyright infringement Congress knew would take place on the Internet. The system ‘simply can’t function if, as Ms. Lenz contends in this case, every takedown notice must be preceded by some consideration of fair use.’”

The decision, if it goes EFF’s way, could be a major victory for artists and parents of kids who just love to dance.

When has that ever been a bad thing?

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