Eight years after a dancing baby created a shitstorm, a Federal Appeals Court has told Universal that it needs to think things through before issuing takedown notices:
Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that copyright holders like Universal must consider fair use before trying to remove content from the Internet. It also rejected Universal’s claim that a victim of takedown abuse cannot vindicate her rights if she cannot show actual monetary loss.The baby in question danced for a few seconds while a Prince song played in the background. Universal sued with a straight face claiming that this would stop Prince from being able to make a living.
“Today’s ruling sends a strong message that copyright law does not authorize thoughtless censorship of lawful speech,” said EFF Legal Director Corynne McSherry. “We’re pleased that the court recognized that ignoring fair use rights makes content holders liable for damages.”