YouTube & Video

Mom And Baby Make Universal Music Cry Uncle

image from No, we're not talking about a paternity suit against Jimmy Iovine.

In 2007, Stephanie Lenz uploaded a 29-second video of her son bouncing along with Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" playing in the background to YouTube. Universal Music Publishing demanded that th video come down and YouTube complied. 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed suit asking a federal court to protect the mother's fair use and free speech rights. Universal fought back, but a California district court judge this week granted partial summary judgment to Lenz paving the way for her to at least collect attorneys fees.

Here, back on YouTube, is the offending video:

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  1. Yet another example of the RIAA over-doing it. It is difficult to tell what they are thinking with this type of action. I have always said that you can’t make money by forcing people to do things. You need to find out what people want and then find a way to give it to them.
    Tom Siegel

  2. The enforcement doesn’t seem to make sense intuitively, but I believe one of the legal issues is about the legal effect of not enforcing rights consistently. If Universal doesn’t say a 29-second clip violates its rights in this case, it may have a problem when someone uses a 29-second sample on a hit song.

  3. What is a Nazi wants to sample a clip?
    Artist doesn’t have the right to say no?
    Legal system fucks the artist again.

  4. I think that’s really an issue with trademarks versus copyrights (i.e., if you don’t enforce your trademark, you lose it). I don’t think turning a blind eye to a copyright infringement would hurt you down the road.

  5. “I was going to buy this song, but that now I can get a 29-second clip any time I want (as opposed to previewing it on itunes), I refuse to buy it. Since that’s the only 29 seconds of Prince’s catalog I enjoy, I won’t be purchasing any of his music.”
    Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? If it can’t possibly impact sales, why exercise draconian law enforcement? Why not cash in on the popularity and negotiate a cut of the advertising on the ~1 million views?

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