Prince, Dancing Baby Video Lawsuit Settled Decade Later
The case centered on a video YouTuber Stephanie Lenz posted to video service in 2007 which showed her 13-month-old son dancing to the Prince song “Let’s Go Crazy”.
While the audio in the video was bad enough that the song was only audible for about 20 seconds of the 29-second duration of the clip, Universal, the copyright holder, filed a takedown notice with YouTube, resulting in the video being removed for alleged copyright infringement.
Lenz responded with a counter-notification to YouTube, claiming fair use. Then, with help from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, she sued Universal for misrepresentation under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act and alleged that the label giant had acted in bad faith when they made their infringement claim.
Lenz was supported in her fair use claims with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that as the law carves out a fair use exception, a copyright holder “must consider the existence of fair use before sending a takedown notification.”
This week, the two parties announced that they agreed to settle the case.
“UMPG takes great pride in protecting the rights of our songwriters. Inherent in that objective is our desire to take a thoughtful approach to enforcement matters. The Lenz case helped us to develop a fair and tempered process for evaluation of potential takedowns.” David Kokakis, UMPG’s Chief Counsel said in a press statement.
“From what I have seen, UMPG’s current takedown review process is much better,” added Stephanie Lenz. “If UMPG’s current processes had been in place eleven years ago when I posted my video of my young son dancing, I probably wouldn’t have had to contact the Electronic Frontier Foundation.”
The baby in the video, Holden Lenz, is now a 12-year-old middle schooler. Here’s what all the fuss was about: