Ironiquement, alors que l’Europe s’apprête à généraliser les Robocopyrights, une des affaires les plus emblématiques de leurs dérives (Dancing Baby) arrive à son terme aux États-Unis après 10 ans de procédure...
After More Than a Decade of Litigation, the Dancing Baby Has Done His Part to Strengthen Fair Use for Everyone.
Litigation can always take twists and turns, but when EFF filed a lawsuit against Universal Music Group in 2007 on behalf of Stephanie Lenz, few would have anticipated it would be ten years until the case was finally resolved. But today, at last, it is. Along the way, Lenz v. Universal contributed to strengthening fair use law, bringing nationwide attention to the issues of copyright and fair use in new digital movie-making and sharing technologies.
It all started when Lenz posted a YouTube video of her then-toddler-aged son dancing while Prince’s song “Let’s Go Crazy” played in the background, and Universal used copyright claims to get the link disabled. We brought the case hoping to get some clarity from the courts on a simple but important issue: can a rightsholder use the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to take down an obvious fair use, without consequence?
Congress designed the DMCA to give rightsholders, service providers, and users relatively precise rules of the road for policing online copyright infringement. The center of the scheme is the notice and takedown process. In exchange for substantial protection from liability for the actions of their users, service providers must promptly take offline content on their platforms that has been identified as infringing, as well as several other prescribed steps. Copyright owners, for their part, are given an expedited, extra-judicial procedure for obtaining redress against alleged infringement, paired with explicit statutory guidance regarding the process for doing so, and provisions designed to deter and ameliorate abuse of that process.
Without Section 512, the risk of crippling liability for the acts of users would have prevented the emergence of most of the social media outlets we use today. Instead, the Internet has become the most revolutionary platform for the creation and dissemination of speech that the world has ever known.