For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Lenz not in Prince's focus

From the IPKat's friend Ben Challis (he of the Music Law Updates) comes the following tale, which may cause readers to ask who is the bigger baby: the 13-month old dancer or the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince:

"A mother who uploaded a video of her son dancing to a Prince track is taking the artist and his label to court over their efforts to have the video taken off YouTube. Stephanie Lenz of Pennsylvania made a video of her 13-month-old boy dancing to an almost inaudible song, and posted it on YouTube as thousands of parents do worldwide. "Let's go Crazy" is the “barely distinguishable song” in the background –- it is by Prince and the copyright is owned by Universal Music, who issued a take-down notice. YouTube initially took it down but Lenz fought back and sent a letter to YouTube, demanding that her video be reinstated. They in turn sent a letter to Universal Music. Eventually YouTube posted the video back up, because Universal Music never answered. And that's where it would have ended, except that Lenz has decided to file a lawsuit against Universal Music with the legal help of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco. A federal judge in San Jose will hear arguments in a lawsuit filed by Lenz. She claims Universal Music misused the takedown notice and is abusing copyright law. She also argues that the use of the track is covered by ‘fair use’ provisions in the US".
More on Mercury News, After Dawn and DB Techno

The IPKat thinks that this sort of thing really does no credit to copyright and that, at a time when composers, performers, writers and publishers need all the goodwill they can get, it makes copyright enforcement appear ungracious, to say the least. But Merpel says, there may be embarassment in individual cases such as this, but how much time and how many resources can copyright owners allocate to considering the merits of each unauthorised use? Is it not reasonable for them to have a system?

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