First, watch this video:
Now, ask yourself, did that just make you want to buy music from Prince less? Specifically, the track "Let's Go Crazy?"
That's just one of the peripheral questions afoot in a legal case between a mom who took a video of her kid and innocently posted it on YouTube and Universal Music. And, no, the big label isn't suing the mom. It's the other way around. Yesterday, a judge considered Universal's attempt to get the potentially precedent setting case dismissed.
The EFF is driving the case for Stephanie Lenz and claims that Universal shouldn't have forced YouTube to takedown the video on copyright claims because the use of the Prince track was protected by fair use. EFF says:
"The lawsuit asks for a declaratory judgment that Lenz's home video does not infringe any Universal copyright, as well as damages and injunctive relief restraining Universal from bringing further copyright claims in connection with the video."
Universal did not challenge Stephanie Lenz's assertion that the video was a "fair use" of Prince's song. After being taken down for six weeks, the video went back online last year, having now generated about half a million hits.
The courthouse dispute on Friday centered on a rarely used clause in the DMCA -- originally approved by Congress in 1998 -- allowing victims of meritless takedown notices to seek damages in a bid to deter such notices and breaches of First Amendment speech.
Universal argues that they or other copyright holders are not liable for damages when somebody asserts fair use to reverse a takedown notice.