Universal: Background Music In Home Videos Constitutes Copyright Infringement

Look at this kid dance and smile as he revels in his mother’s blatant copyright infringement. The song fueling his happiness, Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy,” is owned by Universal Music Group, whose lawyers are not dancing, smiling, or happy. They sent a curmudgeonly DMCA takedown notice to YouTube, riling the Electronic Frontier Foundation to sue Universal in retaliation.

From Ars Technica:

The video of Stephanie Lenz’s 18-month old son Holden was uploaded to YouTube back in February; Universal filed a DMCA claim against the clip in early June. Lenz responded with a counter-notification of her own at the end of the month, but the clip was never reinstated. Now, she has joined forces with the EFF to recover damages after she “has been injured substantially and irreparably,” according to the court filing. Lenz wants money to cover her legal expenses and wants an affirmative judgment that her clip is not infringing.

So on one side, a music conglomerate that thinks the background music in home videos constitutes copyright infringement; and on the other, a woman who thinks the removal of her YouTube video constitutes substantial and irreparable harm. Legal assertions regularly skew towards the absurd, but this is fire v fire at its best. The battle of utterly inane arguments will be waged before a U.S. District Court in California.

Universal demands takedown of homemade dancing toddler clip; EFF sues [Ars Technica]