Remember the “Dancing Baby” lawsuit? It began back in 2007 when Stephanie Lenz uploaded a 29-second long video of her toddler dancing to the Prince song “Let’s go crazy” to YouTube. When Universal, Prince’s publishers, sent her a takedown notice Lenz refused and instead began, with the help of Electronic Frontier Foundation, a legal battle for fair use. Yesterday, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco ruled unanimously in favor of Lenz and the EFF and while doing so, the three-judge panel included a guideline strongly favoring fair use, ruling that “copyright holders like Universal must consider fair use before issuing takedown notices.” (NYT)

To require a case-by-case basis evaluation by rights holders and content users alike seems perfectly fair – a big win for fair use.

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