Hear that muffled blare in the background of this video?
It’s the sound of a feverishly litigious media culture led by the barons of senseless greed…and a justice-seeking home video maker.
The song barely audible in the background is Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy.” Upon discovering the alleged copyright infringement, Universal, which owns the rights to the song, ordered YouTube to remove the video, The San Francisco Chronicle reports. It was one of a hundred DMCA takedown notices issued after Prince decided that he hates his fans.
But Universal had apparently pushed the buttons of the wrong camera-wielding mommy. Stephanie Lenz sued Universal, questioning whether “the owner of the rights to a creative work that’s being used without permission can order the Web host to remove it without first considering whether the infringement was actually a legal fair use – a small or innocuous replication that couldn’t affect the market for the original work.“
I’m not a lawyer, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest that this was, indeed, fair use.
My groundbreaking judgment notwithstanding, don’t these people have better things to do?