According to a legal document published at the Electronic Frontier Foundation site, the copyright Nazis at Universal Music Group might have bitten off more than they can chew when they ordered the removal of a Dancing baby clip from YouTube.
Stephanie Lenz posted a video clip on YouTube of her 18 month old baby dancing. Oh ha ha, how original and amusing, you are probably not thinking. It seems that the lawyers at UMG didn't see the funny side either, as they issued YouTube with a notice to remove the clip for copyright violation. The terrible crime committed in this instance being that the baby was dancing, for a whole 29 seconds, to a Prince song. You know, that chap who gave away his last album as a freebie with the UK tabloid newspaper the Mail on Sunday. Anyway, UMG did not like the fact that a baby could be dancing to a 23 year old track (Let's Go Crazy) without getting some money out of it. Let's not worry about the small fact that the song was being played on the television, as part of the half time entertainment during the Super Bowl...
YouTube did as it was told and informed the offensive pirate mother that any further infringements would result in her account being cancelled.
No wonder so many people get hot under the collar about copyright issues when a giant such as UMG manages to get all heavy over such a stupid and meaningless 'infringement' as this. If it concentrated on piracy then perhaps it would get more public support, all that cases like this serve to do is entice more people into protesting against big-booted copyright protection.
Of course, the mighty UMG and its legal team probably never gave a second thought to swatting the fly that is a mother posting to YouTube. It might have done had it realised she is also a writer, and editor, and quite prepared to fight back.
Getting the EFF on the case, Ms Lenz has filed a suit against UMG which claims it misrepresented copyright claims under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act as well as intentionally interfering with her contract with YouTube. Lenz also insists that UMG copyright was not infringed as the audio was covered under US copyright act 'fair usage' provision, something that as an editor she knows all about. Lenz has asked for costs and damages, the video to be reinstated and a jury trial so that UMG can be exposed as the big bully it so obviously is.
If you want to see what all the fuss is about, the offending video can be seen here for now.