Sunday, August 24, 2008

This Just In: Labels Still Don't Get It

See that video? Cute kid, huh? Not exactly hilarious, but still adorable when he dances along to about 28 seconds of Prince's "Let's Go Crazy". It's from his Super Bowl appearance, and boy was that a good one. He tore it up. Remember how it was raining, and he was playing "Purple Rain" right then, and how sweet that was? Yeah, so do I.

So here's the deal. The mom who posted the clip is being sued by Universal Music Group. Here's the scoop from Electronic Frontier Foundation's website:

Stephanie Lenz's 29-second recording shows her son bouncing along to the Prince song "Let's Go Crazy," which is heard playing in the background. Lenz uploaded the home video to YouTube in February to share it with her family and friends.

But last month, YouTube informed Lenz that it had removed the video from its website after Universal claimed that the recording infringed a copyright controlled by the music company. Under federal copyright law, a mere allegation of copyright infringement can result in the removal of content from the Internet.

"I was really surprised and angry when I learned my video was removed," said Lenz. "Universal should not be using legal threats to try to prevent people from sharing home videos of their kids with family and friends."

"Universal's takedown notice doesn't even pass the laugh test," said EFF Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry. "Copyright holders should be held accountable when they undermine non-infringing, fair uses like this video."

Last May, UMPG's parent company, Universal Music Group, sent a baseless copyright takedown demand to YouTube for a video podcast by political blogger Michelle Malkin. That video was quickly reposted after Malkin fought back.

"Copyright abuse can shut down online artists, political analysts, or -- as in this case -- ordinary families who simply want to share snippets of their day-to-day lives," said EFF Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann. "Universal must stop making groundless infringement claims that trample on fair use and free speech."

Lenz is now cleared by a California judge to sue Universal, saying that the snippet should be considered "fair use". The only "fair use" that the big labels understand is the one where they get paid for everything possible. Be careful if you decide to sing a song, or play one for your baby to dance to. If They find you, They will go after you no matter what. You are merely a consumer that is regarded with disdain and disgust.


Sheafisher said...

i have an online video of my 2 year old dancing to the clash -- is columbia recs gonna sue me for royalties? yikes...


Dano said...

Watch out, man. Big brother (and the record company) is out to get you.