Use Caution when Issuing Take Down Notices: “Copyright Law Does Not Authorize Thoughtless Censorship of Lawful Speech”

A Pennsylvania woman recently faced a copyright infringement suit when she posted a video of her child dancing to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” in 2007.  Universal Music Corp. contacted YouTube after learning of the video and had the posting taken down for a period of several weeks.  The video was later restored after the mother argued that there were no legitimate grounds for removal.  She then filed suit against Universal claiming damages for the wrongful denial of access for her publication.

A federal judge in San Jose found for the Plaintiff and the Ninth Circuit upheld the opinion, finding that a copyright holder must consider whether the copyright use is “fair” prior issuing a take down notice.

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