Fair use comes first in web video

A video of a dancing baby has led to a landmark decision regarding the handling of internet videos. As part of the ruling in the Lenz v. Universal case, US Judge Jeremy Fogel ruled that content holders must consider the fair use premise before sending takedown notices to video sites.

Fair use allows a person legally to use a piece of copyrighted material if the product is used for a short period of time and is not used for any commercial purposes. Civil rights groups have long complained that the premise is not taken into account when copyright owners issue takedown notices under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). "Given the 'shoot first and ask questions later' approach some content owners take to the DMCA notice process, improper takedowns of non-infringing fair uses are all too common," said the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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