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Judge brings 'fair use' doctrine into YouTube copyright case

August 21, 2008|From the Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge is allowing a Pennsylvania woman to sue Universal Music Group for forcing YouTube to take down a video clip of her baby dancing to Prince's song "Let's Go Crazy."

Universal demanded the removal of the 29-second home video by Stephanie Lenz of Gallitzin, Pa., because it allegedly violated copyright laws on the song.

But a San Jose-based judge said Universal needed to first consider whether the clip represented "fair use" of the material.

Fair use provisions of U.S. copyright law allow segments of copyrighted works to be used for purposes of parody or satire or in reviews and other limited circumstances.

It's the first such legal ruling requiring copyright owners to consider fair use of their material before demanding that Internet sites such as YouTube remove the content.

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