Court makes it harder for copyright holders to remove content from the Internet2015-09-14 16:06 by Daniela
An appeals court in San Francisco today ruled that copyright holders must consider "fair use" before demanding that people remove videos they post online in websites such as YouTube.
Fair use, as the court made clear, is an independent right that permits people to use copyrighted material in certain situations such as parody or news reporting. Under the law, there is a four-part test for fair use but, for practical purposes, the deciding factors are usually whether the new work is transformative and if it will impact the market for the original work.
"We hold that the statute requires copyright holders to consider fair use before sending a takedown notification, and that failure to do so raises a triable issue as to whether the copyright holder formed a subjective good faith belief that the use was not authorized by law," according to the majority opinion.
The ruling is part of a case against Universal Music. In 2007 Stephanie Lenz posted a clip on YouTube of her little son, dancing on Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" song. Universal Music told YouTube to remove it for allegedly violating publishing rights on the Prince song. Lenz had the video restored and, with the help of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, sued Universal over the takedown notice, saying the company knew her use was fair.
However, the change seems unlikely to bring an end to the thousands of automated takedown notices that are filed each month.
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