Circuit Court Rules in Favor of the “Dancing Baby”

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court just ruled that Universal Music should have first considered if the use of its copyrighted music was “fair use” before sending a takedown letter to Stephanie Lenz whose video of her baby dancing to “Let’s Go Crazy” by the artist formerly known as Prince went viral. Eight years ago, Ms. Lenz posted her video to YouTube, and Universal Music demanded that she “take down” the video since the music to which her baby was dancing infringed the music publisher’s copyright.

In what has become known as the “Dancing Baby” case, the court ruled that “copyright holders cannot shirk their duty to consider – in good faith and prior to sending a takedown notification – whether allegedly infringing material constitutes fair use, a use which the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) plainly contemplates as authorized by the law.” After this decision, copyright holders in the United States will have to first consider fair use before sending takedown notices to both adults, babies and the kid in all of us.

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