Victory for Free Speech!

Happy news for all of us out there on the ‘Net and Web — in a ruling on Lentz v. Universal (aka the ‘Dancing Baby’ case):

Judge Jeremy Fogel held that content owners must consider fair use before sending takedown notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”). . . . [A] fair use is a lawful use of a copyright. Accordingly, in order for a copyright owner to proceed under the DMCA with “a good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law,” the owner must evaluate whether the material makes fair use of the copyright. . . . A good faith consideration of whether a particular use is fair use is consistent with the purpose of the statute. Requiring owners to consider fair use will help “ensure[] that the efficiency of the Internet will continue to improve and that the variety and quality of services on the Internet will expand” without compromising “the movies, music, software and literary works that are the fruit of American creative genius.”

Big congratulations to Ms. McSherry of the EFF for her work on this case.

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