Jason Bloom in Reuters: Jason Bloom on What 'Dancing Baby' Means for Copyright Owners


On Monday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals released its highly anticipated ruling in the "dancing baby" case, ruling that copyright owners must now consider whether the use of their content on the Internet is fair under copyright law before sending a takedown notice.

The three-judge appeals panel said that Universal Music Group must face a trial over whether it properly sent a takedown notice over a 2007 video that Stephanie Lenz posted on YouTube of her toddler dancing to a Prince song.

But on the question of what is now required of content owners in terms of making a fair use analysis, the panel offered little guidance.

Reuters on Tuesday spoke to Jason Bloom, head of the copyright practice group at Haynes and Boone in Dallas, Texas, who said that while the level of analysis needed is unclear, some sort of attorney involvement is now essential...

REUTERS: In this case, a Universal employee was involved and the company sent Lenz a takedown notice, saying her use was not authorized by law. Lenz said Universal did not consider fair use, but it should have. Universal said its procedures were tantamount to a consideration of fair use, though not labeled as such. How did the panel rule?

BLOOM: It said that copyright holders need to have somebody take a look at the material and make a subjective good faith determination that the use is not fair use before they send a takedown notice.

Excerpted from Reuters Legal. To read the full Q&A, click here (subscription required).

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