Chapter 9: Fair use: A tale of two cities
On February 7, 2007, Stephanie Lenz (‘Lenz’) videotaped her young children dancing in her family’s kitchen. The song ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ by the artist professionally known as Prince played in the background. Lenz uploaded the video to YouTube. As the copyright owner to ‘Let’s Go Crazy,’ Universal Music Corporation sent YouTube a takedown notice. YouTube removed the video the following day. Lenz sent YouTube a DMCA counter-notification asserting that her video constituted fair use of ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ and demanded the video be re-posted. Lenz also filed suit in the Northern District of California against Universal alleging misrepresentation pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 512(f). About two years later, the plight of an internet user like Lenz was also heard in a court in Seoul, Korea. On February 2, 2009, an internet user named ‘Yang’ uploaded a video file in the form of User Generated Content (‘UGC’), in which his five-year-old daughter was dancing on a chair and singing a copyrighted song titled ‘Must Have Been Crazy’. The video, and a posting including the chorus of the song lyrics, was uploaded to his blog on the NAVER portal site, the most popular internet portal site in Korea.
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