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First off today, Scott Graham at The Recorder repots that the Supreme Court has declined to hear the “Dancing Baby” case and will allow the Ninth Circuit court of Appeals ruling on it to stand.
The case, also known as Lenz v. Universal, pits Stephanie Lenz against Universal Music. Lenz sued after Universal filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown against a video of hers on YouTube. The video features a short clip of her baby dancing with Prince’s song Let’s Go Crazy playing in the background. Though it was restored following a counter-notice by Lenz, she claimed the original DMCA notice was false and, as per the DMCA, Universal should be held liable for wrongly removing her video.
The case made it before the Ninth Circuit, which agreed with Lenz that rightsholders should be forced to consider fair use before sending a DMCA notice. However, the court also found that if Universal had a “subjective good faith” belief that the use was not fair, that they are still not liable. While the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which supported Lenz in this case, was glad for the affirmation of fair use, it acknowledged it will be difficult to enforce under the standard set by the appeals court. The case is now sent back down to the lower courts to determine if Universal had such a good faith belief.
Next up today, Evan Minsker at Pitchfork reports that, despite earlier claims, there is no current legal battle between between musicians Future and Desiigner over the song Panda.
The rumor started when Desiigner’s producer, Menace, claimed in an interview that Future had filed a copyright infringement lawsuit over the recent Desiigner hit Panda. According to the interview, Future felt the song sounded similar to his song Fuck Up Some Commas, and decided to take action. Also according to the interview, that action hurt Desiigner’s ability to earn money off of his hit.
However, Future has recently confirmed that neither him nor his producer have filed such a claim. Later Menace also claimed that Kanye West’s producer Mike Dean had put a claim on the song as well. Dean has also responded saying that, while such a claim did exist, he let it go saying it wasn’t worth his time.
Finally today, Jazz Monroe at Pitchfork reports that Roger Waters’ new LP, Is This the Life We Really Want? has been blocked in Italy due to a claim by a local artist named Emilio Isgrò, who claims that the cover violates his copyright.
The cover features a block of text with large portions of it blacked out leaving just the words of the title. According to Isgrò, this copies his “erasure” technique that he uses widely in his art.
Isgrò took the matter before an Italian court and a judge has temporarily blocked the album’s physical and digital sale pending a hearing on June 27.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.