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August 21, 2008
DMCA Takedowns Must Consider Fair Use
For years (and I mean YEARS - remember this report from 2005? Or Diebold's abuse of takedown notices from 2003?) copyfighters have been complaining about the abuse of the DMCA's takedown notice provisions.
In the ongoing saga of Universal Music versus a dancing baby, we have finally gotten a ruling stating that copyright holders must take fair use into account. Timothy Lee's write-up on the decision for ars technica goes through the claims Universal made and notes that the judge either simply ignored them or slapped them down. (Hint to Judge Jeremy Fogel: ignoring the Cartel's willful stupidity may reduce your blood pressure but isn't likely to get them to stop it.)
So what happens now? Well, Stephanie Lenz's suit against Universal is still alive at this point, but there's nothing stopping them from throwing more legal sand in the gears. In theory Lenz and her EFF lawyers can now begin discovery for their case. We'll see how far that goes.
EFF posted a PDF of the decision: http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/lenz_v_universal/lenzorder082008.pdf
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