Dancing Baby Brings Universal Music to Its Knees

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Universal Music Group is the biggest and most powerful label group in the world, capable of suing companies like Veoh Networks into oblivion.

But when it comes to babies dancing on counters, the power balance suddenly shifts.

The legal stand-off started in 2007, when Stephanie Lenz posted a video of her baby dancing to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” on YouTube.  That prompted a takedown request by Universal Music Publishing Group, though longtime label nemesis Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) argued that the video was simply fair use.  The case went to the US District Court for the District of Northern California.

Fast-forward to the present, and EFF argument has now triumphed.  Just recently, a judge agreed to a partial summary judgment this week.  Lenz is now in a position to collect attorney fees incurred in the case, and the video is being reinstated.  Since 2007, majors have implemented blanket-level agreements with YouTube to avoid this type of situation.