On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that copyright owners must consider fair use before sending take down notices to online video sites, such as YouTube. Fair use, which is determined by how much of the copyright owner’s work is used in the video, whether the video is used for commercial purposes, and whether the video is a parody.
In Stephanie Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. and Universal Music Publishing Group, Univeral argued that ascertaining whether or not fair use has not been violated would take too much too much time and prevent copyright holders from “respond[ing] rapidly to potential infringements.” They also stated that the question of fair use is too much to consider in a case, and the question of fair use is too unpredictable to conclude.
The judge granted Lenz the opportunity to counter-sue for attorneys’ fees after Universal submitted a motion to dismiss the case. While the judge remains skeptical that Universal acted in “bad faith” when they submitted the takedown request, EFF attorney Corynne McSherry promises to “overcome his doubts.”
In the nation’s first such ruling, a federal judge on Wednesday said copyright owners must consider “fair use” of their works before sending takedown notices to online video-sharing sites.