Wednesday, August 27, 2008

DMCA, Fair Use and You

Just last week U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel handed down his verdict in the Lenz v. Universal case stating that thanks to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) copyright holders must have:

…a consideration of fair use prior to issuing a takedown notice will not be so complicated as to jeopardize a copyright owner’s ability to respond rapidly to potential infringements. The DMCA already requires copyright owners to make an initial review of the potentially infringing material prior to sending a takedown notice; indeed, it would be impossible to meet any of the requirements of Section 512 (c) without doing so. A consideration of the applicability of the fair use doctrine simply is part of that initial review.

This is victory for Lenz as she can now go on to sue Universal for damages due to their unfounded takedown notice. What does this mean to bloggers?

While it might not halt someone for shooting off a takedown notice for content they fill infringes on their rights, it might provide a legal recourse for the blogger to fight back. Of course, this all depends on the situation, but it definitely something to think about before charging into the legal notice fray.

A follow up from the legal point of view on Dear Author: Unsubstantiated Cease and Desist Letters Under Scrutiny.

1 comment:

jmcc said...

thanks for posting this - it hadn't been on my radar, but it's pretty important to know!