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Lenz v. Universal Music Corp.
United States District Court for the Northern District of California
572 F. Supp. 2d 1150 (2008)
Stephanie Lenz (plaintiff) made a video of her children dancing to Prince’s song Let’s Go Crazy (the song) and uploaded the video to YouTube. The song was audible but unclear in the background of the video. Universal Music Corporation (Universal) (defendant) contacted YouTube to remove Lenz’s video, alleging that the video infringed Universal’s copyright in the song. YouTube removed the video and sent a notice to Lenz that the video had been removed; Lenz had a right to counter-notification under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA); and if Lenz infringed again, all of Lenz’s videos could be removed from the site in the future. Lenz contacted an attorney for advice before sending a counter-notification to YouTube, stating that the video did not infringe Universal’s copyright in the song under the doctrine of fair use. Lenz then sued Universal under § 512(f) of the DMCA, which gives those accused of infringement a cause of action against anybody who knowingly and materially misrepresents the infringing nature of a work or activity. Universal filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Fogel, J.)
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