The Dancing Baby Wins!

Let’s Go Crazy for the Dancing Baby!

scales of justice photo
Photo by RaeAllen

While the Internet is about many things, cute kittie photos, viral videos and, unfortunately, Rule 34.  It also a great tool for freedom of expression, fair use and sharing information.  True, it can harbor pirates, those who break copyright laws, but freedom of expression is a double-edged sword.   I can’t ban the Koran and still, justly and fairly, have my Bible.  In order to function, it must be completely open and accessible to all, equally and fairly.

Unfortunately, not everyone feels that way.  There are some who believe in suppression of ideas, filtering and censorship.  I call bullshit.  Let me take my chances with that sword.

It has also created an environment for a certain egotistic artist with a serious identity crisis to “go crazy” with invalid take-down notices.  This parody of an artist, won’t even let others parody his work.  He has sent bogus take-downs on more than one occasion. This not-to-be-named-chestless-artist even went as far as to send take-downs for material which he did not have the rights to.  Fortunately, the artist who did hold the rights to the material, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, demanded that the video be reposted.  Yipee for the good guys!

I first heard of this case and wrote about it way back in 2007 at lockegnome.com.  I was pleased to later report that the EFF had gotten involved in a valid crusade for fair use.  Dubbed “The Dancing Baby Case”, I was pleased to report that, almost a full year later, Lenz vs Universal was getting a day in court.  While the case had success in the lower courts, it was certain to be appealed because the industry believes that if they spend enough on litigation, they can defeat anyone.  Even if the decision is what any person with common sense would understand as fair use.

Fortunately, a federal appeals court has, once again, ruled in favor of the dancing baby.  For you legal eagles, you can find all the document at the EFF page for this case.

I am pleased to share the video with you.