Universal Retracts DMCA On Journalist Video Of Prince Fans Singing Purple Rain

from the that-was-quick dept

Well, that was quick. We had just been talking about Universal's insane decision to DMCA a journalist's video of Prince fans singing Purple Rain shortly after his death, made particularly strange as it occurred in the wake of it settling the Dancing Baby DMCA case to avoid being punished for not considering Fair Use. That retreat from a decision which would have provided precedent for whether issuing a DMCA without giving even a modicum of thought to whether Fair Use would apply was irritating to many of us for a number of reasons, but primarily because it would give room for bad actors to DMCA away without the assurance of consequence. For Universal to provide an example of that itself, and to do so immediately after the Dancing Baby case was settled, was particularly frustrating.

But, again, it seems we won't get clarity on the point. Universal appears to have realized how bad this all looked, and could get, and has retracted its takedown claim.

Now, is it ultimately good that Universal backed off this DMCA claim? Of course it is. But it should be obvious that the problem remains that it, and others, can peel off DMCA notices, including on journalists, without real fear of reprisal from the courts and simply run away when there is enough public backlash to warrant it. Again, a key here is that this DMCA notice issued by Universal was against a video that is as blatantly Fair Use as it gets. But Universal will bear no consequence for it.

When the reductio ad absurdum has become the real-life example, it's probably time we had some real codified rules and punishments for this kind of behavior.

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Filed Under: 512(f), copyright, dmca, fair use, prince, takedowns
Companies: universal music


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  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    Anonymous Coward, 2 Aug 2018 @ 7:25am

    Posting on a "private web-site" is NOT a "privilege",

    any more than is reading it.

    Too busy whining that his privileges for posting on someone else's private website were temporarily revoked, last I saw.

    1) What does "private" even mean when published and invites entire world?

    2) WHO owns a "web-site", anyway? Like physical business, if allow The Public in, then have CEDED some right to "private property". The Public gains, NOT loses. That's the deal.

    3) Where is this "corporation"? Show it to me. And UNDER WHAT PRIVILEGE AND RULES is it even allowed to exist? -- By The Public giving it permission, and NOT for the gain of a few, but for PUBLIC USE.

    4) Again, mere statute doesn't over-ride The Public's Constitutional Right. And no, corporations are NOT persons, do not have rights, they are FICTIONS.

    5) The Public's use is the PURPOSE of any and every web-site. If allows comments, then it's governed only by common law terms: no arbitrary exclusion. Two-way communications is the purpose of teh internets.

    "PaulT" is a corporatist like Masnick, claiming fictions have rights over "natural" persons, trying to exactly REVERSE the benefits of the internets: take away from The Public and empower the few with corporations.


    Thanks, "PaulT" for actually stating something rather than your usual ad hom! Whenever you cloppers actually state a point, it's easily refuted.

    I've added this to boiler-plate on CDA 230 for future use.


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