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Silver Linings in Fair Use

The 9th Circuit just came out with a ruling that “copyright holders must consider fair use before asking services like YouTube to remove videos that include material they control” (quote from the NYT; Wikipedia also has a useful summary; and hardcore copyright nerds can read the full decision). So that is good news for the Fair Use side of copyright. 

Now, nobody knows exactly what “considering” fair use means, and the case will almost certainly be appealed. Still, this is a very interesting moment for copyright folks, YouTube and its ilk, and pretty much anyone who has ever had copyrighted material stripped out of their uploaded content for dubious reasons. As far as I can tell, music and movies are the two areas where fair use has been practically non-existent unless people have lots of money for lawyers and all their ducks in a row, so any hint that fair use is a real thing that applies to these kinds of content is pretty exciting to me.

And here, for your viewing pleasure, is the Dancing Baby… who is now at least 9 years old.