Fair Use Lawsuit Can Proceed To Court, Judge Says

SAN FRANCISCO (CelebrityAccess) — An federal appeals court has dealt a blow to Universal Records when it ruled that a lawsuit brought against the label over a Youtube video could proceed to trial.

The 29 second video, posted by Pennsylvania mom Stephanie Lenz in 2007, depicted her son Holden, then a toddler, dancing to Prince's Purple Rain. Universal Music claimed that Lenz's video constituted copyright infringement and ordered YouTube to take the video down, which it did temporarily.

However, Lenz maintains that Universal did not consider her rights to fair use of the music when they requested the takedown and the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation sued Universal on her behalf.

On Monday, a Federal appeals court sided with Lenz and the EFF, upholding her lawsuit and allowing the case to proceed to trial. The court ruled that Lenz could seek nominal damages as the video was non-commercial and was temporarily taken down.

"Fair use is not just excused by the law, it is wholly authorized by the law," the appeals court said in its ruling.

In a statement to ABC News, Universal said, "We respectfully disagree with the court's conclusion about the [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] and the burden the court places upon copyright holders before sending takedown notices." – Staff Writers