from the hmmm deptThe copyright case involving Stephanie Lenz and her dancing baby is one that may finally be nearing a conclusion after many, many years -- but it's not over yet. As you may recall, Lenz posted a very brief clip of her then toddler, dancing along to a few seconds of a barely audible Prince song. This was almost a decade ago.
Universal Music sent a DMCA takedown, and that kicked off a big fight over fair use, with the EFF representing Lenz and arguing that Universal Music needed to take fair use into account before issuing takedowns. The case then bounced around courts for nearly a decade with a variety of rulings, eventually getting a huge confusing mess of a ruling from the 9th Circuit last year, followed by an only marginally better mess earlier this year in an en banc decision replacing the original one.
Both EFF and Universal Music asked the Supreme Court to hear different questions about the messy 9th circuit ruling, and lots of other folks weighed in with amicus briefs, including internet companies and the RIAA (not on the same side, as you might imagine). The general consensus seemed to be that it was a long shot that the Supreme Court would bother with the case, even as it was kind of a mess, but the Supreme Court this morning kept things alive by asking the White House Solicitor General to weigh in (on page 2 of the document)....
LENZ, STEPHANIE V. UNIVERSAL MUSIC CORP., ET AL....MORE
I'd like to take a moment and apologize for the snark in the introduction.
Everyone deserves their day in court.
It's just that I was emotionally overwrought thinking it was the Blue Swede Ooga-chaka, ooga-ooga Ooga-chaka, ooga-ooga Ooga-chaka, ooga-ooga Ooga-chaka, Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga dancing baby.
Thank goodness it was the Prince dancing baby.
Kids, this is why you should not do drugs.
The Blue Swede cover of this song (above, with the ooga and the chaka) hit #1 in the U.S. on April 6, 1974.