A federal judge on Aug. 20 gave more weight to the concept of "fair use" when he threw a lifeline to a Pennsylvania mother’s lawsuit against Universal Music, CNET reports. The judge refused to dismiss Stephanie Lenz’s suit claiming that Universal abused the Digital Millennium Copyright Act when it issued a takedown notice to YouTube over a 30-second video of Lenz’s baby dancing to a Prince song. In the first ruling of its kind, Judge Jeremy Fogel held that copyright owners must consider fair use before sending DMCA takedown notices. Lenz first filed suit in October 2007, after Universal requested that her video be taken down, and YouTube kept it off its site for more than a month. Lenz argues that the Prince song is barely audible in the short clip and clearly represents fair use, which allows for limited use of copyrighted materials without permission. Corynne McSherry, an attorney for Electronic Frontier Foundation, called the ruling "a major victory for free speech and fair use on the internet" that will "help protect everyone who creates content for the web."

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