When a proud mother uploaded a short video of her baby dancing to YouTube in 2007, she probably didn't expect it to become a lightning rod for copyright law.
Stephanie Lenz's children were just jamming out to Prince, a harmless representation of proud motherhood. Universal Music Group saw it as something different — using their music without paying for the rights.
The Prince song "Let's Go Crazy" was playing on a stereo in the background of the short clip. Universal Music Group sent YouTube a notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), claiming that the family video infringed the copyright in Prince's song. EFF sued Universal on Lenz's behalf, arguing that Universal abused the DMCA by improperly targeting a lawful fair use.
Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that copyright holders like Universal must consider fair use before trying to remove content from the Internet. It also rejected Universal's claim that a victim of takedown abuse cannot vindicate her rights if she cannot show actual monetary loss.
Basically the Ninth Circuit court told copyright holders to slow their roll with all of the cease and desist notices that have plagued YouTube videos. The opinion states reminds these hyper lawyers that there is a legal doctrine called 'fair use' which allows the usage of copyrighted material without paying for the license for things like research, teaching, news reporting and sharing a video of your cute kids dancing to a song.
TL;DR A high court told copyright lawyers to calm down.