Dancing Toddler and the Future of Art in America

Dancing Toddler and the Future of Art in America

by Amelia G : July 21st, 2008

So why would a video of a mildly overweight toddler dancing badly receive 518,448 views on YouTube? It immediately comes to mind why a toddler dancing very well might be popular. It immediately comes to mind why a spectacularly cute toddler dancing badly might be popular. I wish this were not the case, but it also immediately comes to mind why a grotesquely overweight toddler dancing badly would make for a popular YouTube video. No, this toddler is not related to any star of stage or screen either.

The answer is that the video is controversial. The child’s mother Stephanie Lenz videotaped her kid attempting to dance to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” which was playing on a nearby boombox. Universal Music Group, which owns the copyright for that portion of Prince’s catalog asked YouTube to take the video down because “Let’s Go Crazy” could clearly be heard on it and they felt this infringed on their copyright. YouTube took the video down and that would have been the end of it, except the EFF took on the mom’s case

So Stephanie Lenz and the Electronic Frontier Foundation sued Universal for wrongly asking that the video be taken down. Today, Ars Technica, a site about the “art of technology”, posted the latest in a whole series of interesting articles on the case and its implications for all video makers. The short version of what went down is that Universal defended by claiming the EFF was using the court system to bully them out of their rights and using meritless lawsuits to further their own agenda. This is ironic for so many reasons, I don’t even know how to start to enumerate them, so I won’t. The way everything shook out, judges determined that, yes, the EFF can bring a suit . . .

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