United States Ninth Circuit

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Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., 13-16106

In an action under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), alleging that defendants violated 17 U.S.C. section 512(f) by misrepresenting in a takedown notification that the plaintiff's home video constituted an infringing use of a portion of a Prince composition, the district court's denial of the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment is affirmed where: 1) the DMCA requires copyright holders to consider fair use before sending a takedown notification, and that failure to do so raises a triable issue as to whether the copyright holder formed a subjective good faith belief that the use was not authorized by law; 2) regarding good faith belief, plaintiff could proceed under an actual knowledge theory; 3) plaintiff could not proceed to trial under a willful blindness theory because she did not show that the defendants subjectively believed there was a high probability that the video constituted fair use; and 4) plaintiff may seek recovery of nominal damages for an injury incurred as a result of a section 512(f) misrepresentation.

Appellate Information

  • Decided 09/14/2015
  • Published 09/14/2015




  • United States Ninth Circuit