Lenz v. Universal: A Call to Reform Section 512(f) of the DMCA and to Strengthen Fair Use

39 Pages Posted: 3 May 2016

See all articles by Marc Randazza

Marc Randazza

Randazza Legal Group; World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO); Università di Torino Faculty of Law

Date Written: May 1, 2016


Section 512(f) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is designed to discourage abuse of the DMCA takedown process. "Abuse" includes failing to simply consider the application of fair use. However, fair use is a right, not a privilege, and the current version of Section 512(f) is too weak to fully protect fair use, and fair use itself does not have adequate protections under the law.

The recent Lenz v. Universal case demonstrates that we need greater protection for fair use, and a DMCA abuse statute with real teeth.

This article discusses the issue of fair use and DMCA reform in the context of the Lenz case. It then provides a statutory proposal to resolve the problem - in large part making the remedies for violating fair use rights essentially equivalent to the remedies for violating copyrights in the first place.

Keywords: copyright, freedom of expression, first amendment, intellectual property, DMCA, 512(f), Lenz v. Universal

Suggested Citation

Randazza, Marc, Lenz v. Universal: A Call to Reform Section 512(f) of the DMCA and to Strengthen Fair Use (May 1, 2016). Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law, Vol. 18, No. 3, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2773137

Marc Randazza (Contact Author)

Randazza Legal Group ( email )

United States

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) ( email )

34, chemin des Colombettes
Geneva 20, CH-1211

Università di Torino Faculty of Law ( email )


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