UIC Review of Intellectual Property Law


Ian Rubenstrunk


Recently, a YouTube user and mother of two, Stephanie Lenz, filed a lawsuit against Universal Music Corporation which had the potential for broad impact on the internet. Everyone from politicians, to teachers, to musical artists could have gained more protection of their rights as internet users. With millions of people having access to the internet and YouTube “vloggers” reaching the million mark in subscribers, the court’s interpretation of 17 U.S.C. § 512(f) could have had a significant impact. The issue in the case was what “any damages” meant in a clause creating liability for a party that incorrectly has material removed from a website. The court, however, did not take a position consistent with the intent of Congress when it passed the DMCA, adding § 512(f). This comment suggests that other courts reject the Lenz court’s narrow interpretation and instead apply a broad interpretation that could allow greater recovery.