Twitter Vine

It was probably inevitable that Prince would be the first artist to send copyright takedowns based on six-second Vine videos, as he proved that clip-length was no barrier to his suspicion of fan-shot videos published online. Now GigaOm has followed up that controversy with an interesting post linking the questions around Vine-based copyright infringement with previous legal arguments about short samples in songs by hip-hop artists like The Notorious B.I.G. and the Beastie Boys. The former was dinged in court for a three-note horn riff sampled in one of his tracks, while the latter were cleared of copyright infringement for a six-second flute sample on one of theirs. “Twitter declined to comment on whether it believes Vine videos are covered by copyright law’s ‘fair use’ exception, but a source familiar with the company told me that the decision to make the videos six seconds long was not a coincidence,” reports GigaOm. Yet Twitter moved quickly to take down the Vine clips of Prince, indicating that the company isn’t prepared to back this ‘coincidence’ in court.

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