Agreement Ends Copyright Threats Over Non-Commercial Use of Popular Dance

San Francisco - The man who claims to have created "The Electric Slide" has agreed to call off his online video takedown campaign and to stop threatening people using the popular line dance for non-commercial purposes. Instead, he's making the dance available for all noncommercial use.

The agreement settles a lawsuit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on behalf of videographer Kyle Machulis, who posted a concert video to YouTube that included a ten-second segment of audience members attempting to do the Electric Slide. Richard Silver sent a takedown demand to YouTube under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), alleging he owned the copyright to the Electric Slide and that the video infringed his rights. Machulis's video was removed from the site.

"Mr. Silver's misuse of the DMCA interfered with our client's free speech rights," said EFF Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry. "New technologies have opened multiple avenues for artists and their audiences to create, share and comment on new works. We cannot let absurd copyright claims squash this extraordinary growth."

Under the terms of the settlement, Silver will license the Electric Slide under a Creative Commons license -- allowing the performance, display, reproduction or distribution of any recorded performance of the dance in any medium for non-commercial purposes. Silver has agreed to post these terms on any of his current or future websites that mention the Electric Slide so that users are aware of the Creative Commons license.

"Often, 'all rights reserved' copyright is too restrictive and prevents people from being able to legally use and build upon other people's creativity in any reasonable way," said Eric Steuer, Creative Director of Creative Commons. "When that is the case, it makes sense to adopt a more flexible, 'some rights reserved' approach to copyright. We couldn't be happier that Mr. Silver is using a Creative Commons license to make the Electric Slide freely and legally available to anyone in the world to use for noncommercial purposes."

"We are pleased that Mr. Silver has stepped up and recognized fair uses of the Electric Slide," said EFF Staff Attorney Jason Schultz. "Copyright law is meant to encourage creativity. It must not be used to chill free expression."

For more on the Electric Slide lawsuit:

For more on Creative Commons:


Jason Schultz
Staff Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation

Eric Steuer
Creative Director
Creative Commons

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