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'Electric Slide' creator backs down from DMCA claim

Dance step creator settles with Electronic Frontier Foundation, decides to allow noncommercial use of the moves by anyone.

The man who claims to have created the famed Electric Slide has backed down from a legal claim against an engineer who posted a YouTube video of people doing the dance, the Electronic Frontier Foundation announced.

The EFF had represented the engineer, Kyle Machulia, in a lawsuit against the dance's creator, Richard Silver. But on Tuesday, the EFF said Silver had backed down from his claim and his general "online video takedown campaign" and agreed to allow anyone noncommercial use of the dance.

In February, Silver filed a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice with YouTube demanding that the service remove a video in which the dance briefly appears.

"Mr. Silver's misuse of the DMCA interfered with our client's free speech rights," EFF staff attorney Corynne McSherry said in a press release. "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 agreed to license the dance under a Creative Commons license. That means anyone will be able to perform, reproduce, display or distribute recordings of the Electric Slide for noncommercial use in any medium.

For his part, Machulis said he was excited for what the settlement means for general use of content--like videos of people dancing in public places.

"This is a huge win for open-source licenses as well as line dance enthusiasts and hapless nerds with video cameras," Machulis said. "It's as much a win for Creative Commons as it is for me, as this is a much more understandable platform to talk to people about intellectual property and licensing on than the usual software claims that come up."

The video is now back online as a result of the settlement.