Legal Advocacy

  • OTW popiera neutralność internetu

    By Ania Kopertowska on Tuesday, 9 September 2014 - 4:11pm
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    To jest walka o sieć. Dryżuna Dostawców wydaje miliony, żeby zniszczyć otwarty internet. Zatrzymaj ich.

    OTW (Organizacja na Rzecz Twórczości Przeobrażonej) wspiera wiele inicjatyw dotyczących cyfrowych praw użytkowników w ramach naszego oddania prawom fanów do tworzenia i dzielenia się twórczością fanowską. Podczas gdy nasze starania skupiają się głównie na prawach autorskich, możliwość dostępu do prac może być utrudniona przez różne prawa i regulacje rządów z krajów całego świata.

    Biorąc pod uwagę historię rozwoju internetu, decyzje Stanów Zjednoczonych zwykle wywierają duży wpływ na dostęp nawet dla osób spoza USA. Każda ustawa wpływająca na dostęp do internetu może również oddziaływać na prace zawarte w Archive of Our Own – AO3 (Naszym Własnym Archiwum), informacje dostępne na Fanlore i naszą codzienną pracę zachowującą twórczość fanowską i wspomagającą kulturę fanów. Z tego powodu OTW uważa udział w obecnej walce o zachowanie neutralności internetu za ważny zarówno dla organizacji, jak i pojedynczych fanów.

    Jutro, 10-tego września, wiele organizacji i stron internetowych będzie pokazywało swoje wsparcie dla neutralności internetu poprzez wystawienie baneru z symbolicznym znaczkiem "ładowania", aby wspierać wezwanie do działania. Uczestniczące organizacje proszą swoich użytkowników ze Stanów Zjednoczonych o wysyłanie komentarzy do US Federal Communications Commission (FCC - Federalna Komisja Komunikacji Stanów Zjednoczonych), Kongresu i Białego Domu o tym, że nie wspierają wysiłku kablówek i firm telekomunikacyjnych, aby traktować zawartość internetu inaczej zważając na to skąd pochodzi i dokąd zmierza.

    Internet Slowdown (Spowolnienie Internetu) zaczyna się 10 września o 4:00 UTC i kończy 11 września o 3:59 (która to godzina w mojej strefie czasowej?) Kiedy zobaczycie "ładujący się" baner, pamiętajcie, że nie utrudniamy dostępu do strony w ramach protestu. Jednak wciąż mamy istniejące problemy z indeksowaniem, które mogą spowodować, że prace lub zakładki tymczasowo znikają z list.

    Jeśli masz jakieś pytania, zostaw je w komentarzu, abyśmy mogli podzielić się odpowiedziami z innymi użytkownikami. A jeśli jesteś mieszkańcem Stanów Zjednoczonych, skontaktuj się z twoimi reprezentatami i daj im znać, że chcesz, aby wspierali neutralność internetu.

  • OTW Supports Net Neutrality

    By Claudia Rebaza on Tuesday, 9 September 2014 - 4:09pm
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    This is the battle for the net. Team Cable is spending millions to destroy the open internet. Stop them.

    The OTW supports a number of issues surrounding users' digital rights as part of our commitment to the right of fans to create and share fanworks. While our efforts focus primarily on copyright law, the ability to access works can be affected by a variety of different laws and regulations by governments around the world.

    Given the history of the Internet’s development, decisions in the United States tend to have a broad impact on access even for non-U.S. residents. Any law affecting internet access may also have an impact on works hosted by AO3, information available on Fanlore, and our day-to-day work of preserving fan works and supporting fan culture. That is why the OTW feels that the current battle to preserve net neutrality is an important one for both our organization and individual fans to be involved in.

    Tomorrow, September 10th, a number of organizations and online sites will be showing their support for net neutrality by displaying a banner with a symbolic "loading" image in order to promote a call to action. Participating organizations are asking their users in the U.S. to send comments to the FCC, Congress, and the White House, saying that they don't support the effort by cable and telecom companies to treat internet content differently depending on where it's coming from or going to.

    The Internet Slowdown starts at 04:00 UTC on September 10th and runs until 03:59 September 11th (what time is that in my timezone?) When you see the “loading” banners, please be aware that we are not affecting site performance as part of this protest. However, we do still have existing issues with site indexing which may cause works or bookmarks to temporarily disappear from listings.

    If you have questions, please leave them as comments here so that we may be able to share those replies with other users. And if you are a U.S. resident, please contact your representatives and let them know you want them to support net neutrality.

  • OTW Legal Opposes Australian Copyright Proposal

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sunday, 7 September 2014 - 5:36pm
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    Banner by Erin of a spotlight on an OTW logo with the words 'Spotlight on Legal Issues'

    OTW Legal, jointly with Creative Commons Australia, contributed a Submission to the Australian Government’s Online Copyright Infringement Discussion Paper (available as a PDF) recommending against a proposal by the Australian government expanding the definition of "authorisation" liability for internet service providers. This would mean that, even if they couldn't stop individual infringements by individual users, they could have to change how their services operated, such as by shutting off internet access for accused infringers or by filtering users' activity.

    As our submission states, "The Australian Government’s proposal poses significant risks to creativity, free expression, and the flow of information, knowledge, and culture. In practical terms, ISPs and other online intermediaries are not in a good position to monitor and enforce copyright infringement. Copyright law is complex, and many of the decisions intermediaries are being asked to make require difficult evaluations of fact and law. In particular, private intermediaries should not be tasked with identifying whether a given use is validly licensed or legitimately used under one of the limitations to copyright, including fair dealing."

    Our submission emphasised the complexities in takedown requests, citing multiple examples of improper takedowns under US DMCA regulation, including an instance in which "a frequent submitter of DMCA notices submitted a DMCA notice seeking removal of a screenshot of an online discussion criticizing him for submitting overreaching DMCA notices."

    The Media, Entertainment, and Arts Alliance, although at first supporting the government's proposal, later withdrew their support. "The MEAA represents a broad range of the creative industry including journalists, actors, dancers, photographers, and people in film and TV," but "the union said in a statement that it did not intend to have its support for the government's proposal to be intepreted as support for an internet filter."

    Dangers to innovation

    The OTW's position is that the Australian government's proposal creates a chilling effect. "Notices that incorrectly allege infringement for legitimate expression" are likely to frighten "ordinary creators and users of copyright expression" into self-censorship. "Educational institutions in particular are likely to be extremely risk-averse, despite the importance of critical commentary and engagement with existing knowledge and cultural works to education."

    By putting an undue burden on individual users, "ordinary speakers who lack access to traditional publishing venues" are unlikely to have "legal training or resources to defend themselves. Thus they are likely to go unchallenged, and the relevant speech permanently suppressed. The problem is especially acute for marginalized speakers, such as women and people of colour, who already face cultural pressures against speaking out and are less likely to contest takedown notices."


    OTW's Legal Advocacy project is part of the Organization for Transformative Works, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We exist entirely on the generosity of our donors. If you would like our work to continue, please consider donating today.

  • OTW Joins Project Secret Identity

    By Kiri Van Santen on Thursday, 28 August 2014 - 4:30pm
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    image of three super hero-style eye masks

    The OTW is partnering with the EFF, io9, Wattpad, The Baker Street Babes, The Harry Potter Alliance, and Southeastern Browncoats to sponsor Project Secret Identity, a cosplay photo campaign to raise awareness of how anonymity and privacy are key to free expression.

    Fans have long embraced pseudonyms. They allow us to participate in fandom without fear of harassment or discrimination in our offline lives. Project Secret Identity is an opportunity for us to advocate for ourselves and protect our right to anonymity.

    During Dragon Con in Atlanta, Aug. 29 – Sept. 1, you can either submit your cosplay photo with an Internet freedom slogan, or take a photo at one of the Secret Identity photo stations at the convention: EFF (Table 7 at the Hilton) or Southeastern Browncoats (Table #1000 at AmericasMart).

    You can also join the campaign from anywhere in the world by uploading your photo at the Project's website. We hope you'll take part!

  • Legal Advocacy (Juridisk Rådgivning)

    By Ulrika A on Sunday, 24 August 2014 - 12:37am
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    OTW (Organisationen för Transformativa Verk) anser att verk skapade av fans är kreativa och transformerande, kärnan av tillåten användning, och kommer därför att vara proaktiva för att beskydda och försvara dessa verk från kommersiellt utnyttjande och juridisk utmaning.

    Denna hjälp kommer inte att vara begränsad till de fans och verk med direkt koppling till OTW.

    Våra arbeten inkluderar:

    Cindy Lee Garcia v. Google, Inc.,YouTubeLLC, et al., och Nakoula Basseley Nakoula

    • Amicus Brief, Garcia v Google (PDF, engelskspråkig); framlagd den 14:e april, 2014.
    • OTW samarbetade med Floor64 (operatör för TechDirt) för att framlägga en amicus där man ber domstolen att på nytt överväga sitt beslut med hänsyn till att även om beslutet kan komma att skapa ett gott resultat i just det här specifika fallet så skapar det en vedervärdig regel som i längden kommer att skada yttrandefriheten på Internet.

      Fallet handlar om omfånget och appliceringen av DMCA och sektion 230 i den amerikanska Communications Decency Act som tillsammans skyddar värdarna för materialet — som YouTube, AO3 med flera — från att hållas som ansvariga för vad deras användare publicerar.

    Uttalanden till den Europeiska Kommissionen

    • Uttalanden inskickade av OTW (PDF, engelskspråkig)
    • I februari 2014 registrerade OTWs juridiska kommitté OTW i Europeiska Unionens Öppenhetsregister och framlade ett förslag till den Europeiska Kommissionen i svar på deras anrop för uttalanden angående en möjlig EU-bunden upphovsrättsreform.

    Stephanie Lenz, v. Universal Music Corp., Universal Music Publishing, Inc., och Universal Music Publishing Group

    • Amicus Brief, Lenz v Universal (PDF, engelskspråkig); framlagd den 13:e december, 2013.
    • OTW arbetade tillsammans med Public Knowledge and International Documentary Association, representerade av Stanford Fair Use Project, för att lämna in denna amicus.

      Den förklarar hur ogrundade anklagelser om upphovrättsintrång skadar tillåten användning och lagligt tal genom att visa på ett ihållande missbruk av DMCA-anmälningar. Författningen kräver att insändaren av nedtagningsanmälan kan bekräfta, under straff av mened, att användningen inte är “tillåten enligt lag” och bestraffar missvisande framställningar. Som resultat så argumenterar vi att det enligt lagen krävs att rättighetsägarna har goda skäl att ifrågasätta i fall användningen är i tillåten innan de utfärdar en anmälan enligt DMCA — och att man borde bestraffa de som har ett “skjut först, fråga sen”-tillvägagångssätt, så som Universal hade med Ms. Lenz’s video.

    Uttalanden till PTO/NTIA

    • Uttalanden inskickade av OTW (PDF, engelskspråkig)
    • I oktober 2013 sökte amerikanska U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) och U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) offentliga kommentarer anträffande problem med upphovsrättspolicyn, inklusive de rättsliga ramarna för skapandet av remixer. Våra advokater använde sig av berättelser inskickade av fans för att förklara för dessa myndigheter, som sannolikt kommer att föreslå ny lagstiftning om upphovsrätt, varför all förändring inom upphovsrättslagarna bör stödja friheten att skapa transformativa arbeten.

      OTWs juridiska medarbetare Rebecca Tushnet infann sig även i en panel vid konferensen Legal Framework for Remixes den 12:e december 2013 och de ombads tala till dessa myndigheter angående samma offentliga process. (Hon börjar tala vid 33 minuters punkten).

    Fox Broadcasting Company, Inc., Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., och Fox Television Holdings v. Dish Network L.L.C. och Dish Network Corporation

    • Amici Brief, Dish v. ABC (PDF, engelskspråkig); framlagd den 24:e januari, 2014.
    • Amicus Brief, Fox vs. DISH (PDF, engelskspråkig); framlagd den 24:e januari, 2013.
    • OTW framlade en amicus brief, tillsammans med Electronic Frontier Foundation och Public Knowledge, där de argumenterar att:
      “Lagen för tillåten användning ger inte upphovsrättsinnehavarna absolut kontroll över användningen av deras skapelser. Distriktsrätten följde en klar föregående och sund policy när den fann att användarna av Dish’s Ad Hopper inte inkräktar på Fox’s exklusiva rättigheter, att Dish troligtvis inte skulle kunna hållas ansvarig för dess kunders användning, och att Fox inte lidit någon permanent skada.
      Denna domstol bör bekräfta distriktsrättens föreläggande, men tydliggöra att Dish’s mellanliggande kopiering är en tillåten användning.”

    Ansökan till Copyright Office för att förnya DMCA-undantag för skapare av icke kommersiella remixer, 2011 - 2012

    Ryan Hart vs. Electronic Arts, Inc.

    • Amicus Brief, Ryan Hart vs. Electronic Arts, Inc. (PDF, engelskspråkig); framlagd den 23:e maj, 2012.
    • OTW skickade in en amicus brief, tillsammans med Digital Media Law Project och International Documentary Association samt tio stycken juridik professorer, där de argumenterar att EAs användning av data/information om amerikanska fotbollsspelare i videospel täcks av det första tillägget till amerikanska konstitutionen (First Amendment). Både EA och allmänheten har ett starkt intresse i att kunna nyttja det första tillägget till amerikanska konstitutionen för att kunna använda sig av faktauppgifter så som spelares längd, vikt, spelarnummer och lag i kreativa skapelser.

    Salinger v. Colting

    Ansökan till Copyright Office i stöd för DMCA-undantag för skapare av icke kommersiella remixer, 2008- 2009

    EFF ansökte till Library of Congress om ett DMCA-undantag för att tillåta utdrag av klipp från DVD:er för användning i icke kommersiella remix-videor, så som fanvideor, så att dessa kan ses som tillåten användning. OTW (samt massor av fanvideoskapare) assisterade under förberedelserna av denna ansökan.

    OTW skickade in ett kommenterande uttalande till stöd för EFFs förslag angående DMCA-undantag för fanvideoskapare och andra icke kommersiella remix-videoskapare.

    Den 22:a juni efterfrågade Copyright Office ytterligare information från OTW och andra grupper som vittnade under DMCA Anticircumvention förhöret under den 6-8 maj. (Dessa förhör var utformade för att presentera vittnesmål med stöd både för och emot DMCA-undantag för lärare utöver filmstudie-professorer (inkluderande lärare inom grund- och gymnasieskolan), dokumentärfilmskapare, fanvideoskapare samt andra icke kommersiella remix-videoskapare.) Dessa kompletterande frågor handlade om DVD- och skärmdumpnings mjukvaror.

    Copyright Office skickade ut en andra runda av kompletterande frågor den 22:a augusti, 2009. OTW samarbetade med Electronic Frontier Foundation, ett antal biblioteksföreningar (ALA, AALL, ARL, ACRL), film- och mediaprofessorer, samt dokumentärfilmskapare och deras organisationer, på ett gemensamt svar.
    Vi arbetade även tillsammans med EFF på ett separat svar, specifikt för att ta upp de särskilda behov som fanvideoskapare och andra remix-artister har; se nedan.

  • OTW Legal Represents Fans at Roundtable

    By Kiri Van Santen on Monday, 18 August 2014 - 5:44pm
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    Banner by Erin of a spotlight on an OTW logo with the words 'Spotlight on Legal Issues'

    The OTW's Legal Committee has been representing fans in a series of discussions dubbed "The Green Paper Roundtable", which are part of the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO)'s efforts to seek public comments on copyright policy issues.

    The OTW's earlier participation led to our team having a seat in these ongoing discussions to advise the NTIA/PTO on a legal framework for the creation of remixes.

    The USPTO has posted the video and transcript of its Los Angeles Green Paper roundtable which was held on July 29. Unfortunately, the transcript is not of the best quality though it may be helpful to some.

    The remix panel, which the OTW participated in, is the second panel of the morning (starting at about 1:56:00 of the morning video).

    Praise for the OTW and Fans' Participation

    Mitch Stoltz of the Electronic Frontier Foundation gave a shoutout to the OTW's Green Paper submission linked above:

    "I was moved by the passion of a lot of the advocates on this panel on all sides of this issue and I'm moved by art and creative work of all kinds. I want to ask everyone here and everyone watching online that if you too are moved by creative work and the passion of the people who create it is to take another look at the green paper comments submitted by the Organization for Transformative Works.

    This was pages and pages of incredibly moving personal stories about people, and these are, for the most part, marginalised people. These are women, these are people of colour, these are new Americans, these are LGBT, using fanwork, using video and writing and music and other media and using mainstream creative work to talk back to popular culture, to participate in popular culture, to enrich it and maybe to change it, and I was moved to tears by some of these stories. These are folks who, most of them will never be able to afford the hourly rates of Dina [LaPolt] or Jay [Cooper] or even lesser attorneys. Some of them will, some of them will probably become mainstream artists and in so doing change our culture for the better. Most won't, certainly they don't right now.

    I will encourage everyone, and I encourage the task force and the copyright office to take another look at those comments and once you have I think there is no way that anyone would be able to come back to the task force and say that these people are not creative, that they are not creators, that they don't contribute to our shared culture, that they don't deserve the same protection and the same freedom that our laws give to mainstream artists. Thank you."

    You can view his comment at 3:35:25 of the afternoon video.

    Standing Against Barriers to Speech

    Betsy Rosenblatt of the OTW also said:

    "I think we're looking at two very competing rights. One is the right to control what happens with your work. The other is the right of speech. And, as Jay pointed out, many people struggle for years to hone their crafts. Many of those people who are struggling for years to hone their crafts are doing so by playing cover songs, for example, or by making mash-ups through which they learn editing skills, video skills, that sort of thing. And licensing not only prices many of these struggling artists out of creation, but also breeds censorship, as I think the examples highlight. Naturally, Steven Tyler doesn't want people using his music, in that particular example, but that's exactly why we have fair use, to allow people to make commentary without getting his permission.

    Legal uncertainty permits over-reaching by copyright holders, and, particularly in concert with the digital millennium copyright act notice and takedown procedure, can be used to suppress commentary or criticism by playing on the risk aversion—the rational risk aversion—of intermediaries who don't want their safe harbour taken away. And uncertainty also disproportionately chills speech by the smallest and least privileged speakers. Our fair use regime generally favours transformative non-commercial speech, so generally would favour—and we hear this all the time, this isn't just the Organization for Transformative Works saying it—generally favours the sort of remix embodied in, the sort of mash-up embodied in fanworks and fan cultures, but when paired with the burden-shifting regime of the DMCA, ends up being very chilling because it moves the burden of proving non-infringement to the remix artists and away from proving infringement to the copyright owners.

    What that means is it harms those who already face financial or social barriers to speech, or having difficulty finding or paying for legal services. As an example, we at the OTW get e-mails and calls from men who say 'I got a takedown notice. I'm going to fight it. Help me.' We get calls and e-mails from women who say "'I'm afraid to post my 'My Little Pony' fiction because I'll get kicked off the internet.' Those are very different reactions to the same law based on the amount of privilege that they have going in. So I have some concrete suggestions for how to approach this. Remix creators need to know that they have a right to create without permission, and they don't just exist at the sufferance of copyright owners. And the law should expressly permit non-commercial remix through doctrines very much like what we have now—fair use, safe harbours. But—and these should be flexible—but not permit the sort of uncertainty we have now. For example, they shouldn't make remix illegal, as 1201 would, if not for the copyright office exemptions provided in 2010 and 2012. And we should seriously consider the possibility of a specific safe harbour for non-commercial remix as Canada has."

    You can view Betsy's statement at 2:24:10 of the morning video.


    OTW's Legal Committee works on behalf of fans and fandom to make sure our voices are represented in these important discussions, and we will continue to update you on these developments. As part of the Organization for Transformative Works, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, OTW Legal exists entirely on the generosity of our donors. If you appreciate their work, please consider donating today.

  • OTW files amicus brief in Capitol Records vs Vimeo

    By Janita Burgess on Thursday, 31 July 2014 - 5:11pm
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    OTW Spotlight on Legal

    Together with a number of allies, OTW's Legal Committee filed an amicus brief Wednesday in the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Capitol Records v. Vimeo. The case began when the record labels sued Vimeo, alleging that a number of fanworks hosted on Vimeo's site infringed the record companies' copyrights.

    At this stage of the case, the question before the court has to do with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)'s "safe harbor" provision, which protects content hosts like Vimeo (and the AO3) from copyright liability for material posted by their users. Specifically, the court is addressing what constitutes "red flag" knowledge of infringing material that would require the hosting service to remove the material even without receiving a takedown notice. In the brief, the OTW and its allies argue, among other things, that the standard set by the trial court would place unreasonably high demands on sites that host user generated content and would chill valuable speech protected by the fair use doctrine.

    One of our partners, the EFF, has posted about the filing, stating "The safe harbors are critical to the Internet's success as a forum for innovative art, discussion, and expression of all kinds, forestalling crippling litigation that would force most websites to close their doors. Yet the district court created new liability, contrary to the law and the intent of Congress."

    Our joint brief highlights the value of fanworks and remix creativity, and explains how increasing liability for content hosts would chill creativity and undermine the objectives of the DMCA's safe harbor provisions, saying:

    "The burden would be especially significant for the many small and nonprofit platforms that host remix videos. Such videos often include music from a variety of sources, but the staff that run these sites won’t necessarily be music specialists able to determine when a given track was recorded. Indeed, many remix videos include multiple tracks, making the task still more challenging. The effect of this significantly increased cost and burden, combined with the accompanying uncertainty about potential liability for pre-1972 audio, would almost inevitably be to chill investment in or development of innovative services that might include such content. That chill, in turn, will inevitably stifle the creative works that depend on those services to reach an audience."

    We will keep fans informed on future developments in this case.

  • Legal Advocacy (Wsparcie Prawne)

    By Ania Kopertowska on Friday, 25 July 2014 - 6:55pm
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    OTW (Organizacja na rzecz Twórczości Przeobrażonej) wierzy, że prace fanowskie należą do kreatywnej twórczości przeobrażonej - co zalicza je do tworów typu fair use. Dlatego też aktywnie chronimy fanów przed komercyjnym wyzyskiem i zarzutami prawnymi. Pomagamy w tej sposób wszystkim, nie tylko tym bezpośrednio związanym z OTW.

    Nasze działania obejmują:

    Cindy Lee Garcia v. Google, Inc.,YouTubeLLC, et al., i Nakoula Basseley Nakoula

    • Opinia Prawna, Garcia vs Google (PDF); wydana 14 kwietnia 2014 r.
    • OTW nawiązała współpracę z Floor64 (obsługującym TechDirt), aby wydać opinię proszącą sąd o ponowne rozważenie decyzji w świetle faktu, że - pomimo iż decyzja ta może mieć pozytywne rezultaty - to w tym konkretnym przypadku tworzy ona fatalne prawo, które skrzywdzi swobodę ekspresji w Internecie. Sprawa ta dotyczy zakresu i zastosowania klauzuli safe harbor w DMCA i ustępu 230 Ustawy Communications Decency, które wspólnie chronią hostów treści — takich jak Youtube, Archive of Our Own – AO3 (Nasze Własne Archiwum) i wielu innych — przed ponoszeniem odpowiedzialności za to, co publikują ich użytkownicy.

    Wysyłanie komentarzy do Komisji Europejskiej

    • Komentarze nadesłane przez OTW (PDF)
    • W lutym 2014 roku Komisja Pomocy Prawnej OTW zarejestrowała organizację w Rejestrze służącym przejrzystości Unii Europejskiej i złożyła wniosek w odpowiedzi na wezwanie Komisji Europejskiej o komentarze w związku z potencjalnymi reformami odnośnie ochrony praw autorskich w Unii Europejskiej.

    Stephanie Lenz, vs. Universal Music Corp., Universal Music Publishing, Inc., i Universal Music Publishing Group

    • Opinia Prawna, Lenz vs Universal (PDF); wydana 13 grudnia 2013 roku.
    • OTW nawiązała współpracę z Public Knowledge i z International Documentary Association, reprezentowaną przez Stanford Fair Use Project, aby wydać opinię prawną. Wyjaśnia się w niej, że bezpodstawne zarzuty naruszania prawa autorskiego krzywdzą prawo fair use (dozwolony użytek) i wolność słowa poprzez dokumentowanie uporczywego nadużycia ostrzeżeń DMCA. Statut wymaga aby nadawca ostrzeżenia o zamknięciu potwierdził pod karą krzywoprzysięstwa, że użytek nie jest “zautoryzowany przez prawo;” przekłamania są karane. W rezultacie dowodziliśmy, że prawo wymaga odpowiednich podpór aby stworzyć przekonanie o dobrej wierze względem tego, czy użytek jest dozwolony, przed wydaniem osrzeżenia z tytuły DMCA - powinno równiez karać tych, którzy wykazują podejście “najpierw strzelaj a potem pytaj,” jak zrobił to Universal w stosunku do videa pani Lenez.

    Wysłanie komentarzy do PTO/NTIA

    • Komentarze nadesłane przez OTW (PDF)
    • W październiku 2013 r. U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) i U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) poszukiwały publicznych komentarzy na temat problemów z polityką prawa autorskiego wraz ze strukturą prawną dla tworzenia remiksów. Nasi adwokaci użyli historii nadesłanych przez fanów aby wyjaśnić placówkom, które prawdopodobnie przedstawią nowe ustawy dotyczące prawa autorskiego, dlaczego jego zmiana powinna faworyzować wolność w tworzeniu twórczości przeobrażonej.

      Pracownica OTW Legal (Pomocy Prawnej OTW), Rebecca Tushnet, pojawiła się również na panelu dotyczącym Struktury Prawnej dla Remiksów, którego członków zaproszono, aby złożyli zeznania wyżej wymienionym organizacjom w związku z procesem dotyczącym publicznych komentarzy 12 grudnia 2013 r. (Zaczyna mówić w 33 minucie).

    Fox Broadcasting Company, Inc., Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., i Fox Television Holdings vs. Dish Network L.L.C. and Dish Network Corporation

    • Opinia Prawna, Dish v. ABC (PDF); wydana 24 stycznia 2014 r.
    • Opinia Prawna, Fox vs. DISH (PDF); wydana 24 stycznia 2013 r.
    • OTW, wspólnie z Electronic Frontier Foundation i Public Knowledge, nadesłała opinię prawną dowodzącą, że "Prawo autorskie nie zapewnia jego posiadaczowi, jak np. Fox, całkowitej kontroli nad użytkowaniem jego prac. Sąd Okręgowy postępował według jasnego precedensu i zasadnej polityki, kiedy dowiedział się, że użytkownicy Ad Hopper Disha nie naruszają praw na wyłączność Foxa; że Dish najprawdopodobniej nie poniesie odpowiedzialności za działanie swoich klientów; oraz, że Fox nie doznał żadnej nieodwracalnej szkody. Sąd ten powinien podtrzymać polecenie sądu okręgowego, ale również wyjaśnić, że pośrednie kopiowanie Dish jest dozwolonym użytkiem".

    Petycja do Copyright Office aby odnowić wyjątek od DMCA dla twórców niekomercyjnych remiksów, 2011 - 2012

    • Komentarz Electronic Frontier Foundation (PDF), przesłany 2 grudnia 2011 r. Członkowie OTW Rebecca Tushnet, Rachael Vaughn i Francesca Coppa pracowali razem z EFF, aby przesłać propozycję wznowienia i rozszerzenia wyjątku od DMCA dla Niekomercyjych Remiksów.
    • Komentarz Zwrotny w imieniu OTW (PDF), wspierający wystosowaną przez EFF propozycję wyjątku od DMCA dla viderów i innych autorów remiksów; przesłany 2 marca 2012 r. Pracownicy Pomocy Prawnej OTW Rachael Vaughn i Rebecca Tushnet współpracowały z członkami Pomocy Prawnej i viddingu, aby stworzyć Odpowiedź wspierającą propozycję EFF; EFF wysłało również własny Komentarz zwrotny (PDF) w celu wsparcia różnych wyjątków, włączając w to wyjątek dla niekomercyjnych remiksów.
    • Poprawiony Test Suite of Fair Use Video (Zestaw Testów dla Dozwolonego Użytku Video) zawiera porównanie między materiałem filmowym zebranym dzięki ripom z DVD a screen capture.
    • Francesca Coppa, Rebecca Tushnet i Tisha Turk zeznają przed Biblioteką Kongresu Stanów Zjednoczonych, 4 Czerwca 2012; Tisha Turk przedstawia dowody rzeczowe w naszej pierwszej Image Gallery (Galerii Obrazów) demonstrujące różnicę w jakości pomiądzy źródłami DVD-ripped i screen captured.
    • Odpowiedź na dowody rzeczowe DVD CCA wspierające screencapture, wysłana 2 sierpnia 2012 r.; zobacz posiadany przez OTW drugi zestaw dowodów rzeczowych w naszej drugiej Galerii Obrazów.

    Ryan Hart vs. Electronic Arts, Inc.

    • Opinia Prawna, Ryan Hart vs. Electronic Arts, Inc.; wydana 23 maja 2012 r.
    • OTW wysłała opinię prawną razem z Digital Media Law Project, International Documentary Association i dziesięcioma profesorami prawa, dowodzącą, że użycie przez EA danych/opisów graczy footballu amerykańskiego, będących studentami, w grach jest objęte Pierwszą Poprawką. EA i społeczeństwo są bardzo zainteresowani Pierwszą Poprawką jeśli chodzi o możliwość zawierania faktycznych informacji - takich, jak wzrost graczy, ich waga, numer koszulki oraz drużyna - w pracach twórczych.

    Salinger vs. Colting

    Petycja do Copyright Office w kwestii wyjątku od DMCA dla twórców niekomercyjnych remiksów, 2008- 2009

    EFF złożyła podanie o wyjątek od DMCA do Biblioteki Kongresu Stanów Zjednoczonych. Wyjątek ten pozwalałby na traktowanie użycia klipów z DVD w niekomercyjnych remiksach video, takich jak fanvids, jako dozwolonego użytkowania. OTW (oraz wielu vidderów) brało udział w przygotowaniu podania.

    OTW przesłała komentarz zwrotny wspierający wyjątek od DMCA zaproponowany przez EFF dotyczący vidderów i innych twórców remiksów.

    22 czerwca Copyright Office zażadało dodatkowych informacji od OTW oraz innych grup, które zeznawały podczas Przesłuchań DMCA mających zapobiec obejściu prawa, odbywających się 6-8 maja. (Przesłuchania te miały na celu rozważyć zeznanie na rzecz i przeciw wyjątkom od DMCA dla wychowawców z pominięciem profesorów filmoznawstwa (wliczając w to nauczycieli K-12), twórców filmów dokumentalnych oraz vidderów i innych niekomercyjnych twórców remiksów.) Pytania uzupełniające dotyczyły oprogramowania potrzebnego do DVD i screen capture.

    The Copyright Office rozesłało 22 sierpnia 2009 r. drugi zestaw pytań uzupełniających. OTW, we współpracy z Electronic Frontier Foundation, szeregiem stowarzyszeń (ALA, AALL, ARL, ACRL), profesorami mediów i filmoznawstwa oraz twórcami filmów dokumentalnych i ich organizacjami, stworzyło wspólną odpowedź. Byliśmy również, razem z EFF, współautorami osobnej odpowiedzi, by zadresować w szczególności potrzeby vidderów i innych twórców remiksów; wgląd poniżej.

  • OTW Legal at San Diego Comic-Con

    By Claudia Rebaza on Saturday, 19 July 2014 - 4:16pm
    Message type:

    Banner by Erin of a spotlight on an OTW logo with the words 'Spotlight on Legal Issues'

    San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) the world-famous, multi-fandom convention is about to kick off and the OTW will be there!

    The Organization for Transformative Works, together with deviantART, will be hosting a panel titled “Comic-Con How-To: Fans, Love, and the Law” on Saturday, 26 July. The speakers will be Betsy Rosenblatt and Heidi Tandy from OTW Legal, and Josh Wattles from deviantART. They’ll be discussing the legal issues surrounding fanworks, so bring your questions about fair use, cease and desist letters, and any other legal issues that have come up in your fannish activities.

    The panel will take place in Room 2 from 3:30-4:30.

    For those interested in the Comic-Con schedule description:

    "Fan art, fanfic, and fan video are delightful passions and like all such things, if they go too far, someone might get angry. DeviantART and the Organization for Transformative Works, together holding the largest collection of fanworks in the universe based on any intellectual property within any media, will bring out their lawyers to explain how you can go to sleep at night, dream the dream of fans, and never have to hide under the bed. “Lawyer Up” with Betsy Rosenblatt and Heidi Tandy from OTW Legal and Josh Wattles from deviantART."

    For fans not at SDCC this year, the OTW Legal Committee is always open to your questions, so feel free to contact them.

  • The censorship problems faced by anime and manga fans

    By Claudia Rebaza on Friday, 11 July 2014 - 4:09pm
    Message type:

    Banner by Erin of a spotlight on an OTW logo with the words 'Spotlight on Legal Issues'

    The following post was written by Fanhackers chair Nele Noppe.

    For fans of manga, anime, and other Japanese media, pointing and laughing at inaccurate mass media portrayals of Japanese pop culture has been something of a sport for decades. A few weeks ago, however, things took a slightly more serious turn.

    The ball got rolling when early in June, the Japanese House of Representatives approved a long-overdue law banning the possession of child pornography. Up to now, creating and distributing child pornography was as forbidden in Japan as anywhere else, but “simple possession” had not yet been criminalized. The new law applies only to “real” child pornography and leaves alone completely fictional depictions of underage characters in sexual situations in manga, anime and other media. This exception came about after vocal protests from manga publishers, creators, fans and free speech rights activists. The story was widely reported in non-Japanese media. However, most of these reports focused on handwringing about Japan's “failure” to clamp down on sexually explicit manga. Most shared was a CNN article filled with outrage about how the new law supposedly permits Japanese bookstores to fill their shelves with shocking cartoon porn about children.

    As the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) pointed out in a scathing reaction post, CNN’s report was highly misleading and uninformed, misrepresenting manga in general as pornographic and painting the “freedom of speech" arguments against the new law as no more than the lobbying of a large industry bent on making profit from icky virtual child pornography. The comments section of the CNN article quickly filled with anime and manga fans fact-checking the text and refuting its arguments.

    Their support, and that of the CBLDF, was of some small comfort to Japanese creators and activists who were aghast at their portrayal in Western media. Simple complaining about "Japanese cartoon porn" is, by now, no more than sadly familiar. Sensation-hungry Western news outlets have been creating miniature moral panics out of that ever since they realized that in Japan, comics and animation are media that are used to express not just "kiddy stuff" but every kind of content, including pornography.

    This uproar went further in the sense that it represented manga creators and free speech activists as money-grubbing child pornographers. CNN and other news sources seemed unaware that in Japan, unlike in the United States, laws that restrict depictions of sexuality in media actually are a very serious freedom of speech issue, and have been so since immediately after WWII. Japanese creators and publishers of sexually explicit material who yell about free speech rights are not just demanding the right to do whatever they like; they are continuing half a century of protests against arbitrary and outdated censorship laws.

    A look at Japanese legal history

    Japanese authorities have used and continue to use laws against “obscenity” to attempt to control what gets published in the country. Before and during WWII, such laws were among several used to suppress any speech that did not support Japanese militarism. After the war, freedom of speech was guaranteed in Japan’s new constitution, but still restricted by only one remaining bit of pre-war legislation: Article 175 of the Criminal Code of Japan, which prohibits the sale or distribution of materials that contain “obscenity” (waisetsu).

    Other countries at the time also attempted to legally curtail “obscene” media, of course, but Japan’s anti-obscenity law turned out to have bigger teeth than many others. For instance, in the 1950s and 1960s, the US, Britain, and Japan all held separate trials about obscenity contained in the D.H. Lawrence novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover. In the US and Britain, the trials ended in acquittals, greatly reducing the subsequent relevancy of obscenity laws for media in those countries. In Japan, however, Lady Chatterly was judged obscene. The victory of the prosecution in this first postwar Japanese “obscenity” trial was an important precedent, because it confirmed that obscenity laws were a stick that authorities could beat publishers and authors with whenever they were displeased with the direction Japan’s creative sector was going in. Lady Chatterley was the first in a series of protracted and much-publicized “obscenity” trials that covered many different media, from books to film to photographs to manga. (See Cather for in-depth analysis of censorship in Japan.)

    Far from being discouraged, the Japanese media industry made dodging of the censors into an art form. Manga creators, for instance, got very creative in figuring out ways to depict naked bodies and sex without showing pubic hair (long a no-no) or genitalia. Article 175 and related laws and local ordinances were applied so rarely and so inconsistently that the creators and publishers who did end up getting charged were usually very surprised to be singled out. Still, many of the obscenity trials turned into platforms for broad swathes of Japan’s literary world and media industry to try and wrestle back their right to publish freely from the state. Many feel that bureaucrats and police have no business deciding what people are allowed to read in order to protect a vague and constantly-shifting idea of "public morality".

    No matter how rarely used, laws against obscenity, and (especially since the 1990s) a mushrooming multitude of local ordinances against “harmful” media, do influence what can get published, what can be on library shelves, and what people can write and draw. The chilling effect of even potential legal troubles was - and still is - considerable for authors and publishers. Only weeks ago, a new manga by an assistant mangaka working on the popular series Attack on Titan was cancelled because its publisher feared that it might run afoul of a local ordinance in Tokyo aimed at curtailing the spread of “unhealthy publications”.

    The fandom effect

    Censors’ attention turned to manga and fan culture after 1989, when a serial killer turned out to possess large amounts of sexually explicit anime and be a participant in Comiket, Japan’s largest convention for fan manga (doujinshi). This led Japanese media to engage in what fans called "otaku bashing".

    Although stigmatization of fans as socially maladjusted and possibly dangerous loners has lessened much since then, its effects are still felt. The most recent high-profile “obscenity” trial, a five-year legal battle that ended in 2007 with a guilty verdict from the Supreme Court of Japan, was about a manga (more on that trial). Commentators and scholars argue that manga has become a target for censorship, at least in part, because anime, manga, and Japanese fan culture in general have been gaining much attention and acclaim overseas. The Japanese government has been trying to turn that attention into money with various “Cool Japan” campaigns aimed at promoting Japanese media products and tourism to Japan.

    Polemics in foreign media about the less photogenic parts of Japanese pop culture, like adult manga, are then unwelcome indeed. Some warn that with the Tokyo Olympics coming up in 2020, local and national authorities in Japan may get even more sensitive to foreign handwringing about “Japanese cartoon porn”. However valid that fear may or may not be, last month’s new flap about manga and anime highlights how uninformed many media outlets still are about Japan, and how little any articles about non-English fandoms in the mass media can be trusted. Shallow and alarmist reporting by major and (somewhat) respected news sources like the BBC and CNN reinforces orientalist stereotypes about Japan and its people being somehow lacking in sexual morals. Clearly, it also does great harm to the cause of activists who are fighting to keep bureaucrats and police from gaining tools to control what can be published by the Japanese media, professional and amateur.

    Last month’s incident also highlights the growing importance of free speech rights to fan communities. Laws against “obscenity” or so-called “virtual child pornography” are still low on the radar of many English-speaking fans, especially compared to copyright woes. However, the example of Japan shows that these laws can and do have a very direct impact on what fans can make and distribute.

    Past and recent cases

    In Japan, the extremely popular fan-made manga called doujinshi have to follow the law just as much as commercially published manga. Fans are free to draw what they like in private, but if they want to distribute their fanworks in any way, they have to apply censor bars or mosaics to anything that might possibly catch the attention of censors. Just like with professional manga, the law is applied only rarely and inconsistently, but anti-obscenity laws have still led to legal troubles for individual fans and disruptions of fan activities and fannish infrastructure.

    For instance, in the midst of a “harmful books” polemic that followed the arrest of the “otaku” serial killer in 1989, “police confiscated thousands of doujinshi from merchants in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward and arrested several shop owners” (Japan Times). In 1991, doujinshi convention Comiket was forced to move out of its convention site Makuhari Messe because police had received complaints about the fanworks being distributed there (Comiket welcomed over two hundred thousand visitors around that time and hosted 11,000 fanwork creators). Doujinshi conventions began to enforce anti-obscenity measures and check every fanwork on sale to make sure it followed guidelines about obscuring genitals and warning buyers of sexual content on the covers. Still, in 1994 and on several other occasions, further conventions had to be cancelled or moved because of complaints about possible "harmful material" being distributed.

    “Obscenity” issues were shown to be connected with copyright problems in 1999 when a a female creator of sexually explicit doujinshi for the popular children's game and anime series Pokemon was arrested for copyright infringement, apparently after someone complained about the explicit material to copyright holder Nintendo. In 2007, a doujinshi creator was arrested and eventually fined because his self-censorship of his works was not sufficient. This lead doujinshi conventions (and online doujinshi shop DLsite) to tighten enforcement of censorship regulations, and the Japan Doujinshi Printing Group to issue self-censorship guidelines for all fans who wanted to have their doujinshi printed by its member printing companies. Later in 2007, a building which had been used by several doujinshi conventions was closed to conventions that feature sexually explicit doujinshi. In 2009, the manager of a doujinshi shop shop was arrested on suspicion of distributing obscene material (NSFW link). Today, various links in the creation and distribution chain of doujinshi - doujinshi printers, conventions, and doujin shops - continue to impress upon fans the importance of “self-regulation" (jishu kisei, in practice “self-censorship") when distributing fanworks.

    Unsurprisingly, censorship issues are at least as important as copyright issues for Japanese fans. Around 2010, for instance, Japanese fan communities were actively involved in a battle to defeat a local ordinance in Tokyo that attempted to forbid the distribution of material containing sexual depictions of ill-defined “nonexistent youths” (more in this TWC article).

    Worldwide effects

    Japanese laws are not the only ones causing problems for fans. Outside Japan, several fans have gotten in serious trouble because the manga they love were considered “child pornography” by authorities. The CBLDF has been particularly active in chronicling these cases and sometimes providing legal support to fans. In 2010, for instance, a U.S. manga fan was sentenced to jail because manga in his collection contained “drawings of children being sexually abused". Also in 2010, another U.S. manga fan was arrested at the Canadian border for similar reasons, at least the second time this sort of arrest happened in Canada. Several more fans have reported online that they were questioned at the Canadian border because they were carrying manga. In 2012, there was a small victory as Swedish manga translator Simon Lundström was cleared of child pornography charges brought on by several manga on his computer.

    This string of worldwide incidents surrounding manga, and the uproar in Western media about Japan’s “refusal” to criminalize “virtual child pornography”, shines a light on how little attention most countries outside Japan have paid to the question of whether it makes sense to extend anti-child pornography laws to depictions of entirely fictional children. Some countries, like Australia and Canada, do extend their definitions of “child pornography” to media that contain absolutely no real children, only fictional characters. In the US, this cannot be prosecuted as child pornography, but it can be prosecuted under general obscenity laws if it meets the standard for obscenity (as judged by community standards, patently offensive sexually explicit depictions that lack literary, artistic, political, or scientific value).

    However, these laws mostly passed with very little public consultation or debate (see McLelland). There was often no serious inquiry into the question of whether “virtual child pornography” is actually harmful to anyone, and why it should be banned while fictional depictions of other crimes are fine and dandy. Objections about a lack of scientific evidence to link “virtual child pornography” to real harm, and objections about potential censorship, are easily brushed aside in the midst of moral panics about “protecting children”. According to Kotaro Ogino of the Japanese free speech organization Uguisu Ribbon Campaign, this problem is occurring in Japan as well, leading to the constant battles about potential criminalization of “virtual child pornography” that are taking place there today (personal communication).

    Also problematic is that, unlike in Japan, many citizens of these countries are not aware it may be illegal for them to make fictional depictions of sexual situations involving minors. Many fandoms such as Harry Potter or Attack on Titan have thriving shipping communities around underage characters. In theory, that puts some fan creators in the crosshairs of anti-child pornography laws. The fact that laws against “virtual child pornography” are rarely or inconsistently enforced does not mean they are harmless. The outcome of the constant fight that Japanese fans, mangaka, and publishers are waging against censorship laws may turn out to be very relevant for non-Japanese fans as well.

    For more information

    More news and information about censorship problems that impact Japanese and non-Japanese fans of anime and manga can be found on the CBLDF website, the blog of translator Dan Kanemitsu, Anime News Network, and in the articles tagged with “censorship” in the OTW’s fan studies bibliography.

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