Intellectual Property

  • OTW Fannews: Retelling Copyright

    By Janita Burgess on Friday, 28 November 2014 - 5:32pm
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    OTW Fannews Banner Retelling Copyright

    • At The Washington Post, Jessica Contrera looked at publishing and fanfiction. "'Fan fiction has absolutely become part of the fiber of what we publish,' said Jennifer Bergstrom, vice president and publisher of Gallery Books, a division of Simon & Schuster. 'This is changing at a time when traditional publishing needs it most.'” Established authors are getting on the bandwagon. "English crime writer P.D. James’s Austen-inspired­ book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' became a BBC TV movie...Scottish crime writer Val McDermid’s take on 'Northanger Abbey' was published in April. These books don’t typically market themselves as fan fiction. Instead, they’re 'inspired by' or 'a retelling.'"
    • While Contrera's article speculated about how to make FPF legally acceptable, another article in the Post discussed new developments regarding the right of publicity which affects RPF. "The problem, of course, is that people use others’ names and likenesses in 'products' or 'goods' all the time...An unauthorized biography, which is probably not 'news' or 'public affairs' as such, is a commercial product or good, and uses the name or likeness. So are fiction movies and books that revolve around real events...So are songs that refer to cultural items, such as in Paul Simon’s 'Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?' line."
    • In an NPR interview, Cory Doctorow proposed changes to copyright so that it would apply to industries rather than individuals. "What you would say is that it's against the law to break a digital lock if you're violating copyright. And if you're not violating copyright, it's not against the law to break a digital lock. And that would - that would solve the problem pretty handily because then we could make tools that let people do things that are illegal, but that the manufacturer doesn't want them to do, which is a time-honored tradition...The point is that if you have to care about copyright in order to just walk around in the world or use the Internet, then something is deeply wrong."

    What role has copyright had in your fandom's history? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Social Media for Fans

    By Kiri Van Santen on Saturday, 15 November 2014 - 5:36pm
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    • The Wall Street Journal wrote about different fandom activities on different social media platforms. "[T]he CW is trying just about everything in social media. Interestingly, once its fans tell the network which platform they want to use to interact with their favorite shows, the network leans in hard. 'We attack all the social media,' said Rick Haskins, the CW’s executive vice president of marketing and digital programs. 'Very, very quickly, the consumer says ‘this is the social platform we like [this particular show] on.’ When we see upticks, that’s when we move in quickly.'"
    • At The Daily Dot, S.E. Smith pointed out that not all fandoms embrace social media. "It seems to run counterintuitive to the idea that tech determines the pulse of popular culture. The NCIS website is crude and clunky, the show's Twitter is an anemic promotions vehicle, and the Internet doesn’t exactly come alive with fans livetweeting NCIS on Tuesday nights. The Internet isn’t interested in it for all the reasons that it appeals to vast numbers of viewers, illustrating that what the Internet wants from television is not necessarily what the Nielsen viewer wants."
    • The Asahi Shimbun discussed the importance of the decision to go royalty-free with vocaloid Hatsune Miku. "Developer Crypton Future Media Inc. released guidelines that acknowledge the creation of fan fictions for noncommercial purposes. To encourage collaborations between users, the company also set up Piapro, a social networking website where fans can post their songs and illustrations. 'It's meant to make creative efforts widespread without making users feel intimidated,' said Hiroyuki Ito, Crypton Future Media president."
    • Wattpad continues to pursue amateur authors and to focus on readers. In a discussion with The International Business Times, the inline commenting feature is mentioned. "This adds another dimension to the social interactions on Wattpad. With Inline Commenting, readers can comment on specific words, sentences and paragraphs of a story...Not only does Inline Commenting provide valuable and in-context feedback to writers, but it creates a new social experience for readers. It’s almost like they're reading alongside their friends and they can exclaim, commiserate, and react as the story unfolds."

    How have you seen companies developing content and features for fans? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: IP From New to Old

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sunday, 9 November 2014 - 5:01pm
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    • A post at JD Supra focused on the way fair use is being seen in U.S. courts following a decision in Fox News Network, LLC v. TVEyes, Inc. "More broadly, decisions like TVEyes suggest that courts are moving away from viewing fair use as a narrowly-drawn exception to copyright holders’ exclusive rights in their works, to the view that fair use promotes the creation of transformative works and thus serves one of the goals of copyright law itself. The TVEyes opinion, which essentially presumed transformativeness of the work at the outset of the fair use analysis, suggests that the trend toward this broader view of the role of fair use continues to gain traction in the federal courts."
    • OTW legal staffer Heidi Tandy reported on a lawsuit against LiveJournal (LJ) that was thrown out of court. The company Marvix claimed copyright infringement when its photos were posted on the LJ community OhNoTheyDidnt. But Marvix failed to first file a DMCA takedown request, moving immediately to a lawsuit. "LiveJournal has done other sites, platforms, communities, fandomers, news sites and forums a great service by seeing this lawsuit through. Mavrix has a pattern of using a threat that sites owe it hundreds of thousands in damages if one of their users - or even they - post a single photograph owned by one of Mavrix's paparazzi."
    • In a column on intellectual property in India, Zoya Nafis wrote about trademark and fanfiction. "Intellectual Property Rights are granted with an objective that they shall promote innovation and encourage creators to create more. They act as an incentive to create the work. They should never be used to impede innovation. Fan Fictions are creations by amateur creators who if given opportunity might create something great in future; therefore a lenient and balanced approach must be taken towards them."
    • The copyright education project CopyMe released a third episode, focusing on the history of how copyright came to be. "On the one hand, history shows us that copyright was designed for control more than anything else and that the state got away with this for over two centuries. On the other hand, businesses always feared new technology and lobbied for state protection, with arguments about authors’ safety. These two sides have always lurked in copyright’s underbelly and, over the course of three more centuries, managed to erode all the public good that copyright was primarily designed to promote." (Subtitles available).

    What cases involving copyright and fandom have you seen? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Interpreting Transformation

    By Kiri Van Santen on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 - 3:26pm
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    Graphic by Bremo of a gavel

    • While many identify fanworks as derivative creations, at Sequential Tart, Olwyn Supeene considered that same issue in regards to One Direction's music. "My interpretation of this, which I admit may be overly charitable, is that this is the next step on their way toward genuine and original artistic expression. They seem to be trying on different styles to see what best suits them... Like a collage or a mashup, Better Than Words repurposes existing material, compiling it to create meaning in a new context. The derivative becomes transformative."
    • A recent court case about transformative works had U.S. Circuit Courts in disagreement, although they agreed on the end result. "The court said it was 'skeptical' of the fair use approach that its sister circuit took in a 2013 copyright infringement case, Cariou v. Prince...The problem with focusing only on whether a work is transformative, the Seventh Circuit said, is that derivative works to some extent will always transform an original work...The Seventh Circuit instead focused on the four fair use factors set forth in Section 107 of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §107, saying, 'the most important [factor] usually is the fourth (market effect)'...'I don't think there is a circuit conflict,' Professor Shubha Ghosh of the University of Wisconsin Law School told Bloomberg BNA. 'Easterbrook just balances the four factors differently than what the 2nd Circuit would do.'
    • The Velveteen Rabbi looked at transformation and regeneration in relation to Dr. Who. "I doubt highly that the folks at the BBC had any notion, in 1963 when Doctor Who began, that they were creating a text which might evoke the journey of teshuvah for Jewish viewers for half a century to come. But I believe that it's our task as readers of any text (whether written or televisual) to find our own meaning in it, and that the finding of meaning is an essentially creative act. In coming to our own interpretations of what we're given, we become in a way co-creators of the text we're reading."

    What examples of transformative works are your favorites? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Caution, Advice Ahead

    By Janita Burgess on Sunday, 28 September 2014 - 4:13pm
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    OTW Fannews Caution Advice Ahead

    • Advice columnist Prudie from Slate reassured a mother who discovered her 13-year-old daughter reading "fan fiction for a very popular all boy band which describes in explicit detail sex acts between the male band members." (One guess?) In her response, Prudie reminisced on her own illicit Playboy reading as an adolescent and suggested that the mother address the issue but understand she can't police everything. "Your discovery is the kind of thing that does call for a talk," she wrote, "but first you have to both gather yourself and find your sense of humor." She finished by speculating that "the writers of this series didn't think their most avid fans would be teenage girls!"
    • Of course, not all advice is always well understood. Writer Michelle R. Wood discussed her discovery of the OTW's mission to protect and preserve fanworks but stated, "It's important to remember that technically, all of this work is still illegal. Without authorization from the author, publisher, or studio, a fan work is still in violation of copyright." In fact, as the OTW's Legal Advocacy project often explains, fanworks are creative and transformative, which are core fair uses.
    • Then there's also advice that isn't advice at all, such as a post in The Guardian that raised the hackles of some fanfic writers. Its author later apologized, saying "Piece was meant to be quite tongue in cheek, but as we've presented it as a 'how to' that could be misleading. I know fanfic is a big universe, and people do it for all sorts of reasons, inspired by a ton of different ideas. I love that it exists and as far as I'm concerned the more people that are writing stories the better. Sorry to offend!"

    Have words of wisdom for other fanfic readers and writers? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom Business

    By Janita Burgess on Saturday, 20 September 2014 - 5:07pm
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    Banner by Robyn of the post title with $ signs as S's laid over a photo of world currency

    • OTW's ally organization, Public Knowledge, is sponsoring a contest for remixers. In an effort to highlight the problem of consolidation in the U.S. cable industry, they are asking remixers to "[t]ake one or more of the recent highly publicized customer service calls with Comcast (or go to town with one of your own experiences) and let your imagination go to work. We want to see remixes, mashups, autotunes, interpretive dances -- whatever you think of to broadcast these real customer service calls with Comcast." If you win, "Public Knowledge will pay your last Comcast bill, up to $200, and spread the word about your creation." Visit their post for more details.
    • OTW's Legal Committee recently submitted comments to the Australian government, opposing a copyright proposal, which has now been withdrawn. "'Unanimous' opposition to the federal government's proposed copyright law changes will force it back to the drawing board to tackle online piracy, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull says. Representatives from both sides of the online piracy debate - including the telecommunications companies and rights holders - have warned the changes to copyright law outlined in the government's discussion paper on online piracy are too broad and could have negative unintended consequences."
    • A Viacom study of U.S. TV viewers was reported in numerous places. "The most interesting part of the research is what Viacom calls the 'Funnels to Fandom' – the process of becoming a fan, Viacom has found, takes place in five steps: Discovery, Research, Selection, Fandom, and Sharing." Fans have a strong influence since "in-person word of mouth is the #1 source for show discovery at 90%, closely followed by TV promos at 85% and word of mouth online or via social media at 78%." What's more, "[a]mong fans, marathoning is popular across all age groups: 83% of Millennials say this is one of their favorite ways to watch, followed by 72% of Gen Xers and 65% of Digital Natives."
    • Yahoo! Finance reported on the rapid aging of U.S. television viewers and what this could mean for programming. "Programmers will be increasingly willing to experiment with alternative distribution platforms for their content. With less risk of cannibalizing one’s core younger audience by offering shows on Netflix Inc., networks will try to cut deals to reach the mobile, 'time-shifting' viewer, wherever he or she can be found...we might see even more formulaic dramas and sitcoms, more pharmaceutical commercials and more older leading men and women in primetime, to better reflect the core viewing audience, rather than the sleeker, younger people who aren’t paying attention now anyway."

    What business stories have you seen that relate to fandom? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Founded on Fanworks

    By Kiri Van Santen on Wednesday, 17 September 2014 - 4:46pm
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    image by Robyn of James Madison, fourth president of the US

    • Jennifer Parsons wrote at Tech Dirt about fanfic written by one of the U.S. founding fathers. "Why fanfic? What made Madison decide to use existing characters to make his point rather than inventing his own characters like John Arbuthnot did for his own political allegory?...The easiest way to tackle these questions is to tell you an allegorical story. There once was a comic artist, 'Jim M.,' who wanted to comment upon the important issue of CIA torture. To make his point, he drew a three panel comic strip. In the first panel, Captain America is taking down a fanatical Nazi commander who tortured prisoners of war for the good of the Fatherland...In the second panel, Jim M. draws Captain America standing next to President Obama, who is casually observing that although the CIA did 'torture some folks,' the lapse can be excused because the torturers were patriots who loved their country. In the third panel we see Captain America's shadowed face as he walks away from a burning American flag."
    • Although some are very pleased with the offerings on Kindle Worlds, various sites posted a story by Jeff John Robertson at GigaOm about Kindle Worlds' success in light of a presentation by OTW legal staffer, Rebecca Tushnet. "For Amazon and its partners, it will be difficult to overcome such perceptions since the underlying problem is not just about licensing terms, but something more fundamental: the impossibility of having it both ways, of fostering maximum creativity while wielding maximum legal control. As Tushnet notes, Kindle Worlds is hardly the first time that a licensed model of creativity has come up short: the music industry’s imposition of sampling licenses smothered hip-hop in the 1990’s, while commercial controls eroded the popularity of the early fan fiction universe, Darkover."
    • The Fandom Post reported on Dynamite Entertainment being one of the latest companies to go DRM-free. "There will be a slow, focused roll-out over time that will grow the available titles to reflect the vast majority of Dynamite’s library. Throughout its first month of operation, Dynamite will donate ten percent of all sales to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the First Amendment rights of the comics art form and its community of retailers, creators, publishers, librarians, and readers."

    How far back have you seen fanworks go? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Reconsidering Fans & Fanworks

    By Claudia Rebaza on Saturday, 30 August 2014 - 4:09pm
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    Robot fans at a Korean baseball game

    • It's not unusual to find media articles or online posts with dubious declarations about fanworks' legal status, but it's less common to find posts that reconsider the topic. One writer for Business2Community took advice from OTW Legal staffer Heidi Tandy to better explore relevant legal cases and events. "One of the hallmarks of fan fiction is that it must be non-commercial. Yet many of the sites have ads on them – so aren’t they commercial? Not necessarily, says Tandy. 'Since 2002, there’s been a pretty clear distinction about what constitutes commercial vs. non-commercial publishing. I did a panel with Warner Brothers, and posed the question, ‘What if we put Google Ads or become an Amazon affiliate on our fan fiction site as a way to pay our server and hosting bills?’ And they said, ‘We have no problem with self-funding. What we have is a problem is with people selling things as if they are authorized or created by us or the original author.’'”
    • The Los Angeles Times posted about another recent legal case on Sherlock Holmes' public domain status which made clear the judge's views. "'The Doyle estate's business strategy is plain: charge a modest license fee for which there is no legal basis, in the hope that the 'rational' writer or publisher asked for the fee will pay it rather than incur a greater cost, in legal expenses, in challenging the legality of the demand. The strategy had worked ... only Klinger (so far as we know) resisted,' Posner wrote in his opinion. 'In effect he was a private attorney general, combating a disreputable business practice — a form of extortion — and he is seeking by the present motion not to obtain a reward but merely to avoid a loss.'"
    • TIME posted about robots replacing fans at Korean baseball games. "Hanwha’s robot fans will work as stand-ins for human fans who can’t attend a game. Remote fans will be able to control some of the robots’ movements — presumably certain hand gestures in the direction of umpires — and can even upload an image of their face to be shown on the machine’s screen. The robots will also let fans watch the game from afar, giving more fans the opportunity to join in the action and cheer on their team." Whether the robot fans will have the same legal rights as human fans remains to be seen but legal developments are sure to keep evolving!

    What tech and legal developments about fandom have caught your attention? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Working For and Against Fans

    By Jennifer Rose Hale on Thursday, 21 August 2014 - 4:46pm
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    People engaged in tug of war. Text reads OTW Fannews Working For and Against Fans
    • In February 2014, OTW Legal submitted comments to the European Commission in regards to its copyright regulations review. Now a report is out summing up the responses. "The results are not entirely surprising and very clear: we have a strong divide among copyright stakeholders with end users and institutional users (e.g. libraries, archives, universities) strongly in favor of copyright reform and authors, collective management organizations, publishers and producers in favor of the current copyright system."
    • Australia is undergoing a similar process, and is requesting comments from "interested organisations and individuals on the questions outlined in the discussion paper and on other possible approaches to address this issue." Submissions close on Monday, 1 September 2014. The Australian government is taking a very pro-copyright holder stance emphasizing levels of piracy and saying "Everyone has a role to play in reducing online copyright infringement. Rights holders need to ensure that content can be accessed easily and at a reasonable price. Internet service providers (ISPs) can take reasonable steps to ensure their systems are not used to infringe copyright. Consumers can do the right thing and access content lawfully."
    • Internet Policy Review featured a discussion of copyright in the UK and focused on gaming content. "Valve uses the Steam Workshop as a space where player-created content can be bought. The proceeds then get split between Valve and the item creator....[a fan] began distributing the shirts through a print on demand e-commerce service until Valve sent a takedown request. 'I was kind of under the impression that because Valve is so open to the community profiting - they've got the whole Workshop - I thought maybe they would encourage that sort of thing but they want people to do it through their channels.'...Wild was later contacted by We Love Fine, a third-party which works with Valve to get the company's approval for selling fan-designed products. A couple of his designs are now on the We Love Fine site and his work will also be included in the official shop catalogue for Valve's upcoming multimillion dollar Dota 2 professional gaming tournament."
    • ClickZ told marketers they need to embrace fan content. "This week it was reported that TripAdvisor has created a page for the Grand Budapest Hotel...While the page comes with a disclaimer...the devotion with which fans have thrown themselves into crafting unique user-generated content is very real. To date, more than 120 TripAdvisor users from all over the world have taken the time to review their fictional experience at the fictional hotel, peppering their posts with inside jokes only those who have seen the film would understand. The response demonstrates an interest in the movie that goes beyond the standard consumer reaction to entertainment content. In the literary world, this behavior is most closely related to fan fiction."

    What fandom copyright issues have you been seeing? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • 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.

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