• Notes from the Open Video Conference, Day Two

    By .fcoppa on Wednesday, 24 June 2009 - 7:23pm
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    Summary of a couple of panels on Day 2:

    Automated DMCA Takedowns and Web Video: Scott Smitelli, a professional sound designer and editor, is the fellow who wrote Fun with YouTube's Audio Content ID System, in which he tried to test out the limits of YouTube's fingerprinting system for audio. Conclusions: the software is mainly interested in the first 30 seconds of a song, and can be thwarted by pitch or time alterations of over 6% (which may be unhelpful to the musically sensitive among us, but there you go.) Kevin Driscoll and others from YouTomb discussed the January Massacre: the massive increase of takedowns in December, 2008 and January, 2009. On a graph, it looks like takedowns have dropped off since then, but that may be deceptive: in fact, it seems like things are being detected so fast (within ten minutes) that YouTomb can't keep track of them, or to put it another way: takedowns are low because stuff's never getting UP in the first place. A suggestion: that it would be great if every takedown left a webpage with a card saying, "This has been taken down," because in many cases, people are not aware of what they can't have. Oliver Day, also from YouTomb, told a chilling story: the original filmmaker who shot the clouds that were used in the Anonymous anti-Scientology ads had his original footage taken down--not in deference to those ads, but in deference to a Huffington Post anti-Giuliani parody of those ads. As Day put it, "The power is with the powerful": even though the original filmmaker's footage was there first, it was assumed that he was infringing the Huffington Post, and not the other way around.

    Who Owns Popular Culture? Remix and Fair Use in the Age of Corporate Mass Media: This was the panel hosted by Jonathan McIntosh and featuring animator Nina Paley (of Sita Sings The Blues, Neil Sieling from the Center for Social Media, political remixer Elisa Kreisigner, Karl Fogel from, and OTW Board Member Francesca Coppa. The panel largely discussed what the policing of online video and the over-enforcement of copyright means for artists, remixers, and those interested in free speech. Nina Paley answered the question literally, by providing a list of who owns popular culture--or in her case, literally, the songs, mostly from 1927-28, that she used in Sita Sings The Blues, while Elisa Kreisinger evoked many the important visual artists, from Duchamp to Koons to Kruger to Lichtenstein to Warhol, for whom remixing and recontextualizing pop culture was a key artistic move. (She also showed her remixes of the Queer Housewives of New York City.)

  • Notes from the Open Video Conference, Day One

    By .fcoppa on Saturday, 20 June 2009 - 4:32am
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    Francesca Coppa, Naomi Novik, and head coder Elz spent the day at the Open Video Conference in NYC today. The conference is primarily about building architecture for online video as well as open source software more generally, so you can see why we were interested. (We're keeping a close eye on the emerging technologies that might make a Vidding Archive Of Our Own more feasable and efficient.) Some highlights from today's programming: Independent Video Platforms: Representatives from various independent video spaces, mostly dealing with issues of social justice or alternative media, showcased their sites. (My favorite was India's, a beautifully designed digital archive designed to contextualize its footage and work in both high-bandwidth and low bandwidth situations.) Emerging P2P Technologies: This was a glimpse into a wildly exciting and very near future: streaming from bitorrents. The guys at P2P Next are working on something called the Swarmplayer, which allows you to stream from torrents, which means that you can create a YouTube like video archive with none of the server or infrastructure costs. Imagine a video archive where you can stream or download or both, and where having a popular vid doesn't kill your bandwidth, it increases your download speed. Imagine being able to watch anything currently being torrented through streaming, on-demand. (You can test Swarmplayer now, though you can only watch two videos; the researchers say we can expect a full version to be released in November, 2009.) How to Make a Political Remix Video: Political remixer and friend of the OTW Jonathan McIntosh has been showcasing fan vids on his site, Now he's made what he calls a vidding-influenced political remix video critiquing Twilight, Edward Meets Buffy (Twilight Remixed), which he premiered at the conference. Vidders, he'd love to hear what you think, so check out the video (embedded below, or linked on blip, which provides higher quality; vidders might check out blip as a replacement for YouTube or iMeem.)
  • Respuesta de la Organización de Obras Tranformativas (OTW)

    By hele on Thursday, 4 June 2009 - 8:23pm
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    Este comentario es remitido por Rebecca Tushnet en representación de la Organización de Obras Transformativas (OTW) en apoyo de la exención propuesta por la Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) para las siguientes clases de obras:

    Obras audiovisuales publicadas en DVD, en los cuales la elusión se emprende únicamente con el propósito de extraer clips para su inclusión en videos no comerciales que no infringen los derechos del autor.1

    I. Declaración de interés

    OTW es una organización sin fines de lucro, establecida por fans en 2007 para promover la aceptación de las obras de los fans como actividades creativas legítimas, para preservar la historia de la cultura de los fans, y para proteger y defender los trabajos de los fans de la explotación comercial y el cuestionamiento legal. La OTW cree que estas obras no comerciales, que hacen uso creativo de material pre-existente bajo derechos de autor, son transformativas, y que las obras transformativas son legítimas bajo la ley de derechos de autor de los Estados Unidos. La OTW proporciona atención gratuita a aquellos fans que necesitan asistencia al enfrentarse con problemas legales relacionados o a la atención de los medios. La Junta Directiva de la OTW incluye profesores, abogados, autores, y moderadores de comunidades de fans.

    Este comentario apoya la exención propuesta para videos remixados (remezclados) no comerciales que no infringen los derechos de autor. Con la presentación de este comentario, la OTW representa los intereses de un gran número de creadores de este tipo de videos. Los videos creados por fans, o vids, que incluyen clips de shows televisivos o películas populares, trabajan estos clips de forma tal que comentan o critican la fuente original. Conocido como "vidding," este método de filmación popular normalmente se basa en escenas copiadas digitalmente de DVDs. OTW, y los vidders a los que representa, creen que estas obras son transformativas y un uso legal del material original bajo la condición de uso justo (Fair Use) del Acta de Derechos de Autor (Copyright Act) , y que en consecuencia no debería existir ninguna prohibición legal sobre el proceso por medio del cuál este material original es extraído. En consecuencia, la OTW apoya la propuesta de EFF por una exención que permitiría la extracción de clips de un DVD para su inclusión en videos remixados (remezclados) no comerciales que se considere que son de uso justo (Fair Use).

    II. El vidding es una actividad artística valiosa y culturalmente legítima que representa a una comunidad ya establecida y en crecimiento.

    Los vids son videos musicales hechos por fans y consisten en cortar y remixar (remezclar) el metraje de series televisivas o películas para crear un montaje de video puesto a una nueva banda sonora. A pesar de su similitud a un trailer cinematográfico sin la voz en off, los vids en general tienen un corte más rápido, emulando el ritmo de los videos musicales y, en consecuencia, conservando poco o nada de la estructura narrativa de la fuente subyacente. El propósito del vidding es remixar el material original de forma tal que se consiga una nueva narrativa, usualmente una que comente o critique dicha fuente.

    Por ejemplo, el muy discutido vid "Women’s Work" (El trabajo de las mujeres) está basado en Supernatural(Sobrenatural), una serie de televisión acerca de dos hermanos caza-fantasmas.2 Sin embargo, el vid en sí apenas da un vistazo a los protagonistas; en cambio, edita juntas imágenes de mujeres a lo largo de incontables episodios del show, mujeres que son mostradas únicamente erotizadas, sufriendo, o demonizadas. Un comentarista lo describe como "una tesis doctoral sobre la misoginia de estructuras narrativas básicas, inescrutadas. . . el video explícita y viceralmente demuestra cómo tantas de las historias que conocemos y repetimos dependen del sufrimiento de la mujer."3 Efectivamente, las creadoras de "Women’s Work" transmiten su mensaje en una forma más sucinta y quizás más efectiva de lo que podría haberlo hecho una tesis escrita. Una de éstas vidders, Sisabet, destacó su intención de crear una meta-crítica no limitada sólo a Supernatural sino abarcando la establecida "maratón de tortura-pornificada" donde "sólo las mamás se queman en el techo, y a los papás se les permite caer muertos" en los medios de comunicación populares: "lo cual lleva a pararse y desear al menos señalarlo."4 Su trabajo representa no sólo una gran cantidad de esfuerzo creativo, sino también una crítica cultural significativa.

    Para criticar de esta forma es necesario, claro, hacer uso del material original. El poder de "Women’s Work" radica en que muestra en lugar de decir, expresando las sutilezas de las opciones visuales de Supernatural de una forma que ninguna cantidad de texto podría lograr. Los clips extraídos de los DVDs de una serie televisiva son, en consecuencia, esenciales para el arte. El vid es altamente transformativo, así como un obvio comentario crítico sobre el material en el que se sustenta, un uso que las pruebas establecidas en Campbell v. Acuff-Rose casi con certeza reconocerían como uso justo (Fair Use).5 De todos modos, no resulta necesario para los propósitos de esta proposición el considerar si este vid, o cualquier otro, es en realidad uso justo. La exención propuesta se aplica solo a los videos que no infrinjan los derechos de autor; si se establece que un video hace uso justo de la fuente, las técnicas usadas por el vidder para realizarlo deberían caer bajo la exención, y de hecho si otro video no fuera considerado como uso justo, el vidder podría no encontrarse exento de § 1201. Esta exención solo servirá para proteger a aquellos que están haciendo un uso legal del material registrado.

    A. La comunidad del vidding representa una contribución sustancial al crecimiento de la cultura del remix.

    La comunidad del vidding es una comunidad con trayectoria, cuya existencia precede a la tecnología de video digital. Para los primeros vidders usando video-grabadoras para la tarea décadas atrás, este arte era una tarea de amor. Y por todo su arduo trabajo, la distribución era también muy difícil, muchos de ellos sólo teniendo la oportunidad de presentar sus vids en pequeñas reuniones de fans. A pesar de estas dificultades, la comunidad se desarrolló y floreció. El profesor del MIT y estudioso de los medios de comunicación Henry Jenkins, escribió acerca de esta comunidad en su libro de 1992 acerca de la cultura participativa, Textual Poachers (Los cazadores furtivos del texto).6 Describe el arte del vidding no sólo como una forma importante de creación cultural, sino también como una manera de solidificar y mantener la comunidad de fans, creando una fuente de orgullo y un medio para articular los puntos comunes del grupo.

    De hecho, las comunidades de fans han sido, en general, las predecesoras a la explosión del contenido generado por el usuario de hoy en día. Aunque Internet le ha permitido a la cultura del remix prosperar, su aparición fue una ayuda a una comunidad de creadores que ya existía. La distribución organizada de la escritura y arte de los fans puede ser rastreada a las revistas de fans de Star Trek en los 60s, y como lo evidencia el libro de Jenkins, los trabajos de los fans han sido el sujeto de estudios académicos ya una década antes de que alguien siquiera soñara con YouTube.

    Con las herramientas para edición digital que hoy son accesibles para cualquier usuario por medio de computadoras, y los medios para una amplia distribución al alcance de la mano de los creadores, la comunidad del vidding ha visto el mismo crecimiento que el resto de las formas más visibles de la cultura del remix. Este crecimiento es debido en gran parte a la familiaridad de la generación más joven con los medios digitales, y sólo puede seguir avanzando. Aproximadamente el 64 por ciento de los adolescentes online en los Estados Unidos han creado contenido en Internet, y 1 de cada 4 jóvenes han remixado contenido en sus propias creaciones artísticas.7

    Ya bien establecida desde mediados de los 70s, mucho antes de Internet, o los MP3s, o YouTube, y antes de que la idea del "remix" se convirtiera en una corriente popular, la comunidad de vidding ha mantenido un perfil bajo. Por otra parte, algunos vidders también evitan lugares como YouTube por su baja resolución y la calidad digital general de los videos, prefiriendo la distribución de vids individuales por medio de descargas de alta calidad. Existe también una convención anual que se realiza en Chicago, Vividcon, donde los vidders convergen para compartir y discutir su trabajo en la tradición de las reuniones de fans previas a Internet. El vidding es una forma reconocida de la cultura del remix, y parte de una reunión cumbre de video de tres días sobre videos DIY o Hágalo Usted Mismo (“Do It Yourself”) en la Escuela de Arte Cinematográfico USC (USC’s School of Cinematic Arts) en febrero de 2008; otros géneros ofrecidos incluyen documentales activistas, medios de comunicación para jóvenes, machinimia, remixes políticos y video blogging.8

    La comunidad puede parecer más pequeña de lo que es en realidad por su baja visibilidad, pero esto no hace a estos creadores menos merecedores de un trato justo bajo las leyes de derecho de autor. De hecho, los vidders han sido recientemente presentados por artículos de revistas populares,9 y la creación de la OTW en sí misma es una demostración de la organización de la comunidad de los fans. Además, muchos recién llegados al vidding, especialmente los fans más jóvenes, no están familiarizados con su historia. Aunque no son necesariamente parte de ella, se identifican con la comunidad de los vidders y tienen derecho a la misma protección legal para sus obras creativas y transformativas, como cualquier artista que esté inventando por sí mismo un nuevo lenguaje en reacción al mundo que lo rodea.

    Dada la extensión generalizada del contenido generado por el usuario, el uso de video en trabajos transformativos seguirá incrementándose y se hará más prominente. Mientras escribo esto, hay en Youtube un vid que se encuentra a la cabeza de los 20 videos más vistos de todos los tiempos, con más de 55 millones de visitas.10 Y aún no siendo YouTube el foro más popular para todos los vidders, existen en el sitio incontables vids, algunos con millones de visitas.11 La investigación del antropólogo Michael Wesch ha sugerido que la cantidad de vids remixados que se suben diariamente a Youtube puede alcanzar los 15,000, y la académica Francesca Coppa estima que ya existen decenas de miles creados gente que se auto-identifica como vidder en otros diferentes lugares de la Web, un número que puede subir a millones cuando tomamos en cuenta todos aquellos que no forman parte de una comunidad organizada.12

    B. El vidding es una valiosa herramienta educativa.

    Las comunidades de cultura participativa han sido reconocidas desde hace tiempo como un potencial ambiente para el aprendizaje. El profesor de Educación James Paul Gee llama a estas culturas de aprendizaje informal "espacios de afinidad," e incluye a las comunidades de fans como ejemplo, junto a colegas científicos y grupos de empresarios.13 Los espacios de afinidad son sostenidos por acciones en común, incluyendo gente de diferentes categorías demográficas, uniendo a los participantes sin tener en cuenta edad, clase, raza, género, o nivel de educación. A diferencia de las aulas, donde los estudiantes raramente se enseñan los unos a los otros, estas comunidades alientan la distribución del conocimiento, el conjunto de habilidades de cada miembro transformado en un recurso potencial para los otros.14

    La comunidad del vidding es un ejemplo perfecto de este fenómeno. Ya en los días previos a Internet, los fans realizaban talleres para ayudar a enseñar a otros las técnicas, e incluso alentaban relaciones similares a la del aprendiz con su maestro, en las que un nuevo fan podría aprender los trucos de oficio trabajando junto con un vidder más experimentado.15 Hoy, la tecnología del vidding ha cambiado en forma sustancial, pero aún incluye el aprendizaje de un software complicado y técnicas de edición. La Internet ha hecho más sencillo para los vidders el mantenimiento de una comunidad de práctica y atraer nuevos miembros. Por ejemplo, solamente en una comunidad de blogging, Livejournal, el grupo "Vidding Discussion" (Discusión del Vidding) tiene más de 1600 miembros, y existen grupos específicos para la enseñanza y el aprendizaje tales como "Vidding Newbies." (Novatos al vidding) 16 Además, vidders experimentados a menudo publican explicaciones paso-a-paso de sus procesos y de técnicas involucradas en la creación de vids específicos, así otros pueden aprender con el ejemplo. De hecho, la comunidad de vidding ha sido particularmente valiosa como "campo de entrenamiento femenino," de acuerdo a Coppa, en el sentido de haber sido valiosa para enseñar habilidades técnicas a las mujeres: diseño de web, programación, y edición de imagen y video.17

    Resulta de vital importancia reconocer la naturaleza transformativa de los vids que subyace en estas comunidades—es el interés en comentar sobre y reaccionar al material de origen lo que hace que la gente se emocione lo suficiente como para trabajar sobre esto y ayudarse las unas a las otras con los vids. Filmaciones hechas en un parque público no serían un sustituto suficiente, porque las comunidades se forman alrededor del comentario sobre textos populares. Women’s Work, por ejemplo, fue creada porque las autoras querían reaccionar a lo que vieron presentado en las pantallas de su televisión, y otra gente observó el vid y reaccionó a él porque conocían la fuente del mismo.

    Es una verdad empírica que remixar trabajos existentes es vital para el sostenimiento de comunidades de artistas y artistas en ciernes; exenciones a la DMCA deberían reconocer tanto el hecho de esas prácticas como sus beneficios. Las comunidades de prácticas creativas tales como las creadas por vidders, pueden ser particularmente valiosas para los jóvenes. Como se explicó anteriormente, la cultura del remix está creciendo, y aquellos con conocimientos tecnológicos que han crecido con Internet son una gran parte de la misma. El veinticinco por ciento de los jóvenes que remixan contenidos están expuestos a una oportunidad única de aprendizaje, expresión personal, y autonomía individual.18 Psicólogos han sugerido que la participación en comunidades que alientan intereses compartidos, la confianza, el apoyo mutuo, y las narraciones públicas pueden mejorar la salud, y que ese tipo de instituciones sociales para los jóvenes deberían ser alentados.19 De igual manera, los expertos en conocimiento han reconocido que la apropiación de elementos de historias preexistentes es una parte importante en el proceso por el cual los niños desarrollan el conocimiento cultural, y algunos educadores han sugerido utilizar la escritura de fan fiction en el contexto de las clases.20 Un interés en común en la fuente original provee a los nuevos creadores de una audiencia que comparte su entusiasmo; la audiencia responde ayudando a los nuevos creadores a aprender como mejorar. La transformación de material existente es el aglomerante que crea la comunidad — los miembros de la audiencia se ofrecen a ayudar al creador a mejorar, ya que quieren más comentarios sobre sus fuentes favoritas.21 Remixar video cultiva el conocimiento cultural en relación a los medios de comunicación populares, a la vez que promueve el conocimiento técnico.

    1. El vidding promueve tanto la habilidad técnica como la creatividad.

    El vid "This is How it Works" ('Así es como funciona') por Lim es un ejemplo del uso de una técnica complicada.22 Fue compuesto casi cuadro-por-cuadro con la fuente original no solo vuelta a cortar sino re-editada visualmente usando el software de edición de imagen Image Ready y Photoshop. Una técnica innovadora es una continua animación de números que laten al ritmo de la música de fondo; este es un elemento necesario para la transmisión del mensaje del vid acerca de la naturaleza dual del personaje de Stargate Atlantis Rodney McKay, un científico que quería ser músico. Luego de compartir el vid, Lim escribió un extenso recuento del proceso, detallando paso a paso como creó los efectos.23

    "This is How it Works" muestra no sólo habilidad técnica sino también sensibilidad artística. En sus notas, Lim escribió, "Cuando pienso acerca de ciertos conceptos, emociones y recuerdos especialmente fuertes, a menudo los experimento aural o rítmicamente. . . para mí, todo es acerca de la música y el movimiento. No soy una contadora de historias, naturalmente. . . Soy más bien una bailarina interpretativa."24 En adición a la interpretación musical, la manipulación realizada por Lim de esos clips de Stargate Atlantis los provee de una estética visual completamente nueva. Una de las personas que vio el video comentó, "No es simplemente un vid—es arte, puro y simple."25

    El vidding, y ciertamente cualquier clase de remixado de video, puede ser una salida artística ideal para aquellos que tienen ojo para la estética, o sentido del flujo y movimiento de la música. Aquellos que tienen un interés genuino en la edición de películas han encontrado el campo de práctica perfecto. Los escritores necesitan un lápiz y papel, y los pintores necesitan una tela y pintura; los editores de películas refinan su arte con películas, pero es poco probable que tengan un elenco completo y un equipo para hacerlo. Los vidders son gente normal, muchos con sorprendentes habilidades artísticas y técnicas que nunca seríamos capaces de apreciar sin esta forma de arte. Como Michael Wesch señaló en su video "An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube" ('Una introducción antropológica a YouTube'), en los comentarios sobre uno de los vid, un espectador comentaba efusivamente cuán maravilloso era, agregando que la creadora debería dedicarse a la edición como forma de vida y preguntándole si era una artista—a lo que la vidder respondió, "Nop, soy una ama de casa."26

    Muchas formas de medios de comunicación digitales están siendo cada vez más apreciadas por su valor artístico, y los creadores se benefician del pensamiento creativo tanto como de la práctica de las habilidades técnicas. Una vidder (que dice haber empezado a aprender a como hacer vids porque estaba buscando alguna forma de creatividad que no fuese escribir ficción) detallaba en una entrevista algunas de las cosas que aprendió: cómo el movimiento puede conectarse con la imagen, cómo el color puede establecer el humor, cómo la literalidad puede evocar risa, cómo lo que los personajes están haciendo en una historia puede ser más importante que lo que están diciendo, y mucho más importante, como comunicar ideas en un nuevo medio.27

    2. La comunidad del vidding facilita la discusión intelectual en el campo del estudio de los medios de comunicación.

    Por supuesto, aprender a crear no es la única oportunidad educacional en la comunidad. Los fans usan los vids como contexto para explorar y debatir temas más profundos dentro del material original. La misma vidder señalaba que tanto producir como consumir dentro de una comunidad, crea un sentido de diálogo que ella valora, y qué gratificante resulta tener una audiencia y una respuesta tangible a su arte.28 Obviamente, estos vids no existen en un vacío; la recompensa viene de compartir el mensaje con otros fans. Muchos vids, cuando son publicados, reciben cientos de comentarios de los espectadores, muchos de ellos empezando un diálogo con el creador y con otros espectadores, sumándose al cuerpo de crítica de la fuente. Por ejemplo, "Women’s Work," aunque rutinariamente alabado por su calidad artística, polarizó agudamente a las fans de Supernatural debido a su mensaje. Luego de que una de las creadoras, Sisabet, publicó el vid en su blog, este provocó un debate acerca de la división de género en los shows de horror que evolucionó en una discusión muy matizada de las claves visuales y ángulos de cámara en la descripción de la violencia.29 Fue el tipo de debate que uno esperaría ver en un curso de graduados en estudios de los medios.

    C. Los vids son una forma legítima de crítica cultural.

    Ya sea articulando una crítica seria a los medios como en "Women’s Work" o explorando los matices de un personaje como en "This is How it Works," los vids son una forma de extraer capas de significado de un texto mediático, de comentar sobre él de una manera no convencional pero extremadamente efectiva. No hay duda de que la forma en la que miramos a los medios está cambiando, que la industria misma—desde los reality shows basados en votaciones, que se han convertido en una especie de elige-tu-propia-aventura colectivo, a shows que se están expandiendo dentro de mundos virtuales—estimula la interacción de parte de los televidentes, borroneando aún más, la línea entre consumidor y productor . El vidding es una extensión importante de este cambio porque demuestra que estos consumidores/productores tienen en realidad algo importante que decir acerca de lo que están mirando. Y los fanvids les permiten hacerlo de la forma más efectiva: déjame mostrarte lo que veo, no decirte lo que veo.

    En su discusión acerca del vidding temprano, Henry Jenkins reconoce algunas de las formas de la crítica: reacomodando la narración para privilegiar personajes secundarios o subplots, explorando las convenciones genéricas de los medios populares, provocando intencionalmente una reacción dramáticamente diferente hacia elementos familiares, explorando las dimensiones no verbales de la actuación, trayendo el subtexto reprimido a la surperficie, y aislando un elemento e interpretándo o proveyéndolo de un nuevo contexto.30 El mensaje no tiene que ser necesariamente uno complejo; a menudo es tan simple como iluminar una relación sub-textual entre dos personajes.

    Otro excelente ejemplo de un vid como medio para realizar el estudio de un personaje es "Handlebars," de Seah y Margiean, un examen del personaje del Doctor en Doctor Who, así como un comentario más general sobre la naturaleza del poder y la responsabilidad.31 El vid señala cómo, a pesar de las mejores intenciones, el poder corrompe. Se inicia con imágenes que ilustran la naturaleza caprichosa del Doctor, mostrando sus encuentros felices con sus acompañantes y sus momentos de triunfo luego de haber salvado al mundo. Avanza mostrando los aspectos más peligrosos de sus aventuras y sus pequeños ejercicios de su poder, terminando finalmente con imágenes de violencia y destrucción que ha provocado (en nombre del bien común). El Doctor es el héroe de su show de televisión homónimo; el vid funciona como una poderosa crítica a los puntos ciegos de la moral del show al re-contextualizar eventos que los espectadores ya han visto. El vid, en el cual los actos del Doctor son condensados en las imágenes más relevantes y significativas, transmite visceralmente la crítica hacia el personaje, especialmente en el contexto de la letra de la canción que las acompaña: "Mi causa es noble / mi poder es puro...Y puedo hacer cualquier cosa sin permiso... puedo desaparecer el planeta en un holocausto." De hecho, otra popular vidder usó la misma canción para un vid usando clips de la película Iron Man, exhibiendo la misma progresión en el personaje de Tony Stark;32 a través de los dos vids emerge también un comentario sobre el complejo de Dios como un tema común entre los personajes heroicos.

    Como Jenkins señala en su discusión of "Closer," ("Más cerca") un vid de Star Trek que erotiza encuentros violentos entre Kirk y Spock, "[t]ales trabajos ciertamente interpretan la serie original, pero no en un sentido que pudiera ser reconocido por la mayoría de los profesores de literatura. No están intentando simplemente recuperar el significado que los productores originales le dieron. Están intentando considerar hipótesis, dirigir la atención hacia preguntas del tipo que-tal-si, y proponer realidades alternativas." 33 Ciertamente, el título de apertura de "Closer" pregunta "¿Y si no hubieran llegado a Vulcano a tiempo?" antes de que el vid en sí explore un escenario ficticio en respuesta a esta pregunta. Es un vid inquietante para muchos fans, pero esa es la intención. Traza paralelos entre la violencia sexual y la violación implícita en la acción de leer la mente, y también refleja algunos de los temas más controversiales de la fanfiction que ha surgido del episodio de Star Trek "Amok Time" por décadas. Al usar como fuente material real, el vid es obviamente una reinterpretación de ese material. De esa manera, el comentario o crítica tiene una sensación fundamental de verdad que puede ser más poderosa que un comentario escrito.

    III. Sin la exención propuesta, la DMCA tiene un impacto negativo sobre los vidders que realizan un uso justo legítimo del material original del DVD.

    Una expresión artística popular entre los fans por tres décadas, el vidding ha existido silenciosamente y aparentemente bajo una tolerancia tácita (y en algunos casos, aprobación) de parte de aquellos que poseen los derechos de autor, de forma similar a otras muchas obras de fans tales como la fanfiction. Sin embargo, en algunos casos, una protección exagerada ha desdibujado la línea entre el copiado masivo (piratería) y el contenido generado por el usuario (tal como el remix). En consecuencia, es importante que la ley de derechos de autor continúe protegiendo a aquellos que realizan un legítimo uso justo. Es razonable que los estudios de cine y televisión quieran prevenir el copiado de los DVDs con el propósito de la distribución ilegal. La exención propuesta, sin embargo, no haría nada para interferir con esos esfuerzos, y, de hecho, no liberaría de responsabilidad legal bajo la § 1201 a ninguno de los videos remixados que la estén infringiendo. Porque la exención sólo se aplica a videos que son considerados como no-infractores, no hay peligro de que sea aplicada erróneamente en relación a contenido que infringa. En efecto, no resultaría dañino para los poseedores de los derechos—pero sin ella, hay un daño real a los creadores de vids y otros videos remixados no comerciales.

    A. Los vidders raramente usan métodos alternativos para obtener la filmación.

    Algunas personas tienen acceso a otras formas de obtener clips de television y películas que no implican copiar DVDs—por ejemplo, usando una videocámara para grabar desde la pantalla plana de una televisión, o usando un método de captura de video analógico. Sin embargo, no sólo es poco probable que la mayoría de los vidders conozcan o consideren esos métodos, que tengan el equipo necesario para implementarlos, o que estén dispuestos a sacrificar la mejor calidad que se obteniede al utilizar el material directamente del DVD, si no que tampoco tienen idea de que esos métodos son legalmente preferibles. Pagar por los DVDs y luego hacer uso del software ampliamente disponible para capturar clips desde los DVDs parece justo y razonable. De hecho, el método alternativo más obvio es descargar las copias online, por ejemplo de utilizando bittorrents. El regimen anti-elusión, estando ausente una exención, es completamente anti-intuitivo a aquellos no familiarizados con la DMCA: ¿Cómo podría ser mejor descargar algo ilegalmente que usar un DVD que fue legalmente comprado? Estos son artistas amateurs, aficionados que no están haciendo dinero de estos videos, no abogados especializadon en derechos de autor; no es irrazonable suponer que podrían no estar familiarizados con una regla que parece contraria a una comprensión básica de la ley. Muchos artistas del remix están reinventando la forma por sí mismos; aún si, eventualmente, entran en comunidades mayores, esas comunidades están formadas alrededor del arte y la comunicación, no el consejo legal.

    El punto no es simplemente que las reglas, en ausencia de la exención, no son intuitivas. Es que las previsiones anti-elusivas no pueden ni deben tener ningún efecto obstaculizante sobre gente que no las entiende. Sirven como una trampa para aquellos usuarios que hacen un uso apropiado del material (ya que aquellos que no hacen un uso justo ya están sujetos a prohibiciones de derecho de autor).

    Una de las razones por las que la comunidades de vidding se han expandido tan dramáticamente en los últimos años es su mayor accessibilidad. La mayoría de las nuevas computadoras vienen con lectoras de DVDs y software de edición de video (ya sea Windows Movie Maker para PCs o iMovie para Macs), y software para copiar DVDs tales como el DVD Shrink o Handbrake son ampliamente accesibles para descargar. Los días de conectar dos VCRs y unir la película manualmente ya han pasado; usar un método analógico para obtener la película sería dar un paso atrás, suponiendo que el equipo pudiera ser accesible.34 Y estos métodos alternativos requieren un equipo adicional tal como videocámaras. Como aficionados, que no están obteniendo ningún dinero de su trabajo, los vidders por lo general no tienen los recursos para comprar equipo adicional. Más aún, la calidad del producto—particularmente con el método de la videofilmadora—es remarcablemente inferior a la obtenida a través del copiado de un DVD.

    Cuando consideramos los videos remixados en general, puede no resultar obvio que la calidad del video es importante, ya que muchos de ellos han sido publicados en YouTube, donde la calidad del video luego de haber sido subidos y comprimidos es bastante pobre. Sin embargo, muchos vidders evitan YouTube completamente, o al menos lo usan sólo como uno entre varios métodos de distribución (aunque incluso YouTube está respondiendo a las demandas por una mayor calidad para permitir mejores versiones). El sitio iMeem (que permite una mejor calidad en los archivos subidos) es popular entre aquellos vidders que quieren tener disponible una versión de sus videos en streaming,35 e incluso ellos suelen proveer versiones descargables de los mismos. Para los vids, los aspectos visuales son extremadamente importantes. Consideremos, por ejemplo, el vid "Vogue" de Luminosity (elegido por la revista New York como uno de los mejores de todos los videos del año en la web).36 El objetivo de la pieza es el impacto visual; su mensaje es "puntualizar[] la violencia de 300 al desafiantemente estetizar ambos: el campo de batalla y los hombres en él."37 Además, vids con complicados efectos visuales tales como "This is How it Works" pueden ser difíciles de crear con material de calidad inferior. Quizás un mejor ejemplo es "Us", de la misma vidder; los cuadros están alterados para evocar la sensación de dibujos a lápiz y pinturas, y visto en YouTube en una menor calidad,38 es muy difícil incluso percibir las imagenes.

    Las tradiciones estéticas que se han desarrollado en el vidding a lo largo de los últimos cuarenta años han sacado ventaja de los avances de la tecnología, en la medida que estos avances han permitido una mejor calidad. La tecnología ha hecho posible avances en los estudios de los medios de comunicación que la oficina de Derechos de Autor convino en 2006 no deben ser cortados por la ausencia de una exención para el uso de clips en la enseñanza. De la misma forma, la tecnología también ha permitido un avance en el arte, con las mismas demandas de protección donde las leyes de Derecho de Autor reconozcan uso justo.

    B. La mayor parte de los vids caen bajo la previsión de Uso Justo de la Ley de Derechos de Autor.

    La OTW reitera que, bajo la exención propuesta, la Oficina de Derechos de Autor no necesita opinar sobre la existencia o no de uso justo en ningún video en particular. La exención propuesta requiere encontrar el uso justo antes de que funcione para proteger a un usuario justo contra responsabilidad adicional bajo el DMCA. Esta discusión simplemente ilustra la proposición de que, a la fecha presente, existen muchos usos justos que se verán beneficiados por la exención propuesta.

    La previsión de uso justo del acta de Derechos de Autor ha sido considerada desde hace mucho como un medio para proteger los usos transformativos de contenido bajo derechos de autor.39 La película que aparece en los vids podría fácilmente ser considerada bajo esta previsión, de acuerdo al análisis de los cuatro factores. El primer factor favorece el uso no comercial y transformativo,40 ambos presentes en forma evidente en los vids. Como se detalla en la Parte II(C), los vids son creados por lo común con propósitos de comunicación o crítica, que es el mismo uso favorable encontrado en Campbell v. Acuff-Rose.41 Más aún, la propuesta de exención sólo se aplica a los videos no commerciales, favoreciendo el uso justo. El segundo factor se refiere a la naturaleza creativa implícita del trabajo y si ese trabajo ha sido previamente publicado; si el propietario de los derechos de autor ya lo ha divulgado ampliamente, es más probable que se determine que es un uso justo. Las cortes no valoran la naturaleza creativa de una obra contra el uso justo en vista de trabajos transformativos tales como las parodias, y los vids por su misma naturaleza se basan en obras que ya se han diseminado extensamente.42 El tercer factor considera la cantidad del trabajo original que ha sido tomado, lo cual también favorece a los vids. En la gran mayoría de los vids, no sólo cada clip es usado brevemente (raramente durante más de un par de segundos), la amalgama de clips de un sólo vid comprende una fracción extremadamente pequeña de la totalidad del material original. Por ejemplo, "Handlebars" contiene sólo tres minutos y veintisiete segundos de material de tres temporadas completas de Doctor Who (más de treinta horas de contenido).

    El cuarto factor considera cualquier daño potencial al mercado causado por el nuevo uso. Es altamente improbable que un vid pueda ser considerado un sustituto del trabajo original. No sólo contiene una muy pequeña fracción del mismo, sino que, como se ha explicado previamente, el sentido de un vid no es contar la misma historia que el trabajo original, sino comentar sobre éste o reinterpretarlo. Está bien establecido que los poseedores de los derechos de autor rara vez autorizan trabajos críticos o parodias; no existe ni debería existir un mercado para un comentario crítico autorizado, ya sea en forma de video o en artículos académicos. Más aún, los vids a menudo no tienen verdadero sentido para alguien que no se encuentra familiarizado con el material de origen, o contienen muchas fuentes diferentes. Por ejemplo, cuando miramos "Us," es casi imposible siquiera identificar todas las fuentes. Por lo contrario, los vids pueden de hecho ayudar a ampliar el mercado de sus fuentes al provocar el interés de los espectadores—y alentar a los vidders a comprar los DVDs con el propósito de hacer vids.

    Todos los factores señalados más arriba, considerados en conjunto, sugieren que muchos, si no la mayoría, de los vids podrían ser considerados uso justo. De cualquier manera, no resulta necesario que la Oficina decida cuando es éste el caso. El que cualquier vid individual sea uso justo es algo que debería ser determinado por una corte, caso por caso. Esta exención se aplica solamente a aquellas obras que se encuentren no infractoras, por lo que es suficiente decir que hay argumentos plausibles por el uso justo. Para que una corte sea capaz de actuar sobre esta demanda, sin embargo, es necesario que la exención sea implementada.

    C. Sin una exención, los vidders están en riesgo ce responsabilidad legal imprevista.

    Como se señaló anteriormente, la mayoría de los vidders no tienen acceso a un consejero legal. De hecho, la mayoría no entiende las sutilezas de la DMCA. Es anti-intuitivo que ambos, las leyes de derecho de autor y la DMCA, regulen los clips obtenidos de los DVDs, considerando que sólo las leyes gubernamentales de derechos de autor regulan la adquisición de clips a través de otras fuentes tales como descargas desde Internet. Para aquellos que entienden la ley, puede tener un efecto contra la creación de estos videos que no infrangen la ley, y para aquellos que no, existe el riesgo de una responsabilidad legal no prevista, o una incapacidad para afirmar una válida defensa por uso justo. Aunque (como fue discutido en la Parte II(B)) la comunidad del vidding ha crecido, facilitando la comunicación sobre problemas tales como estos, no todos los vidders se encuentran involucrados con esta comunidad, especialmente fuera del contexto de la discusión de los vids individuales. Además, como muchas comunidades, los vidders no forman un solo grupo (y evidentemente, el universo de los vids es realmente demasiado grande para estar en una sola comunidad), sino más bien se encuentran desperdigados en pequeños grupos a través de diferentes espacios sociales en la Web. Estas comunidades son autogeneradas y no están organizadas alrededor de una única fuente. Aunque son artistas técnicamente sofisticados, no necesariamente comprenden los matices de una ley legal anti-intuitiva, e incluso en un espacio de afinidad de conocimiento compartido resulta necesaria la existencia de alguna fuente de ese conocimiento.

    El problema real de la copia ilegal ha conducido a que grandes compañías de medios regularmente tomen medidas exageradas para proteger sus contenidos. Muchas de ellas envían enormes tandas de advertencias (de remoción) a proveedores de líneas de internet, y éstas pueden estar basadas en no más que una simple búsqueda en vez de en una consideración individual de cada video. Los vids y otros tipos de videos no-infractores quedan a menudo atrapados en el barrido. Por ejemplo, en 2007 una película casera de un bebé bailando con una canción que pasaban por la radio, un video que era claramente uso justo de la canción bajo derecho de autor, fue retirada de YouTube en conformidad con una notificación de la DMCA.43 Posteriormente, una corte aclaró que es el deber del propietario de los derechos de autor considerar la potencial aplicabilidad de la doctrina de uso justo a cualquier material bajo derechos de autor antes de enviar una notificación de remoción de la DMCA.44 Sin embargo, en la actualidad, § 1201 deja sin efecto este requisito en lo que se refiere a videos remixados. Los dueños del contenido pueden suponer que cualquier uso de una película o un clip de un show de televisión requiere la copia del DVD para poder extraer ese clip, y que en consecuencia es una violación de la DMCA incluso sin considerar si hay una infracción a los derechos de autor. De igual manera que la madre que publicó el video de su bebé bailando, la mayoría de los vidders no son conscientes de que su video está en riesgo hasta que ya es demasiado tarde, y en YouTube, una vez que un video ha sido bajado debido a una violación de los derechos de autor, no puede ser recuperado por su creador, quién puede así perder incontables horas de trabajo. Además, la DMCA le quita al creador la posible solución para reclamar por la retirada injusta de su video, puesto que si disputa la decisión y lleva adelante una contrademanda para que su video sea restaurado, podría exponerse a una demanda de elusión. Nuevamente, aquellos con el conocimiento de la previsión lo pensarán dos veces antes de ejercitar su derecho a una contrademanda, y aquellos que no, quienes consideran que su video es un legítimo exponente de uso justo, podrían estar abriéndose a una demanda adicional sin darse cuenta. La OTW está comprometida a ayudar a los fans creadores que saben que pueden pedir ayuda, pero como dijimos anteriormente, ese conocimiento por lo común no les llega hasta que es demasiado tarde. Más aún, estos artistas no deberían tener que pasar por un riguroso proceso legal para proteger un hobby por el cual no reciben ninguna clase de beneficio comercial.

    Los artistas del remix, como los vidders, están atrapados en la contradicción de una cultura de medios de comunicación que al mismo tiempo alienta el contenido generado por el usuario, y lo estigmatiza. ¿Crear un video remixado no comercial te convierte en la Persona del Año del Time Magazine45 o te convierte en un criminal? En su libro más reciente, el estudioso de las leyes de derecho de autor Lawrence Lessig advierte sobre los peligros de esta última caracterización, especialmente en relación con los niños.46 ¿Realmente queremos estigmatizar artistas de esta forma? El vidding está lejos de la distribución ilegal de archivos. Es vital distingir entre el copiado en masa y el remixado legítimo.

    Lessig también señala que remover las barreras legales para legitimar los trabajos de los fans los alentaría a una mayor participación.47 Bajar las barreras para los fans bien podría significar más fans, y más fans significa más ingreso para los dueños del contenido. Después de todo, son estos fans quienes están consumiendo el contenido, comprando los DVDs, viendo las películas más de una vez, etc. Las comunidades de los fans y el trabajo de los fans han ayudado a construir muchas franquicias populares, incluyendo Star Trek, que fue mantenida viva durante años por fans creativos, permitiendo en última instancia a los dueños de los derechos de autor cosechar grandes ganancias.48 Los vidders especialmente, como parte de una comunidad universal de fans, tienden a ser extremadamente respetuosos y agradecidos hacia los creadores del material original. Están felices al comprar legalmente los DVDs a fin de remixar ese material, y deberíamos alentarlos en lugar desanimarlos.

    Además, ya que los vidders no obtienen dinero de sus creaciones, la única compensación que reciben es la alegría de la creación y el reconocimiento y apreciación de aquellos que disfrutan de su trabajo. Sin esta exención, la previsión § 1201 es un forma de empujar a los vidders aún más profundamente bajo la superficie; si tienen miedo a ser demandados legalmente, resulta menos probable que sean acreditados por sus creaciones. Aún así los vids reciben aclamación de parte de la crítica y reconocimiento público por su valor artístico y su contribución cultural. Por ejemplo, cuando Luminosity fue presentada en la New York Magazine, sólo pudo usar su seudónimo.49 La mayoría de los vidders están deseosos de atribuir la materia prima de sus trabajos a los correspondientes creadores de los contenidos. Deberían también poder atribuirse el crédito por su uso justo.

    IV. Conclusión

    La comunidad del vidding es un ejemplo de un grupo de artistas dañado por la ausencia de la exención propuesta por la EFF. Vids que comentan y critican los medios populares y caen bajo uso justo respecto del material bajo derechos de autor representan contribuciones culturales legítimas. En el espíritu de la dedicación de la ley de los derechos de autor a promover el trabajo creativo, OTW apoya la aceptación de esta exención para videos remixados no comerciales y no infringentes.

    1 La OTW cree que la Oficina de Derechos de Autor intenta carecterizarla como Clase 11A, aunque la descripción que podemos encontrar en la web de la Oficina de Derechos de Autor incluye descripciones de las dos propuestas de exención de la EFF. Ver
    2(en inglés) Disponible en, conjuntamente con otros vids discutidos en el texto de este comentario.
    3 Publicación de Micole (Women’s Art and "Women’s Work" (Arte de Mujeres y "Trabajo de Mujeres")) en Ambling Along the Aqueduct (Paseando a lo largo del acueducto), (Aug. 29, 2007, 11:15).
    4 Post de sisabet (New Vid! Women’s Work (Nuevo Vid! Trabajo de mujeres)) en Livejournal, (15 de agosto de 2007, 00:29).
    5 Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., 510 U.S. 569, 579 (1994) (manteniendo el uso justo para favorecer sus usos transformativos, particularmente la crítica de o un comentario acerca de la fuente, en los que un trabajo "puede proporcionar un beneficio social, al arrojar una nueva luz sobre un trabajo anterior, y en el proceso, crear uno nuevo.").
    8 Ver
    9 Ver, e.g., Logan Hill, The Vidder, NEW YORK MAGAZINE, Nov. 12, 2007; Jesse Walker, Remixing Television (Remizando la televisión), Reason Magazine, August/September 2008.
    10 Disponible en Al 19 de enero de 2009, el vid es 18º en la lista de los Más Vistos de Todos los Tiempos, y tenía 55,453,888 hits. Es una serie de clips de Spongebob Squarepants presentados con la música de la canción "Soulja Boy."
    11 Ver, e.g., Moonlight Shadow (Doctor Who), (1,066,864 views); Prison Break (Prison Break), (3,431,111 views); Soulja Boy Pooh (Winnie the Pooh), (12,094, 377 views);.
    12 Fred von Lohmann & Jennifer S. Granick, Comment of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, In the matter of exemption on circumvention of copyright protection systems for access control technologies, 29, 34 (2008). (Comentario de la Fundación Frontera Electrónica en el asunto de la exención de los derechos de autor sobre la elusión de los sistemas de protección para el control de acceso a las tecnologías, 29, 34 (2008))
    14 Id. at 89.
    16 Vidding – Perfil de la Comunidad, Livejournal, disponible en (listing 1682 members on Jan. 19, 2009); Vidding Newbies, Livejournal, disponible en
    17 Walker, supra nota 9.
    18 PALTRY & GASSER, supra nota 7.
    19 Gareth Schott & Darrin Hodgetts, Health and Digital Gaming: The Benefits of a Community of Practice (Salud y Juego Digital: Los Beneficios de una Comunidad de Práctica), 11 J. HEALTH PSYCHOL. 309, 314 (2006).
    20 HENRY JENKINS, CONVERGENCE CULTURE 177 (CONVERGENCIA CULTURAL)(2006); Ver, e.g., Margaret Mackey, Pirates and Poachers: Fan Fiction and the Conventions of Reading and Writing (Piratas y cazadores furtivos: ficción de los fans y las convenciones de la escritura y la lectura), 42 ENGLISH IN EDUCATION 131 (2008).
    21 Rebecca W. Black, Access and Affiliation: The Literacy and Composition Practices of English Language Learners in an Online Fanfiction Community (Acceso y Asociación: Las prácticas de alfabetización y de composición de los aprendices del lenguaje inglés en una comunidad online de fanfiction) , 49 J. ADOLESCENT & ADULT LITERACY (ALFABETIZACIÓN DE ADOLESCENTES Y ADULTOS) 118, 123-24 (2005).
    22 Disponible en
    23 How I Made My Vid (Cómo hice mi vid), disponible en
    24 Id.
    25 Publicación de marecagee en Livejournal (won’t you be my neigh-bor? (¿no serías mi vecino?)), (31 de julio de 2006 20:52).
    26 Publicación de Michael Wesch en Digital Ethnography (Etnografía Digital) (“An anthropological introduction to YouTube” ("Una introducción antropológica a YouTube") video de presentación a la Biblioteca del Congreso), (29 de julio de 2008).
    27 Publicación de heresluck en Livejournal (vidding in the Buffyverse and elsewhere (viding en el universo de Buffy y en otros lados)), (2 de junio de 2006 14:02); Publicación de heresluck en Livejournal (vidding questions and answers (preguntas y respuestas sobre el vidding) ), (18 de Febrero de 2007 14:19).
    28 Id.
    29 Post de sockkpuppett en Livejournal (New Vid – Women’s Work (Supernatural) -- Nuevo Vid - Trabajo de Mujeres (Supernatural))), (13 de Agosto de 2007 03:13).
    31 disponible en Ver también Publicación de flummery en Livejournal (new vid! Doctor Who, Handlebars (nuevo vid! Doctor Who, Manubrios)), (18 de Agosto de 2008 22:43).
    32 Disponible en
    33 Post de Henry Jenkins en Aca-Fan (How to Watch a Fan-Vid (Cómo mirar un Fan-Vid)), (18 de septiembre de 2006 00:00).
    34 Si el equipo está disponible. La VCR independiente, por ejemplo, ya no se fabrica. Ver Darren Murph, Standalone VCR party finally ends, JVC shuts the door as it leaves (La fiesta de la VCR independiente finalmente termina, JVC cierra la puerta y se va), Engadget, 27 de Octubre de 2008, 4:35 PM, ends-jvc-shuts-the-door-as-it-leav/.
    36 Disponible en
    38 Disponible en
    39 Ver Campbell, 510 U.S. 569.
    40 Id.; Ver también Sony v. Universal, 464 U.S. 417 (1984) (encontrando uso justo por cambio de tiempo no comercial).
    41 Campbell, 510 U.S. en 579.
    42 Id. en 586 (los trabajos creativos por lo común están sujetos a usos transformativos); Kelly v. Arriba Soft Corp., 336 F.3 811, 820 (9th Cir. 2003) (los trabajos publicados tienen mayores posibilidades de ser sujetos de uso justo ya que “la primera aparición de la expresión del artista ya ha ocurrido”); Arica Inst., Inc. v. Palmer, 970 F.2 1067, 1078 (2d Cir. 1992) (el hecho de que el trabajo copiado fuera “trabajo publicado y disponible para el público en general” actuó en favor del demandado en el segundo factor).
    43 Lenz v. Universal Music Corp., 572 F. Supp. 1150, 1152 (N.D. Cal. 2008).
    44 Id. at 1155.
    45 En 2006, La Persona del Año de la Revista Time fue “Usted,” refiriéndose al contenido generado por el usuario. Lev Grossman, Time’s Person of the Year: You (Persona del Año de Time: Usted), Time Magazine, 13 de Diciembre de 2006, disponible en,9171,1569514,00.html.
    46 Ver Lawrence Lessig, Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy (Remix: Haciendo Prosperar el Arte y el Comercio en una Economía Híbrida(2008).
    47 Id. at 259.
    48 Ver generalmente Jacqueline Lichtenberg et al., Star Trek Lives! (Viaje a las Estrellas Vive!) (1975)
    49 Logan Hill, supra nota 7.


  • Roundup for Vidders

    By .fcoppa on Monday, 1 June 2009 - 4:27am
    Message type:

    A few items of interest to vidders:

    1) As many vidders have noted, iMeem is no longer supporting embeds, and YouTube continues its policy of random takedowns. (Remember that you can dispute a takedown if you believe your vid is a fair use!) A lot of vidders are therefore looking at other streaming services. Markus Weiland did a good comparison of the terms of service of many of the competing sites (including Blip, Dailymotion, Kyte, Vimeo, and others) in his article Owned? Legal terms of video hosting services compared. Worth a look if you're thinking about a new home for your vids.

    2) This may possibly make fan vidders squinty-eyed: Swanswan caught that a male artist is exhibiting something that looks a heck of a lot like a fanvid at the Glucksman Contemporary Art gallery at the University of Cork. Swanswan aptly summarizes the issue: "I don't know whether to forward this on to the OTW and say look! Other people making vids and calling it art, awesome!! Or look! Some random dude does what we've been doing for decades and all of a sudden it's art?" Hey, it's totally art! And it was art when we did it 30 years ago, and it's art when we do it now! (And I'll bet we do it better!)

    3) You might be interested in the upcoming Open Video Conference, June 19-20 in New York City. This conference plans to tackle a range of issues surrounding online video -- from codecs to content, to fair use, and beyond. "Open Video" is a growing movement for transparency, interoperability, and further decentralization in online video, which encourages and invites remix, collage, and repurposing (including vidding.) Featured speakers include: NYU's Clay Shirky, Harvard's Yochai Benkler, Boing Boing's Xeni Jardin, DVD Jon, Free Press' Josh Silver, EFF's Corynne McSherry, and many more. (OTW's Francesca Coppa and political remix vidder Jonathan McIntosh are scheduled to present some work there too.) For the full agenda, go to: Register at

  • Attention Vidders and Other Fannish Remix Artists

    By .fcoppa on Monday, 18 May 2009 - 5:20pm
    Message type:

    American University’s Center for Social Media and AU's Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, in collaboration with Stanford Law School's Fair Use Project, have launched a new video explaining how online video creators can make remixes, mashups, and other common online video genres with the knowledge that they are staying within copyright law.

    The video, titled Remix Culture: Fair Use Is Your Friend, explains the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video (which was worked on by OTW's very own Rebecca Tushnet). Like the code, the video identifies various kinds of unlicensed uses of copyrighted material that may be considered fair, under certain limitations. Of particular interest to vidders and fannish remix artists might be: "commenting or critiquing of copyrighted material", "use for illustration or example", "use to launch a discussion", and "recombining to make a new work, such as a mashup or a remix, whose elements depend on relationships between existing works."

  • OTW Represents Vidders And Other Remix Artists at DMCA Anticircumvention Hearings

    By .fcoppa on Saturday, 9 May 2009 - 11:09pm
    Message type:

    OTW board members Rebecca Tushnet (chair of Legal) and Francesca Coppa (chair of Communications and Vidding History) and TWC review editor Tisha Turk went down to Washington DC on May 7, 2009 to testify at the DMCA Hearings on Noncommercial Remix. Rule 1201 of Copyright Law prevents the circumvention of copyright protection systems (e.g. makes it illegal to rip DVDs or to hack your cellphone) but also requires the copyright office to hold hearings every three years to find out of this prohibition is adversely affecting anyone. In 2006, the copyright office granted an exemption to film studies professors, because the case was made that these professors need to rip DVDs to make high quality clip compilations to teach their classes. This year, there were a number of new proposed exemptions, including: educators beyond film studies professors (including K-12 teachers), documentary filmmakers, and vidders and other noncommercial remix artists.

    The OTW previously submitted a reply comment in support of the EFF's proposed exemption for vidders and other remix artists. Tushnet, Coppa, and Turk went down to support this comment with live testimony. As you might have seen across the internet, the other side--MPAA, studios, the people who make encryption technology, etc--suggested that instead of ripping, professors, remixers, documentary filmmakers and others make clips by filming a flat screen with a camcorder.

    For more information:

    * Audio files/podcasts of the hearings are available at the U.S. Copyright Office's website and mirrored by the EFF on iDisk. (Our statements are part 2, the Q&A is part 3.)

    * Rebecca Tushnet liveblogged the hearings: read the part about noncommercial remix.

    * Wendy Selzer of posted about the hearings and also livetweeted them.

    * Patricia Aufderheide of the Center for Social Media at American University also blogged the hearings.

    * Fred von Lohmann of the EFF has made a YouTube video summarizing the issues and focusing on the OTW and Rebecca Tushnet ("She's Awesome"). He also blogged his legal analysis.

    * Rashmi Rangnath weighs in at

  • Vidding

    By .logovo on Sunday, 26 April 2009 - 11:37pm
    Message type:

    Vidding (2008) es una serie de seis documentales cortos producidos por la Organización para Obras Transformativas para su inclusión en el proyecto New Media Literacies de la Learning Library (Biblioteca de aprendizaje) del MIT (Instituto Tecnológico de Massachussetts). Estos documentales son parte de un grupo mayor sobre la cultura del remix, y la serie en su totalidad se dirige a los alumnos de enseñanza media y superior para su inclusión en aulas y programas adicionales fuera del horario escolar. Tenemos la esperanza de que también servirán para introducir el arte del vidding a un público más amplio.

    Las seis partes de Vidding incluyen: What is Vidding? (¿Qué es el Vidding?) (2:48), Technology and Tools (Tecnología y herramientas) (3:09), Good Vids, Bad Vids (Buenos vids, malos vids) (3:18), I like to watch (Me gusta mirar) (3:19), Collaboration and Community (Colaboración y comunidad) (3:03), Why We Vid (Porqué hacemos vids) (3:50). Fueron dirigidos por Francesca Coppa y editados por Laura Shapiro. La edición de sonido fue hecha por AbsoluteDestiny. Pueden verlos aquí o en la MIT/NML Learning Library (Biblioteca de aprendizaje del MIT/NML), donde también podrán ver videos sobre cosplay, mashups, DJing, y otras formas de expresión de la cultura del remix.

    What is Vidding? (
    (¿Qué es vidding?)
    Technology and Tools (
    (Tecnología y herramientas)
    Good Vids, Bad Vids (
    (Buenos vids, malos vids)
    Collaboration and Community (
    (Colaboración y comunidad)
    Why We Vid (
    (Porqué hacemos vids)


    Henry Jenkins, Fan Vidding: A Labor Of Love (Part One) (Fan Vidding: un trabajo de amor (Parte 1)) (5 de diciembre de 2008)
    Henry Jenkins, Fan Vidding: A Labor Of Love (Part Two) (Fan Vidding: un trabajo de amor (Parte 2)) (8 de diciembre de 2008)


  • Historia del Vidding

    By .logovo on Thursday, 23 April 2009 - 5:32am
    Message type:

    Vids son videos musicales hechos por fans que involucran el re-corte y re-mezcla de metraje de series de televisión o cine. La historia de vidding precede a YouTube (2003) y a la cultura contemporánea del "remix"; más bien, la práctica de vidding data de los 70s, y es uno de los variados artes que han surgido de Star Trek y subsecuentes fandoms de medios masivos de comunicación. Además, vidding es particularmente notable como una forma de cinematografía primordialmente practicado por mujeres, tal vez porque generalmente las mujeres dominan el fandom de los medios, o tal vez porque el relatar historias con metraje ya existente ha sido una manera de superar la barrera que dificulta la entrada de las mujeres al mundo del cine, costoso y dominado por hombres.

    El proyecto de la Historia del Vidding de la OTW tiene la intención de documentar y celebrar los 35 años de historia del vidding por fans. Creemos que obras no comerciales, como los vids, que de manera creativa hacen uso de material existente bajo derechos de autor, son transformativas, y que las obras transformativas son legítimas bajo las leyes de los derechos de autor de los Estados Unidos de America.

    Nuestro trabajo incluye:

    Serie de casos prueba de Vids bajo el concepto Uso Justo: Ofrecida como parte de la respuesta de la OTW en apoyo de la petición de EFF a la Oficina de Derechos de Autor, solicitando una exención a la DMCA para los vidders y otros realizadores de obras transformativas o que impliquen un uso justo.

    Vidding: Un documental sobre la cultura del remix, producido por la Organización para Obras Transformativas junto con el MIT y New Media Literacy, 2008. Dirigido por Francesca Coppa; editado por Laura Shapiro.

    El Proyecto de la Historia Oral: La OTW ha establecido un proyecto de Historia Oral para documentar las experiencias de muchas de las antepasadas del vidding. Entre las entrevistadas se incluyen: Kandy Fong; Sandy y Rache de las Media Cannibals; Morgan Dawn. Nos gustaría tener tantas vidders como fuera posible incorporadas en este projecto; si estás interesada en ser entrevistada, por favor contactános.

    Un Archivo de Vidding Propio: El proyecto Historia del Vidding ha unido fuerzas con otros grupos en la comunidad de código abierto de videos y remixes, que están desarrollando un gran número de diferentes softwares de fuente abierta para distribuir los videos en forma global; torrent, streaming, descarga y otros. A la larga tenemos la esperanza de adaptar una de esas tecnologías específicamente para vids, y para alojar nuestro propio archivo de ellos.

    Prensa y Presentaciones:

    Vidders Talk Back To Their Pop-Culture Muses (Vidders responden a sus musas de cultura popular) por Neda Ulaby en el programa de radio All Things Considered de la cadena NPR, transmitido el 25 de febrero de 2009. Escucha la transmisión en inglés o lee el artículo que le acompaña.

    Geneología del Vidding: Francesca Coppa y Laura Shapiro colaboraron en una presentación y proyección de dos horas, "Geneology of Vidding" (Genealogía del Vidding) en 24/7: A DIY Video Summit (Febrero 8-10, 2008; School of Cinematic Arts, Universidad de Southern California).

    "Remixing Television: Francesca Coppa on the vidding underground,"("Remezclando la Televisión: Francesca Coppa sobre la subcultura del vidding") entrevista por Jesse Walker, Reason: Mentes libres y Mercados Libres. Agosto/Septiembre 2008, p. 57-63.

    The Vidder, Perfil de Luminosity hecho por el New York Magazine


  • Comment of the Electronic Frontier Foundation

    By OTW Staff on Wednesday, 22 April 2009 - 9:28pm
    Message type:
    Before the


    In the matter of exemption to prohibition on circumvention
    of copyright protection systems for access control technologies

    Docket No. RM 2008-08

    Comment of the Electronic Frontier Foundation

    Submitted by:
    Fred von Lohmann
    Jennifer S. Granick
    Electronic Frontier Foundation
    454 Shotwell St.
    San Francisco, CA 94110
    (415) 436-9993 (fax)

    Pursuant to the Notice of Inquiry of Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies1 ("NOI"), the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) submits the following comments and respectfully asks that the Librarian of Congress exempt the following classes of works from 17 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1)'s prohibition on the circumvention of access control technologies for the period 2009-2012:

    Proposed Class #1: Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute lawfully obtained software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications with computer programs on the telephone handset.

    Proposed Class #2: Audiovisual works released on DVD, where circumvention is undertaken solely for the purpose of extracting clips for inclusion in noncommercial videos that do not infringe copyright.

    I. The Commenting Party

    EFF is a member-supported, nonprofit public interest organization devoted to maintaining the traditional balance that copyright law strikes between the interests of copyright owners and the interests of the public. Founded in 1990, EFF represents more than 13,000 dues-paying members including consumers, hobbyists, computer programmers, entrepreneurs, students, teachers, and researchers united in their reliance on a balanced copyright system that ensures adequate protection for copyright owners while ensuring broad access to information in the digital age.

    In filing these comments, EFF represents the interests of hundreds of thousands of citizens who have "jailbroken" their cellular phone handsets, or would like to do so, in order to use lawfully obtained software of their own choosing, as well as the tens of thousands of noncommercial remix video creators who have or would like to include clips from DVDs in their work.

    II. The Proper Role of Fair Use and Other Limitations and Exceptions in These Proceedings

    In evaluating the two exemptions proposed in these comments, as well as exemptions proposed by others, EFF urges the Librarian to adopt a new approach when considering how fair use and other statutory exceptions should be taken into account. The approach can be summarized as follows: where assertions of fair use or other statutory exceptions lead the Librarian into areas that have not yet been addressed by the courts, the Librarian should err on the side of accepting these assertions of noninfringement, but narrow any resulting exemption to activities that are ultimately found by the courts to be noninfringing.

    Congress intended the DMCA's triennial rulemaking to act as a "fail-safe mechanism" to mitigate the risk that access controls on copyrighted works would interfere with otherwise lawful uses of those works.2 As the Copyright Office has noted, "[t]he goal of the proceeding is to assess whether the implementation of technological protection measures that effectively control access to copyrighted works is adversely affecting the ability of individual users to make lawful uses of copyrighted works."3

    Among the lawful uses that Congress intended to preserve when enacting § 1201(a)4 was fair use.5 Preserving fair use in the context of this rulemaking, however, poses a challenge—how can the courts continue to develop fair use jurisprudence in light of new technologies and practices if the activities in question are impeded by access controls?

    The Copyright Office has stated that "[t]he proponents of an exemption bear the burden of proving that their intended use is a noninfringing one."6 For some proposed exemptions, this will be a straightforward matter. For example, the activity in question may not implicate any of the exclusive rights granted to copyright owners, or may be authorized by license, or may fall squarely within a clear statutory exception. Still other activities will fall comfortably within the ambit of settled fair use precedents. In these cases, it is a simple matter for the Librarian to recognize the noninfringing nature of the activity and move on to weigh the other factors that must be considered in evaluating a proposed exemption.

    But not all fair use questions will be so cut and dried. Because Congress has left fair use for the courts to develop on a case-by-case basis, there are always many activities on which the courts have not yet passed. This ability of fair use to evolve in light of new technologies and practices is one of its great strengths.7

    This, then, poses the dilemma. If the proponents of an exemption assert that the activity in question is a fair use, but the activity does not come within the ambit of previously decided fair use precedents, how should the Librarian respond? While it may be true that "this rulemaking is not the forum in which to break new ground on the scope of fair use,"8 Congress did not mean to foreclose the courts from "breaking new ground" in fair use cases, notwithstanding the use of access controls by copyright owners. Accordingly, to enable courts to assess whether activities that are otherwise "adversely affected" by access controls are noninfringing in light of fair use or another statutory exception, this rulemaking must grant exemptions for activities that a court might find to be noninfringing.

    In resolving this dilemma, the Librarian must be mindful of the fact that Congress has entrusted the courts with the task of adjudicating the scope of fair use, as well as interpreting and applying the other statutory exceptions to a copyright owner's exclusive rights. The Librarian should therefore exercise caution lest this judicial prerogative be displaced by these rulemakings. For example, if a proposed exemption involved an activity supported by a fair use argument that has yet to be addressed by the courts, and the exemption were denied, a court may never have the opportunity to rule on the question because a defendant may be unable to raise the fair use defense against a § 1201(a)(1) claim.9

    In short, only if this proceeding grants exemptions in untested cases will a court have an opportunity to address fair use claims involving new technologies and practices. The same is true of other statutory exceptions to copyright, such as those set out by § 109 ("first sale") and § 117 ("essential step and back-up copies").10 Denying exemptions based on the Librarian's best guesses about how a court might rule on these questions, in contrast, would potentially set the Librarian up as the final arbiter of statutory exceptions with regard to works subject to access controls.

    To resolve this dilemma, EFF proposes that the Librarian adopt the following approach when evaluating an assertion of fair use or other statutory exception:

    1. If, based on existing precedents, the Librarian is satisfied that the activity in question is likely to be deemed to be a fair use or otherwise covered by a statutory exception, then the Librarian should conclude that the activity is noninfringing and proceed to weigh the other factors that must be considered in evaluating a proposed exemption;

    2. If the Librarian is satisfied that the activity in question might plausibly be a fair use or be protected by any other statutory exception, but has some doubt on the question, then the Librarian should narrow the proposed exemption to apply only so long as the activity in question is noninfringing;

    3. If the Librarian concludes that no reasonable court could find that the activity in question would constitute a fair use or fall within any other statutory exception, it should reject the proposed exemption.

    This approach comports with both the letter and spirit of this rulemaking. Where a proposed exemption turns on the application of fair use or another statutory exception in a context that has not been definitively addressed by the courts, this approach would favor granting the exemption (subject to the other factors to be weighed pursuant to the statutory scheme), thereby allowing circumventers to bring their fair use or other statutory defenses to the courts for resolution. This, in turn, will foster the development of judicial precedents that will assist the Librarian in future rulemaking proceedings.

    At the same time, an exemption whose scope is limited only to activities that are noninfringing does not release any infringers. If litigation were to ensue, the defendant would be entitled to mount her defense to the claim of infringement—a successful defense on the question of infringement would thus also result in a successful defense to any circumvention claim. In contrast, a failed fair use defense and finding of infringement would simultaneously disqualify the defendant from relying on the exemption as a shield against circumvention liability. This "double jeopardy" should preserve any deterrence value that the ban on circumvention would otherwise provide. This approach also respects the wisdom of case-by-case adjudication in fair use cases, as a defeat for any individual defendant would not adjudicate the applicability of the circumvention exemption for defendants in different circumstances.

    If the courts are to continue to develop the jurisprudence of fair use and other statutory exceptions notwithstanding the increasing use of access controls on copyrighted works, the triennial rulemaking must allow as-yet untested questions to find their way to the courts. The approach described above strikes this balance, preserving for the courts their traditional role as case-by-case adjudicators of fair use and other statutory exceptions.

    III. Proposed Class #1: Circumvention Necessary for "Jailbreaking" Cellular Phone Handsets

    Proposed class: Computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute lawfully obtained software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications with computer programs on the telephone handset.

    A. Summary

    Cellular phones are increasingly sophisticated computing devices, capable of running applications from a variety of software vendors. Several mobile phone providers, however, have deployed technical measures that prevent subscribers from installing applications from vendors of their choice, instead forcing customers to purchase their applications only from the providers' preferred sources.

    Apple's iPhone represents the most widely known example of this strategy. Apple uses various technological means to prevent owners of the iPhone from loading or executing applications unless they are purchased from Apple's own iTunes App Store or otherwise approved by Apple. iPhone owners eager to run applications legitimately obtained from different sources must decrypt and modify the iPhone firmware in order to allow those applications to function, a process colloquially known as "jailbreaking."

    There is no copyright-related rationale for preventing iPhone owners from decrypting and modifying the device's firmware in order to enable their phones to interoperate with applications lawfully obtained from a source of their own choosing. As the Copyright Office noted in 2006:

    When application of the prohibition on circumvention of access controls would offer no apparent benefit to the author or copyright owner in relation to the work to which access is controlled, but simply offers a benefit to a third party who may use § 1201 to control the use of hardware which, as is increasingly the case, may be operated in part through the use of computer software or firmware, an exemption may well be warranted.11

    For the same reason, the proposed exemption should be granted.

    B. Factual Background

    So-called "smart phones" frequently come burdened with technical measures designed to force the owners of these devices to purchase applications only from a limited number of authorized sources. As consumers increasingly adopt these devices, their market choices are increasingly limited by this hindrance.

    1. Smart Phone Makers Restrict the Software Applications That Users Can Run, to the Detriment of Competition, Consumer Choice, and Innovation

    Smart phone makers use software locks to control a phone owner's ability to install and run applications of his or her own choosing. The iPhone has brought this practice to the attention of the public, if only because of the device's popularity. In less than two years, the iPhone has displaced the Motorola Razr to become the best selling mobile handset in the United States.12 The iPhone, however, includes software locks that prevent the device from running applications obtained from sources other than Apple's own iTunes App Store. Independent software developers who want to sell software through Apple's App Store must pay a 30% commission to Apple.13 This restriction is not necessitated by the iPhone technology. Rather, the effort to tie the iPhone, as well as independent developers, exclusively to Apple's own App Store is a business model decision on Apple's part, unrelated to any copyright interest in the firmware that operates the iPhone. There is no technological reason other than the software lock that iPhone owners who are dissatisfied with the selection or price at the App Store cannot shop elsewhere. In fact, today there are many iPhone applications created by third party developers catering to more than 350,000 iPhone owners who have "jailbroken" their iPhones, notwithstanding the risk of circumvention liability.14

    Apple's policies regarding the approval of iPhone applications for inclusion in the iTunes App Store illustrate some of the costs paid by independent software developers and iPhone users as a result of this restrictive practice. First, as noted above, Apple requires that application developers pay Apple a 30% commission on any sales consummated through the App Store. Second, Apple refuses to authorize applications that "duplicate functionality" offered by Apple's own software.15 So, for example, Apple has refused to authorize email applications that compete with Apple Mail,16 music applications that compete with iTunes,17 or web browsers that compete with Safari.18 This acts as a damper on both competition and innovation, as it protects Apple's own products from competition in critical areas. Third, Apple has demonstrated a willingness to remove applications from the App Store with little or no notice, a power it reserves to itself in its contractual agreements with developers.19

    Apple's iPhone is not the only smart phone that consumers have jailbroken in order to enable interoperability with software programs of their own choosing. The T-Mobile G1 smart phone, the first built around Google's "Android" operating system, is relatively open when compared to the iPhone. The Open Handset Alliance, the group behind the Android G1 phone, has said that "anyone can download, build, and run the code needed to create a complete mobile device."20 Still, G1 owners find that the phone comes with a number of restrictions that restrict the range of applications that the phone will run.21 For example, only a jailbroken G1 phone can run a full array of Unix tools in the background to enable automated functions such as appointment reminders or scanning for nearby wireless hotspots.22 In addition, the G1 as delivered will run applications only from the phone's built-in memory; jailbroken G1 phones allow the user to bypass the limits of the G1's internal storage, allowing the phone to run applications from SD memory expansion cards.23 Google responded to the jailbreak news by releasing an update to disable it, much as Apple has in its efforts to combat jailbreaking of the iPhone.24

    2. Section § 1201(a)(1)'s Prohibition on Circumventing Access Controls is Adversely Affecting the Ability of Smart Phone Owners to "Jailbreak" Their Phones

    Both smart phone owners and independent software developers have chafed under the artificial restrictions imposed by smart phone vendors on the range of applications that a user can install. As a result, a large community of "jailbreakers" has arisen. For example, literally dozens of tools exist to jailbreak the various iterations of the iPhone, and more than 350,000 iPhone owners have taken advantage of these tools in order to have access to software from sources other than Apple.25 It appears that these tools depend on circumventing technical measures that smart phone vendors may argue are protected by §1201(a)(1)'s circumvention ban, thereby putting phone owners who use these tools in jeopardy of legal liability.

    Let's take the example of the iPhone. Apple encrypts and signs its firmware as a technical protection measure to restrict access to the operating system firmware that controls the iPhone. The firmware includes copyrighted computer programs, is normally decrypted only inside the iPhone, and has not been distributed by Apple in unencrypted form. The firmware must be authenticated by the iPhone's bootloader and decrypted before the iPhone can be used. Once the firmware has been authenticated and decrypted, various components of the firmware authenticate applications before permitting them to run on the iPhone. These components of the firmware ensure that only applications that have been signed by Apple are permitted to run. Other firmware components prevent users from being able to write applications into the "OS partition," where applications must be stored in order to run on the iPhone.

    These measures make it necessary for an iPhone owner who would like to run an application obtained from a source other than the iTunes App Store to defeat or bypass a number of technical measures before doing so. For example, the most popular iPhone jailbreaking software, PwnageTool, decrypts and creates a modified version of the iPhone firmware so as to neutralize the authentication checks that prevent applications not signed by Apple from running.26 This decryption and modification of the iPhone firmware appears to be necessary for any jailbreak technique to succeed on a persistent basis. Apple is likely to assert that this decryption and modification constitutes a circumvention in violation of § 1201(a)(1), even if undertaken by iPhone owners solely for the purpose of running legitimately obtained applications from sources other than Apple.

    As more smart phones come on the market to compete with the iPhone, consumers will discover other technological protection measures that restrict their freedom to run software of their choosing. These protection measures will almost certainly operate, at least in part, by restricting access to the smart phone's firmware, potentially putting anyone who jailbreaks the phone at risk of liability under § 1201(a)(1), and thus adversely affecting noninfringing uses of the phone.

    C. Jailbreaking a Smart Phone for the Purpose of Running Lawfully Obtained Software Does Not Infringe Copyright

    Running lawfully obtained software on a smart phone does not infringe copyright, nor does the process of Jailbreaking a smart phone in order to accomplish this goal. As a result, the use of technological protection measures by smart phone makers to prevent these activities adversely affects, and is likely to continue adversely affecting, these lawful uses of smart phones.

    There are at least three reasons why Jailbreaking a smart phone does not infringe any copyright. First, it may be that under some circumstances Jailbreaking can be accomplished without exceeding the scope of the authorization granted to the phone owner when she buys the phone. For example, every iPhone owner is licensed by Apple to "use the iPhone Software on a single Apple-branded iPhone."27 Although the license agreement also obligates the iPhone owner not to "decrypt, modify, or create derivative works of the iPhone Software," some Jailbreaking methods may not transgress this limitation. The iPhone firmware is comprised of a collection of computer programs. To the extent a Jailbreaking technique does not modify any of the individual software programs that comprise the iPhone firmware collection, but instead simply adds additional software components to the collection, the practice may not exceed the scope of the license to "use the iPhone software" or constitute a "modification" of any Apple software components, any more than the addition of a new printer driver to a computer constitutes a "modification" of the operating system already installed on the computer. In order to insert these additional components into the iPhone firmware bundle, however, the iPhone user would have to first decrypt the firmware, potentially triggering liability under § 1201(a)(1).

    Second, to the extent a jailbreak technique requires the reproduction or adaptation of existing firmware beyond the scope of any license or other authorization by the copyright owner, it would fall within the ambit of 17 U.S.C. § 117(a), which provides that:

    [I]t is not an infringement for the owner of a copy of a computer program to make or authorize the making of another copy or adaptation of that computer program provided...that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program in conjunction with a machine and that it is used in no other manner.

    For example, an iPhone owner qualifies as the "owner of a copy" of the iPhone firmware. The iPhone Software License Agreement expressly acknowledges that while Apple retains ownership of the copyrights to the software that accompanies the iPhone, "[y]ou own the media on which the iPhone Software is recorded..."28 Every iPhone owner obtains the firmware pursuant to a one-time payment, is entitled to keep the firmware forever, has the freedom to transfer the firmware when transferring the iPhone, and is free to discard or destroy all copies at any time.29 Owners of other smart phones are likely to obtain firmware on essentially the same terms. The Second Circuit held on similar facts in Krause v. Titleserv, Inc. that the defendant had "sufficient incidents of ownership over a copy of the program to be sensibly considered the owner of the copy for purposes of § 117(a)."30

    The court in Krause v. Titleserv also recognized that § 117(a) permits the owner of a copy of a computer program not only to make additional copies, but also to adapt those copies to add new capabilities, so long as the changes do not "harm the interests of the copyright proprietor.'81 Where jailbreaking is concerned, the changes to the smart phone firmware are made solely in order to facilitate the interoperability of the phone with third party applications, and the resulting modified firmware is used on the phone on which the firmware was originally installed. In short, jailbreaking qualifies as an "adaptation" authorized by § 117(a).

    Third, even if any reproduction and modification of firmware incident to jailbreaking were to fall outside the scope of both authorization and § 117(a), it would nevertheless constitute a noninfringing fair use. In evaluating a fair use defense, courts consider the four nonexclusive factors prescribed in § 107:

    1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

    2. the nature of the copyrighted work;

    3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

    4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

    The first and fourth factors have been understood to be of special importance in many fair use cases, and here both of these factors point towards fair use. The first factor favors fair use because jailbreaking a phone in order to use lawfully obtained computer programs is a purely noncommercial, private use.32 The fourth factor also favors fair use. Insofar as smart phone makers do not copy or distribute firmware separately from the smart phones themselves, the jailbreaking activities of individual phone owners cannot harm the market for the phone/firmware bundle. Indeed, Apple makes various versions of the iPhone firmware available for free from its own website, demonstrating that the firmware has no independent economic value apart from the iPhones that run it. In fact, if users know that they can jailbreak their phones in order to take advantage of a wider array of third party applications, this is likely to increase demand for the phones, for the attendant firmware, and for independently distributed applications.

    The second and third factors are of less importance in a case such as this one, involving a private, noncommercial use where the first and fourth factors strongly favor fair use. With respect to the second factor, courts have recognized computer software as a hybrid work, combining both unprotectible functional elements and creative elements.33 Where jailbreaking is concerned, both the functional and creative elements must necessarily be used, since the phone owner will continue to rely on the original firmware (albeit altered to permit third party applications to run) for the operation of the phone after the jailbreaking has been accomplished. With respect to the third factor, this same consideration makes it necessary for individuals who jailbreak their phones to reuse the vast majority of the original firmware. This ought not preclude a fair use finding, however, as courts have been willing to permit extensive copying of the original where it is necessary to accomplish a salutary purpose.34

    Almost every jailbreaking circumstance will be noninfringing for at least one of the three reasons described above. While smart phone manufacturers may try to engineer a situation in which a finding of noninfringement is less likely, i.e. by implementing an access control that can only be circumvented by acts that exceed the scope of the applicable license, or by reserving sufficient "incidents of ownership" to disqualify the user as the owner under § 117(a), these instances should be left for the courts to address in the first instance. Granting an exemption to § 1201(a)(l)'s circumvention prohibition is the proper way to permit non-infringing jailbreaking while affording courts the opportunity to reach any undecided issues.

    D. The Four Nonexclusive Statutory Factors

    Section 1201(a)(1)(C) delineates four nonexclusive factors to be weighed in evaluating proposed exemptions. With respect to this proposed exemption, the importance of the four statutory factors recedes because "the access controls do not appear to actually be deployed in order to protect the interests of the copyright owner or the value or integrity of the copyrighted work; rather they are used by [smart phone makers] to limit the ability of [users to run third party applications], a business decision that has nothing whatsoever to do with the interests protected by copyright."35 By the same token, however, the Register should consider additional public interest factors that militate strongly in favor of granting the exemption.

    1. The Availability for Use of Copyrighted Works

    In considering this statutory factor, the Register considers whether "the availability for use of copyrighted works would be adversely affected by permitting an exemption."36 The Register also "consider[s] whether a particular [noninfringing] use can be made from another readily available format when the access-controlled digital copy of that 'work' does not allow that use."37

    The availability of firmware for smart phones would not be adversely affected by an exemption that permits smart phone users to jailbreak their phones to enable interoperability with lawfully obtained software programs. As discussed above, firmware for smart phones is not generally sold separately from the phone hardware. Consequently, the software locks that prevent phone owners from running software of their choosing are not intended to protect the market for copyrighted firmware -- instead, these software locks are intended to "control the use of hardware which, as is increasingly the case, may be operated in part through the use of computer software or firmware."38 If anything, jailbreaking should increase demand for smart phone firmware, as firmware that is capable of running more applications should, all else being equal, be more valuable to phone owners.

    While an exemption is unlikely to harm the availability of smart phone firmware, the lack of an exemption is certain to adversely affect owners of smart phones. Owners of smart phones that are "locked" to a single source for many kinds of applications currently have no alternatives to circumvention if they would like to use software from third party sources. The iPhone jailbreaking experience illUstrates the the kinds of pervasive technical measures that smart phone makers are likely to deploy in order to ensure that only approved applications are able to run on these devices. Because the firmware necessary to operate the iPhone is designed to (1) prevent users from installing applications on the iPhone in the first instance and (2) prevent the iPhone from running applications that are not approved by Apple, there is no way for iPhone owners to run unapproved applications without circumventing these technical measures.

    2. The Availability for Use of Works for Nonprofit Archival, Preservation, and Educational Purposes

    As noted in connection with the preceding statutory factor, some smart phone vendors (Apple) do not make smart phone firmware available in any form other than an encrypted digital copy. Others (Open Handset Alliance) make the firmware freely available, but prevent smart pjones from running modified versions of the firmware. In any event, there is no reason to believe that the availability (or lack of availability) of smart phone firmware for nonprofit uses would be harmed by an exemption that permits smart phone users to jailbreak their phones to enable interoperability with lawfully obtained software programs.

    3. The Impact on Criticism, Comment, News Reporting, Reaching, Scholarship, or Research

    While the continued use of access-control measures on smart phone firmware is likely to inhibit research, teaching, and scholarship relating to smart phone technology, the proposed exemption is not directed toward ameliorating those harms. Where phone vendors (like the OPen Handset Alliance) currently make firmware freely available for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research, there is no reason to believe that an exemption that permits smart phone users to jailbreak their phones would curtail that availability.

    4. The Effect on the Market for, or Value of, Copyrighted Works

    As discussed above in connection with the fourth fair use factor, permitting circumvention of access-control measures on smart phones will not harm the market for the firmware that operates smart phones.

    Nor does circumvention of the technical measures contained in the iPhone firmware that prevent third party applications from running increase the risk of circumvention of the "digital rights management" protections applied to media files, such as music or movie files encrypted by Apple's FairPlay system. In other words, the technical measures that control access to the firmware are not the same ones that control access to music or movies on the phone.

    Similarly, enabling an iPhone to run third party applications does not interfere with the security regime that applies to applications purchased from the iTunes App Store. Those applications are tethered to the particular Apple User ID that was used to purchase them, a mechanism designed to discourage users from freely reproducing and distributing applications purchased from the App Store. Nothing about the jailbreak process tampers with this tethering mechanism.

    Finally, jailbreaking increases the value of copyrighted works created by independent developers that would not otherwise have been "approved" by the phone maker, creating incentives for additional creativity on the part of competitors.

    5. Other Factors

    As the Register recognized in 2006, "when application of the prohibition on circumvention of access controls would offer no apparent benefit to the author or copyright owner in relation to the work to which access is controlled, but simply offers a benefit to a third party who may use § 1201 to control the use of hardware which, as is increasingly the case, may be operated in part through the use of computer software or firmware, an exemption may well be warranted."39

    Here, this same consideration supports the granting of an exemption in favor of smart phone owners who want to run lawfully obtained software of their own choosing. Granting the exemption will not impair the legitimate copyright interests of those who create smart phone firmware. At the same time, an exemption would vindicate the "strong public interest" in fostering competition in the software market, thereby encouraging innovation, and expanding consumer choice.40

    IV. Proposed Class #2: Extracting Clips from DVDs for Use in Remix Videos

    Proposed class: Audiovisual works released on DVD, where circumvention is undertaken solely for the purpose of extracting clips for inclusion in noncommercial videos that do not infringe copyright.

    A. Summary

    Every day, thousands of Americans create and share original, noncommercial videos that include clips taken from movies and television shows released on DVD (referred to hereafter, for the sake of brevity, as "remix videos"). Thanks to the falling price of digital video editing technologies and the popularity of video hosting websites like YouTube, this activity has grown from a niche hobby into a mainstream activity that is certain to become even more popular over the next three years.

    Some remix videos doubtless infringe copyrights; others, thanks to the fair use doctrine, just as surely do not. Regardless, for most of modern American copyright history, the fair use doctrine has left room for this kind of "remix culture." Whether any particular creation was, or was not, infringing, was to be determined only after a court had undertaken a fair use analysis. Moreover, as applied by the courts, the fair use factors favor remix video creators who recontextualize existing works for transformative purposes.

    Unfortunately, the DMCA's anticircumvention provisions threaten to alter this balance. In the view of many rightsholders, once a creator circumvents CSS in order to obtain clips from a DVD, that creator cannot invoke the fair use doctrine in her defense against a claim brought under § 1201(a)(l). This short circuits the fair use inquiry, denies the creator her day in court, and dries up an important well of future fair use precedents to the detriment of remixers and rightsholders alike.

    Some professional creative communities, if well-advised by counsel and indifferent to the loss in video quality, may be able to avoid this dilemma by extracting clips from DVDs without circumventing CSS—either by taking advantage of the "analog hole" or by obtaining "pre-circumvented" copies from unauthorized Internet sources. None of these alternatives, however, is as simple and straightforward as the use of software to copy digital video from DVDs using widely available DVD "rippers." Lacking access to sophisticated legal counsel to advise them, the vast majority of amateur remix video creators rely on DVD rippers to obtain the clips they need. These creators thus risk civil liability based on their circumvention of CSS, even where their videos would otherwise be adjudicated to be noninfringing fair uses. This risk of circumvention liability also chills the ability of remix video creators to resist unfounded DMCA "takedown notices" that impair their ability to share remix videos on the Internet.

    An exemption to § 1201(a)(1) is necessary if these remix video creators are to have a meaningful opportunity to engage in noninfringing creativity without unintentionally transgressing the prohibitions of § 1201(a)(1). The exemption should encompass audiovisual works released on DVDs protected by CSS. The proposed exemption class is further narrowed so as to reach only circumvention undertaken solely for the purpose of extracting clips for inclusion in noncommercial videos, the category whose creators are most likely to lack access to sophisticated legal counsel and technical means to take clips without circumventing CSS.

    In addition, the proposed exemption is further limited to uses that do not infringe copyright. In other words, this exemption is intended to afford noncommercial videographers an opportunity, if they are sued by rightsholders, to make their fair use cases in court. If the remix video creator prevails on a fair use theory, this exemption would shield her from circumvention liability; if, on the other hand, she does not prevail, then she would be subject to both infringement and circumvention liability. In this way, the exemption will benefit only noninfringing creators—infringers gain nothing by it.

    Finally, given the maturity of the DVD format and the widespread, mainstream availability of DVD rippers for many years, granting this exemption will have no significant impact on the availability of audiovisual works on DVD.

    B. Factual Background

    The practice that the proposed exemption is intended to reach—the noncommercial creation of videos that includes clips taken from commercially released DVDs—is already widespread. It will only become more common over the next three years. Accordingly, the Librarian should grant the exemption both based on § 1201(a)(1)'s existing effect on noninfringing activities, as well as its likely future affect on those activities.

    1. The Remix is Becoming an Increasingly Popular and Important Form of Creativity

    The creative practice of "remixing" existing video content to create original expression is a time-honored tradition, stretching back to 1918 when Lev Kuleshov began splicing and reassembling film fragments to tell new stories. It was not until the 1970s, however, that video editing capabilities became cheap enough to allow (a few, dedicated) amateurs to engage in remix creativity. Today, the ability to remix existing video content (including content released on DVD) has been democratized to an unprecedented degree, thanks to the combination of inexpensive video editing tools on personal computers and easy-to-use video hosting services such as YouTube.

    As a result, there has been an enormous increase in remix creativity, a trend that is likely to continue and accelerate in during the next three years. A 2007 survey of U.S. teens by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 26% of all online teens remix pre-existing content into their own creations, up from 19% in 2004.41 This growing practice has attracted the attention of prominent commentators, such as Professor Lawrence Lessig, who stresses the importance of remix creativity to building communities of common interest and fostering new forms of interactive education. Kevin Kelly argues that facility with "re-writing" video will be critical to the conception of literacy in a 21st century more at home with video than text: "We are now in the middle of a second Gutenberg shift — from book fluency to screen fluency, from literacy to visuality."43

    2. YouTube Creators are Remixing Film and Television Thousands of Times Each Day

    Viewed both on an aggregate basis and in light of specific creator communities, YouTube illustrates that large communities of remix video creators frequently depend on clips taken from contemporary films and television programs in the course of creating original videos. Consequently, to the extent § 1201(a)(1)'s prohibition on ripping DVDs applies to this activity, it is putting a large group of noninfringing creators in legal jeopardy.

    Professor Michael Wesch, the nation's leading ethnographer studying YouTube, has concluded that thousands of original videos that include clips from film or television sources are likely being uploaded to YouTube each day.44 During October and November 2008, Prof. Wesch's Digital Ethnography project examined two separate random samples of YouTube videos in an effort to estimate how many YouTube videos are remixes that include clips likely to have been drawn from DVD sources. Based on these experiments, he concluded that between 2,000 and 6,000 videos uploaded to YouTube each day fall into this category.45

    Professor Wesch also identified a number of genres of short-form videos on YouTube that appear to be popular and frequently depend on clips drawn from film or television sources. These new YouTube genres include:

    • Movie trailer remixes: Original "trailers" for famous films, made by movie fans, often for a humorous purpose. Prof. Wesch estimates that approximately 13,000 of these are posted on YouTube.

      Example: Brokeback to the Future (viewed more than 5 million times)

    • Film analysis: Amateur film critics provide their commentary and criticism as a voice-over to clips taken from the films being analyzed. Prof. Wesch estimates that approximately 10,000 of these are posted on YouTube.

      Example: Psychological Aspects of the Matrix

    • Movie mistakes: Film buffs collect and comment on anachronisms, continuity errors, and other "mistakes" found in films and television programs.

      Example: Harry Potter Movie Mistakes

    • Comic juxtaposition remixes: Often humorous videos created by combining video clips from one film with audio clips from another.

      Example: the phenomenon of "Downfall remixes"46

    • Political commentary: Videos intended to make a political statement that borrow clips from film or television to illustrate their message.

      Example: Jeremiah Wright Illustrated with Movies

    • Political criticism of film: Videos that utilize clips in the course of explicitly criticizing the underlying themes or politics of a film.

      Example: Disney Racism

    • "YouTube Poop": Absurdist remixes that ape and mock the lowest technical and aesthetic standards of remix culture to comment on remix culture itself.

      Example: Youtube Poop: Arthur's Massive, Throbbing Hit

      In short, Prof. Wesch's research merely confirms what the millions in YouTube's audience already know—there are tens of thousands of amateur creators who rely on clips taken from DVDs in the course of creating remix videos.

      3. The Vidding Community is One Example of an Established Remix Creator Community that Relies on Clips from DVDs

      A closer examination of one creator community—vidders—supplements Prof. Wesch's research regarding YouTube creators more generally. Vidders are certainly not the only established community of remix video creators. Movie trailer mashups, for example, have proven extremely popular since bursting on the scene in 2005.47 The anime music video ("AMV") creator community has also received increasing attention as scholars begin documenting amateur creator communities that are arising around these new video technologies.48 Vidders, however, are an instructive example because they have a history that predates digital video technologies, and thus a stronger sense of community arising out of that history.

      "Vidding" arose in television fan communities in the mid-1970s. In the words of Prof. Francesca Coppa, a scholar who has studied the vidding community:

      Vidding is a form of grassroots filmmaking in which clips from television shows and movies are set to music. The result is called a vid or a songvid. Unlike professional MTV-style music videos, in which footage is created to promote and popularize apiece of music, fannish vidders use music in order to comment on or analyze a set of preexisting visuals, to stage a reading, or occasionally to use the footage to tell new stories. In vidding, the fans are fans of the visual source, and music is used as an interpretive lens to help the viewer to see the source text differently. A vid is a visual essay that stages an argument, and thus it is more akin to arts criticism than to traditional music video. As Margie, a vidder, explained: "The thing I've never been able to explain to anyone not in [media] fandom (or to fans with absolutely no exposure to vids) is that where pro music videos are visuals that illustrate the music, songvids are music that tells the story of the visuals. They don't get that it's actually a completely different emphasis."49

      In other words, the archetypal "vid" is a music video created by and for fans of a particular television show or film, where the video content is a collection of clips from a favorite television program or film, and where the audio content is a song that comments on the collection of clips.

      According to Prof. Coppa, more than 10,000 vids have been created by creators that self-identify as part of the vidding community.50 This community embraces a strongly noncommercial ethos and views their works as "a visual essay responding to a visual source."51 To reiterate the point made by Prof. Coppa above, "Fannish vidders use music in order to comment on or analyze a set of preexisting visuals, to stage a reading, or occasionally to use the footage to tell new stories." Vids are commentaries, executed in a visual medium rather than in text, on the original source material—sometimes celebrating or criticizing political, sexual, or cultural elements that were obvious in the original; sometimes uncovering meanings that were latent in the original; and sometimes creating entirely new meanings with the characters and plotlines of the original. In other words, vids are fundamentally transformative visual works, using clips of existing footage in order to comment and build on the meanings of the original source materials.

      Vidders frequently rely on footage digitally copied ("ripped") from commercial DVDs in creating their vids, an activity that previous rulemakings have treated as a violation of § 1201 (a)(1).52 Because the vast majority of vidders are amateur videographers who engage in video creation as a hobby, however, they are unlikely to have access to copyright counsel to explain the nuances of circumvention liability. This is particularly true in light of the counterintuitive nature of circumvention liability as applied to DVDs. For example, it will strike many laypersons as bizarre that relying on infringing copies taken from unauthorized Internet sources is preferable (from a circumvention point of view) to ripping a DVD that you have purchased. Similarly, many may find it hard to believe that taking the same excerpts by means of video capture (an alternative that requires additional equipment and expertise that many amateur vidders lack) carries different legal consequences than using a DVD ripper to accomplish the same thing. In fact, when asked, an active vidder (who insisted on anonymity) and Prof. Coppa both agreed that vidders are not likely to understand the legal distinction between "ripping" a DVD and using alternative methods.53

      Nor is the vidding community's practice of ripping DVDs merely an expression of legal naivete or convenience. The vidding community takes video quality very seriously, and therefore many vidders favor DVD ripping for aesthetic reasons. In the words of Prof. Coppa, "Vidders typically want the cleanest, biggest clips their systems can handle, because they want to transform/ rework the footage in various ways—changing speed, color, adding effects, creating manipulations, masking out elements—and the better the footage you start with, the more you can do with it."54 This is particularly true for vidders who intend to display their videos at conferences and other gatherings, where display technology is likely to be much better than the typical low-resolution YouTube video. Many vidders also distribute high-quality versions of their works from their own Internet sites, demonstrating a commitment to video quality that far exceeds that of most YouTube creators.

      The practices of the vidding community demonstrate that noncommercial video creators have valid, noninfringing uses for clips taken from DVDs protected by CSS. Nor do these creators have realistic access to the same material from non-DVD sources, thanks both to a lack of sophisticated legal counsel and a lack of high quality video alternatives.

      C. Without an Exemption, Remix Video Creators are at Risk of Liability if They Circumvent the Content Scramble System (CSS) Used on DVDs

      The vast majority of mainstream commercial works released on DVD utilize CSS to encrypt the audiovisual work stored on the DVD. The Copyright Office and the courts have concluded that CSS is an "access control" protected by § 1201(a)(1).55 Moreover, major entertainment companies have repeatedly shown a willingness to commence litigation against those who circumvent CSS or traffic in CSS circumvention tools.56 Accordingly, but for an exemption granted in this proceeding, those who circumvent CSS to take short clips for inclusion in original remix videos run the risk of civil liability under § 1201(a)(1).

      D. Many Remix Videos that Include DVD Clips are Noninfringing Fair Uses

      While it is impossible to evaluate the fair use merits of all of the tens of thousands of remix videos that make use of clips taken from DVDs, the general characteristics of these videos make it clear that many qualify as noninfringing fair uses under existing precedents, and many others may qualify, depending on the future development of fair use jurisprudence.57 Granting an exemption for circumvention, limited solely to remix videos that qualify as fair uses, would preserve the breathing room for transformative expression that the fair use doctrine has always provided, without giving a free pass to others that are infringing.

      Turning to the first fair use factor—the purpose and character of the use—two characteristics of remix videos will generally favor fair use. First, the exemption sought here for remix videos is limited to those created for noncommercial purposes. Noncommercial activities have historically been favored under the first fair use factor.58 Second, remix videos are, by their nature, transformative, creating a new work that does not substitute for the original. Remix videos are frequently parodic, satiric, or created for purposes of commentary or criticism, precisely the kind of transformative uses that have been treated favorably by courts with respect to the first factor.59

      The third fair use factor—the amount taken—also tips in favor of remix video creators. The excerpts taken by remix video creators from films or television programs will generally comprise only a small fraction of the works from which they are taken.60 Where the amount taken is both qualitatively and quantitatively small, and reasonable in light of the purpose of the copying, courts generally find that the third factor favors fair use.61

      The fourth fair use factor—the effect of the use on the potential market for the work—also favors remix video creators. Where noncommercial uses are concerned, copyright owners bear the burden of proving that the use in question undermines the economic value of the copyrighted work.62 It is unlikely that a copyright owner will be able to meet that burden in challenging remix videos. These videos will almost never be a substitute for the original works. In fact, in many cases, a remix video will be hardly comprehensible to someone who has not already seen the original video "texts" from which the clips are drawn. In the vidding community, for example, fan-made vids often presuppose a high level of familiarity with the source material, without which the vids cannot be fully appreciated.63 Moreover, to the extent that any particular remix video is a parody of the original, or associates the original work with any political message or controversial subjects, it is unlikely that the copyright owner would license the remix. Courts have found that a fair use finding is appropriate where these considerations make licensing unlikely or impossible.64

      Finally, even if the second fair use factor—the creative nature of the original work—tips in favor of copyright owners, courts have recognized that this factor is likely to be of little importance in fair use cases involving the creation of transformative, original works.65

      Of course, whether any particular remix video qualifies as a fair use will depend on the facts of the case and is for a court to determine. For the reasons discussed in detail at the outset of these comments, however, if the courts are to have the opportunity to address these fair use questions, the Librarian must grant an exemption where a plausible fair use argument would otherwise be foreclosed by a § 1201(a)(1) claim. Noncommercial remix videos present precisely such a circumstance—most will have plausible fair use arguments to make, and none will see their day in court unless an exemption to excuse circumvention claims arising from ripping DVDs. And because the proposed exemption is expressly limited to "noncommercial videos that do not infringe copyright," any videos that are deemed to be infringing will not get the benefit of the circumvention exemption.

      E. Section 1201(a)(1) Adversely Affects Remix Video Creators

      Section 1201(a)(1)'s prohibition on circumvention has, and will continue to, adversely affect the noninfringing activities of remix video creators. Most obviously, to the extent the circumvention ban prohibits ripping DVDs in order to extract clips, the law puts remix video creators in legal jeopardy when they engage in authorship that would otherwise be protected by fair use. This adverse affect is compounded by a lack of access to sophisticated copyright counsel and the fact that DVD ripping is an "attractive nuisance"—the fastest, cheapest, and easiest way for most amateur videographers to obtain clips from DVD. These two realities mean that the majority of remix video creators will unintentionally violate § 1201(a)(1) in the course of authoring their noninfringing videos.

      There is another, more subtle, way in which § 1201(a)(1) is adversely affecting the noninfringing activities of video remix creators: the interaction between the DMCA's online service provider safe harbors and § 1201(a)(1) frequently makes it impossible for remix video creators to keep their videos online. Large media companies are delivering hundreds of thousands of "takedown" notices each month to online service providers who host and link to information posted by Internet users. While many of those notices target clear cases of copyright infringement, remix video creators have found themselves mistakenly caught in the takedown notice driftnet.66 Assuming the creator had ripped DVDs in order to obtain clips included in the video, she would face a difficult set of choices. If she were to insist on her right to "counter-notice" pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 512(g) in an effort to have her video restored, she would be exposing herself to a potential circumvention claim from the copyright owner who sent the DMCA takedown demand. In other words, thanks to § 1201(a)(1)'s ban on circumvention, remix video creators are unable to take full advantage of the protections they would otherwise enjoy against having their noninfringing works improperly censored off the Internet.

      F. The Four Nonexclusive Statutory Factors

      1. The Availability for Use of Copyrighted Works

      Section 1201(a)(1)(C) instructs the Librarian of Congress to consider four nonexclusive considerations in weighing proposed circumvention exemptions. The first consideration is "the availability for use of copyrighted works."67 In the context of exemptions that would permit the circumvention of CSS on DVDs, the Copyright Office has interpreted this statutory instruction to require "examination of the alternative forms in which the 'work,' i.e., the motion picture or audiovisual work, was available for use."68

      In previous rulemaking proceedings, the motion picture industry has argued that circumvention of CSS on DVDs should not be permitted so long as noninfringing uses can be accomplished by other, albeit more expensive and less convenient, means. These alternatives are impractical, inadequate, or both, for many remix video creators engaged in the noninfringing uses describe above. In other words, even one were to assume, arguendo, that CSS has made more copyrighted works available for purely consumptive uses, it has simultaneously made those works less available to remix video creators.

      The alternatives for taking clips from DVDs proposed in previous rulemakings fall short for most remix video creators for one simple reason: they lack the legal sophistication necessary to understand that their legal risk may vary based on the technologies they use to capture DVD clips. The proposed exemption is limited to noncommercial remix video creators, the group that is most likely to lack access to legal advice in advance of creating their videos. While these creators might have a rudimentary understanding of copyright law, and perhaps even some notion of fair use, they are particularly unlikely to appreciate the different (and counterintuitive) ways that § 1201(a)(1) treats the following scenarios:

      • Ripping from a DVD you lawfully possess, using widely available free software such as Handbrake, in order to take short clips for use in a remix video (viewed as illegal circumvention by major motion picture studios);
      • Using a camcorder and flat screen TV in order to capture the same clips for the same purpose (no circumvention);
      • Connecting the analog outputs from a DVD or VHS player to a personal computer equipped with video capture capabilities in order to capture the same clips for the same purpose (no circumvention);
      • Downloading a digital copy of a DVD from an unauthorized BitTorrent site, like those that can be found through The Pirate Bay, in order to excerpt the same clips for the same purpose (no circumvention).

      As applied to hobbyist creators engaging in noncommercial creativity, these legal distinctions amount to little more than a trap for the unwary. By taking the course that seems most fair and "legitimate"—namely, using your own DVD drive to take excerpts from a DVD you lawfully possess—these creators will have unknowingly violated § 1201(a)(1).

      In short, in the absence of sophisticated copyright counsel, the "alternatives" posited by motion picture studios are largely irrelevant to remix video creators—they will never know to seek them out in the first place. Their first encounter with § 1201(a)(1) and its counterintuitive set of distinctions is likely to come only if their video is targeted for enforcement action, whether in the form of a DMCA takedown notice or direct threat of suit.

      Moreover, many of the "alternatives" theoretically available to remix video creators require additional equipment and technical expertise that are beyond their reach. Many computers of recent vintage include a DVD drive and video editing software (all Apple Macintosh computers, for example, include software like iMovie). Simply downloading one of a number of free DVD "rippers," such as Handbrake, DVD Shrink, or Mac The Ripper, equips the aspiring remix video creator with the tools to take high-quality excerpts from DVDs. In contrast, "camcording" alternatives require that the creator purchase a camcorder, find a flat screen display69 from which to record, and figure out how to import the resulting footage into video editing software on a personal computer. Alternatives that rely on the "analog hole" or the use of VHS source materials require creators to obtain and learn how to use additional video capture hardware for their computers. These additional hurdles will increase costs (in both time and money) for many noninfringing amateur creators, and may well deter others from undertaking projects at all.

      Strict application of § 1201(a)(1) would also result in perverse incentives for remix video creators. Of all the "alternatives" available to creators who understand the circumvention restrictions imposed by § 1201(a)(1), by far the easiest and least cumbersome would be to simply download content from unauthorized Internet sources. This outcome seems distinctly less desirable than permitting remix video creators, many of whom are fans who eagerly purchase the works that they remix, to use their own DVD copies in the course of creating noninfringing remix videos.

      Finally, as the Copyright Office recognized in 2006, many "alternatives" for taking clips from DVDs result in compromised video quality. Video quality matters to many kinds of remix creators today and is likely to become more important in the next three years. For example, in the vidding community, using the highest quality video available is frequently critical to the expressive message that vidders are attempting to convey. In the words of one vidder:

      Vidders want to create immersive experiences, and they are highly invested in visual communication and aesthetics. Poor-quality source interferes with all of these, hence the community's determination to use the best-quality source footage available.70

      Professor Coppa agrees:

      Vidders want the best-looking footage available, and will rate "crisp source" highly when discussing a vid's merits. While there are some folks who still capture, capturing is more expensive, requires more technical expertise, and typically looks less good. Ripping from DVDs tends to get you better source than downloaded .avis, which are frequently recorded off broadcast television, and may be low-resolution or have bugs or other visual artifacts.71

      The critically acclaimed vid, Vogue, created by a vidder known as Luminosity, illustrates the importance of video quality to the expressive content of vids. Vogue sets a montage of expertly edited, visually arresting excepts from the film 300 against the music of Madonna's hit song, Vogue, thereby commenting on both the film and the song. Comparing the YouTube version with the original makes the importance of video quality starkly obvious. Viewed in "full screen" mode, the high quality original has a clean, professional look that reminds viewers of the self-conscious visual extravagance of the original film, even as Madonna's song reminds us that the film's imagery is an exercise in sexual objectification and violence.72 Viewed in YouTube's "full screen" mode, in contrast, the same video loses much of its visual impact and therefore fails to deliver its message with the same emotional force.73 In this context, it is plain that having access to high-quality video excerpts is "necessary to achieve a productive purpose,"74 namely to engage in effective criticism and comment within the meaning of § 1201(a)(1)(C)(iii).

      Vogue is a reminder that many remix videos are not intended (or not solely intended) for distribution in low-quality mediums like YouTube. Rather, as personal computers and living room home theater systems continue down the road to "convergence," remix videos will increasingly be called upon to deliver their messages on large, high-definition screens. If remix video creators are to have meaningful access to this medium, they have to be able to take high-quality, full-resolution excerpts from DVDs.

      2. The Availability for Use of Works for Nonprofit Archival, Preservation, and Educational Purposes

      According to the Copyright Office, "the second factor requires a more particularized inquiry than the first," examining the impact of technical protection measures on nonprofit archival, preservation, and educational uses.75 While EFF believes that CSS has also had a deleterious effect on these uses, the proposed exemption for remix video creators is not aimed at those categories of uses. In any event, for the reasons discussed below, there is no reason to believe that granting an exemption to noncommercial video remix creators will harm the availability of copyrighted works for these nonprofit uses.

      3. The Impact on Criticism, Comment, News Reporting, Reaching, Scholarship, or Research

      The third statutory factor "requires consideration of whether the [§ 1201(a)(1)] prohibition has an impact on criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research."76 This consideration reflects Congress' special solicitude for these "traditionally socially productive noninfringing uses."77

      As discussed above, the prohibition on circumvention of CSS is having a deleterious effect on the a wide variety of remix video creators who are engaged in criticism and commentary. Many of the most widely known remix videos are exercises in (often humorous) commentary or criticism. For example, many leading examples of the so-called "trailer mashup" genre find their humor in exposing, and thereby commenting on, the emotional manipulation that is the stock in trade of many movie trailers.78 One of the most popular trailer mashups, Brokeback to the Future, uncovers latent homoerotic themes and possibilities in the midst of the Back to the Future family film franchise.79

      Members of the vidding community are also engaged in a project of criticism and commentary, with many leading vids acting as visual essays regarding the characters and plots of the sources from which they are excerpted. In the words of an anonymous vidder:

      Vidding aims to create new meanings from the juxtaposition of video clips and music. These meanings may include parody, criticism, the creation of entirely new stories, meta-discussion, and beyond.80

      Professor Coppa also emphasizes the centrality of commentary and criticism to vidding:

      Vids are arguments. A vidder makes you see something. Like a literary essay, a vid is a close reading. It's about directing the viewer's attention to make a point.81

      Examining the history of vidding, Professor Coppa finds a consistent focus on the part of vidders, who are predominantly female, on fleshing out marginalized (often female) perspectives that are implicit in televisions shows like Star Trek or Quantum Leap.82 A vid like Vogue is a direct exercise in cultural criticism—a stylish attack on the romanticized conjunction of violence and male sexuality in a major Hollywood film. Some vids (such as Us by the vidder known as Lim83) can be far-reaching commentaries on vidding and fan culture itself, while other vids (like Superstar by the vidder known as here's luck84) serve the more modest (but equally fair) purpose of commenting on characters in a favorite TV show.

      Professor Wesch has identified a number of popular genres of remix videos on YouTube that are expressly devoted to criticism and commentary.85 For example, he points to some 10,000 videos dedicated to film analysis, as well as to videos that collect and comment on "movie mistakes." He also identifies videos that directly criticize the racist stereotypes contained in Disney films or implicit politics of Hollywood blockbusters like 300. He also notes that clips taken from films or television programs are often used to illustrate political commentaries, such as the speeches of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. And even absurdist videos like those grouped together in the genre "YouTube Poop" can be read as a commentary on remix culture more generally.

      Because remix videos are so often created for the purpose of commentary or criticism, the third statutory factor favors the granting of an exemption to alleviate the adverse affects that § 1201(a)(1) has inflicted on remix video creators.

      4. The Effect on the Market for, or Value of, Copyrighted Works

      In weighing proposed exemptions to § 1201(a)(1), Congress instructed the Librarian to consider "the effect of circumvention of technological protection measures on the market for or value of copyrighted works." In previous rulemaking proceedings, motion picture studios have asserted that any exemption that permits circumvention of CSS would reduce their willingness to make films available on DVD. In the 2000 and 2003 rulemaking proceedings, the Copyright Office accepted these assertions, finding that "the motion picture industry's willingness to make audiovisual works available in digital form on DVDs is based in part on the confidence it has that CSS will protect it against massive infringement."86 Whatever the merits of that view as applied to the facts in 2003, the facts have plainly changed since then, as EFF explained in its submission during the 2006 rulemaking proceeding.87 Simply put, if the widespread, free availability of CSS circumvention tools since the 2003 rulemaking has not dampened Hollywood's ardor for DVDs, authorizing remix video creators to circumvent CSS will hardly tip the scales.

      Notwithstanding the anti-trafficking prohibitions contained in § 1201(a)(2), tools capable of circumventing CSS have been widely, continually, and freely available since the 2003 rulemaking proceeding. Free, easy-to-use DVD ripping software has been continually available on the Internet for all major personal computer operating systems. DVD Shrink, Mac The Ripper, Handbrake, and dvd::rip are among the most popular DVD decryption solutions—all are available free-of-charge and have remained continually available since the 2006 rulemaking.88 Many other less popular DVD ripper alternatives, some distributed for free, others for a small fee, also compete with these leading products. Even DeCSS, the first widely distributed DVD decryption software, remains widely available online, even though it has long-since been surpassed in ease-of-use and sophistication by its descendants.89

      These tools have been readily accessible to mainstream personal computer users for many years. DVD ripping software, once the domain of a small band of enthusiasts, is now regularly reviewed in mainstream publications, including USA Today, MacWorld, PC World, PC Magazine, and the Fort Worth Star Ledger. In light of this reality, millions of Americans have had DVD circumvention tools at their disposal for many years.

      The potential impact of these CSS circumvention tools on movie industry incentives has doubtless been exacerbated now that DVD burners have been eclipsed by devices that can play video files directly without the need for optical media. Whereas many consumers in 2006 needed to copy a DVD to recordable DVD blanks before they could play them, today even that minor inconvenience has been eliminated. For example, digital media players like the iPhone and iPod Touch allow consumers to watch movies ripped from DVD. Media extenders, such as the Apple TV and Microsoft Xbox 360, also permit consumers to watch content ripped from DVDs on their TVs. As a result, today most DVD ripping software comes preconfigured to rip, transcode, and compress DVDs so as to enable direct playback of the video files. The continued popularity of "all you can rent" video rental operations, the model pioneered by Netflix, has also facilitated access to a large library of DVDs from which copies can be made. Over the next three years, none of these realities is likely to change.

      The efficacy of CSS as a mechanism for preventing widespread unauthorized copying has also been eroded by the continued popularity of peer-to-peer file sharing and other so-called "darknet" technologies.91 In a digital environment characterized by high-bandwidth communications channels, the leakage of even a small number of formerly "protected" copies into these channels leads to their widespread distribution without any further need for circumvention by the ultimate users. Accordingly, so long as even a small number of individuals are able to circumvent CSS, decrypted copies of formerly CSS-encrypted films will be widely distributed to large numbers of less sophisticated users, none of whom will need access to circumvention tools themselves. This reality accounts for the near-instantaneous availability of a vast library of films and television programs from sites like The Pirate Bay, which recently boasted 25 million users simultaneously sharing material over the Internet. Downloading these films does not require any circumvention tools—the content drawn from DVDs comes "pre-circumvented." Despite efforts by law enforcement and the motion picture industry, it seems apparent that much of the most popular material released on DVD will continue to be freely available through Darknet channels during the next 3 years.

      In summary, developments during the most recent exemption period have made it clear that, whatever its efficacy in the past, CSS is no longer protecting digital content on DVD from widespread infringement. Millions of U.S. consumers already possess circumvention tools capable of defeating CSS. Millions more are able to download DVD content from P2P networks and other darknet channels without having to circumvent CSS at all. And new technologies, including portable media players and home media servers, are giving consumers ever more reasons to copy their DVDs.

      What impact has the widespread circumvention of CSS had on the availability of digital audiovisual content on DVD? As mentioned above, the Copyright Office in 2000 and 2003 feared that the grant of even a limited DVD exemption might undermine the motion picture industry's incentives to continue making content available on DVD. Had those anxieties been well-founded, then the broad availability of DVD ripping software should have resulted in a conspicuous downturn in the number of DVDs released.

      The empirical evidence proves just the opposite. Even though DVD sales have begun to plateau as the format reaches its maturity, major motion picture studios have continued to release new DVD titles in ever-increasing numbers, including classic titles, television series, and growing array of "direct to DVD" releases.92 DVD sales and profitability continue to account for a large portion of movie studio revenues.93 This evidence suggests that, whatever the contribution of CSS to the availability of content on DVD may have been in the past, today the motion picture industry's willingness to release material on DVD is not correlated to any illusory security provided by CSS.

      Moreover, the proposed exemption for remix video creators would authorize circumvention solely for noninfringing purposes and would not authorize distribution of CSS circumvention devices. Accordingly, nothing about the proposed exemption would hinder any enforcement efforts by movie studios against those who traffic in circumvention tools, just as the exemption granted to film professors in 2006 had no impact on those efforts.

      Accordingly, if the widespread circumvention of CSS has not adversely affected movie studio incentives to release material on DVD, the activities of remix video creators certainly will not do so. If anything, granting this exemption will support legitimate sales of DVDs, as many video remix creators will have a reason to prefer purchasing DVDs over utilizing unauthorized sources.

      EFF expects the motion picture studios will once again rely on self-serving statements regarding the industry's reliance on CSS as a linchpin for DVD distribution. Unless those assertions are backed by concrete evidence that an exemption for noncommercial video remix creators will result in diminished availability of audiovisual content on DVDs, the Librarian should discount those assertions. Moreover, because the Copyright Act has never granted copyright owners any right to control fair uses, any argument that an increase in fair use (as distinguished from infringements) might diminish copyright owners' incentives to release their works should also be discounted, as the right to control fair uses were never meant to be part of those incentives in the first place.

      V. Conclusion

      For the reasons described above, the Librarian should determine that the noninfringing uses described herein are, and are likely to be, adversely affected by the prohibitions of § 1201(a)(1), and therefore approve the two proposed exemptions for the period 2009-2012.

      December 2, 2008

      Submitted by:

      Fred von Lohmann
      Jennifer S. Granick
      Electronic Frontier Foundation
      454 Shotwell St.
      San Francisco, CA 94110
      (415) 436-9993 (fax)


      Supplementary materials

      Appendix A (EFF Comment)
      Statement of Prof. Michael Wesch

      Appendix B (EFF Comment)
      Interview with Prof. Francesca Coppa

      Appendix C (EFF Comment)
      Interview with an anonymous vidder

      1 73 Fed. Reg. 58083 (Oct. 6, 2008).

      2 Recommendation of the Register of Copyrights in RM 2005-11, Rulemaking on Exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies, Nov. 17, 2006 ("2006 Recommendation") at 6 (citing H.R. Rep. No. 105-551, pt.2 ("DMCA Commerce Comm. Report"), at 35).

      3Id. at 7 (quoting DMCA Commerce Comm. Report at 37).

      4 Unless otherwise noted, all section references are to Title 17 of the U.S. Code.

      5 DMCA Commerce Comm. Report at 25-26.

      6 Recommendation of the Register of Copyrights in RM 2002-4; Rulemaking on Exemptions from Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies (Oct. 27, 2003) ("2003 Recommendation") at 106.

      7See, e.g., Perfect 10, Inc. v., Inc., 508 F.3d 1146 (9th Cir. 2007) (finding that creation of "thumbnails" by an Internet search engine qualified as a fair use).

      8 2003 Recommendation at 106.

      9See Universal City Studios, Inc. v. Reimerdes, 111 F. Supp. 2d 294, 322-23 (S.D.N. Y. 2000) (suggesting in dicta that fair use is no defense to a § 1201(a)(1) claim), aff'd on other grounds sub nom. Universal City Studios v. Corley, 273 F.3d 429 (2d Cir. 2001).

      10 Recent court cases are grappling with novel issues as they apply § 109 and § 117 in new contexts. See, e.g., Vernor v. AutoDesk, Inc., 555 F. Supp. 2d 1164 (W.D. Wash. 2008) (applying § 109 to computer software); MDY Indus., LLC v. Blizzard Enter., Inc., 2008 WL 2757357 (D. Ariz. July 14, 2008) (applying § 117 to video game software).

      11 2006 Recommendation at 52.

      12 Joshua Topolsky, iPhone 3G overtakes the RAZR as best-selling domestic handset, ENGADGET, Nov. 10, 2008, available at

      13 John Markoff & Laura M. Holson, Apple's Latest Opens a Developers' Playground, N.Y. TIMES, July 10, 2008.

      14 Erica Sadun, The story behind Cydia on the iPhone, ARS TECHNICA, Oct. 8, 2008, available at

      15 Jason Snell, Don't drive iPhone developers away, Apple, MAC WORLD, Sept. 24, 2008, available at

      16Id. (describing the rejection of Mail Wrangler for "duplicating Apple functionality").

      17Id. (describing the rejection of Podcaster for "duplicating Apple functionality").

      18 Fred Vogelstein, The Mozilla CEO on His Firefox Strategy, His Google Gambit, and Working with Apple, WIRED (Aug. 2008) (describing difficulties getting Firefox approved for the iPhone), available at

      19 Snell, supra n.15 (describing arbitrary App Store removal policies).

      20 Erica Sadun, Android liberation: T-Mobile G1 jailbroken, ARS TECHNICA, Nov. 5, 2008, available at

      21 For example, it appears that the G1 phone will only load signed firmware images, which prevents G1 users from making modifications to the operating system kernel that might be necessary to enable certain kinds of applications. See "Confirmed by Android team: G1 only accepts firmware signed by manufacturer," Oblomovka blog, Nov. 1, 2008, available at



      24 Donald Melanson, Google patches up Android jailbreak with RC30 update, ENGADGET, Nov. 7, 2008, available at http://www.engadget.eom/2008/11/07/google-patches-up-android-jailbreak-with-rc30-update/.

      25See Sadun, supra n.14 (putting the number of users of Cydia, a leading alternative to the iTunes App Store for owners of jailbroken iPhones, at more than 350,000).

      26 Jailbreaking techniques are likely to change over time as Apple updates its software to block specific techniques from working. Although PwnageTool is the most popular jailbreaking application, there are many others that utilize different techniques to accomplish the same end.

      27 Apple iPhone Software License Agreement, § 2, available at

      28Id., § 1.

      29Id., §§ 1-3.

      30 402 F.3d 119, 124 (2d Cir. 2005). Although some cases have suggested that § 117 has limited application to software that is "licensed," rather than sold, those cases have involved license agreements that "imposed severe restrictions" on the licensee's freedom to retain and dispose of the software. Wall Data Inc. v. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept, 447 F.3d 769, 785 (9th Cir. 2006); accord DSC Comm. Corp. v. Pulse Comm., Inc., 170 F.3d 1354, 1360 (Fed. Cir. 1999); see generally Nimmer, NIMMER ON COPYRIGHT § 8.08[B][1][c]. Apple iPhone owners are not bound by "severe restrictions" of the kind found in those cases.

      31 402 F.3d at 127-29.

      32See Sony Corp. of Amer. v. Universal City Studios, 464 U.S. 417, 449 (1984) (first factor favored a fair use finding for private time-shifting of broadcast television programming); Perfect 1O v., 508 F.3d at 1169 (finding that noncommercial, private creation of browser cache copies is a fair use).

      33SegaEnt. Ltd. v. Accolade, Inc., 977 F.2d 1510, 1524-26 (9th Cir. 1993).

      34See Sony v. Universal, 464 U.S at 449-50 (permitting copying of the entire work where necessary for time-shifting purposes); Perfect 10 v., 508 F.3d at 1167 (holding that copying entire images for inclusion in an Internet search engine was a fair use because the amount copied was "reasonable in light of the purpose of a search engine").

      35 2006 Recommendation at 52.

      36Id. at 51

      37Id. at 21-22.

      38Id. at 52.

      39 2006 Recommendation at 52.

      40Id. at 64.

      41 Pew Internet & American Life Project, "Teens and Social Media," Dec. 19, 2007, available at

      42 Lawrence Lessig, REMIX 76-83 (2008).

      43 Kevin Kelly, Becoming Screen Literate, N.Y. TIMES, Nov. 21, 2008, available at

      44See Statement of Prof. Michael Wesch, attached as Appendix A.


      46 Jenna Wortham, Hitler Remixes are Big—on YouTube, Wired Underwire blog, May 14, 2008, available at

      47See generally The Trailer Mash, a website that collects recut trailers and trailer mash-ups, available at; David M. Halbfinger, His 'Secret' Movie Trailer is No Secret Anymore, N.Y. TIMES, Sept. 30, 2005 (describing the success of one of the first trailer remixes, a trailer for the horror classic, The Shining, recut to make it appear to be a romantic comedy).

      48 Lessig, supra n.42, at 77-80 (describing research of Prof. Mimi Ito studying AMV creators).

      49 Francesca Coppa, Women, Star Trek and the Early Development of Fannish Vidding, TRANSFORMATIVE WORKS AND CULTURES, Issue 1, September 15, 2008, available at

      50 Interview with Prof. Francesca Coppa, attached as Appendix B.


      52See, e.g., "Making Fan Videos on Your Mac: Mac Vidding for Newbies," available at (recommending the use of Mac the Ripper and Handbrake, two leading DVD rippers for the Macintosh).

      53 Interview with Prof. Coppa, attached as Appendix B; Interview with an anonymous vidder, attached as Appendix C.

      54 Interview with Prof. Coppa, attached as Appendix B.

      55 2006 Recommendation at 12; Universal City Studios v. Corley, 273 F.3d 429 (2d Cir. 2001).

      56See, e.g., Universal v. Corley, 273 F.3d 429 (2d Cir. 2001); 527 Studios v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, 307 F. Supp. 2d 1085 (N.D. Cal. 2004); Paramount Pictures Corp. v. 321 Studios, 2004 WL 402756 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 3, 2004).

      57See generally American University Center for Social Media, Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video, June 2008,

      58See Sony v. Universal, 464 U.S. at 449 (first factor favored a fair use finding for noncommercial time-shifting of broadcast television programming); Perfect 10 v., 508 F.3d at 1169 (finding that noncommercial, private creation of browser cache copies is a fair use).

      59See Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., 510 U.S. 569, 579 (1994) (finding that the first factor favors transformative uses); Blanch v. Koons, 467 F.3d 244, 253 (2d Cir. 2006) (same).

      60 Although most vids include only a small fraction of the video sources from which they draw, they generally include a complete sound recording as the audio track. Courts have found, however, that the use of an entire work can nevertheless qualify as a fair use where the use is transformative. See Bill Graham Archives v. Dorling Kindersley Ltd., 448 F.3d 605 (2d Cir. 2006) (fair use where entire poster copied for transformative purpose); Nunez v. Caribbean Int 7 News Corp., 235 F.3d 18 (1st Cir. 2000) (fair use where entire photograph copied for news reporting purposes).

      61See Blanch v. Koons, 467 F.3d at 257-58 (portion of photograph taken); Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. v. General Signal Corp., 724 F.2d 1044, 1050 (2d Cir. 1983) (29 words taken from 2100 word article)

      62Sony v. Universal, 464 U.S. at 451 ("A challenge to a noncommercial use of a copyrighted work requires proof either that the particular use is harmful, or that if it should become widespread, it would adversely affect the potential market for the copyrighted work.").

      63 Jesse Walker, Remixing Television, REASON (Aug/Sept. 2008) (quoting Prof. Coppa as saying, "[s]ome of the best vids in the world don't look like anything special unless you know how to read them and interpret them."), available at

      64Campbell v. Acuff-Rose, 510 U.S. at 592 ("Yet the unlikelihood that creators of imaginative works will license critical reviews or lampoons of their own productions removes such uses from the very notion of a potential licensing market.").

      65Id. at 586 (finding that the second factor is of little assistance in parody cases).

      66 For example, the creators of the renowned trailer mashup, Ten Things I Hate About Commandments, saw their video taken down from YouTube thanks to a DMCA takedown notice issued by Viacom. See Similarly, after the video, Vogue, was featured in New York Magazine, it was removed from iMeem, apparently in response to a DMCA takedown notice. See Walker, supra n.63.

      67 17U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1)(C)(i).

      68 2006 Recommendation at 22.

      69 Recording from a traditional CRT displays frequently results in "roll bar" distortion unless a "sync box" is used. See generally Kris Malkiewicz, M. David Mullen & Jim Fletcher, CINEMATOGRAPHY: A GUIDE FOR FILMMAKERS AND FILM TEACHERS 213 (3d ed. 2005).

      70 Interview with anonymous vidder, attached as Appendix C.

      71 Interview with Prof. Coppa, attached as Appendix B.

      72 Available at

      73 Available at

      74 2006 Recommendation at 22.


      76 2006 Recommendation at 23.


      78See, e.g., Scary Mary Poppins,; Must Love Jaws,

      79 See Brokeback to the Future,

      80 Interview with anonymous vidder, attached as Appendix C.

      81See Walker, supra n.63.

      82See Coppa, supra n.49.

      83 Available at

      84 Available at

      85 Statement of Prof. Wesch, attached as Appendix A.

      86 2003 Recommendation at 119.

      87 Reply Comment of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Docket No. RM 2005-11 (filed Feb. 2, 2006).

      88See Adam Pash, Five Best DVD Ripping Tools, Life Hacker blog, Apr. 17, 2008, available at

      89See Anuj C. Desai, Software as Protest: the Unexpected Resiliency of U.S. Based DeCSS Posting and Linking, 20 THE INFORMATION SOCIETY 101 (2004), available at

      90See Christopher Breen, Updated Handbrake encodes more than DVDs, MACWORLD, Oct. 1, 2008, available at; Kyle Monson, 7 Tools for Ripping Your DVDs, PC MAGAZINE, Sept. 11, 2008, available at,2817,2330176,00.asp; Preston Gralla, 14 Great Multimedia Utilities, PC WORLD, May 28, 2007, available at; What Apple TV Hackers are Hacking, USA TODAY, Apr. 15, 2007, at 3B; Michael Gerst,Dr. Emilio Bombay Column, FT. WORTH STAR-LEDGER, June 11, 2004.

      91 The term "darknet" and its implications for digital distribution were developed in a paper authored by senior Microsoft engineers in 2002. See Peter Biddle, Paul England, Marcus Peinado & Bryan Willman, The Darknet and the Future of Content Distribution (2002), available at; see also Fred von Lohmann, Measuring the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Against the Darknet: Implications For the Regulation of Technological Protection Measures, 24 LOY. ENT. L. REV. 635 (2005).

      92 According to The Digital Bits,, there are more than 93,000 titles available on DVD as of November 2008, as compared to 65,937 as of November 2006.

      93 Brooks Barnes, DVDs, Hollywood's Profit Source, Are Sagging, N. Y. TIMES, Nov. 20, 2008, available at http://www.nytimes.eom/2008/11/21/business/21dvd.html.

      94See Interview with Prof. Coppa, attached as Appendix B (noting that vidders often purchase multiple versions of their favorite shows from which to draw clips).

  • Appendix C (EFF comment)

    By OTW Staff on Wednesday, 22 April 2009 - 9:04pm
    Message type:

    Interview with an anonymous vidder
    November 18, 2008

    The anonymous subject of this interview has been vidding since 2000. In that time, she has made approximately 30 vids. She has also mentored young vidders, provided "beta" (critique) for dozens of other vidders seeking help with their vids in progress, led panels on vidding at conventions, and curated vid shows.

    Could you briefly describe what sets the vidding community apart from other clip-based video creators? Do vidders see themselves as different from many more recent creator communities who have been getting attention on sites like YouTube?

    Vidders definitely see themselves as different from other creator communities. The differences are in part historical—we've been doing this since the 1970s—but primarily artistic and aesthetic. Vidding aims to create new messages from the juxtaposition of video clips and music. These meanings may include parody, criticism, the creation of entirely new stories, meta-discussion, and beyond. Many vidders see themselves as visual storytellers.

    Are most vidders amateurs in video editing? Are their activities generally noncommercial?

    Very few vidders have any training in film arts or video editing, although a handful have studied them in college.

    The vidding community, like the larger media fandom community, has long-held standards against any vidder making a profit from her work. The primary means of distribution is on the Internet, for free. Secondarily, vidders show their vids at conventions, where they are not paid for their submissions. A small number of vidders release collections of their work, often for free, sometimes for the cost of materials and postage. No one makes money from this hobby; in fact, we tend to spend a good deal of money on it, from souped up computers and external hard drives to high-end professional editing and post-production software to the show DVDs and music we buy.

    Do vidders frequently rip commercially-released DVDs in order to extract clips? Is DVD ripping viewed as superior to other available alternatives?

    Most vidders I know rip source from commercially-released DVDs. Some also download footage, but not all sources are available for download. Some vidders still use video capture, but the community at large is very concerned with the quality of the footage, and video capture results in noticeable quality loss. Increasingly, Windows-based vidders rip DVDs and work directly with the VOB files in AVISynth in order to avoid any quality loss at all.

    Could you make a rough order of magnitude estimate of the number of vids that have been created by self-identified vidders?

    I have thousands of vids in my personal collection alone. My guess is that there are tens of thousands of vids in the world at the moment, and that number is increasing all the time.

    Is the quality of the video source important to members of the vidding community?

    Source quality is very important. It always has been, even when vidders were using videotaped source—dedicated vidders would buy high-end "pro-sumer" machines that could record S-VHS (Super-VHS) for the best possible quality in that medium. You worked from first-generation tapes as much as possible.

    Vidders want to create immersive experiences, and they are highly invested in visual communication and aesthetics. Poor-quality source interferes with all of these, hence the community's determination to use the best-quality source footage available.

    Do you think the vidding community has a clear understanding of what the DMCA prohibits, particularly the legal difference between digitally "ripping" a DVD and using the "analog hole" to capture from a DVD? How likely is it that vidders will have access to the legal expertise to address these subtle issues?

    Some vidders are fairly savvy on copyright issues in general, but as most of us are not lawyers, it doesn't make sense to us to differentiate ripping from video capturing. And increasingly, vidding is being practiced by large numbers of young people who may have no roots in the traditional vidding community, who came of age with the Internet, and who have no sense of the legal restrictions that may affect their hobby. These are the people the rest of us tend to worry most about, in terms of potential legal liability.


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