Here's a roundup of legal and technology stories that might be of interest to fans:
- A steady stream of announcements show that quite a few companies are chasing the fan market. For example Chatwing.com sent out a press release to announce the Chatwing chat box for anime fan fiction writers. The Nico Nico Seiga image sharing website announced they would start hosting "user-submitted manga along with officially-serialized titles." Unfortunately some companies are not getting on the bandwagon. The Escapist reported that Lord of the Rings fans were starting petitions to save a game mod. "'[The Middle-Earth Roleplaying Project] is a Lord of the Rings total conversion for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim made, non for profit, by volunteers in their spare time,' the petition reads. 'We, the undersigned, call upon Warner Bros. Entertainment to lift the cease and desist from MERP and allow the developers to continue as they were with no hindrance.'"
- Various countries have been instituting or proposing restrictive laws on what can be posted online. Malaysia's Evidence Act, known as Section 114A prompted protests among Malaysian sites "similiar to the way hundreds of American sites and countless users protested the Stop Online Piracy and Protect IP Acts (SOPA and PIPA) in January." The concern was because "'if allegedly defamatory content is traced back to your username, electronic device, and/or WiFi network, Section 114A presumes you are guilty of publishing illicit content on the Internet.'" The Phillipines' Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 has extended their libel law to forestall cybersex. "'It does outlaw porn online,' Raissa Robles, the South China Morning Post’s Manila correspondent, told the Daily Dot via Twitter. 'Some netizens here r[sic] concerned even sending each other explicit pics could violate law.'"
- Commercial interests are an additional problem for digital goods users or creators. Market Watch talked about the uncertain rights of survivors to their loved ones' digital media collections. Meanwhile NPR reported on efforts to extend Rights Of Publicity. "[T]he very first case where the right of publicity was recognized even for the living was not until the 1950s. Up until then, there was a right of privacy. There was an ability to prevent...the use of your name or image in advertising during your life against your wishes. But once you had given up your right of privacy, there was nothing that allowed you to market your name or image." But it's often not the celebrities who are asking for more rights. "[W]e have an expansion of this right of publicity, and it's really being driven...by corporations that have acquired the interests of dead people."
If you're an anime fan, a fan of dead people, or have something to say about user rights online, tell it to Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.
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