The Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) is a nonprofit organization run by and for fans to provide access to and preserve the history of fanworks and fan cultures.

  • OTW Legal Files Amicus Brief in Garcia v. Google

    Tags: DMCA, Announcement, Intellectual Property, Takedowns, Legal Advocacy, YouTube, Technology

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    In our continuing effort to protect against online censorship that would harm fans, last week, the OTW filed an amicus brief in the case of Garcia v. Google. The case involves the scope and application of the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA and section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which together prevent content hosts -- like YouTube, the AO3, and many others -- from being liable for what their users post.

    This case is partly a classic example of "bad facts make bad law," since the plaintiff -- an actress tricked into taking part in the film Innocence of Muslims -- has good reason to want the film taken down. But in response to her request, the court not only applied a tortured interpretation of copyright law (an issue addressed in many other briefs filed with the court at the same time), but also ignored important anti-censorship "safe harbor" laws.

  • OTW Fannews: Copyright threats and benefits

    Tags: News of Note, Intellectual Property, Books, Music, Television, Fan Videos, Entertainment Industries

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    The Asahi Shimbum detailed fan concerns about the TPP. "Usami and other creators of fan fiction, however, could face the possibility of legal prosecution as copyright violators in the future, depending on the outcome of TPP negotiations. Some countries are apparently demanding that Japan clamp down on knock-off and pirated works in the intellectual property arena, even if the copyright holder does not object to it. Under current Japanese copyright law, authorities take action only after the copyright holder, such as the artist of the original work or publisher, lodges a formal complaint."

  • OTW Fannews: Acafans of today and tomorrow

    Tags: Conferences, News of Note, Comics, Fan Conventions, Fanfiction , Academia

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    For those fans who enjoyed the OTW's academic panel chat you may also want to look at Participations: Dialogues on the Participatory Promise of Contemporary Culture and Politics. This conversation among seven academics included Sarah Banet-Weiser, Nancy Baym, Francesca Coppa, David Gauntlett, Jonathan Gray, Henry Jenkins and Adrienne Shaw. Coppa discusses Welcome to Night Vale: "[I]t looks to me like something that could have been invented by an artist trying to imagine Henry’s definition of transmedia’s best self: radio, so giving fans an opportunity to imagine the visuals individually and collectively, which they have done with gusto; central characters who are queer and of color; an open invitation to make other things for and in the world (I wouldn’t even say 'an invitation to fans,' because, in a way, we’re not fans; we’re explicitly framed as citizens of Night Vale)."