Banner by Erin of a spotlight shining the OTW logo behind the text spotlight on legal issues

Are You Concerned About Net Neutrality?

In recent weeks, OTW Legal has gotten some questions about net neutrality in the United States. Net neutrality is the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should treat all data on the Internet the same way, without discriminating or charging differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication. There’s been some recent activity surrounding net neutrality regulations that fans may want to know about.

Last week, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a proposal that would severely reduce net neutrality requirements in the United States. The FCC is currently in charge of regulating broadband internet access services in the U.S., and FCC rules currently forbid ISPs from, for example, blocking or “throttling” access to lawful content, prioritizing access to content based on payment, or requiring consumers to pay more for access to certain content or services. The new FCC proposal would retain existing transparency rules, but would roll back prohibitions–effectively permitting ISPs to engage in blocking, throttling, paid prioritization, and other interfering behaviors. (more…)

This Week in Fandom

This Week in Fandom, Volume 68

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start: Vanity Fair‘s Infinity War photo shoot and article. Tag yourself, I’m Hawkeye.


There’s been an interesting happening the mashup music fandom recently. According to a TorrentFreak article, the Canada-based website Sowndhaus had its domain delisted by its registrar following a DMCA-based complaint of copyright infringement made by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). (more…)

Banner by Erin of a spotlight shining the OTW logo behind the text spotlight on legal issues

Call for Stories: Help the OTW Fight for Fair Use!

Do you use screencaps or video clips in your fanfiction? If so, the OTW needs your help!

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) makes it illegal to rip from DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, and many other encrypted technologies. The OTW has won a legal exemption that makes it legal to rip DVDs, Blu-Rays, and digital downloads to make fair uses for the purpose of noncommercial remix videos, like fanvids.

But the DMCA still blocks fans’ ability to make fair uses of video in other contexts, such as fanfiction. Although fair use law would often allow fans to incorporate video clips or stills into their fanfiction (making it what the law calls a “multimedia e-book”) the DMCA restricts fans’ ability to gain access to video material for that purpose. (more…)