OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Josh Lamel

From time to time, the OTW will be hosting guest posts on our OTW News accounts. These guests will be providing an outside perspective on the OTW or aspects of fandom where our projects may have a presence. The posts express each author’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. We welcome suggestions from fans for future guest posts, which can be left as a comment here or by contacting us directly.

As Copyright Week wraps up, today we talk with Josh Lamel, who is the Executive Director of the Re:Create Coalition, which the Organization for Transformative Works is a member of.

Could you tell us a bit about the history of the ReCreate Coalition? How did it get started?

The Re:Create Coalition started back in 2015 when a number of different organizations (including Public Knowledge, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Center for Democracy & Technology and more) came together to stand up for balanced copyright — the idea that America’s copyright system must support both those who create works as well as the rights of those who access and acquire them. These groups were already working on the issue, but they also work on lots of other policy areas: net neutrality, cybersecurity, privacy and more. Three years ago, we formed the ReCreate Coalition to amplify all the great work that is being done across the country to support fair use and balanced copyright. We’re also fighting back against groups backed by Hollywood and the entertainment industry who use copyright threats and lawsuits as a weapon against fans and consumers (more on that later).

Today, there are more artists, publishers and authors creating more works than ever before thanks to the internet and other tech innovations. It’s the Re:Create mission to advocate on behalf of the millions of creators, innovators, fans and consumers who are participating in and benefiting from this boom in creativity.


Five Things Betsy Rosenblatt Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. As part of our participation in Copyright Week, today’s post is with Betsy Rosenblatt, who volunteers as Chair of our Legal Committee.

How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does?

As chair of the Legal Committee, I have a dual role. Part of my work focuses on legal advocacy, education, and other interactions with the outside world. I help guide the advocacy and education missions of the organization by setting advocacy priorities, writing governmental submissions and informational posts, answering fan questions about law & fanworks, coordinating with allies, responding when the OTW’s projects face legal challenge, and being a representative of the organization in advocacy settings, academic settings, and fandom settings.

The other part focuses on internal work within the OTW -— helping other committees with legal questions and advising the organization on internal legal matters, much the way a legal department of a company would advise the company.

I don’t do any of these things alone, of course -— the legal team is full of wonderful, smart, hard-working experts and we work closely together on each of these tasks.


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…)