Last month, OTW Legal conducted a survey about fan experience with and knowledge of copyright. We had such a great response! Nearly 3,000 people participated. Because of this amazing response rate, we have a LOT of data – especially since so many gave us great, detailed answers to free response questions. So we still have more analysis work to do! But as part of fair use week, we wanted to provide some preliminary results, and give some thoughts about trends we’re seeing – especially around issues related to fair use. And the best part about our results is that we’re learning a lot about how we think we can help you as a legal advocacy team!
Yesterday, we asked you to take part in a short survey about copyright law. (If you haven’t done it yet, please do! And tell your friends to, too!) Today, as Copyright Week draws to a close, we want to focus on copyright and free speech.
Fanworks are the very essence of free speech: Fans saying what they need to say, building community through self-expression. A few years ago, when we asked you to tell us your stories of how fanworks have helped you, you told us powerful stories about how fanworks helped you find your voices, your skills, and yourselves. We used those stories of empowerment and self-expression to help advocate for balanced copyright laws that preserve the relationship between copyright and free expression.
All around the Internet today, you can find discussions of “21st Century Creators.” We think there are no better examples of 21st century creators than fans! Fans have long been in the vanguard of creating new kinds of work, using new technologies to express themselves, and popularizing new platforms for sharing creative work. But how much do fans and fan creators actually know about copyright law — the law that surrounds almost everything that fans do? OTW Legal wants to know. Your answers will help us serve the fan community, advocate for fans, and answer your questions about the law.