OTW Legal has gotten some questions about Internet privacy since March, when U.S. lawmakers overturned regulations that had been set to go into effect later this year. The regulations were supported by prominent and knowledgeable people like the former head of the U.S. Federal Communication Commission. But they hadn’t gone into effect yet — what U.S. lawmakers actually did was make sure that nothing changed.
Back in December, we reported on proposed legislation from the European Commission that would require the constant monitoring and filtering of virtually everything that is uploaded to the internet in Europe. This legislation, which was proposed in September 2016, could heavily impact everything from memes to fan works, and our friends at Save the Link are putting out a call to action for anyone who uses the internet in the EU to contact their Members of the European Parliament.
One legislative proposal in particular, known as Article 13, could stifle fanworks. The proposal would require some websites to filter user-generated content. If Article 13 passes, your favourite websites would be obligated to implement systems that monitor user-generated content and automatically remove any content that could potentially infringe upon copyright, giving publishing giants the power to block your online expression.
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!