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EU Commission Copyright Plans: How You Can Help

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.

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Fan Creation & Copyright Survey: Preliminary Results

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!

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This Week in Fandom Banner by James Baxter

This Week in Fandom, Volume 39

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening!

Remember Axanar, the Star Trek fan film that we talked about last year? Well, it’s back in the news this week since the lawsuit between the film’s production company and CBS/Paramount has been settled. As reported by Canadian Lawyer magazine, the lawsuit was going to go to a jury “to ultimately decide whether there is ‘subjective’ substantial similarity” between Axanar and the Star Trek property, in addition to the “objective substantial similarity” agreed upon by the court, which was unconvinced by a Fair Use defense. But, as SlashGear (not that kind of slash) reports, a settlement has been reached whereby Axanar may still be produced. The fan film will go ahead with significant changes in order to comply with CBS and Paramount’s “fan film guidelines” for the Star Trek franchise. This means that, among other things, Axanar will go from being a feature-length film to being two installments of no more than 15 minutes each. Details are still being finalized, but it looks like fans will still be able to see (this version of) the Four Years War.

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