OTW Guest Post

OTW Guest Post: Ioana Pelehatăi & Alex Lungu

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.

Ioana Pelehatăi is a culture vulture for an online magazine in Romania. She writes, bakes, and drinks coffee. Sometimes, she also sleeps. Alex Lungu is a freelance video editor. He works mainly in advertising, but he likes to fool around with memes and remixes. Today as part of Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week, Ioana and Alex talk with us about their Copy Me project.

How did you first learn about fandom and fanworks?

Ioana: It was so long ago that I’m not even sure. I think I must’ve been a pre-teen, crushing on all things Addams Family related. At the same time, in school we were being encouraged to have penpals in Western European countries. You could pick a penpal based on their interests and many professed their fandom for one artist or another. Fanworks were a later discovery, linked to the era during which I discovered the Internet — so around the time I was 14-15. I found fanfic forums and realized that the universe of a book or movie is not strictly confined to the initial author’s creation.

Alex: When I was 19, me and a couple of my friends started doing small movies in our dorm room, drawing themes from Kung-Fu and Star Wars movies. One was picked up by the Star Wars community in Romania. They were all geared up, with good looking costumes and lightsabers, unlike our brooms we used to mock-fight with! That’s the first time I learned about fandom and I was quite impressed with their devotion.

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Fanworks, Fair Use, and Fair Dealing

It’s Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week!

We here at the OTW talk a lot about how most fanworks are legal under copyright law, but we know that most people find copyright law a little bit mysterious. One reason for that is that the answer to most legal questions is “maybe.” This is particularly true for questions about the copyright doctrines of fair use and fair dealing, which are the doctrines that make (most) fanworks legal as a matter of copyright law.

So to celebrate Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week, we wanted to provide some answers to one of the questions we get most often: Why are Fanworks (Usually) Fair Use?

U.S. (and several other countries’) copyright law is limited by the doctrine of “fair use,” which protects free expression by giving people the right to use copyrighted material in certain ways without getting permission or paying. The doctrine of “fair dealing” does the same thing in Canada, the UK, and a number of other countries. Courts in the U.S. have held that fair use is “not merely excused by the law, it is wholly authorized by the law.”

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This Week in Fandom, Volume 76

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start, Black Panther is setting records as the second-fastest grossing movie of all time (so far). Tell us what you thought of it in the comments!


You may be familiar with Russian figure skater Evgenia Medvedeva from her silver-medal performance at the 2018 Winter Olympics. However, a new article by Den of Geek highlights Medvedeva’s appearance at a past Tokyo event in which she cosplayed as Sailor Moon. In this routine, “Medvedeva reenacted much of the anime’s first episode, complete with props of a cat and transformation from student to superhero. She even visibly sings along to some of the Japanese lyrics from the show’s original opening credits.” (more…)