The OTW’s Legal Advocacy project has stood up for fans’ rights to create and share, helping individual fans with legal questions and making fans’ collective voices heard in court cases.
Recently, our Legal Committee asked for fans to help by providing either media stories or personal stories of takedown requests and actions that have made fans hesitant to create or share fanworks.
Your help is needed again! The U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) are seeking public comments on copyright policy issues, including the legal framework for the creation of remixes. The window for these submissions is short — they must be in by October 14, so we need to act now.
The Legal Committee is thus looking for stories of how fandom has helped fans in day-to-day life. We need you to share your individual stories with concrete examples. For example, perhaps being in fandom has helped you to learn a language, helped you in school, or helped you improve skills that you use elsewhere — skills such as writing, video editing, coding websites, audio editing, or anything else. We don’t need personal information from you, but the more specific the story, the better.
Our attorneys will use your stories to explain to these agencies, which are likely to propose new legislation about copyright, why any change in copyright law should favor freedom to make transformative works. We succeeded before with the DMCA remix exemptions, but only because we were able to share specific stories from vidders. Now we need stories of all kinds.
We also need them soon! Please provide us with your stories by October 10, as our team needs time to work with them before the submission deadline of the 14th.
To submit your story, please use the Legal Committee’s contact form.
And if the OTW’s legal advocacy work is important to you, please consider making a donation to support our ongoing efforts. Thank you!