Copyright and Fandom: An Update on EU Article 17

This post is guest-authored for OTW Legal by Julia Reda, a German researcher and politician who represented her country as a Member of the European Parliament between July 2014 and July 2019. She was a member of the Pirate Party Germany, part of the Greens-European Free Alliance, until 27 March 2019. You can find her on Twitter as @Senficon.


Article 17 is a new EU copyright rule that will make some for-profit online platforms directly liable for copyright infringements by their users from June 2021. In order to protect themselves from liability, those platforms will need to filter new uploads for potential copyright infringements in works that have been registered with them by rightsholders. These automated filters are notoriously bad at recognizing the difference between blatant copyright infringement and fan art, which is often legal under the copyright exceptions that apply in Europe instead of US fair use – such as caricature, parody, or pastiche (the use of existing materials and creatively combining them into something new). The likely result will be more frequent blocking of fan art and other forms of everyday Internet culture such as memes, reaction gifs or lipsyncs. Experts such as the UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression have warned about the danger of Article 17 for our fundamental rights.

Thankfully, fully non-profit platforms such as Archive of Our Own will be excluded from the upload filter provision. Still, Article 17 poses a huge threat to the broader online culture ecosystem. It’s unclear whether small forums that generate some advertising revenue but are commercially insignificant when compared to YouTube or Facebook will still be considered for-profit platforms that have to apply the onerous new rules. Additionally, EU countries have a lot of freedom to adopt national rules that would help prevent the automated blocking of legal content such as fan art. Read More

Organization for Transformative Works: Elections News: Cast Your Vote!

Election Candidate Chats and Q&A Roundup 2020

The Elections season is in full swing! This post has links to the candidates’ answers to your questions.

Chats

There will be two public chats, both of which will last 90 minutes. Each of them will have three candidates in attendance. Chats will take place in our public chatroom.
They are scheduled for:

During these chats, chat attendees will have the opportunity to ask the candidates questions not already covered in their platforms, bios, and Q&A, as well as to ask individual questions of specific candidates. New questions will only be accepted for the first hour of the scheduled chat time to make sure candidates have time to finish them all.

We hope that you can join us for one or all of these chats! Read More

OTW Recruitment

The OTW is Recruiting for Tag Wranglers

Would you like to wrangle AO3 tags? Can you read and translate from Russian to English? The Organization for Transformative Works is recruiting!

We’re excited to announce the opening of applications for:

  • Tag Wrangling Volunteer – closing 08 July 2020 at 23:59 UTC or until we receive 95 applications
  • Tag Wrangling Russian Volunteer – closing 08 July 2020 at 23:59 UTC or until we receive 35 applications

We have included more information on each role below. Open roles and applications will always be available at the volunteering page. If you don’t see a role that fits with your skills and interests now, keep an eye on the listings. We plan to put up new applications every few weeks, and we will also publicize new roles as they become available.

All applications generate a confirmation page and an auto-reply to your e-mail address. We encourage you to read the confirmation page and to whitelist our email address in your e-mail client. If you do not receive the auto-reply within 24 hours, please check your spam filters and then contact us.

If you have questions regarding volunteering for the OTW, check out our Volunteering FAQ.

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