Posts in Legal Advocacy

Three U.S. Legal Issues To Watch

OTW Legal is tracking and participating in three current developments in U.S. law that could affect fans: (1) Fan-unfriendly proposals to change trademark law; (2) Attacks on LGBTQ+ expression online; and (3) Proposals to mandate technological copyright filtering on the Internet. We will keep advocating for fans in these areas, and in some cases, there are things you can do if you’re in the U.S.! If you want to know more, read on. (1) Fan-Unfriendly Proposals to Change Trademark Law The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill with the misleading name of “SHOP SAFE” that would place barriers and restrictions on online marketplaces,… Read more

Help OTW Advocate for Fan-Friendly Law In Hong Kong

Right now, Hong Kong is in the process of reviewing and proposing changes to its copyright law, and has put out a public call for consultation. OTW Legal will be submitting a comment in response to this request, recommending that Hong Kong’s copyright law be made more flexible to allow more freedom for fans to create and share fanworks. Here’s where you come in! As we’ve done in many countries, including Canada, Australia, the U.S., South Africa, and New Zealand, we’d like our Hong Kong submission to include first-hand accounts from Hongkongers about the benefits of laws that promote the creation and sharing of transformative… Read more

Tumblr Post+ and You

We’ve been getting a lot of inquiries about tumblr’s recent announcement that it would be beta testing a feature it is calling “Post+,” which allows users to monetize posts by locking them to subscribers. How does this interact with AO3 policies? Don’t worry, nothing’s changing. As always, AO3 is dedicated to noncommercial fanworks, and has a policy against using the AO3 for commercial solicitation. So, linking to your blog or other social media from AO3 is fine. But linking to your Patreon, Ko-fi, Amazon sales page, or other commercial/fundraising site isn’t. Letting people know how to learn more about you is fine, but soliciting financial… Read more

(Updated) German Copyright Law: Action Needed!

Of special interest to German fans, as well as other fans in the EU. Germany is working on implementing Article 17, which makes significant changes in European copyright law. This has created an exciting opportunity to clarify that fan fiction is legal under German copyright law. The German government has sent a draft bill to the two houses of Parliament. The final vote is planned for the beginning of May. The government proposal makes clear that nonprofit websites like the Archive of Our Own should not be required to get licenses from copyright owners, as commercial websites like Facebook and YouTube will have to do. The… Read more

U.S. Copyright News, OTW Legal, and You

Since we began in 2007, the Organization for Transformative Works’ core mission has included working to promote fan-friendly copyright law. For years, we’ve submitted testimony and comments to governments, filed briefs in court, and helped mobilize fans to have their voices heard by lawmakers around the world. Recently, one of our big legal advocacy projects has been testifying and submitting comments to the U.S. Senate about the way U.S. Copyright works online under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis has released proposed legislation that would be bad for the AO3 and bad for fans. OTW Legal will fight for fans… Read more