Spotlight on Legal Issues

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 support isn’t. So how does this rule apply to tumblr? We know a lot of people link to their tumblr accounts from their AO3 profiles or works, and that’s fine! But linking specifically to subscriber-locked material on tumblr isn’t, and using AO3 to ask people to subscribe to a monetized tumblr account isn’t. And of course, AO3’s rules don’t govern what you do on other websites.

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Spotlight on Legal Issues

(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 draft bill also proposes to explicitly legalize fan fiction, fan art, and many other transformative works, as part of the EU exception for “caricature, parody and pastiche”. Read More

Spotlight on Legal Issues

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 against this proposal, and you can help.

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