Legal Needs Your Help!

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The OTW’s Legal Advocacy project engages in legal cases and responds to fan requests that involve matters of U.S. copyright and fans’ rights to engage in fan practices such as creating fanworks.

But now our Legal Committee needs your help. We are helping with some (confidential, for now) court filings and would like to use the following information to help the drafters shape the arguments. We might possibly include fans’ stories of facing legal difficulties, but would only do that with express permission from the fan.

What we need is the following:

(1) DMCA take-downs. We’d like to hear from fans who have received DMCA takedown requests for their transformative fanworks and have had to decide whether to counter-notify that their fanworks are fair use and therefore don’t violate copyright law. We’d like to hear what they decided to do, why they made that decision, and what the outcome was for them.


(2) Fans who’ve been told that their transformative fanworks violate someone’s rights of publicity, or who have considered rights of publicity in deciding whether or not to make a fanwork. We’re particularly interested in published accounts about the relationship between fandom and rights of publicity.

In both cases, all communications will remain entirely confidential. We won’t tell anyone’s story or use anyone’s name (or pseudonym) without their express permission. But we want to make contact with people who have faced these situations — their stories will help us make legal arguments that, we hope, will prevent future challenges and take-downs of fans and fanworks.

If you have experienced either of these two things, or encountered news items about either of them, please contact Legal. If you know of someone who has experienced a DMCA takedown request, please direct them to this post. We need to hear from people by October 11. Thanks for your help!

Announcement, Legal Advocacy
  1. msilverstar commented:

    I was trying to figure out what the status of take-downs and C&D letters was to update Fanlore, but got a bit lost. Whatever you find out, please add it there too.

  2. aethel commented:

    DMCA notices that misidentify your fanwork as copyright infringement of something completely unrelated to your fanwork, based on keywords in the file name: