Banner von Diane mit den Umrissen von einem Mann und einer Frau, die mit Sprechblasen sprechen, eine davon zeigt das OTW Logo und die andere sagt ‘OTW Ankündigung’

OTW & Fair Use at San Diego Comic Con

If you’re attending SDCC, the OTW’s own Betsy Rosenblatt, chair of our Legal Committee, will be doing a short “Fair Use Basics” presentation as part of a “Comic Book Law School” Panel at San Diego Comic Con (which is open to badge-holders). Although she isn’t listed as a presenter, she will be there! So stop by this Saturday.

Comic Book Law School 303: New Revelations — Room 30CDE

For the final installment in this year’s Law School series, a panel of legal experts shed light on some of the more complex issues facing creators and businesses and touch on compelling issues popping up on the law and how they apply to comics and the pop-culture scene. Attorney Michael Lovitz, author of The Trademark and Copyright Book comic book, is joined by Professor Marc Greenberg and attorneys Howard Hogan, David Lizerbram, and Larry Zerner to provide practical advice concerning some of the more advanced issues facing trademark and copyright owners.

Topics covered will include legal issues for fan fiction and fan art; fan films and fair use; homage, swipe, or transformation; whether reproducing an artist’s published work is fair use or foul play; and how the new FCC “Set Box Top” proposal could be kryptonite for the creative community.

Please note: The Comic Book Law School seminars are designed to provide relevant information and insights to practicing attorneys, as well as practical tips to creators and other professionals who may wish to attend. [This program is approved for 1.5 credits of California MCLE.]

The panel will take place on Saturday July 23, 2016 from 10:30am – 12pm Pacific Time


Fair use is a central issue for fans & their activities. The OTW’s friends at the Re:Create Coalition have shared an infographic that shows just how many ordinary parts of SDCC, and cons like it, depend on fair use.

Re:Create Presents Fair Use at Comic Con - The principle of fair use is part of our nation's copyright law that allows for the use of materials for a limited and transformative purpose without permission from the copyright holder.  The determination if a particular use is fair use is based on 4 factors: 1 - The purpose and character of your use 2 - the nature of the work, 3 - the amount and substantiality of the portion taken, and 4 - the effect of the use on the market for the original.

You may not even realize how much you interact with this protected right to free expression all the time when you post on social media, use search engines, parody a known work, teach or attend a class, remix songs by your favorite artists, or many of the other things you do every day…but we’re here to show you.

Taking a picture of a cookie featuring Star Wars character BB8 and posting it on Eater San Diego

Buying a drawing of Bart Simpson from an artist on Artist’s Alley

Flagging down a ride from a pedicab driver dressed as Agent Peggy Carter

Posting a selfie at the SherlockeDCC party at the San Diego Public Library

Wearing a self-tailored replica of the Pied Piper varsity jacket while attending a panel on the popular HBO series Silicon Valley

Vlogging a review of the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival premiere of Lolad the Great and quoting the main character

Taking a photo of a a Steampunk Batman cosplayer in front of the DC Comics booth posting it on Instagram

Writing a new chapter of your fanfic novel while waiting in line overnight to attend the Supernatural panel

Learn more at recreatecoalition.org