OTW Fannews: Global Rights

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  • The EFF reported on Japanese fans and organizations protesting the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). “In addition to opposing lengthy copyright terms, the anime and fan-art community are also concerned about the TPP’s criminal enforcement provisions. There is a particular section that says that ‘competent authorities may act upon their own initiative to initiate a legal action without the need for a formal complaint’ by the copyright holder. The fear is that this would lead to a major crackdown on derivative works, including written or drawn fan fiction, recorded music covers of songs, or cosplayers, who may upload photos of themselves dressed as characters.”
  • Le Devoir.com wrote about the origins of fanfiction. “To understand the phenomenon of fanfiction…begin by remixing the famous list of Daniel Pennac’s “The Rights of the Reader,” which will become those of “the consumer.” Literature becomes just a commodity, and it’s permissible to do whatever we want. From one chapter to another, the reader is free to react, to have equal exchanges with the author, to make special demands, or even to write his own fanfiction.” (Article in French).
  • lesen.net focused more on legal issues than the rights of the author. “The law is also problematic when it comes to the inventions of fanfic writers. There are stories where, in addition to well-known people, original characters occur in crossover stories which combine different book universes. Behind the new characters and the stories themselves are original, but unprotected, ideas. Original characters outside of the accepted world in principle belong to the rights-holders of the (story’s) world. Meanwhile, within the fanfiction community virtually all characters and plots can be easily transferred and plagiarized.” (Article in German).
  • The Washington Post also discussed appropriation in art using a variety of different examples. “There are no perfect, lawyerly answers to this. But general rules apply: The artist must add something — an idea, a nuance, a criticism — to the work he or she appropriates; it mustn’t be done simply to deceive; and no one should prosper by borrowing if it comes at the expense of another artist.”

Where have you seen fans standing up for their rights? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

News of Note
  1. Sabrina commented:

    I read that TPP passed. How does this affect fan fiction if at all? Does this restrict fair use or is about just strictly enforcing already in effect U.S copyright?
    I don’t think having restrictive copyrights if beneficial to society. Many works are derivatives and have been inspired by other creations.