OTW Fannews: Knowing your rights

Banner by Bremo reading This Image Has Been Removed for Copyright Reason

  • Microsoft has been in the news for its copyright decisions in the past few months. Shogun Gamer had a discussion about Microsoft’s retraction of a DRM decision that would have limited game buyers’ rights to share games and would have required people to be connected online daily, which also restricted who could use the content. Perhaps the earlier controversy informed their second decision to open up the X-box to development. “[T]he company is doing away with its unpopular publishing restrictions, opening the door for independent developers to create and release their own games on Xbox One without enlisting the aid of a publishing partner. That essentially turns every Xbox One owner — from well known developers to your average Joe — into a potential Xbox One game maker.”
  • At PBS’ Mediashift, Patricia Aufderheide discussed the case of a music copyright incident and its troubling outcome. “Baio warns fellow remixers everywhere that “fair use will not save you,” and “nothing you have ever made is fair use.” Whoa. Neither of these statements is true. Fair use is riding high in the courts. The fair uses of “Jersey Boys,” who used clips from “The Ed Sullivan Show,” were forcefully vindicated just a few weeks ago, and the litigious rightsholders were ordered to pay the defendants’ costs and fees. Georgia State University successfully defended a copyright lawsuit brought by greedy publishers, and got a court order for the publishers to pay over $3 million in attorneys’ fees and costs.”
  • It’s easy, however, to find cases of companies taking questionable actions, such as the movie subtitle fansite undertexter.se being raided by the police. The site contained user-submitted translations of movie dialog. “The copyright industry in Sweden has previously asserted threateningly that the dialog of a movie would be covered by the copyright monopoly, and that any fan translation – even for free – would be a violation of that monopoly.” However, a similar case took place in Poland where “the charges were dropped and the expert opinion was that translating from hearing and sharing for free is not infringing the copyright monopoly. This is relevant as any EU court sets precedent all over the EU.”

What legal and technology stories have you seen that impact fan activities? Write about them 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 roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.