OTW Fannews: Shark & Ranger Takedowns

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  • Bloomberg BNA was one of many sites to write about a dispute over a Power Rangers fan film created by professional director Joseph Kahn. It was taken down from Vimeo in response to a takedown notice under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act from the owner of the Power Rangers franchise. Although it was later permitted to be rehosted, the case raised a number of interesting questions about fair use and who would have prevailed in court. A post on Entertainment Geekly also questioned the ‘fan film’ label and the intentions for the film.
  • Legal Professor Paul Heald speculated over 3-D shark designs being sold online after their appearance in Katy Perry’s Superbowl performance. “The generally accepted position is that clothing is not protected by copyright. The copyright act contains a long list of what’s protected: literary works; musical works; plays; choreographic works; pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works; movies; sound recordings; and architectural works. Where would clothes fit? Well, the best you can do is sculptural works—they are sort of thin 3D sculpture. However, within that category, costume designers run into a problem called the “useful article” doctrine which disqualifies utilitarian sculptural works…It is generally accepted that clothing is unprotected [because] [i]ts design is intrinsic to its function.”
  • Kimberly Anne Tan interviewed a bookseller on Urban Wire about fanfiction. Asked whether fan fiction should be recognised as literature, Anthony Koh Waugh replied, “Literature, to me, means written works of quality and artistic merit. There are fan fiction inspired by classic works and popular fiction and among them, some are better written than the others. I see fan fiction as a creative innovation and whether or not the genre should be recognised as literature will depend on the acceptance by the literary circle.” However asked if he would sell fan fiction, he said “Of course! Fan fiction is a form of creative writing. Having said that, it also depends on how a particular book fits within our curation criteria.”
  • Certainly it’s increasingly easy to find, even in published form. Zaire’s Books Alive featured discussion of a short story by Kiru Taye, a Nigerian-born novelist residing in the United Kingdom, noting that she had written an erotic fan fiction short story inspired by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americanah.

What fanworks have you seen affected by takedown notices? 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 Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.