OTW Fannews: Working For and Against Fans

People engaged in tug of war. Text reads OTW Fannews Working For and Against Fans

  • In February 2014, OTW Legal submitted comments to the European Commission in regards to its copyright regulations review. Now a report is out summing up the responses. “The results are not entirely surprising and very clear: we have a strong divide among copyright stakeholders with end users and institutional users (e.g. libraries, archives, universities) strongly in favor of copyright reform and authors, collective management organizations, publishers and producers in favor of the current copyright system.”
  • Australia is undergoing a similar process, and is requesting comments from “interested organisations and individuals on the questions outlined in the discussion paper and on other possible approaches to address this issue.” Submissions close on Monday, 1 September 2014. The Australian government is taking a very pro-copyright holder stance emphasizing levels of piracy and saying “Everyone has a role to play in reducing online copyright infringement. Rights holders need to ensure that content can be accessed easily and at a reasonable price. Internet service providers (ISPs) can take reasonable steps to ensure their systems are not used to infringe copyright. Consumers can do the right thing and access content lawfully.”
  • Internet Policy Review featured a discussion of copyright in the UK and focused on gaming content. “Valve uses the Steam Workshop as a space where player-created content can be bought. The proceeds then get split between Valve and the item creator….[a fan] began distributing the shirts through a print on demand e-commerce service until Valve sent a takedown request. ‘I was kind of under the impression that because Valve is so open to the community profiting – they’ve got the whole Workshop – I thought maybe they would encourage that sort of thing but they want people to do it through their channels.’…Wild was later contacted by We Love Fine, a third-party which works with Valve to get the company’s approval for selling fan-designed products. A couple of his designs are now on the We Love Fine site and his work will also be included in the official shop catalogue for Valve’s upcoming multimillion dollar Dota 2 professional gaming tournament.”
  • ClickZ told marketers they need to embrace fan content. “This week it was reported that TripAdvisor has created a page for the Grand Budapest Hotel…While the page comes with a disclaimer…the devotion with which fans have thrown themselves into crafting unique user-generated content is very real. To date, more than 120 TripAdvisor users from all over the world have taken the time to review their fictional experience at the fictional hotel, peppering their posts with inside jokes only those who have seen the film would understand. The response demonstrates an interest in the movie that goes beyond the standard consumer reaction to entertainment content. In the literary world, this behavior is most closely related to fan fiction.”

What fandom copyright issues have you been seeing? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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