A DMCA Exemption for Vidders?

Vidding News: The OTW wants to announce its support for the EFF’s proposed DMCA [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] exemption for video creators–like vidders–who rip DVDs in order to use clips for fair use remixes. Members of the Board provided the EFF with background information on the petition to the copyright office (right-click and save), which explicitly cites fan vidders as an established creative community that relies on clips from DVDs to make works that are fair use: or what the petition calls “fundamentally transformative visual works.”

As the EFF’s petition notes, noncommercial videos like vids have good fair use arguments, but they may not have their day in court without an exemption to DMCA circumvention claims. To put it in layman’s terms, vids themselves may be legal fair uses, but right now, it’s hard to make the argument because copyright owners are able to claim that the DMCA says ripping DVDs to make the vids isn’t legal–yes, even if you bought them.* (Capturing, for those of you who still capture, is legal; it takes advantage of a loophole called the ‘analog hole’.) The blanket prohibition against ripping short circuits fair use; as the EFF notes, a DMCA exemption will give vidders and noncommercial videographers the chance to make their fair use arguments.

The EFF’s petition briefly discusses fan vidders Luminosity, Lim, and here’s luck: “A vid like Vogue is a direct exercise in cultural criticism–a stylish attack on the romantic conjunction of violence and male sexuality in a major Hollywood film. Some vids (such as Us by the vidder known as Lim), can be far-reaching commentaries on vidding and fan culture itself, while other vids (like Superstar by the vidder known as here’s luck) serve the more modest (but equally fair) purpose of commenting on characters in a favorite TV show.” The entire petition is well worth reading for vidders or fans of vidding culture–not to mention those interested in issues of free speech in a Web 2 .0 world.

*(unless you’re a film professor: film professors currently have the only fair use exemption.)

OTW promotes New Media Literacy

Henry Jenkins has posted part one of his spotlight on the vidding documentaries made by the OTW for MIT’s New Media Literacies project. The post, called Fan Vidding: A Labor Of Love (Part One), profiles the first three videos and features excerpts from director (and OTW Board Member) Francesca Coppa. (Fans might also want to check out NML’s introductory video on the new media literacies. The rest of the world is finally catching up with fandom; media educators want their students to be able to do what fans do, to know what fans know.)

December 2008 Newsletter, vol. 23

Welcome to the first December issue of the OTW Newsletter! We’re constantly on the lookout for ways to keep fandom up-to-date and informed about what’s going on behind the scenes here at OTW, so twice a month, Community Relations compiles updates about what the various committees are working on and we share them here.

All issues of the newsletter will be tagged accordingly, so you can follow our progress chronologically.

Committee Updates!

Academic Journal Update from mafaldastasi

The Academic Journal team is busily reviewing contributions received for issue two (March 2009).

Accessibility, Design, and Technology Update from black_samvra

AD&T are polishing the Translation interface, fixing bugs and generally nudging the Archive along the road to perfection.

Board Update from kellyannbessa

The current Board had our first meeting with the two incoming Board members, and made some headway on our plans for 2009. It’s great having them with us, and can’t wait to put them to work!

Community Relations Update from femmequixotic

Community Relations is preparing for the committee changeover and setting things in order for the new Communications team, in addition to keeping up with fannish inquiries and suggestions via email.

Content Policy Update from ainsley

Content Policy has on its editing hat at the moment! We’re revising various bits and bobs so that the Archive continues to have the best possible ToS and assorted policies.

Development and Membership Update from ignazwisdom

We now have a draft of our fundraising plans for the next year, which will shortly be presented to the Board for their input. Meanwhile, it’s not too late to donate in 2008!

Elections Update from ellen_fremedon

Elections is preparing for the committee switchover.


No update at this time.

Legal Update from killalla

The Legal Committee continues its current projects, along with advice and support to other committees. We also aim to respond as promptly as we can to queries from members and the public as they arise.

Open Doors

No update at this time.

Public Relations Update from jacquez

The Public Relations committee continues to prep for the upcoming transition, as well as handling our regular duties. We have been working with a volunteer designer and hope to have some fresh new materials soon!


No update at this time.

Translations Update from logovo

Translation is currently testing out the Archive and looking for bugs in the latest drupal update to the OTW site.

Volunteers and Recruiting from kellyannbessa

Volunteers has been adding translation and coding volunteers to the Org by the bucketful. If you are interested in any of our projects or committees, please let us know.

Webmasters Update from juniperphoenix

We are continuing to work on website documentation and on researching options for donation and membership processing. We are also working with the Translation Committee to implement Brazilian Portuguese content on the website.

Wiki Update from angstslashhope

The Wiki Committee is light on activity as we take a much-needed rest, so no updates at this time.

What details would you like to know? Please give ComRel a helping hand and let us know! Email us at comrel @ transformativeworks.org.

–femmequixotic, bethbethbeth, ciderpress, mirabile_dictu, shrift, svmadelyn
Community Relations Committee