Posts in Legal Committee

OTW Signal, September 2022

Every month in OTW Signal we’ll take a look at stories that connect to the OTW’s mission and projects, including legal, technology, academic, fannish history, and preservation issues that are important for fandom, fan culture or transformative works. In the News Netflix’s action against the creators of a Bridgerton musical meant that several news outlets reached out to OTW’s Legal Advocacy project for comment. One of them was U.S.’s NPR, which quoted Rebecca Tushnet: In a fair use case, Tushnet says, several factors are considered, including the purpose of the use, the nature of the work that was copied, the amount of original material taken,… Read more

OTW Signal, July 2022

Every month in OTW Signal we’ll take a look at stories that connect to the OTW’s mission and projects, including legal, technology, academic, fannish history, and preservation issues that are important for fandom, fan culture or transformative works. In the News The Catalan publication Diari di Barcelona ran a series on fans and fanfiction. The first installment explains the phenomenon of fandom. Its second installment explains to readers what fanfiction is. In its third, it discusses the Archive of Our Own as what happens when fans are in control of their own spaces.

Three U.S. Legal Issues To Watch

OTW Legal is tracking and participating in three current developments in U.S. law that could affect fans: (1) Fan-unfriendly proposals to change trademark law; (2) Attacks on LGBTQ+ expression online; and (3) Proposals to mandate technological copyright filtering on the Internet. We will keep advocating for fans in these areas, and in some cases, there are things you can do if you’re in the U.S.! If you want to know more, read on. (1) Fan-Unfriendly Proposals to Change Trademark Law The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill with the misleading name of “SHOP SAFE” that would place barriers and restrictions on online marketplaces,… Read more

(Updated) German Copyright Law: Action Needed!

Of special interest to German fans, as well as other fans in the EU. Germany is working on implementing Article 17, which makes significant changes in European copyright law. This has created an exciting opportunity to clarify that fan fiction is legal under German copyright law. The German government has sent a draft bill to the two houses of Parliament. The final vote is planned for the beginning of May. The government proposal makes clear that nonprofit websites like the Archive of Our Own should not be required to get licenses from copyright owners, as commercial websites like Facebook and YouTube will have to do. The… Read more

Five Things Casey Fiesler Said

Every month or so the OTW will be doing a Q&A with one of its volunteers about their experiences in the organization. The posts express each volunteer’s personal views and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OTW or constitute OTW policy. As part of our celebration of Copyright Week, today’s post is with Casey Fiesler, who volunteers in our Legal Committee. How does what you do as a volunteer fit into what the OTW does? I am part of the OTW Legal Committee. We provide guidance for other parts of the OTW when legal issues come up, provide information for fans when they… Read more