Posts in Legal Committee

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

U.S. Copyright News, OTW Legal, and You

Since we began in 2007, the Organization for Transformative Works’ core mission has included working to promote fan-friendly copyright law. For years, we’ve submitted testimony and comments to governments, filed briefs in court, and helped mobilize fans to have their voices heard by lawmakers around the world. Recently, one of our big legal advocacy projects has been testifying and submitting comments to the U.S. Senate about the way U.S. Copyright works online under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis has released proposed legislation that would be bad for the AO3 and bad for fans. OTW Legal will fight for fans… Read more

Copyright and Fandom: An Update on EU Article 17

This post is guest-authored for OTW Legal by Julia Reda, a German researcher and politician who represented her country as a Member of the European Parliament between July 2014 and July 2019. She was a member of the Pirate Party Germany, part of the Greens-European Free Alliance, until 27 March 2019. You can find her on Twitter as @Senficon. Article 17 is a new EU copyright rule that will make some for-profit online platforms directly liable for copyright infringements by their users from June 2021. In order to protect themselves from liability, those platforms will need to filter new uploads for potential copyright infringements in… Read more