Posts in Remix
Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start: Vanity Fair‘s Infinity War photo shoot and article. Tag yourself, I’m Hawkeye. There’s been an interesting happening the mashup music fandom recently. According to a TorrentFreak article, the Canada-based website Sowndhaus had its domain delisted by its registrar following a DMCA-based complaint of copyright infringement made by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).
An increasing number of companies are marketing toward girls and women in tech, but not every attempt to capitalise on the trend is well-executed. NPR covered widespread criticism of Mattel’s Barbie: I Can Be A Computer Engineer. “‘It starts so promising; Barbie is designing a game to show kids how computers work,’ said Ribon. […] Brian and Steven take over — and, at the end of the day, Barbie takes credit for the boys’ work.” OTW Legal staffer Casey Fiesler, whose feminist remix went viral and was featured in the NPR story, took to her own blog to explain why non-commercial remix is allowed under US copyright law. “It is so amazing how many people care about representation of women in computing, and I’m thrilled and humbled that something I created helped to expand this conversation. I wrote a piece for Slate about the process and the ideas behind Barbie, Remixed, but something I wanted to discuss in more detail was the act of remix itself rather than the critique behind it.”
OTW’s ally organization, Public Knowledge, is sponsoring a contest for remixers. In an effort to highlight the problem of consolidation in the U.S. cable industry, they are asking remixers to “[t]ake one or more of the recent highly publicized customer service calls with Comcast (or go to town with one of your own experiences) and let your imagination go to work. We want to see remixes, mashups, autotunes, interpretive dances — whatever you think of to broadcast these real customer service calls with Comcast.” If you win, “Public Knowledge will pay your last Comcast bill, up to $200, and spread the word about your creation.” Visit their post for more details.
The OTW’s Legal Committee has been representing fans in a series of discussions dubbed “The Green Paper Roundtable”, which are part of the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO)’s efforts to seek public comments on copyright policy issues.
The OTW’s earlier participation led to our team having a seat in these ongoing discussions to advise the NTIA/PTO on a legal framework for the creation of remixes.
Microsoft has been in the news for its copyright decisions in the past few months. Shogun Gamer had a discussion about Microsoft’s retraction of a DRM decision that would have limited game buyers’ rights to share games and would have required people to be connected online daily, which also restricted who could use the content. Perhaps the earlier controversy informed their second decision to open up the X-box to development. “[T]he company is doing away with its unpopular publishing restrictions, opening the door for independent developers to create and release their own games on Xbox One without enlisting the aid of a publishing partner. That essentially turns every Xbox One owner — from well known developers to your average Joe — into a potential Xbox One game maker.”