Posts in Takedowns
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 OTW’s Legal Committee chair Betsy Rosenblatt was interviewed by Tech Crunch about Tumblr’s Post+ feature.
September got off to a pretty spiffy start for us here at the OTW with an article from Inverse that talked about why people make fanworks and what the OTW does in fandom. (While the OTW gives many interviews, most resulting publications don’t actually talk about our mission, so this was exciting for us.) “Very often, fans come into [creating] fanwork because they’re not finding what they’re looking for, either from the show itself or from existing fan works,” the article says, adding that “what many creators have in common is the desire to shape their preferred narratives.” The article focuses on LGBTQ+ elements as… Read more
OTW Legal wants your stories!
Over the years, OTW Legal has spoken for fans and fanwork creators in comments to governments around the world including the U.S., the E.U., Australia, and South Africa. And we want your help to keep doing that! One topic that many governments around the world want to know about is the impact of copyright “notice and takedown” regimes. Notice and takedown regimes are part of the TPP and the laws of many countries, including the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Most recently, the European Commission has asked for comments on how intellectual property (IP) enforcement is working worldwide, with a particular interest in notice and takedown systems and “graduated response” (also sometimes known as “three-strikes”) systems that restrict people’s ability to post content after they receive multiple takedown notices.
Way back in 2007, Stephanie Lenz posted a 29-second video on YouTube of her 18-month-old son dancing in her kitchen. Playing in the background was Prince’s song “Let’s Go Crazy.” Little did Lenz know that eight years later, she’d be responsible for an important development in copyright fair use law.
Universal, which owns the copyright to the Prince song, demanded that the video be removed from YouTube by issuing a “takedown notice” under the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act. But the law is clear: in order to issue a takedown notice for an allegedly infringing use, the copyright holder must swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that the use is not “authorized by law,” and Lenz’s transformative, non-commercial video appeared to be a clear-cut example of fair use–in other words, it was authorized by the law. With help from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Lenz fought back against Universal’s overreaching demand.
- The Japan News posted a story about how a Trans-Pacific Partnership crackdown could affect fanfiction publishing. “[T]he 12 nations engaged in the TPP negotiations are building a consensus that would allow for prosecution of copyright infringement without the need for a formal complaint, but instead based on reports from third parties or an independent judgement by an investigative authority.” This contrasts with Japan’s current system, “copyright infringement can only be investigated after a formal complaint from the creator of the original work or its rights holder.”