Watch OTW Legal Representing Fans in Washington

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  • The OTW recently submitted comments to the NTIA/PTO with the help of fan contributions. Rebecca Tushnet, an OTW Legal Committee staffer will speak in person on December 12 at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. A webcast will be available. Rebecca is part of a panel on Legal Framework for Remixes which will speak at 1700 UTC.
  • Rebecca also posted a summary of comments from other organizations to the NTIA/PTO on her blog. The groups include Deviant Art, Creative Commons, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and the Consumer Electronics Association.
  • The always busy Rebecca also took questions from users at io9 about fanfiction and mashups. One of the first questions regarded the legality of RPF. Rebecca’s answer? “[T]hat doesn’t implicate copyright at all. The possible issues involve defamation—but defamation requires that the audience believe that it’s getting a statement of fact, and that’s unlikely to happen with RPF…The other possibility is what’s known as a right of publicity claim. But noncommercial fiction is outside the scope of the right of publicity, and even commercial fiction—the kind Joyce Carol Oates writes with her romans a clef—should be. There are some troubling cases finding that video games violate football players’ right of publicity, but nobody thinks that a novel could do so, even one sold for profit.”