Events Calendar for March

Mar. 1st, 2015 01:30 pm
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Posted by Jennifer Rose Hale


Banner by caitie of curtains opening to show a stage with the words OTW Events Calendar

Welcome to our Events Calendar roundup for the month of March! The Events Calendar can be found on the OTW website and is open to submissions by anyone with news of an event. These can be viewed by event-type, such as Academic Conferences, Fan Events and Fests, Legal Events, OTW Events, or Technology Events taking place around the world.

  • Subtitled "the slash slumber party," Escapade 2015 is celebrating 25 years of bringing slash fans together. The event has three panel tracks--fandom-specific, meta discussion, and tech--and panel discussion is "highly interactive." Attendance to Escapade (March 6-8 in Los Angeles, California, United States) is capped at 150. Read fan impressions of Escapade at Fanlore.
  • Cardboard*Con is "the world's most affordable science fiction / fantasy convention, and the first dedicated to the art of cardboard costuming." The event includes workshops and a costume contest. It's in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, on March 7.

  • Described as a "light-hearted academic conference," the Conference on Middle-Earth 2015 is a single-track conference dedicated to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. It takes place March 28-29, in Albany, New York, United States.

  • The Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Joint Annual Conference will include topics related to fandom and fan theory such as fanfiction, cosplay, fan pilgrimages, and more. Mat Fraser, actor (American Horror Story: Freak Show) and disability advocate, will be a featured speaker. The conference is April 1-4 in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States.

Calls for Papers this month come from:

  • Gendered Politics of Production: Girls and Women as Media Producers. Girls and women are producing more media than ever before, but they face misogynistic backlash in occurrences such as the recent "Gamergate." As part of a one-day symposium at Middlesex University, writers are encouraged to submit papers on themes including, but not limited to, historical analyses of girls and women as media producers; the production and circulation of feminist and activist media texts; gendered labour in media industries; and methodological approaches to studying production cultures. Abstracts of 250 words and a 50-word bio are due March 15; the symposium is June 16.

  • The Fan Studies Network 2015 Conference. The Fan Studies Network is issuing a call for papers and panels for this year's conference. Topics include but are not limited to activism and fandom, fandom and conflict, fan conventions, transculture and fandom, and more. The conference is also accepting expressions of interest in a short "speed-geeking" session, in which a speaker can chair a discussion of a brief idea for feedback. Submissions are due March 22; the conference is June 27-28 in Norwich, United Kingdom.

  • Edited Volume on Non-Professional Subtitling. Non-professional subtitling (sometimes known as "fansubbing") is one of the less-studied forms of user-generated content, arising in the 1980s with the growing popularity of anime in the United States. In this case, "non-professional" doesn't refer to the quality but instead to the type of content produced for distribution online and without profit. Both scholars and practitioners are welcome to contribute papers for a volume on the subject area. Topics can include but are not limited to the non-professional subtitling process, products, communities, and training. Abstracts are due March 31 with full articles due August 30; the volume's anticipated publication date is January 2016.

Help out a researcher!

This month we received two requests for research participation:

The first request is from Arinda Sutantapreeda at Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. She is conducting an online survey on the users of fanfiction websites and the relationship between authors' gender, sexual orientation, and the preference for types of erotic stories.

Her contact information is arinda [dot] sutantapreeda [at] gmail [dot] com.

You can find the survey online; note that the latter part of the survey is ages 18 and up only, though all ages can participate in the first half. The research results will be shared with survey participants who provide their email addresses in the survey or who send their email address separately.

The second request comes from Lidia Wisniewska at the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Poland.

She is working on a study to find out more about motivation to read (and write) fanfiction, and is asking authors and readers to take a survey. She has Ethical Board approval for this effort as part of a larger project.

Her contact information is lidiaw [at] umk [dot] pl.

Survey results are anonymous, and by participating in the survey you are giving consent to have your answers included in the research. Results will be published and available on request.

If you have requests for research participation, please view our policy for inclusion at our website.

The OTW encourages anyone to submit an event that's not already listed, and to check out the calendar throughout the year!


This is box-shaped!

Mar. 1st, 2015 01:00 pm
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)
[personal profile] yvi
We were sorting through the wedding stuff and Newton decided this
decoration needed saving.

Behind the cut: cat content.

Read more... )

OTW Fannews: Being In the Know

Feb. 28th, 2015 07:51 pm
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Posted by Janita Burgess


OTW Fannews Banner by caitie with a rainbow shooting star and the words OTW Fannews: Being In the Know

  • A post at Movie Pilot pointed out how early fanwork passions can begin. "I was on Wattpad and came across a profile and her name was Alexandria1019. She has a couple of stories she wrote, which are amazing in my point of view...And the coolest thing, she's a 7th grader." Her dreams are short-term but her reasons are universal. "'When I get older, and go to high school, I want to join a writing club. I want to be a writer because whenever I write, it's like I'm in a totally different universe. Like I'm not in reality...I know they aren't my characters and my story that I wrote myself, but it gives me a chance too express what I think. Because, I can't really express what I think to people.'"
  • These early lessons can have a big impact though. An article at Neon Tommy discussed why people respond to fanfiction. "I found myself reading multiple stories like Red’s, about kids who used fanfiction as a means to improve their English, and with fantastic results. Users told me about how fanfiction helped expand their vocabulary, as well as experiences such as an anonymous user who 'learned about the culture…ideas and feelings of the writers. When reading I stopped more than once, to learn about a new tradition, a word, a poem, an author, a new kind of music…It’s a window to new knowledge…' So, with fanfiction, it wasn’t just me who was improving my writing skills."
  • The New York Post was one of many sites trying to find stories related to Fifty Shades of Grey to coincide with the movie's release. In their case they found a fanfic writer to discuss pulling to publish and the merits of the fic as originally written. "But many in the community are confused and concerned by James’ success. 'The prose style, the dialogue — it was very juvenile. It was very simplistic,' says Karen, a 50-year-old administrator from Phoenix who uses the name piewacket on the site and recalls reading James’ original posts."
  • A different look at fanfic was provided by the OTW's Kristina Busse in a post at How We Get to Next. There she argued against separating fanfiction from communities. "Star Trek also became 'trans-fannish' very quickly, Busse explained, intermingling with followers of other series. 'In the 1970s conventions started to include Doctor Who, and by the 1980s you have entire zines that are nothing but crossovers. It moved beyond the specific show; people would become fannish butterflies where they would go from one fandom to another.' In doing so, they brought with them characters, plots and settings — and also tropes."

How do you define fanfiction and what has it brought to your life? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.


Don't leave me, cake

Feb. 28th, 2015 03:00 pm
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)
[personal profile] yvi
And this is why I will never ever move away from this city.

Behind the cut : cake, cake, cake. Also known as Käsesahnetorte,
Flockentorte, Schokotorte and Chilli-Choc-Torte. Omnom

Read more... )

(no subject)

Feb. 27th, 2015 11:30 pm
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
If you're seeing slow page load times, pages not fully loading, missing icons, 'naked' pages (the text of the page only, without any styling, etc): please shift-refresh your browser, clear your browser cache, and then just hang tight. We're switching CDN providers, so your browser may have cached the wrong copy of things.

If the problem hasn't cleared up by tomorrow, then let us know and we'll look into it further!

Table for Three is Coming to the AO3

Feb. 27th, 2015 05:11 pm
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Posted by Kiri Van Santen


Banner of two men and a woman in an embrace with the title 'Table for Three a Triofic Archive'

The Archive of Our Own (AO3) welcomes Table for Three, a Harry Potter archive dedicated to the Harry/Ron/Hermione ship!

In this post:

Background explanation

Table for Three was founded as the definitive archive dedicated to the Harry Potter Trio Ship, featuring stories in which Harry, Hermione and Ron are involved with each other romantically. (This may be best summed up by a note on the homepage: If you're looking for the three primary characters of “Harry Potter” in a great writhing puppy pile, you've got to the right place.)

In recent years, traffic and submissions to the archive have dwindled to near-non existence, and it’s become difficult for the mod to justify the considerable expense of keeping the archive open. To prevent these works from being lost, he contacted Open Doors to give them a new home on the Archive of Our Own.

Open Doors will be working with Jonathan Andrew Sheen, the archive mod, to import Table for Three into a separate, searchable collection with its own identity. Eventually the links going to the old site will re-direct to the collection on AO3 so the works can continue to be found with their old URLs. We will begin importing works from Table for Three to the AO3 collection in March 2015.

What does this mean for creators who have work on Table for Three?

This is the part where we ask for your help!

1. If you already have an AO3 account and have posted your Table for Three works there, please contact Open Doors with your Table for Three pseud(s) and e-mail address(es), so that we won’t import your works. (For instructions on mass-adding works to the new collection on the AO3, Table for Three, please see the Open Doors website.)

2. If you don’t have an AO3 account but would like one to import your works yourself, please contact Open Doors with your Table for Three pseud(s), and the preferred e-mail address to send the AO3 invite to. (For instructions on importing works and adding them to the Table for Three collection, please see the Open Doors website.)

3. If you don’t already have an AO3 account but would like one, as well as assistance importing your works, please contact Open Doors with your Table for Three pseud(s), and the preferred e-mail address to send the AO3 invite to. (Once your account is set up, let us know your AO3 name, and we can transfer your works to you.)

4. If you would NOT like your works moved, please contact Open Doors with your Table for Three pseud(s) and e-mail address(es) so that we will not add them. (If you would not mind them being preserved but do not want your name attached to them any longer, please let us know that too--we can orphan your works instead of leaving them behind to be deleted.)

All works archived on a creator’s behalf will be attributed with the creator’s name in the byline of the work. As we import works, we will e-mail notifications to the address associated with the work. When all works have been accounted for, the Open Doors committee will set up the URL redirects, and we will permanently close down the site.

All imported works will be set to be viewable only by logged-in AO3 users. Once you claim your works, you can make them publicly-viewable if you choose. After 30 days, all unclaimed imported works will be made visible to all visitors.

If you no longer have access to the email account associated with your Table for Three account, please contact Open Doors and we'll help you out. (If you've posted the works elsewhere, or have an easy way to verify that they're yours, that's fantastic; if not, we will work with the Table for Three mod to confirm your claims.)

If you still have questions...

If you have further questions, visit the Open Doors FAQ page, contact the Open Doors committee, or leave a comment on this post and we'll respond as soon as we can.

We'd also love it if fans could help us preserve the story of Table for Three on Fanlore. If you're new to wiki editing, no worries! Check out the new visitor portal, or ask the Fanlore Gardeners for tips.

We're excited to be able to help preserve Table for Three!

- The Open Doors team

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Posted by Kiri Van Santen


banner by Robyn of a cartoon woman announcing types of fanworks with a megaphone

  • Public radio station WBEZ announced they would be producing fan-written minisodes of its historical drama podcast PleasureTown. "In minisode 1, we meet Esther, the town seamstress, who spins a yarn about her lost heritage and life under the watchful eye of the menacing Miz Janine. The PleasureTown legend continues... this time, at the hands of its fans."
  • Kasterborous reposted some Doctor Who Crossover fan art. "One of the greatest things about the Doctor Who fandom is their passion for all things Who and their propensity for wanting to mashup the Doctor with just about any other programme or intellectual property out there. From SuperWhoLock to Eleven and the Ponds meeting Capt. Picard and the crew of the Enterprise, it would seem there really isn’t anywhere in time and space the TARDIS can’t show up."
  • While an article at D magazine regrettably elevated fan films over fanfiction, it pointed to another Whovian fanwork, Doctor Who: The Soldier Stories, as part of an article on the “Fan Days” festivities in Dallas, Texas. "Comic books and entertainment in the sci-fi/fantasy wheelhouse tend to get viewed as escapist fare, a chance to get away from some of the more dull or soul-crushing aspects of the real world. That may be true to a degree, but it ignores the community and connections that form from an appreciation of the things that get discussed at events like, say, Dallas Comic Con. It’s a chance for the fans to let their freak flags fly proudly."
  • Fanfic writers got a little more credit in an article at Publishers Weekly which included them in A Look Ahead to Self-Publishing in 2015. "Gardner says she expects to see 'more real person fan fiction and stories about breaking news in the coming year.' Also, while genre fiction remains strong, she’s seeing a change in subject matter—'sexy cowboys' are giving way to sexy MMA fighters in the romance genre, and jinns are taking over from vampires as common protagonists in the fantasy realm."

Where are all the places you find fanworks? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.


10 Fair Use Misconceptions

Feb. 25th, 2015 07:29 pm
[syndicated profile] otw_news_feed

Posted by Kiri Van Santen


This is Fair Use Week 2015 in the U.S. which takes place from February 23-27. The event is held to raise public awareness of the importance the rights of individuals, nonprofits like schools and libraries, and even corporations like Google and The New York Times have when it comes to copyright. Today we're following up on yesterday's post which explained how Fair Use works in the U.S. - and we're looking at some misconceptions about Fair Use.

Fair Use is a kind of infringement, right?

Nope! Fair Use is a lawful use of copyright. That's what the law says, and it's also what the Northern District of California said in the case of Lenz v. Universal Music back in 2008. If your new work is a Fair Use of someone's copyrighted work, you're not infringing on that work. Also, fair use isn't a license; the whole point is that you don't need the copyright owner's permission. (Just imagine if a copyright owner had to grant permission every time someone created a parody that was critical of the original - they probably wouldn't!)

If a site has ads, nothing I put on there can be Fair Use, right?

Nope! For two reasons. First, while many hosting sites are moneymaking ventures, that doesn't mean that the people posting their works there are engaged in commercial use. People who post their fanworks on YouTube aren't making money from those works - if anyone is, it's YouTube or their advertisers. (But as a reminder, the AO3 is entirely nonprofit and noncommercial, and is dedicated to providing a platform for fanworks with no ads.)

Second, even if someone is engaged in a moneymaking venture, they still might be engaged in Fair Use. While the commercial aspects of a project are one of the factors a court looks at when determining if a use is Fair Use, it's not the only factor. So while the Organization for Transformative Works is a nonprofit, and our legal advocacy team focuses on noncommercial works, we do want to note that commercial works can also be noninfringing because of Fair Use.

As noted copyright expert Judge Pierre Leval of the Second Circuit stated last year in arguments regarding whether Google Books' scans of entire books was a Fair Use, “The classic fair use cases are commercial. I would be surprised if [one is] going to win by pleading that Google, like the New York Times, is a profit-making enterprise.” In fact, US courts have found many commercial uses to be fair. One example of a commercial work found to be fair use is the (commercially published) book The Wind Done Gone, which retold the story of Gone with the Wind from the perspective of the slave characters. A more recent example was addressed in 2013 in the case of Cariou v. Prince; in that case, artist Richard Prince purchased a book of photos by Patrick Cariou, and painted over the photographs, selling his "appropriative" art at prices in the many thousands of dollars. (In fact, some sold for two million dollars or more.) The court found that most of Prince's works were Fair Use.

Fair Use only covers uses that criticize or comment on the original copyrighted work, right?

Nope! Although criticism and commentary are among the types of fair use described by the statute, U.S. courts have held that a work need not comment on the original in order to be transformative. In Cariou v. Prince, the court said that "a secondary work may constitute a fair use even if it serves some purpose other than ... criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research." In other words, Prince's art was so transformative of Cariou's photographs that Prince's follow-on works were noninfringing because of the Fair Use doctrine. Cases about mass digitization projects like Google Book Search have found transformativeness even when copyrighted works are copied into a database without any commentary or criticism. In the case of Author's Guild v. Google, for example, the court explained that Google Book Search was transformative because it transformed the purpose of the digitized books--for example, by allowing large-scale data searching, preserving out-of-print books, and making books available for print-disabled users--even without transforming their meaning.

So Fair Use only applies to transformative works, right?

Nope! Fair Use allows newspapers to quote books, films, and yes, fanworks, for purposes of news reporting, commentary and criticism. Fair Use also covers certain uses for educational purposes, like when teachers assign little kids to write their own ending to a tv show or film, or show clips from a film in a media analysis class, or make copies of a page or two of a book for classroom use. Fair Use is one reason why the backgrounds of films and tv shows can include book covers, and why songs on the radio can mention copyrighted comic book characters. It doesn't cover a university tv station showing films over its network during finals, though.

My use will be Fair Use if I use a disclaimer identifying the original creator and saying I don't own it, right?

Not necessarily! In fact, attribution isn't part of the Fair Use analysis. So something that's Fair Use will be Fair Use regardless of whether it has a disclaimer - and a disclaimer won't help a copy that isn't Fair Use (like uploading an entire copyrighted movie for others to share and watch, see below). That doesn't mean that fans should stop putting disclaimers on their fanworks - it's a good ethical practice, and it honors those who created the original works that fans love so much - but it isn't something courts are likely to consider in determining whether something is Fair Use. Also, though you definitely don't need to add a note to your work about it being Fair Use (remember, it's not a license!), it never hurts to explain ahead of time why you think it might be.

If a site that's not as enlightened as AO3 takes my fanworks down, there's nothing I can do, right?

Nope! Most sites that operate in the US have what's called a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) policy - the AO3 has one, too. Generally, they require a copyright claimant who wants someone else's work to be taken down to submit a pledge that they own the copyright in a specific work, and their copyright in that work has been infringed. Some courts have held that copyright owners are supposed to conduct a Fair Use analysis before issuing a takedown notice, but oftentimes, they don't bother, or they use a rigid matrix. And sometimes sites don't conduct that Fair Use analysis either--they just take the content down. So the Copyright Act also provides for a counter-notice process (17 U.S.C. § 512(g)) where the person whose work was taken down has a chance to demonstrate to the site that the work is noninfringing - usually because it's Fair Use. At that point, the claimant can argue to the site that Fair Use doesn't apply, or realize that huh, it does! In reality, the final decision usually rests with the site or server company hosting the content, but the counternotice process at least provides for an opportunity to respond to someone else's copyright claim. And if you get a takedown notice for a noncommercial transformative work and want help understanding the counter-notice process, you can get in touch with OTW's legal team.

Fair Use means I can upload films and tv shows and songs and entire books for others to download in their entirety, right?

Nope! Or, at least, most of the time, nope. There are some exceptions, such as where the content is in the public domain (see below), or is the subject of a Creative Commons license or another license for a specific use like the kind we have here on AO3 that allows readers to download stories onto their e-readers, accessible via a password-and-license process for educational or other specific purposes. (Or if you're Google, creating Google Book Search, as we've described above--but you're probably not!) If you've done something transformative with it before you share your follow-on work, it may be Fair Use, but putting someone else's film or album or novel or webisode onto a torrent or server usually doesn't qualify. (But you're not the only one with this question; Mark Ruffalo wondered about it last year, too.)

Fair Use is some newfangled thing made up by fandom lawyers and fanfic writers who want to play with someone else's characters and stories, right?

Nope! Fair use has been part of the U.S. Copyright statute for many decades, and existed in the common law long before that. In a case called Folsom v. Marsh in 1841, Justice Story set out a summary that's been quoted, cited, paraphrased and made the subject of follow-on works for over 170 years: "We must often . . . look to the nature and objects of the selections made, the quantity and value of the materials used, and the degree in which the use may prejudice the sale, or diminish the profits, or supersede the objects, of the original work."

Fair Use is why I can use things in the public domain, right?

Nope. Works that were originally published in the U.S. before 1923 and works created by the U.S. Government (and a few more categories, but those two are the most common) are in what's known as the "public domain," which means that they aren't protected by copyright law at all. Films, songs, stories, plays, poems, essays, art, books and other works in the public domain can be used by anyone for any purpose because they're not protected by copyright. It's fair to use them, but follow-on works inspired by things in the public domain aren't literally Fair Use situations. As the Seventh Circuit said last summer in Klinger v. Conan Doyle Estate, "When a story falls into the public domain, story elements—including characters covered by the expired copyright—become fair game for follow-on authors."

Fair Use is a worldwide concept, right?

Alas, nope. Fair Use is a U.S. doctrine, although a number of other countries have similar laws. If you're outside the U.S., the law that applies to you may be significantly different than what we've described here. Regardless, no matter where you are, Fair Use law matters to you if you're posting your works on U.S. sites or if you're using source material owned by U.S. copyright holders.

We're here to help! If you have questions about fair use and fanworks, feel free to contact our legal team.


Again on the measles thing...

Feb. 25th, 2015 06:31 pm
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)
[personal profile] yvi
Germany is a country that has laws against spanking your child. That regulates children's first and last names. That is making steps towards banning unnecessary infant circumcision*. Where we have mandated child health care checkups and if you miss them you get visited at home. Where if your child gets sick and you refuse necessary treatment they can be taken away.

But forcing parents to get their children vaccinated for polio or tetanus is apparently one step too far. WTF.

(* please don't comment on that. I don't have the energy for that)
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February 25th, 2015next

February 25th, 2015: If your name starts with a "G", and nobody you know has claimed "G-Force" as a nickname, then WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??

– Ryan

OTW Supports Fair Use Week

Feb. 24th, 2015 05:50 pm
[syndicated profile] otw_news_feed

Posted by Claudia Rebaza


This is Fair Use Week 2015 in the U.S. which takes place from February 23-27. The event is held to raise public awareness of the importance of maintaining their rights when it comes to copyright. Many law schools, the Association of College and Research Libraries, as well as organizations involved in fair use activism are taking part. Some campuses will have live panels, webcasts or other special events and organizations will be releasing their own blog posts as well as contributing to a Fair Use Week Tumblr blog.

We at the OTW talk a lot about how fanworks are legal under U.S. copyright law. The OTW FAQ explains that this is because U.S. copyright law is limited by the doctrine of “fair use,” which protects free expression by giving people the right to use copyrighted material in certain ways without getting permission or paying. But what does “fair use” actually mean, and why does the OTW believe that fanworks are fair use?

Knowing the Facts

Fair use is defined by section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act. The law provides an exception to the rule that copyright holders have an exclusive right to make and authorize derivative works—that is, works that are based upon their copyrighted works.

The law explains that it may be fair to use copyrighted material for certain uses, such as criticizing or commenting on the original, and provides a list of four factors to consider in determining whether a particular use is allowed: (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. Courts generally balance all four factors in deciding whether something is fair use--no single factor determines the answer.

The Four Factors

Fanworks generally fit well within these four factors. Here’s how:

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes

This factor incorporates two important traits of fanworks. First, fanworks are noncommercial—that is, the fans making them aren’t selling them or otherwise making money from them. Although some transformative works are sold (and the media has recently given more attention to the commercialization of fanworks through services like Kindle Worlds), that isn’t what most fanwork creators are looking to do. Most fans want to share their creative work with their fan communities without thinking about commercial gain.

Second, fanworks are transformative. In the case of Campbell v. Acuff-Rose, the U.S. Supreme Court explained that this first factor asks whether the new work “adds something new, with a further purpose or different character, altering the first with new expression, meaning or message; it asks, in other words, whether and to what extent the new work is ‘transformative.’” Transformative uses are favored in the fair use analysis. The Supreme Court explained that transformative works “lie at the heart of the fair use doctrine’s guarantee of breathing space within the confines of copyright,” and “the more transformative the new work,” the more likely it is to be fair. For this reason, courts usually find that when a work is transformative, it is not infringing.

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work.

This factor doesn’t have much to do with fanworks either way. It deals with whether the original work was published rather than secret, and whether the original work was factual rather than fictional. Fair use is more likely to be found when the original work was public and/or factual than when it was unpublished and/or fictional. Since most fanworks are made from published works rather than unpublished or secret ones, this factor generally weighs in favor of fair use, but the fictional nature of many fanworks' source material weighs in the other direction. Regardless, it is usually not a factor that courts tend to place heavy weight on unless the original copyrighted work was unpublished or factual. As the Supreme Court poetically put it in the Campbell case: the factor "is not...ever likely to help much in separating the fair use sheep from the infringing goats in a parody case, since parodies almost invariably copy publicly known, expressive works." This is as true for fanworks as it is for parodies.

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole

How this factor applies will vary widely from fanwork to fanwork, but most fanworks only take parts of the original work, and relatively small parts at that. Fan fiction, for example often just uses characters, settings, or moments from a work, and recasts them into something new. (This factor, by the way, is one reason why the AO3 does not allow reproductions of entire copyrighted works without the consent of the copyright owner.) Sometimes fanworks rely on important parts—key characters or moments in a work—but courts have found fair use even when someone has used a “qualitatively important” part of a work.

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

This factor focuses on whether the derivative work serves as a market replacement: will people use it instead of buying the original copyrighted work? Here again, fanworks are favored. Not only do they not harm the market for the original—they often help it. Fans tend to spend a lot of money on on the original work and associated merchandise, and encourage others to buy also. They are not competing with the original creator's work, and if anything help to promote it.

The OTW's Role

The OTW is committed to advocating for fans and preserving the principle that fanworks are fair use. In 2012, the Copyright Office, relying partly on material that the OTW submitted, cited fan videos as examples of fair use that the law should permit. More recently, the OTW used stories submitted by fans to explain to the U.S. government why any change in copyright law should favor the freedom to make transformative works.

We’re here for you! If you have questions about fair use and fanworks, feel free to contact our legal team.

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February 24th, 2015next

February 24th, 2015: If you read the SECRET TEXT for yesterday's comic (shhh, don't tell) you'll see there was references to the Jurassic Park theme slowed down 200, no wait 2000, no wait 20000 times.

Guilherme to the rescue.

Here are YouTube videos of just such songs. The 20,000 one actually exceeds YouTube's length limits so instead it's just 15,151.51 times slower (Guilherme did the math, he is amazing) but STILL. Enjoy! Play them all at once for some reason and feel the madness crawl inside you!

– Ryan

yvi: DNA double helix (Science - DNA)
[personal profile] yvi
A 1.5 year old kid just died of the measles in Berlin. Our capital had over 400 cases of that damn disease since October.

Fuck the anti-vaccine propaganda and lies.


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