Re:Create Recap – February 15, 2018

Re:Create Unveils Research On The New Creative Economy. The Re:Create Coalition released a new report, Unlocking the Gates: America’s New Creative Economy, which finds that 14.8 million independent, American creators earned a baseline of almost $6 billion from posting their music, videos, art, crafts and other works to internet platforms like Amazon Publishing, Instagram, Etsy and YouTube in 2016. As the first-of-its-kind analysis, the study takes a highly conservative approach and is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding the full economic impact of the new creative economy.

Gatekeepers Vs. Indie Creators. Following the new creative economy study’s release, Cory Doctorow highlighted the results and implications for Boing Boing. “[The 14.8 million American new creators] is a jaw-dropping number, one that gives credence to the idea that the internet is a democratizing force in creative expression,” wrote Doctorow. “The purpose of cultural policy — including copyright — is to allow the widest diversity of artists to create the widest diversity of works that pleases the widest diversity of audiences.”

Fact Checking Hollywood’s Copyright Claims. In a February 9 blog taking on the misleading and misinformed copyright arguments coming from Hollywood during the ongoing NAFTA trade negotiations, Public Knowledge’s Gus Rossi does a necessary fact check. From the entertainment industry’s deliberate dismissal of the legal purpose and importance of safe harbors, to false claims against the need for exceptions and limitation in trade agreements, Rossi writes, “some of the ideas these groups are advancing are widely misleading, brutally dishonest, and even dangerous to democracy.” The blog was written in support of the campaign to share stories of creation empowered by the internet.

Safeguarding Safe Harbors. In a petition submitted to the U.S. Copyright Office on February 12, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) — along with thousands of signatories from across the globe — call on the office “to keep copyright’s safe harbors safe.” Specifically, the petition focuses on new rules that require website owners to renew registered agents every three years or risk losing safe harbor protections. It states that “websites can risk expensive lawsuits for nothing more than forgetting to file a form.” The petition also argues against proposals to require platforms to use filters as a condition for safe harbor protections making the case that “a filtering mandate would threaten smaller websites’ ability to host user content at all, cementing the dominance of today’s Internet giants.”

Revisiting The Copyright Olympics. In celebration of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games and American online creativity, we wanted to share this Re:Create Buzzfeed post released during the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. The post was a roundup of online posts created by fans to get around “absurd” International Olympics Committee rules that prohibit the sharing of GIFs, Vines, and other animated platforms.

Mark Your Calendars For Fair Use Week. The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) announced that its annual Fair Use Week will take place February 26 – March 2. The week celebrates the importance of fair use in America’s legal framework — promoting progress, enabling free speech and expression, and supporting balanced copyright. Interested in learning more? Check out ARL’s toolkit for how advocates and organizations can participate.