Re:Create Recap – April 14, 2016

Nonprofit Seeks To Bring “We Shall Overcome” To Public Domain. The We Shall Overcome Foundation, a nonprofit serving orphans and the poor, filed a motion on April 12 seeking a declaratory judgement that the iconic civil rights movement song “We Shall Overcome” is not under copyright and belongs in the public domain. The New York Times reports in ‘We Shall Overcome’ Copyright May Be Overcome One Day that lawyers argue the song is an adaptation of a spiritual hymn and, similar to the “Happy Birthday” song, has a murky copyright licensing history–if a copyright ever existed.

Columnist Urges Nintendo To Embrace Fan Community, Not Shut Down Fan Projects. The highly popular video game The “Legend of Zelda” has generated many sequels and “fan tributes” since its first launch in 1986, but Nintendo has resolutely pursued fan projects–from fan films to 3D printed planters–for copyright infringement. After another fan-produced game was shut down last week, Equity Arcade’s Steve Anderson wrote an April 9 column urging Nintendo to “consider less of the heavy-handed shutdown and more of the embracing of the fan base it’s rapidly venting.”

Supreme Court Decision On Legal Fees Could Prevent Small Biz From Defending Copyright Cases. Supap Kirtsaeng, the former math professor who started his own business reselling textbooks, gave an interview to Reuters as he prepares for his second U.S. Supreme Court case. In the article Meet the Thai math prof whose copyright case is headed for SCOTUS — again, Kirtsaeng explains how after the 2013 Supreme Court decision ruled he was not liable for copyright infringement due to the “first sale” doctrine, he is now going to court to redeem legal fees incurred in that first court case. The new case will examine if defendants are just as entitled to legal fees as plaintiffs under the Copyright Act, an issue important to small businesses in copyright law. Kirtsaeng says, “If the court doesn’t find in favor of my side, it will be hard for any individual or small business to go into a case against a big company.”

The Copyright Creep Must Be Stopped!
In Stop the Copyright Creep: New Restrictions are Not the Answer to the Challenges of Digital Publishing, Jeremy Malcolm of the Electronic Frontier Foundation explains how the slow and steady growth of more copyright restrictions, referred to as the “copyright creep”, is not only a problem in the United States but also overseas. The European Commission is now taking public comment on whether publishers should be granted more copyright protections in the wake of the industries inevitable move to digital.

Head To Capitol Hill For The 3D/DC Panels After You Read This. In what has become an annual event, 3D/DC will host a series of panels today on Capitol Hill beginning at 1:15 PM. The panel topics include STEAM Education, the Arts, the Environment, Bridging the Workforce Skills Gap, and Social Impact. For more information on the day-long event, visit here. To read the fourth and final installment of Public Knowledge’s interview with 3D printing industry leaders, click here.

Starting Today: Library Community Hosts 2-Day Event In Washington, D.C. The Digital Public Library of America will host DPLAfest 2016 today and Friday in DC to bring together hundreds of people from DPLA’s large and growing community for interactive workshops, hackathons and other collaborative activities, engaging discussions with community leaders and practitioners, fun events, and more. Alan Inouye and Larra Clark of the American Library Association (ALA) will participate in the panel, “Inside the Black Box: Influencing Public Policy to Advance DPLA Interests” today, April 14 at 1:45 PM. Carrie Russell of ALA and Krista Cox from the Association of Research Libraries will also participate on the panel titled, “Do We Need to Worry?: Update on Copyright Matters Affecting Digital Libraries,” today at 3:45 PM.