Re:Create Recap – August 30, 2018

Time To Get Fair Use Right In Trade Deal. Following the U.S.-Mexico trade agreement announced this week, Re:Create Executive Director Joshua Lamel urged for the inclusion of critical fair use provisions as negotiations continue with Canada. “Though the new trade agreement does make progress in modernizing copyright issues, we are concerned it may not include fair use language. At best this is an issue that needs to be resolved during ongoing negotiations with Canada. At worst, it is an unfathomable failure to account for the value of part of the digital economy that could jeopardize potentially billions for the millions of Americans who rely on balanced copyright policies,” Lamel wrote in a Medium post.

Take Action Against EU Vote On Article 13 “Filternet.” In the lead up to the EP Plenary vote on Article 13 on September 12, Copyright for Creativity is leading Copyright Action Week from September 4-11 to mobilize impacted communities to oppose the controversial content filtering bill. The advocacy efforts include a revamped multilingual website to help people express their opposition to MEPs and a new Honest Government ad to help others understand why they should oppose the “#CensorshipMachine.”

Turner Broadcasting Forces DC “Rick And Morty” Pop Up Bar To Shutdown. A themed pop-up bar created as an homage to the popular “Rick and Morty” show was shut down before opening after Turner Broadcasting issued a cease-and-desist, claiming copyright issues with the fan tribute. Derek Brown, the president of Drink Company which puts on the rotating pop-up bars, told the Washington Post he had been in regular legal talks with Turner ahead of the opening, until the entertainment company abruptly demanded a six-figure licensing fee. “Our position is that this is fair use. This isn’t displacing opportunity in the marketplace for Turner, and people weren’t going to think, ‘Oh, Cartoon Network is starting a pop-up bar,’” said Brown. “Companies are getting more and more upset with fan tributes — fan art, fan fiction — and they’re trying to enforce their rights in a way that hasn’t been done before,” said intellectual property expert John Mason. “I think this is about a line being drawn in the sand. They’re looking to control fan tributes, to make sure it’s authorized.”

Keeping Up With Kopyright. According to Buzzfeed News, Khloe Kardashian engaged with fans on Twitter about how photo agencies shut down fan accounts for using paparazzi photos, even when giving credit. Admitting this was the first she’d heard of fan account shutdowns, Kardashian went on to object: “They [the paparazzi] can legally stalk me and harass me and then on top of it all I can’t even use the pictures of myself they take…” Kim Kardashian then weighed in, tweeting in support of fan accounts.

Breaking Down The Legality Of Cosplay. In a new blog, Public Knowledge’s Meredith Filak Rose takes on the “murky” and confusing intersection of fandom and copyright law, specifically as it applies to cosplay. From explaining the difference between expressive works and functional objects, to why it is “impossible to say categorically whether cosplay is or is not fair use,” Rose attempts to help fans better understand copyright law’s role in their world.  She also carefully points out that “Rightsholders have so far embraced — and even promoted — the art form, as it’s a good meter stick for audience engagement (and free advertising to boot).”