ReCreate Recap – January 11, 2018

Users Don’t Own Their Marvel “Create Your Own” Comics. Social media and other creative platforms are usually celebrated for empowering ordinary people to create and share content. However, Marvel’s “Create Your Own,” a new platform for fans to write comic strips featuring Marvel characters, ironically does just the opposite, according to The Verge’s Kaitlyn Tiffany. The “Create Your Own” terms and conditions prevent users from owning the comic strips and forbid them from distributing the content off-platform. “It’s not exactly a recipe for creativity, but hey…Have fun writing some incredibly boring Marvel comics that you won’t own and technically can’t share with anyone,” wrote Tiffany.

Digital Rights Groups Strengthen Position In Copyright Extension Debate. The entertainment industry is not planning to pursue another copyright term extension, according to Ars Technica’s Timothy B. Lee. “The rise of the Internet has totally changed the political landscape on copyright issues,” explained Lee, noting that digital rights groups grew in both number and strength since the last copyright extension debate 20 years ago. Cory Doctorow reacted to Lee’s reporting in a Boing Boing article: “If that’s true, then starting next Dec 31, artists and publishers will start to remix and re-release works from 1923, creating works and businesses that would have to be destroyed if the term of copyright was subjected to another retrospective copyright extension.”

EFF: Copyright Law Should Not Be Used To Monopolize Ideas. Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) Vera Ranieri and Corynne McSherry discussed Cisco’s latest attempt to use copyright law to shut down their competition. Previously, a California district court found that Cisco’s competitor, Arista Networks, was not liable for copyright infringement based on the “scenes a faire” doctrine, which “prohibits copyright in materials that are too standard to really qualify as creative.” Cisco has since appealed the decision. Ranieri and McSherry explained, as part of EFF’s amicus brief in support of Arista, that a collection of commands based on industry standards should not be copyrighted as it will “discourage innovation and competition.” Other groups filing amicus briefs in support of Arista included Computer & Communications Industry Association, Engine and Public Knowledge.

America’s Public Domain Drought Continues. Mika McKinnon’s Smithsonian Magazine article explained how the beginning of 2018 marked yet another year where works entered the public domain in just about every country across the world — except the U.S. Thanks to extensive copyright laws that restrict what works enter the public domain, the U.S. will have to wait one more year until works published in 1923 can enter the public domain. But outside of the U.S., McKinnon noted how other countries enjoy much shorter copyright terms and thus can enjoy a wider array of content in their respective public domains.

R Street, Engine And CDT Participate In CES Innovation Panel. R Street’s Sasha Moss, Center for Democracy and Technology’s Nuala O’Connor, and Engine’s Rachel Wolbers participated in a CES panel on innovation and protecting the internet economy. Michael Petricone from Consumer Technology Association moderated the event.