ReCreate Recap – January 4, 2018

America’s Public Domain Laws Remain Stuck In The Past. January 1 marked Public Domain Day — the date when certain published works enter the public domain, allowing artists and consumers to freely appreciate, recreate and remix works by creators like Rene Magritte, John Coltrane and Winston Churchill. The U.S., however, will wait one more year until works enter the public domain because of America’s “life plus 95” copyright term. While other countries around the world enjoy shorter copyright terms, the United States’ lengthy copyright lag has been detrimental to physically preserving works and maintaining their monetary value. Duke Law professor Jennifer Jenkins told Motherboard, “Films are literally disintegrating because preservationists can’t legally digitize them…Creativity is hindered—instead of encouraged—because artists can’t build on their cultural heritage.”

Year In Review: Safe Harbors Under Attack By Hollywood. Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Jeremy Malcolm recapped the content industry’s efforts to dismantle safe harbors in North America, Europe and Australia for 2017. In North America, the content industry pushed to replace the DMCA “notice and takedown” system with an automatic filtering process, which Malcolm notes “would be nearly identical to the extreme censorship measure proposed by the European Commission.” Content industry lobbyists also pushed to weaken safe harbors through NAFTA renegotiations and requiring websites to renew their DMCA agent registration on a triennial basis.

Gamers Request 1201 Exemptions To Preserve Online Games For Future Generations. As part of the Copyright Office’s triennial review of DMCA Section 1201, the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (MADE) requested exemptions to preserve, reported Polygon. Previous exemptions have preserved video games, but gamers are asking to also preserve massively multiplayer online (MMO) games like World of Warcraft and The Sims Online. MADE and digital rights groups including Public Knowledge argue that the exemption would allow libraries and museums to operate servers for the archival of discontinued games, both for nostalgia and research purposes.

How “Influencers” Changed The Landscape Of Fashion. Social media is transforming the landscape of the fashion industry by transferring power from “industry gatekeepers” to the average consumer, reported AdWeek’s Catherine Claire. In the past, “gatekeepers—like buyers for major retailers and magazine editors—kept fashion exclusive,” while today, the landscape is dominated by social media influencers and bloggers. These fashion influencers have become so successful in engaging with consumers that retailers are collaborating with them for content creation and fashion designs. Claire noted, “Thanks to social media, the words ‘fashion forward’ have a whole new meaning.”