Re:Create Recap – July 20, 2017

Re:Create Coalition Urges USTR To Clarify IP Objectives For NAFTA. This week, the Re:Create Coalition released a statement urging the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to clarify the intellectual property objectives in NAFTA and safeguard fair use and safe harbors. In an interview with Inside Trade’s Brett Fortnam, Lamel explained that balanced copyright should be “the floor for what fair use language should look like”. Other copyright experts and advocacy groups echoed Lamel’s concerns, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Internet Association.

NEW: Copy This Podcast With Betsy Rosenblatt Of OTW. Tune in to our latest episode of our Copy This podcast featuring Betsy Rosenblatt, legal chair for the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW). Released as OTW and Re:Create head to Comic-Con International in San Diego, Betsy discusses the role of fair use at Comic-Con, the concept of fanworks and their vast range of influence, and why she works with OTW to fight back against Hollywood studios to advocate for fanworks as fair use.

First, Let Naruto Take A Selfie.
 In another instance of absurd copyright litigation, the years-long copyright case surrounding Naruto, the monkey who snapped a selfie that went viral, appeared this week before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court. PETA represented Naruto, claiming that the monkey should hold the copyright for the selfie photo. The Associated Press’ Linda Wang reported that the courtroom was filled with laughter and humor – the attorney representing the British photographer whose phone Naruto borrowed to take the selfie, described the case as “monkey see, monkey sue.” Meanwhile, the attorney representing the company that published a book featuring Naruto’s photo raised concerns about the legal implications of the case. She said, “Where does it end? If a monkey can sue for copyright infringement, what else can a monkey do?”

Night Of The Living Public Domain.
 The recent passing of George Romero, creator of the 1960s horror classic Night of the Living Dead, would usually mean that the 70-year clock on his copyrights would begin. However, as TechDirt reported on July 18, Night of the Living Dead was accidentally released in 1968 without copyright restrictions. Thus, anyone can view the movie without being in violation of copyright law. Before the 1976 Copyright Act removed all notice requirements, works were not automatically restricted; one had to provide notice and register it accordingly. As a result, this “accident” only made Romero and his work more influential, as subsequent zombie-themed works were inspired by his film, and Romero went on to become even more popular.