Re:Create Recap – June 23, 2016

Re:Create Coalition Hosts Hill Panel On Fair Use, Innovation And Creators On The Internet. On Monday, the Re:Create Coalition hosted “How It Works: Understanding Copyright in the New Creative Economy,” which was comprised of panelists from Google, Medium, the Organization for Transformative Works and a YouTube celebrity. The panel discussed fair use and the latest “take down and staydown” proposals from the entertainment industry. The most eye-opening story during the event was about a family from Hamilton, Missouri, and how an educational video on quilting helped save a family and their county from financial hardship. You can read more about the event in the American Library Association recap here.

Why Taylor Swift “Should’ve Said No” To Her “Bad Blood” Approach On Reforming The DMCA. Taylor Swift and the music industry’s call to reform the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is no “Love Story.” The music mogul, along with other music legends, is the face of a campaign to have Congress reform the nearly 20 year-old law, which they say is no longer working. Jeff John Roberts of Fortune, however, isn’t buying it. In Why Taylor Swift and the Music Industry’s New Attack on YouTube Is a Mistake, he writes “Their call to enact ‘DMCA reform’ is a dangerous one since the law, which has been in place for more than 20 years, has been crucial to building the U.S. internet economy. Without it, sites like Snapchat, Facebook, or Twitter would never have gotten off the ground in the first place.”

Music Industry Seeks To Turn Back Clock On Internet. While it’s easy to be blinded by the famous names on this week’s RIAA advertisement, advocates for fair use and creators are not. Executive Director of the Re:Create Coalition, Josh Lamel said in a statement, “[The] (DMCA) is responsible for a tremendous amount of innovation and creation on the Internet [and] efforts by the music industry to change the DMCA are misguided and would hurt creators, startups and consumers.” CCIA representative Matt Schruers rebuts the RIAA’s claims, citing statistical evidence on how the DMCA has benefited the music industry. Mike Godwin with R Street explains in an open letter how technology has not harmed but expanded the audiences of many of the artists who signed the letter and pleads with Congress not to fix something that isn’t broken.

Opinion: Don’t Take Down Notice-And-Takedown. Law professors Christopher Sprigman and Mark Lemley penned an op-ed for The Los Angeles Times on Why notice-and-takedown is a bit of copyright law worth saving. They explain how the DMCA “makes the Internet as we know it today possible” and cautions against heeding the entertainment’s attempts to implement “notice and staydown,” which would chill free speech and prevent future innovators from competing in the internet economy. They write, “The DMCA is…a compromise. Technology companies remove pirated content by their users. Entertainment companies must proactively identify that pirated content. It’s not a perfect system, but it works — and because of it, the Internet works too.”

Second Circuit Expands Safe Harbor Protections. The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on June 16 that service providers like Vimeo are protected by the DMCA for pre-1972 musical recordings uploaded by users, reports Ars Technica and other outlets. The decision affirms that the DMCA provides legal safe harbors to service providers when customers post infringing content. “Today’s ruling by the Second Circuit is a significant win for not just Vimeo, but all online platforms that empower creators to share content with the world,” said Vimeo’s general counsel. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) praised the decision: “The Court held that (1) there was no duty to monitor for infringement, (2) that suspicion of infringement wasn’t enough unless infringement was obvious…”

“This Land Is Your Land” Song May Actually Belong To You And Me. After securing legal affirmation that “Happy Birthday to You” belongs in the the public domain, a law firm is now working to confirm Woody Guthrie’s classic “This Land Is Your Land” similarly belongs in the public domain. The New York Times wrote a June 17 article exploring the song’s complicated copyright and licensing history. The lawyers have filed a class action on behalf of all individuals and groups who have paid licensing fees for the song since 2010. The law firm is also involved in a lawsuit to bring the iconic song “We Shall Overcome” to the public domain. According to a June 17 article in The Hollywood Reporter, the 2013 film Lee Daniels’ The Butler has joined the other lawsuit because the film was charged $100,000 for the song’s proposed use — an exorbitant cost that the movie opted to go without.