Re:Create Recap – March 3, 2016

Re:Create Calls For Balanced Copyright Law In USTR Report. The United States Trade Representative (USTR) hosted a public hearing on March 1 to take comments from interested parties for its upcoming 301 report, which highlights countries whose intellectual property laws and policies can create problems for US companies doing business in those countries. In the Medium blog post, USTR Report Needs Balance, Re:Create’s Executive Director Joshua Lamel calls on the USTR to “listen to the growing number of companies and public interest groups who are advocating for the full balance of US copyright law within this report, not just the parts of copyright on which a subset of US stakeholders and creators depend.”

Artist’s Foundation Allows Easier Access To Images Under Fair Use.
According to The New York Times February 26 article, Rauschenberg Foundation Eases Copyright Restrictions on Art, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation adopted a new policy to make more of the painter’s work available for free and urged other artists to ease copyright restrictions, particularly for educational, scholarship, and museum purposes. Of the announcement, reporter Randy Kennedy writes, “The foundation’s new policy essentially opens the gates to all but patently commercial uses of Rauschenberg images, making clear that it wants the images to flow freely under the fair use exemptions to federal copyright law.”

Fair Use Week A Resounding Success. Thanks to the many participants, Fair Use Week 2016 was as informative as it was entertaining. In case you missed the fair use frenzy over the past week, here are some resources where you can catch up. The Organization for Transformative Works held a Legal Q&A on their website, posting the answers to all the questions they received concerning fair use. The Association for Research Libraries cataloged items from those participating in Fair Use Week linking to scholarly articles, blogs and even fun quizzes. The R Street Institute also posted a recap of the week’s top blogs.

Mickey Mouse Calls On Employees To Donate To Copyright Lobbyists. In Disney CEO asks employees to chip in to pay copyright lobbyists, Ars Technica reports on a recent letter from CEO Bob Iger to Walt Disney Company employees encouraging them to make automatic contributions from their paychecks to the company’s political action committee, DisneyPAC. The letter, which was provided to Ars Technica by a Disney employee, says Disney lobbyists will be aggressive in 2016 to protect its intellectual property interests and notes “continued vigilance about the ‘state of copyright law in the digital environment’” and that “in the coming year, we expect Congress and the Administration to be active on copyright regime issues.”

Can Trekkies Love Star Trek Too Much? Producers for an independent Star Trek fan film argued to dismiss the copyright lawsuit brought against them by CBS and Paramount. “It is unfortunate that to purportedly ‘protect’ the ‘Star Trek’ franchise, CBS and Paramount have targeted some of its biggest fans with this lawsuit,” a lawyer for the fan film told Fox News for the February 25 article, Star Trek fan film’s lawyer: Studios are only hurting fans, themselves with legal battle. Lawyers noted that fans have been a “driving force” amongst Trekkies, and the filmmakers are determined to find a resolution that allows them to move forward with production.

The Re:Create Coalition Will Be At SXSW…Will You? What does the future hold for copyright? Who are the gatekeepers and how does this power structure need to change to meet not only the needs of today’s digital age, but also the needs of future creativity and innovation? The Re:Create Coalition will host an event at South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive — “Copyright & Creators 2026” — on March 11 to discuss the future of copyright law over the next decade. The panel of policy experts, including a fanworks leader, social justice advocate and futurist, will debate the evolution of copyright law and how it affects underprivileged communities, consumers, fans, digital entrepreneurs and more. Click here for additional details.