Re:Create Recap May 8, 2020

Tiger King Craze Teaches Important Copyright Lessons. In an op-ed for Slate, Re:Create Executive Director Joshua Lamel uses the show that has captivated audiences to raise awareness of fair use protections and abuses of the copyright system. “SLAPP suits are an abuse of our legal system, with people trying to silence or punish critics by subjecting them to lawsuits that are expensive, time-consuming, and often just not worth it for the defendant…In my dream world, the saturation of Joe Exotic’s story will help everyday Americans understand the relevance of copyright law in our daily lives—maybe even spur federal lawmakers to introduce and pass anti-SLAPP law without a special carve-out for copyright,” wrote Lamel.

YouTube As A Resource For Small Businesses. Small- and medium-sized businesses across America are being hit hard by Covid-19. After initially seeing a 60 percent drop in business, CEO Christina Stembel of Farmgirl Flowers had the idea of using YouTube to try to engage with customers and highlight the challenges her company has faced during the pandemic. Since starting her videos and updating customers on what’s been going on, Stembel has seen a significant jump in sales. She projects this year’s Mother’s Day sales to be three times more than last year’s.

A Virtual Graduation For The Class of 2020. One of the many events not taking place this spring due to Covid-19 will be traditional graduation ceremonies. Many members of the class of 2020 will not be walking along any stages to receive their diplomas but they will have the chance to tune into a primetime televised graduation ceremony taking place May 16. The virtual event “Graduate Together: America Honors The High School Class of 2020” will feature Barack Obama as the commencement speaker with special appearances from a number of celebrities like LeBron James, the Jonas Brothers, Pharrell Williams and Megan Rapinoe.

May The Fourth Be With You. In honor of this week’s Star Wars Day, a Niskanen Center blog post explored how copyright law prohibits the production of “derivative works” that so many die-hard fans crave. Niskanen’s Dan Takash explains how non-profit fan fiction efforts are legal, but a YouTube Darth Vader fan-film or other more serious endeavors are not allowable due to “the current monopoly Disney has over the Star Wars canon.” Takash writes, “Instead of fan service or ‘subverting expectations,’ the Star Wars saga needs some genuinely new ideas. And while it’s not impossible for them to come from the powers that be, we need to make it possible for many others to add by opening up the field.”

Etsy Sales More Than Double With New Demand For Face Masks. Etsy’s latest earnings release showed revenue of $228 million due to the sale of more than 12 million face masks in just one month. According to the company, face masks represented the second largest category of product sales across the entire site during the month of April following the CDC recommendation for coverings.

Americans Confirm The Internet Has Been Crucial During Covid-19. A new Pew Research Center survey conducted found that 53 percent of Americans say that “the internet has been essential for them personally during the pandemic.” The poll also examined the level of internet use during the coronavirus outbreak and found that nine-in-ten Americans say the internet has mostly been a good thing for them, with 78 percent saying it has been a mostly good thing for society.