Re:Create Recap – October 6, 2016

Meet Becky Boop! Re:Create Profiles New Creators. Becky Boop started on YouTube “just for fun,” but her online presence has grown to 50,000 subscribers with five million views on her two channels, Instagamrr and Becky Boop. Rebecca Prince — the woman behind the Becky Boop name — started the channel to explore copyright, fair use, online harassment, and other internet news items. Issues surrounding copyright and her fans aren’t just a passion for Prince, they also impact her bottom line. “[Copyright] restrictions online are already onerous enough…Notice-and-staydown would scare people away,” says Prince when asked how burdensome copyright regulations that hold tech companies liable for their users’ copyright infringement could affect her YouTube career. “I’m already giving up quite a bit to do this, but it’s what I’m passionate about. With too many obstacles, I might not be able to justify continuing to do what I do.”

What Do Santa Claus And Spock Have In Common? Both Santa Claus and Star Trek have recently been the subjects of recent copyright lawsuits. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case to extend the copyright term of the iconic “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” holiday song, reports Reuters. The previous decision will stand: the song’s copyright will expire on December 15, 2016. Meanwhile, the Star Trek fan film lawsuit continues even after director J.J. Abrams announced the case would be dropped. Torrent Freak writes, “While Abrams may not have realized it at the time, his comments are a blessing for the fan-film. It offers Axanar great leverage in potential settlement discussions and will reflect badly on CBS and Paramount if the case heads to trial.”

Court Decision In Getty Licensing Lawsuit Could Unleash Copyright Trolls. Fast Company magazine profiles photographer Carol Highsmith’s lawsuit against Getty Images for licensing photos that she already donated to the public domain. The article notes if Getty is successful in defending the lawsuit, “then anyone can send out demand letters for licensing fees for any public-domain work without any basis in reality.” Recipients of these fraudulent demand letters would have no way of knowing whether they can ignore them. George Washington University law professor Robert Brauneis remarks that this precedent “essentially declares anybody can go into the business of selling the Brooklyn Bridge to people.”

U.S. Government Defends Anti-Free Speech Position. Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a motion to dismiss Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of a law that prevents people from getting around the access restrictions on copyrighted works. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the DOJ’s motion questions the standing of the lawsuit and EFF’s claim that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s triennial review process is “fundamentally flawed” and has an “adverse impact on speech.”