Re:Create Recap September 11, 2020

Next Register Of Copyrights Must Be Accountable To American Consumers. With the next Register of Copyrights likely announced soon, Re:Create’s Joshua Lamel penned a column calling for the next Register to assume the Office with accountability to ALL stakeholders in the copyright system. The announcement “provides a historic opportunity to rebalance priorities and truly recenter the American public as the Copyright Office’s primary constituency, which is supposed to be the basic role of government. The Librarian of Congress must not fall victim to the financial heft and lobbying pressure by rightsholders and their allies in Congress. It is time for the Copyright Office to fulfill its true purpose, to do what is in the public interest. That is what the Constitution guaranteed. Progress demands nothing less,” wrote Lamel.

Publishers Restricting Digital Books Is Bad News For The Public. Citing shortages of books about race at libraries this summer, Public Knowledge posted a blog calling out the growing problem of book publishers limiting the licenses that libraries use to loan out ebooks that “restrict the ability of libraries to serve the educational and cultural goals of their communities, and take away resources from library patrons.” The blog calls out Macmillan which previously limited library systems to buying a single digital copy of their books for the first two months after the book was released (it was retracted during the COVID outbreak). It ends with a call to action for Congress to clarify that Controlled Digital Lending and digital lending fall under the fair use doctrine.

Meet Shirley: 84-Year-Old Grandma And Global Gamer Influencer. The New York Times recently profiled Shirley Curry, an 84-year-old gamer with more than 900,000 YouTube subscribers who she calls her “grandkids,” 75,000 followers on Twitter and 7,000 Instagram followers. Based in Ohio, Shirley has built such a strong following with her videos of journeys through The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim that the studio behind the game franchise has promised to include her as a character in the forthcoming sequel to Skyrim. According to the profile, Shirley earns enough money from her YouTube channel to travel on the gamer convention circuit and meet some of “her die-hard fans.”

School Theater Programs Go Virtual. As the school year begins, many youth theater programs have made the decision to go online. A recent Teen Vogue article highlights how teachers and students across the U.S. are navigating their new virtual theater experiences. One theater and arts director from Long Beach, California said, “Theater is one of the best-case scenarios for remote learning because we can cultivate so much independence in students to have agency over their own creativity.”

TikTok Drives Music Streaming And Revenues. Beyond just the dance challenges and meme culture, TikTok hosts a strong community of guitarists and other performers using the app to show off their talent up-close. Rolling Stone profiled how these musicians are going viral as they garner millions of views, which is also driving fans to purchase and stream their music on other platforms. “The majority of my Spotify streams are a direct result of TikTok,” said one guitarist. “A label approached me for a distribution deal for the last EP I put out, which is being pressed to vinyl, and I think most of the sales for that vinyl have come almost directly from TikTok. A majority of my growth on Instagram this year is also the direct result of TikTok.”