Re:Create Recap – Week of January 25, 2016

Beyonce, Bieber And Fair Use? Although “fair use” is supposed to be a powerful carve out to exclusive rights, the principle is not always treated as such, writes Open Technology Institute’s Emily Hong in What Beyonce and Justin Bieber Taught Me About Fair Use in Slate. “Amateur fan videos, remixes, and mashups–which arguably enrich and augment the fame of the pop stars from whom they sample” should be protected under fair use, she argues, because they are transformative interpretations with educational and journalistic merit.

Star Trek Fan Film Brought To Court Over Copyright Infringement. Paramount Pictures/CBS Studios filed a federal suit against an independent Star Trek film made by fans, according to The Inquisitr article Paramount Pictures Starts Trek To A Lawsuit Over “Axanar”. The filmmakers, however, contend that the movie will be completely non-commercial: “That means we can never charge for anything featuring their marks or intellectual property and we will never sell the movie, DVD/Blu-ray copies, T-shirts, or anything which uses CBS owned marks or intellectual property.”

Batmobile Replica-Maker Petitions Supreme Court To Hear Copyright Case.
A California mechanic who made full-size replica Batmobiles petitioned the Supreme Court to hear his copyright case with DC Comics, arguing that court precedent and the U.S. Copyright Office have declared that automobiles are not copyrightable. So far, the carmaker has not found a court to deny DC Comics’ copyright. The Hollywood Reporter article Supreme Court Asked to Review Batmobile Copyright Dispute notes that the odds the Supreme Court picks up the case are, nevertheless, “slim”.

Review Of Fair Use 2015 And What’s To Come In 2016. There have been many pivotal moments for fair use in 2015. The Association of Research Libraries highlights the most important decisions impacting fair use in 2015 in their blog post, Fair Use in 2015 and A Look Ahead at 2016. The #1 highlight in 2015? When the Second Circuit affirmed fair use in the Google Book Case. The blog also contains the top 5 resources on fair use and an outlook for 2016. R Street also reviews 2015 in their blog post, Copyright Week: R Street’s Greatest Hits. The blog lists all of their top blogs on copyright in 2015 including posts on the “Blurred Lines” decision and an analysis of the “progressive clause” in the Constitution and how it pertains to copyright.

Transparency Of Copyright Law Is A Necessity For All, Not Just Some.
“In a democracy, no one owns the law—or to put it another way, everyone owns the law,” writes Mitch Stoltz of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In the blog post, No One Owns the Law. Everyone Owns the Law, Stoltz describes how many large industry association groups are teaming up against the website, a website that hosts public law in order to increase government access and transparency. These actions are troubling for everyday Americans who need access to understand the law and how it governs them. Stoltz explains that “deliberately making the law more difficult for ordinary people to find, read, and discuss is still a big problem for our democracy.”

It’s-A-Me, I Made It. Since its creation, Nintendo’s Super Mario series has been one of the most popular and lucrative games in history. It has a fanbase so loyal that, for years, fans have been creating, sharing, and playing fan-made levels of Super Mario. Noticing the online community’s rapid growth, Nintendo issued issued takedown notices to all involved and set up a similar community charging fans to participate. In Nintendo Mario Maker: Stealing a Fan-Made Market, Carolina Alonso of Public Knowledge explains Nintendo’s efforts to steal an idea from their loyal fan base, turn around and profit from it: “When a large company with many more resources than an individual or small group of fans attempts to have its cake and eat it too, tolerated use no longer protects creative consumers, but rather is used as a tool by large companies to exploit potential markets.”