Re:Create Recap – Week of August 17

New York Times Magazine In Depth Look At The Creative Economy. Be sure to take time to read the August 19 New York Times Magazine story “The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn’t” by Steven Johnson. In the extensive piece on the digital economy, Johnson focuses on data analysis to answer the question: “How is today’s creative class faring compared with its predecessor a decade and a half ago?” In the story, Johnson writes “As a society, what we most want to ensure is that the artists can prosper — not the record labels or studios or publishing conglomerates, but the writers, musicians, directors and actors themselves.”

Break The Digital Lock To Fix Your Tractor, Break Copyright Law. Laura Sydell with NPR’s All Tech Considered talked with with farmer David Alford about the struggles he faces trying to comply with an “obscure provision” of copyright law when fixing his tractors. In her August 17 story “DIY Tractor Repair Runs Afoul Of Copyright Law” Sydell captures the ongoing challenge: “You may wonder why Alford doesn’t just break that digital lock and get into the software and fix the problems himself. He could, but he’d be breaking the law.” According to Alford and the perspective of farmers, “You spend so much of your time in agriculture fixing things . . . I’m of a size that it’s more economically beneficial to me to fix as much stuff as I can myself.”

Fair Use And Documentaries: Tips From A Veteran. In the second blog of a three-part series, Courtney Duffy of Public Knowledge interviews filmmaker Gretchen Stoeltje for her take on fair use and the impact of the digital age on filmmaking. In the August 17 post, Stoeltje explains the benefits of fair use in her upcoming project about Texas State Senator Wendy Davis. She says including the different videos and photos from those present will help “chronicle the event, showing many perspectives of participants there that night.” She also advises every aspiring filmmaker to adhere to fair use. “What I am encountering…is the assumption that if something is on the internet, it must be available for anyone to use. That may be so, but users need to know how and why the can use someone else’s work.”

Copyright Food For Thought In German Court Ruling. Foodies get prepared! Following a German Federal Court of Justice ruling, people who upload photographs of their restaurant meals could be breaking copyright law. According to the August 14 Eater story “Instagram Food Porn Violates Copyright Law Says German Court” by Khushbu Shah, “Germany’s Federal Court of Justice has extended copyright protections to include “elaborately arranged food,” thus making it the “artistic property of the creator.” The Eater piece points out the downfall of chefs filing a copyright complaint: “However, filing charges against Instagrammers is probably not a great business decision. More often than not, Instagram and other social media platforms serves as free marketing and advertising for restaurants.”

Copyright Rate Setting: Regulation Trumps The Free Market. Re:Create member Matt Schruers takes up copyright rate flaws in his August 17 Disruptive Competition Project (DisCo) blog “Competition, Regulation, and Market-Based Prices in Copyright Rate Setting.” In the blog, Schruers writes about how the copyright rate system ironically punishes the “willing seller” and “willing buyer” and the free market environment it was supposed to emulate.

South By Southwest Panels – Cast Your Vote For Re:Create Today. Our Copyright & Creators: 2026 panel will address the tough questions about copyright law and more importantly, how copyright will look ten years from now. How will the law impact creators and innovators? Will our laws keep pace with the times or fall behind? Vote for our panel if you think these pressing questions need to be addressed!