Re:Create Recap – Week of December 14

Re:Create Releases New Video. Check out the newly released Re:Create Coalition video to learn more about our organization and our mission for a balanced copyright system!

Star Wars Fan Receives Takedown Notice For Sharing Picture Of “Rey” Action Figure.
Last week, a fan posted a photo to Facebook of a yet-to-be-officially-released Star Wars action figure seen on a store shelf. Lucasfilm quickly submitted Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown demand letters when the photo appeared on a fan blog. However, according to Ars Technica’s article Disney drops–then doubles down on–DMCA claim over Star Wars figure pic, Lucasfilm dropped the copyright claim only to renew it a short time later. The production company has not responded to requests for comment, while Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) attorney Mitch Stolz notes that a photo on a blog of a legally purchased item has an “extremely strong” claim to fair use.

New Study Reveals Internet Accounts For 6% Of U.S. Economy. A recent study from the Internet Association indicates that the Internet generates 6% of the U.S. economy, an estimated $966 billion in 2014. US News & World Report notes in Study: The U.S. Internet Is Worth $966 Billion that the value added from Internet businesses to the economy grew by 110% between 2007 and 2012–growing faster than any other U.S. sector. Additionally, 92% of all Americans and an estimated 3 billion people (43% of the world population) can access the Internet.

Copyright Office Focuses On Tech Improvements.
FedTech Magazine examines the U.S. Copyright Office’s goals for major technological improvements in the December 14 article Copyright Office Lays Out Technology Upgrade Plan, Pushes for Tech and Data Workers. Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante told the House Administration Committee in a recent hearing that she needs more tech and data experts to “work side by side with legal and business experts.” The Copyright Office’s recently-released five year strategic plan expands upon its need to update its technological and IT infrastructure.

UK Confirms Digitized Copies Of Public Domain Images Are Still In Public Domain.
The UK Intellectual Property Office recently announced that photographs of public domain images cannot be copyrighted because “copyright can only subsist in subject matter that is original in the sense that it is the author’s own ‘intellectual creation.’” Techdirt’s UK Throws A Copyright Crumb: Confirms That Digitized Copies Of Public Domain Images Are In The Public Domain comes after London’s National Portrait Gallery alleged Wikimedia misused photos of objects in the public domain. Meanwhile, the U.S. has already established that photographs of public domain images cannot be copyrighted per the Bridgeman v. Corel decision.

Center For Democracy & Technology Reacts To European Commission’s Copyright Action Plan. In the blog post European Commission Copyright Action Plan: A Busy 2016, Jorge Castro of the Center for Democracy and Technology outlines some of the organization’s concerns with European Union’s communication “towards a modern, more European copyright framework.” Castro highlights concerns regarding the potential recognition of “ancillary rights” in the European Union that would apply to news aggregators and other online services that help users find information that is lawfully and freely accessible via the Internet. The EU also announced yet another public consultation on the evaluation and modernization of the legal framework for the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR), which closes in April of 2016.