Re:Create Recap – Week of November 16, 2015

Re:Create Coalition Convenes Policy Experts And Creators For Copyright Event In DC. On November 17, the Re:Create Coalition hosted Create.Innovate.Reform. – a policy event at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library that featured three panel discussions: new creators in the digital economy, modernization of the U.S. Copyright Office and the future of copyright. Covering the event was Jimm Phillips of Communications Daily (subscription required) who summed up the panelists’ thoughts and recommendations about modernizing the Copyright Office, writing the fixes “should center on improving its adaptation to modern technologies and narrow the scope of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s (DMCA) Section 1201 anti-circumvention rules.” In I’m Bullish about Copyright Policy for Libraries and I’m Not Crazy in the American Libraries Magazine, Alan Inouye of the American Library Association wrote ahead of the event to explain how the Re:Create Coalition seeks a new approach to copyright reform: “[I]t is the job of policymakers to understand [the copyright] ecosystem and make decisions that have the greatest total social benefit, not optimizing one category.”

YouTube To Help Creators Defend Against Unfair Takedown Notices. YouTube announced on Nov. 19 that it will financially support some accounts that are unfairly targeted by takedown notices. The article, YouTube to Pay Fees for Some Video Makers to Fight Takedowns, written by Cecilia Kang of the New York Times provides background on YouTube’s decision to “protect free speech and educate users on fair use.” Fred von Lohmann, legal director for copyright at YouTube said, “We want, when we can, to have our users’ backs. We believe even the small number of videos we are able to protect will make a positive impact on the entire YouTube ecosystem.”

Anne Frank’s Diary Gets Co-Author In Bid To Extend Copyright. Last week the Anne Frank Foundation, current owner of the copyright to the iconic diary, added Otto Frank as a co-author to extend its copyright until 2050 in Europe. The diary was expected to enter the public domain on January 1, 2015, as the copyright under European law would have expired. As copyright law professor Stef van Gompel points out in The New York Times’ Anne Frank’s Diary Gains ‘Co-Author’ in Copyright Move, “There is a good reason that copyrights are limited, so that people can freely use [written materials]…It doesn’t mean that they need to be protected for all eternity.” European publishers are outraged at the decision, complaining that the Foundation has always insisted that Anne was the sole author of the diary. In a recent blog post on the issue, the Association of Research Library contends, “Copyright term is currently too long. Allowing rightsholders to claim co-authorship, decades after the deaths of the actual author as well as an alleged co-author, as an attempt to extend copyright term further is a blatant and unacceptable attack on the public domain motivated solely by attempts to demand more royalties.”

Two-Legged Puppy Learns To Walk With 3D-Printed Wheelchair.
On Nov. 16, ABC News showcased the recent story and popular video of a two-legged rescue puppy who was fitted with a 3D-printed wheelchair for front legs in Two-Legged Shelter Puppy Gets Set of 3D Printed Wheels. Researchers at the Ohio University Innovation Center admitted they were more experienced with using 3D printers for academic or engineering purposes but were happy to help solve a problem. “This is just letting people know that [3D printers] can be used for anything,” said Joe Jollick, lab director at the Innovation Center.

Monkey Selfie Copyright Saga Continues. PETA is suing on behalf of an Indonesian monkey for copyright to a photo of an alleged “selfie” in the latest bizarre copyright litigation. The animal rights organization is currently in the midst of an argument about the monkey’s gender, as part of an effort to identify the specific monkey in the photo. According to the Washington Post article The monkey ‘selfie’ copyright battle is still going on, and it’s getting weirder, copyright claims can only be registered for human authorship, which negates the monkey or the nature photographer’s claim.

Next Librarian Of Congress Will Hold Tremendous Power For Future Of Copyright. Thomas Lee of the San Francisco Chronicle explores the importance of the next Librarian of Congress, a “person who holds enormous power over both Silicon Valley and Hollywood” in Next Librarian of Congress could remake copyright law. Written after the copyright listening tour stop in San Francisco, Lee examines how a more technology-savvy Librarian could solve current issues in copyright law for documentary filmmakers and digital artists. Meanwhile, Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) wants to rewrite the digital copyright act: “[The law] is trying to control technology at the request of Hollywood. It’s always a mistake to control technology in an effort to control content. You should care about getting paid…”