September 18, 2014

foervraengd said: Is it actually possible to claim ownership of your drawing style? I've often seen ppl getting fired up for seeing other artists "copying the way they draw". Note that this is not about plagiarism but that two ppl just draw their things in each other's drawing style. I'd like to hear your thoughts on this.

In the US and most other countries, one cannot copyright an idea or a style - although artists like Dale Chihuly have tried to argue in court that a style is copyrightable. After Chihuly sued two former assistents, the case was settled out of court, so there’s no caselaw from that 2006 case that we can point to as definitive. 

Under copyright law, you can only copyright the expression of an idea, which generally means the specific words, pen strokes, combination of colors and lines, sculptured elements, etc.  There’s a good article on this topic here, and here’s another piece that explains why style isn’t expression. 

In other words, as a general rule, as a matter of law it is not copyright infringement to draw something in another’s drawing style, because a style is (as a general rule) not copyrightable. As we’ve said before, plagiarism isn’t the same thing as copyright infringement, although they can overlap. 

Hope that helps - but feel free to ask a follow-up if there’s another aspect of it that  you’d like us to address. 

September 12, 2014
In the last few days, a number of Teen Wolf fanartists with stores on RedBubble have posted/tweeted about takedowns by RedBubble of some of the items in their stores. From what we’ve been told, all the items either had “Teen Wolf” in the tags, in the item or store description and/or in the item/store title; RedBubble isn’t claiming ownership of the works, and the language in the emails doesn’t say whether Viacom complained, or whether someone “authorized to act on their behalf” (namely, Redbubble themselves) cited the work as having issues.
This is not the first time RedBubble has taken down merch and sent an email to the store operator; RedBubble does this when their bots ”see” something that could be infringing (even if it isn’t) and generally RB tells the site operator that they were taken down after RedBubble ”received a complaint from [a major multinational rightsholder], the claimed owner or licensee of related intellectual property, and in accordance with Redbubble’s IP/Publicity Rights Policy.”
Back in 2003, CafePress took down fanart inspired by the Harry Potter characters from HPEF’s Nimbus - 2003 fancon store, because the site’s bot did some image recognition thing and CP’s policy was to take things down if the image matched up with images submitted by the copyright and/or trademark-holders. We replied to CafePress, explained that the works were transformative works and didn’t have any trademarks on them, and they were put back up shortly thereafter. Similar things have happened over the past 11 years. Every single popular show/film/brand/band/comic/series is included by CP and RB in their “usage review” systems.
As CP said in a recent annual report, ” We maintain content usage review systems that, through a combination of manual and automated blocks, monitor potentially infringing content of which we become aware.” Redbubble said something similar this summer:

Although we’re not required by law, we take further proactive efforts on many occasions and work closely with numerous content owners, brands and individual artists to minimize instances of third party infringement of intellectual property rights via the Redbubble marketplace. 

They don’t always notify the copyrightholders or trademark owners expeditiously; CP and RB’s bots check the images and the descriptions and take things down just because the IP owner has put their brands and sometimes their art into the CP and RB content management system. That doesn’t mean there aren’t “false positives” - the content management system doesn’t check for fair use or parodies or commentary/criticism, and we’ll explain how to make them aware of that below.
The laws in the US regarding transformative works and copyright infringement have expanded over the last decade to define more things as Fair Use - and the bots that stores like CafePress and RedBubble use have become more precise; they’re similar to “Search By Image” on google. However, the laws regarding trademark infringement in this sort of situation are relatively unchanged.
Fanart shared in the “gift economy” is fair use; we posted extensively about noncommercially distributed fanart back in January. Selling fan art may also be fair use as a matter of law, for purposes of determining whether it infringes on someone else’s copyright.  However, even if a work is fair use under copyright law, selling it in connection with someone else’s trademarks may constitute trademark infringement.
It’s not a given - it won’t always. If the marks are used descriptively, if they’re used to compare things, etc., it may not be trademark infringement. But you are less likely to get a takedown notice if you don’t include tags that are a show or film or band’s trademark - use a shortened version of the show title (TW, ST, SPN, AOS, etc.) or a ship name or a character’s last name instead.
If you do get a takedown notice and you think that what’s been taken down is fair use, you are allowed to respond and explain why the work is noninfringing. You can discuss these factors:
1. The purpose and character of the work (Is the fanart transformative? Was it made for non-commercial purposes? Selling something on RB impacts on this factor, but it’s not the only element at issue, especially if the fanart doesn’t replicate something seen on screen or in a comic strip panel.)
2. The amount and substantiality of the copyrighted work used (How much of the copyrighted work was used and why was it used? For fanart, usually little if any of the copyrighted work was used.)
3. The effect on the market of the copyrighted work (Will the work be used as a substitute for the original copyrighted work or impact the market for sales of merchandise related to the original copyrighted work?)
You also might want to include language inspired by this:

As fair use is a lawful use of a third party’s copyright, to the extent that this art uses another’s copyright, it should be deemed fair use under 17 USC 107 because it is (a) transformative and (b) does not adversely affect the market or potential market of the original work or derivative works. When determining if fair use is applicable and thus a work noninfringing, the central purpose of said investigation [into purpose and character of use] is to see … whether the new work merely “supersede[s] the objects” of the original creation, or instead adds something new, with a further purpose or different character, altering the first with new expression, meaning, or message; it asks, in other words, whether and to what extent the new work is “transformative.” Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., 510 U.S. 569, 579, 114 S.Ct. 1164, 127 L.Ed.2d 500 (1994), Zomba Enterprises, Inc.; Zomba Songs, Inc., Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. Panorama Records, Inc., Defendant-Appellant., 491 F.3d 574 (6th Cir. 2007).


 Takedowns like this happen all the time; they happen when they’re justifiable because someone’s uploaded a show-created poster as a Redbubble tote bag or CafePress coaster, they happen when someone “markets” their fanart using a trademark that the show’s creators or distributors own, and they happen when works are completely noncommercial and only on display. Absent other information, it’s not practical to assume that it’s part of a crackdown on specific artists or ships, and with regard to what’s happened to some Teen Wolf artists this week, it’s impossible to even know if the takedowns were because the trademarks were used, or because of the images themselves. We’d love more info, though - so if your art has been taken down on RedBubble and you weren’t using Teen Wolf - or any character names - in the tags or descriptions, and you’ve submitted a “Fair Use” counternotice, and it still hasn’t gone back up even though a few business days have passed, please let us know and we’ll see if we can learn more.
Follow FYeahCopyright for more on legal issues of concern to fandomers. 

 

In the last few days, a number of Teen Wolf fanartists with stores on RedBubble have posted/tweeted about takedowns by RedBubble of some of the items in their stores. From what we’ve been told, all the items either had “Teen Wolf” in the tags, in the item or store description and/or in the item/store title; RedBubble isn’t claiming ownership of the works, and the language in the emails doesn’t say whether Viacom complained, or whether someone “authorized to act on their behalf” (namely, Redbubble themselves) cited the work as having issues.

This is not the first time RedBubble has taken down merch and sent an email to the store operator; RedBubble does this when their bots ”see” something that could be infringing (even if it isn’t) and generally RB tells the site operator that they were taken down after RedBubble ”received a complaint from [a major multinational rightsholder], the claimed owner or licensee of related intellectual property, and in accordance with Redbubble’s IP/Publicity Rights Policy.”

Back in 2003, CafePress took down fanart inspired by the Harry Potter characters from HPEF’s Nimbus - 2003 fancon store, because the site’s bot did some image recognition thing and CP’s policy was to take things down if the image matched up with images submitted by the copyright and/or trademark-holders. We replied to CafePress, explained that the works were transformative works and didn’t have any trademarks on them, and they were put back up shortly thereafter. Similar things have happened over the past 11 years. Every single popular show/film/brand/band/comic/series is included by CP and RB in their “usage review” systems.

As CP said in a recent annual report, ” We maintain content usage review systems that, through a combination of manual and automated blocks, monitor potentially infringing content of which we become aware.” Redbubble said something similar this summer:

Although we’re not required by law, we take further proactive efforts on many occasions and work closely with numerous content owners, brands and individual artists to minimize instances of third party infringement of intellectual property rights via the Redbubble marketplace.

They don’t always notify the copyrightholders or trademark owners expeditiously; CP and RB’s bots check the images and the descriptions and take things down just because the IP owner has put their brands and sometimes their art into the CP and RB content management system. That doesn’t mean there aren’t “false positives” - the content management system doesn’t check for fair use or parodies or commentary/criticism, and we’ll explain how to make them aware of that below.

The laws in the US regarding transformative works and copyright infringement have expanded over the last decade to define more things as Fair Use - and the bots that stores like CafePress and RedBubble use have become more precise; they’re similar to “Search By Image” on google. However, the laws regarding trademark infringement in this sort of situation are relatively unchanged.

Fanart shared in the “gift economy” is fair use; we posted extensively about noncommercially distributed fanart back in January. Selling fan art may also be fair use as a matter of law, for purposes of determining whether it infringes on someone else’s copyright.  However, even if a work is fair use under copyright law, selling it in connection with someone else’s trademarks may constitute trademark infringement.

It’s not a given - it won’t always. If the marks are used descriptively, if they’re used to compare things, etc., it may not be trademark infringement. But you are less likely to get a takedown notice if you don’t include tags that are a show or film or band’s trademark - use a shortened version of the show title (TW, ST, SPN, AOS, etc.) or a ship name or a character’s last name instead.

If you do get a takedown notice and you think that what’s been taken down is fair use, you are allowed to respond and explain why the work is noninfringing. You can discuss these factors:

1. The purpose and character of the work (Is the fanart transformative? Was it made for non-commercial purposes? Selling something on RB impacts on this factor, but it’s not the only element at issue, especially if the fanart doesn’t replicate something seen on screen or in a comic strip panel.)

2. The amount and substantiality of the copyrighted work used (How much of the copyrighted work was used and why was it used? For fanart, usually little if any of the copyrighted work was used.)

3. The effect on the market of the copyrighted work (Will the work be used as a substitute for the original copyrighted work or impact the market for sales of merchandise related to the original copyrighted work?)

You also might want to include language inspired by this:

As fair use is a lawful use of a third party’s copyright, to the extent that this art uses another’s copyright, it should be deemed fair use under 17 USC 107 because it is (a) transformative and (b) does not adversely affect the market or potential market of the original work or derivative works. When determining if fair use is applicable and thus a work noninfringing, the central purpose of said investigation [into purpose and character of use] is to see … whether the new work merely “supersede[s] the objects” of the original creation, or instead adds something new, with a further purpose or different character, altering the first with new expression, meaning, or message; it asks, in other words, whether and to what extent the new work is “transformative.” Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., 510 U.S. 569, 579, 114 S.Ct. 1164, 127 L.Ed.2d 500 (1994), Zomba Enterprises, Inc.; Zomba Songs, Inc., Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. Panorama Records, Inc., Defendant-Appellant., 491 F.3d 574 (6th Cir. 2007).

 Takedowns like this happen all the time; they happen when they’re justifiable because someone’s uploaded a show-created poster as a Redbubble tote bag or CafePress coaster, they happen when someone “markets” their fanart using a trademark that the show’s creators or distributors own, and they happen when works are completely noncommercial and only on display. Absent other information, it’s not practical to assume that it’s part of a crackdown on specific artists or ships, and with regard to what’s happened to some Teen Wolf artists this week, it’s impossible to even know if the takedowns were because the trademarks were used, or because of the images themselves. We’d love more info, though - so if your art has been taken down on RedBubble and you weren’t using Teen Wolf - or any character names - in the tags or descriptions, and you’ve submitted a “Fair Use” counternotice, and it still hasn’t gone back up even though a few business days have passed, please let us know and we’ll see if we can learn more.

Follow FYeahCopyright for more on legal issues of concern to fandomers.

 

September 10, 2014

staff:

Today’s the day. The day you help save the internet from being ruined.

Ready? 

Yes, you are, and we’re ready to help you.

(Long story short: The FCC is about to make a critical decision as to whether or not internet service providers have to treat all traffic equally. If they choose wrong, then the internet where anyone could start a website for any reason at all, the internet that’s been so momentous, funny, weird, and surprising—that internet could cease to exist. Here’s your chance to preserve a beautiful thing.)

Here’s an explanation of what tumblr is doing - why your dash may look odd or appear to be loading slowly.
For backstory, click here.

September 10, 2014
The image above is an illustration about implications of Net Neutrality. Here’s what is going on today: 
There’s a protest organized by a number of large websites, including etsy, Netflix, dailydot, Tumblr staff and Twitter; organizations like the thehpalliance (alongside a lot of youtube filmmakers/vidders - you can add a video too!) are supporting it as well. 
Over the last few months, the FCC has been taking comments on a proposal that would require telecom providers to ensure that “all users have access to an internet experience that is sufficiently robust, fast and effectively usable”. 
Tech and content companies including Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Twitter, wrote to the FCC claiming the rules “would enable phone and cable internet service providers to discriminate both technically and financially against internet companies and to impose new tolls on them”.
[X]
In other words, what you’re seeing today is important, and changes to the nine-months-ago status of Net Neutrality could be problematic (I’m not saying “would be” because codification of Net Neutrality in the FCC’s rules would actually be a change, and awesome) but it doesn’t mean that there’s something newly threatening that’s happened in the last few days. 
Sign the petitions if you want - although the FCC comment period is closed - and make your voice heard, but don’t panic that there’s something new that you may’ve missed in the last week. 
ETA: And check out the tumblr staff post about why your images and icons may look like they’re loading slowly.

The image above is an illustration about implications of Net Neutrality. Here’s what is going on today:

There’s a protest organized by a number of large websites, including etsy, Netflix, dailydot, Tumblr staff and Twitter; organizations like the thehpalliance (alongside a lot of youtube filmmakers/vidders - you can add a video too!) are supporting it as well. 

Over the last few months, the FCC has been taking comments on a proposal that would require telecom providers to ensure that “all users have access to an internet experience that is sufficiently robust, fast and effectively usable”. 

Tech and content companies including Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Twitter, wrote to the FCC claiming the rules “would enable phone and cable internet service providers to discriminate both technically and financially against internet companies and to impose new tolls on them”.

[X]

In other words, what you’re seeing today is important, and changes to the nine-months-ago status of Net Neutrality could be problematic (I’m not saying “would be” because codification of Net Neutrality in the FCC’s rules would actually be a change, and awesome) but it doesn’t mean that there’s something newly threatening that’s happened in the last few days. 

Sign the petitions if you want - although the FCC comment period is closed - and make your voice heard, but don’t panic that there’s something new that you may’ve missed in the last week. 

ETA: And check out the tumblr staff post about why your images and icons may look like they’re loading slowly.

September 10, 2014
^^This image is not accurate; it’s outdated. It’s from last January. But things are happening on the Net Neutrality front right now. Scroll to the bottom…

slitheringink:

artofcarmen:

sheepuppy:

korriganbleedingink:

suck-my-bumblebee:

fyeahwhovians:

pumpkinskull:

raygender:

pumpkinskull:

themediafix:

Breaking news: The D.C. Appeals Court just killed Net Neutrality.This could be the end of the Internet as we know it. But it doesn’t have to be. Tell the FCC to restore Net Neutrality: http://bit.ly/1iOOjoe

can someone explain this to me with small words

they want to make the internet like tv. with channels and paying to get to specific websites and things. net neutrality = not doing that

i do not approve in the slightest

This impacts every internet user. Please signal boost the hell out of this and sign the petition if you are American

Frickin Frack this is important, please sign!

Oh what the fuck. 

signed!

I do not reblog things like this very often, but this affects me both personally and my business as a freelance artist.
In the economy here; cash is already strapped as it is. You bet your ass companies would suck the ever living life out of misc. art sites.
I don’t want it to ever come down to me choosing between groceries or purchasing a new tier package via comcast to be able to access tumblr or DeviantArt (let alone not guaranteeing I’ll even be seen by my customer base since they may not want to pay out their asses either). It doesn’t seem important to most, but I do 90% of my business online entirely.
Please sign up, fight for this and share it with your followers/friends/family and urge them to give them hell as well.

Not writing related, but this is incredibly important. While we pay for service via ISPs, the internet has been a relatively free space where everyone, no matter their income level, is able to connect, access a wealth of information, and express themselves. The Internet has become a major part of our culture as human beings and the notion that ISPs might be able to limit what sites I can access unless I pay them more is utterly sickening. A lot of us are cash strapped as is, and I’d rather not be limited even more by someone else’s greed. Net Neutrality is essential and I hope you guys will understand why it needs to remain.
-Morgan
P.S. Signal boost this if you’re able.

Here’s what is going on today: 
There’s a protest organized by a number of large websites, including etsy, Netflix and Twitter; organizations like the HP Alliance (alongside a lot of youtube filmmakers/vidders) are supporting it as well. 
Over the last few months, the FCC has been taking comments on a proposal that would require telecom providers to ensure that “all users have access to an internet experience that is sufficiently robust, fast and effectively usable”. 
Tech and content companies including Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Twitter, wrote to the FCC claiming the rules “would enable phone and cable internet service providers to discriminate both technically and financially against internet companies and to impose new tolls on them”.
[X]
In other words, what you’re seeing today is important, and changes to the nine-months-ago status of Net Neutrality could be problematic (I’m not saying “would be” because codification of Net Neutrality in the FCC’s rules would actually be a change, and awesome) but it doesn’t mean that there’s something newly threatening that’s happened in the last few days. 
Sign the petitions - although the FCC comment period is closed - and make your voice heard, but don’t panic about something new that you may’ve missed in the last week. 
(The image below isn’t real, it’s an illustration.) 

^^This image is not accurate; it’s outdated. It’s from last January. But things are happening on the Net Neutrality front right now. Scroll to the bottom…

slitheringink:

artofcarmen:

sheepuppy:

korriganbleedingink:

suck-my-bumblebee:

fyeahwhovians:

pumpkinskull:

raygender:

pumpkinskull:

themediafix:

Breaking news: The D.C. Appeals Court just killed Net Neutrality.

This could be the end of the Internet as we know it. But it doesn’t have to be. 

Tell the FCC to restore Net Neutrality: http://bit.ly/1iOOjoe

can someone explain this to me with small words

they want to make the internet like tv. with channels and paying to get to specific websites and things. net neutrality = not doing that

i do not approve in the slightest

This impacts every internet user. Please signal boost the hell out of this and sign the petition if you are American

Frickin Frack this is important, please sign!

Oh what the fuck. 

signed!

I do not reblog things like this very often, but this affects me both personally and my business as a freelance artist.

In the economy here; cash is already strapped as it is. You bet your ass companies would suck the ever living life out of misc. art sites.

I don’t want it to ever come down to me choosing between groceries or purchasing a new tier package via comcast to be able to access tumblr or DeviantArt (let alone not guaranteeing I’ll even be seen by my customer base since they may not want to pay out their asses either). It doesn’t seem important to most, but I do 90% of my business online entirely.

Please sign up, fight for this and share it with your followers/friends/family and urge them to give them hell as well.

Not writing related, but this is incredibly important. While we pay for service via ISPs, the internet has been a relatively free space where everyone, no matter their income level, is able to connect, access a wealth of information, and express themselves. The Internet has become a major part of our culture as human beings and the notion that ISPs might be able to limit what sites I can access unless I pay them more is utterly sickening. A lot of us are cash strapped as is, and I’d rather not be limited even more by someone else’s greed. Net Neutrality is essential and I hope you guys will understand why it needs to remain.

-Morgan

P.S. Signal boost this if you’re able.

Here’s what is going on today:

There’s a protest organized by a number of large websites, including etsy, Netflix and Twitter; organizations like the HP Alliance (alongside a lot of youtube filmmakers/vidders) are supporting it as well. 

Over the last few months, the FCC has been taking comments on a proposal that would require telecom providers to ensure that “all users have access to an internet experience that is sufficiently robust, fast and effectively usable”. 

Tech and content companies including Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Twitter, wrote to the FCC claiming the rules “would enable phone and cable internet service providers to discriminate both technically and financially against internet companies and to impose new tolls on them”.

[X]

In other words, what you’re seeing today is important, and changes to the nine-months-ago status of Net Neutrality could be problematic (I’m not saying “would be” because codification of Net Neutrality in the FCC’s rules would actually be a change, and awesome) but it doesn’t mean that there’s something newly threatening that’s happened in the last few days. 

Sign the petitions - although the FCC comment period is closed - and make your voice heard, but don’t panic about something new that you may’ve missed in the last week. 

(The image below isn’t real, it’s an illustration.)Internet Slowdown 

(via writerlydeeds)

September 7, 2014
Vidders, your help is needed

percysowner:

rivkat:

Fan Video & Multimedia is once again working with our Legal Committee as well as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to petition for a DMCA exemption granting vidders, AMV makers, and other creators of noncommercial remix video the right to break copy protection on media files. In 2010, we won the right to rip DVDs; in 2012, we got that exemption renewed and expanded to include digital downloads (iTunes, Amazon Unbox, etc.). In 2015, we’ll be pushing to add Blu-Ray. Right now we’re in the data-gathering stage: asking fan video makers to talk with us about how they get Blu-Ray source and why Blu-Ray is important.


RT:

The exemption will expire if not renewed!  The big copyright industries fought really hard last time, and renewal is not a foregone conclusion, even though we’re still right.  As always we need (1) examples of vids that make a critical commentary on the original source, particularly examples from the past 3 years, as well as (2) vids that need very high quality source, in technical terms, to do what they do.  With Blu-Ray, we need (3) explanations of how getting Blu-Ray source can be done, so we can educate the Copyright Office, and (4) explanations for why Blu-Ray source is important.  

If you can help with any of these, please let legal@transformativeworks.org know!

Signal boost.

vidding, dmca, otw, fair use, you can’t have fair use if ripping dvds is illegal.

(via bookdal)

September 5, 2014
Please share/reblog! We need your votes!
fyeahcopyright:

acafanmom:

heidi8:

Vote for our panel! And a few others, too!
fyeahcopyright:

Every year, South BY Southwest (SXSW) brings tech companies, content providers, nonprofits and thousands of others to Austin, TX to talk about tech, content, privacy, interaction and so much more. 
This year, FYC’s heidi8, along with flourish and wordplaying, have submitted a panel proposal on How Not to Irk Your Fandom. If it’s selected, they’ll be talking about interactions between fandoms and The Powers That Be - or Those Who Want To Control Fandom - where things have gone terribly wrong and where things have been reasonably right. They’ll also share some Best Practices for how to keep glitches to a minimum and develop positive fan/creator interactions. As a sociologist, a transmedia producer and an attorney, they bring three diverse perspectives to the discussion. 
You can also vote for flourish - along theorlandojones - who have a film panel proposal at http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/42402 - you do have to register to vote, but it’s easy and they don’t spam. 
(And if you can reblog/share the link, we would really appreciate it!)

Other friends that have panels up for consideration: 
1. Andrew Slack of thehpalliance has an SXSWEDU panel on Super Heroes for Social Justice
2. bookshop, Alexandra Edwards, Yashoda Sampath and Amber Gordan have a proposal on fan/creator interactions from the fan and platform perspectives. 
3. jaybushman is part of a proposal on funding webserieses. 
4. Megan Westerby, Cory Lubovitch of the-real-team-starkid, Sarah Weichel and Rae Votta hope to present on the state of YouTube.

Do a search on just the word “fan” to know why the panels on fan/producer relations are so, so important. Every other panel is on how to monetize fandom, seriously.

Time is running out to vote on panels up for consideration at South By Southwest 2015 - there are some terrific panels and sessions up for consideration linked above, and the crowdsourced votes impact what panels the SXSW programming team includes at the convention. 

This is the last time we’ll ask for you to (a) vote using the links above and (b) share this post on tumblr, Twitter, FB, etc, so SXSW knows that people want to hear about topics that interest fans and fandoms that cover more than “how to market to and/or use your fans”. 
Fandom is a vital part of so many of our lives - it’s one community and a thousand communities all at once, and it’s impactful, interesting and insightful. These panels should be a part of the dialogues and discussions at SXSW, and your vote can make that happen. 
Vote for: 
1. heidi8, flourish & wordplaying: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/41418
2. flourish & therealorlandojones: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/42402
3. Andrew Slack of thehpalliance: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/37509
4. bookshop, nonmodernist, Yashoda Sampath & Amber Gordan: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/35543
5. blurintofocus, itsswike, coreylubo & meganwest: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/41459

Please share/reblog! We need your votes!

fyeahcopyright:

acafanmom:

heidi8:

Vote for our panel! And a few others, too!

fyeahcopyright:

Every year, South BY Southwest (SXSW) brings tech companies, content providers, nonprofits and thousands of others to Austin, TX to talk about tech, content, privacy, interaction and so much more. 

This year, FYC’s heidi8, along with flourish and wordplaying, have submitted a panel proposal on How Not to Irk Your Fandom. If it’s selected, they’ll be talking about interactions between fandoms and The Powers That Be - or Those Who Want To Control Fandom - where things have gone terribly wrong and where things have been reasonably right. They’ll also share some Best Practices for how to keep glitches to a minimum and develop positive fan/creator interactions. As a sociologist, a transmedia producer and an attorney, they bring three diverse perspectives to the discussion. 

You can also vote for flourish - along theorlandojones - who have a film panel proposal at http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/42402 - you do have to register to vote, but it’s easy and they don’t spam. 

(And if you can reblog/share the link, we would really appreciate it!)

Other friends that have panels up for consideration: 

1. Andrew Slack of thehpalliance has an SXSWEDU panel on Super Heroes for Social Justice

2. bookshop, Alexandra Edwards, Yashoda Sampath and Amber Gordan have a proposal on fan/creator interactions from the fan and platform perspectives. 

3. jaybushman is part of a proposal on funding webserieses. 

4. Megan Westerby, Cory Lubovitch of the-real-team-starkid, Sarah Weichel and Rae Votta hope to present on the state of YouTube.

Do a search on just the word “fan” to know why the panels on fan/producer relations are so, so important. Every other panel is on how to monetize fandom, seriously.

Time is running out to vote on panels up for consideration at South By Southwest 2015 - there are some terrific panels and sessions up for consideration linked above, and the crowdsourced votes impact what panels the SXSW programming team includes at the convention. 

This is the last time we’ll ask for you to (a) vote using the links above and (b) share this post on tumblr, Twitter, FB, etc, so SXSW knows that people want to hear about topics that interest fans and fandoms that cover more than “how to market to and/or use your fans”. 

Fandom is a vital part of so many of our lives - it’s one community and a thousand communities all at once, and it’s impactful, interesting and insightful. These panels should be a part of the dialogues and discussions at SXSW, and your vote can make that happen. 

Vote for: 

1. heidi8, flourish & wordplayinghttp://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/41418

2. flourish & therealorlandojoneshttp://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/42402

3. Andrew Slack of thehpalliance: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/37509

4. bookshop, nonmodernist, Yashoda Sampath & Amber Gordan: http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/35543

5. blurintofocus, itsswike, coreylubo & meganwesthttp://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/41459

September 4, 2014
Twitpic Is Packing Up Their Toys

Twitpic, who filed applications to register their mark in 2009 and then chose to expressly abandon those applications, is so shocked that Twitter wants to protect the “twit” component of its trademark that they are closing their entire site, rather than change their name to continue to have access to Twitter’s API. 

What does this mean in non-legalese? 

Here’s the chronology: 

2009: Twitpic files applications to register TWITPIC for techy services at the USPTO. The PTO refuses to register the mark because the staffer tasked with reviewing it says it’d be confused with TWITVID. Twitpic later abandons one application and pushes on with the other. 

2012: The USPTO Board (the top brass there) refuses registration of TWITPIC, saying that they only were able to find five registrations that included the “TWIT” formative, which isn’t enough to show that “twit” is descriptive. 

2013: TWITPIC files again to register their mark, this time with a coexistence argeement from TWITVID (which is a great thing to have). USPTO accepts that, removes the “likelihood of confusion” issue and passes the mark to publication. 

2014: Twitter files an opposition to TWITPIC’s registration. 

From what Twitpic’s said here, two weeks ago, Twitter opposed registration of TWITPIC. Among other things, they mention Twitpic’s use of a bubble font and colors similar to Twitter’s. Twitter doesn’t have a history of shutting down third parties that refer to Twitter or work within its API, but it has asked on prior occasions for sites to stop using colors and fonts. 

We’re not sure exactly what Twitter said to Twitpic, other than what’s in the public filing at the PTO; if you can’t read it via the link above, 

In other words, Twitpic is shutting down because they heard whatever Twitter did say as something that “implied we could be denied access to their API if we did not give up our mark.”

So, did Twitter say that?

ETA: It seems Twitter did not say that; see below. 

As longtime users of Twitpic, we’d like to know exactly what Twitter said, and why Twitpic got that impression.

Did Twitter just say they couldn’t get a registration? A company can use a mark without a registration - that shouldn’t be a big enough issue for Twitpic to shut down. Did Twitter say that if they didn’t withdraw the application, they’d lose access to the API? That would be tacky, but again, is it enough of a reason to shut down a company? 

They say they don’t have the resources to fight with Twitter, but we would be shocked if Twitter wouldn’t be interested in working out an agreement with Twitpic; it happens all the time in trademark matters, especially when one site does have a right to protect their name from others who want to make commercial usage of all or a portion of it. When those agreements are worked through, name changes can happen gradually, old URLs can remain with disclaimers, there are so many ways to work things out. 

We’re surprised and sad that Twitpic has chosen not to try, and instead is shutting their site down. We understand, it can be pricey and frustrating, especially when you think you have the rights to something - but as we said above, we can’t tell if Twitter mandated they change their name and URL immediately (which we think would be unjustified under US trademark law) or if Twitter said they would do all they could to block Twitpic’s ability to register that mark (which may actually be justifiable as a matter of law). 

We hope Twitpic changes their minds - and/or Twitter clarifies things now that they’re blowing up - and they find a way to work this through. 

ETA at 11:48 PM: 

What did Twitter really tell them? 

If the pic is broken, the image is here. Here’s what CNBC quotes Twitter as saying: 

"…we made it clear that they could operate using the Twitpic name…"

So now we’re really curious - why is Twitpic mischaracterizing things on their blogpost, and why are they really going away? 

September 3, 2014

jmathieson-fic said: Looking for info for my quilt guild, sorry if it's out of your zone. Can you point me to any resources on the copyright status and legal use of published (in books, magazines, on the internet) PATTERNS (eg. for quilts, knitted items, clothing, etc.) The published pattern itself is obviously copyright of the author, but what's the legal status of the ITEM made from the pattern? Can I freely display/sell/make 100 copies of the quilt I made from a copyrighted pattern? Thanks!

There is, to date, no caselaw that’s exactly on point for this issue. Does the pattern have a license on it that you have to view before purchasing the item? If so, then it may limit your right to sell items based on that pattern - for example, if it says that items made from this pattern can be used for personal use only, then you can’t sell the items you make although you can arguably make an unlimited number and give them away. 

Also remember that one cannot copyright an idea, only the specific expression of an idea. That’s why clothing designs are generally uncopyrightable - because they’re “useful articles”. And while Congress regularly considers versions of a Design Piracy Prohibition Act which would give a three-year term of copyright for designs that meet very specfic parameters, no such law has yet passed. 

Therefore, if you have an idea inspired by an idea encapsulated in a pattern, the pattern’s copyrightholder has no copyright in their own idea. That’s not infringement. (And this wasn’t legal advice, just a summary of impressions based on current US law.)

September 1, 2014
Copyright Infringement, Hacking and Celeb Photos

ladyprydian:

fyeahcopyright:

Hacking into someone else’s phone is illegal in the US, under both state and federal law.

"Unauthorized access" entails approaching, trespassing within, communicating with, storing data in, retrieving data from, or otherwise intercepting and changing computer resources without consent." It’s also explicitly illegal to extort money regarding computer hacking ("with intent to extort from any person any money or other thing of value…") so that situation may be relevant for the images posted online his weekend as well.

Further, unauthorized distribution of someone else’s photos that you only have because you hacked into their phone or online account - whether you do so for free or by selling them - is copyright infringement. The person who took the photos is the one who ownes the copyright (or they’re owned by the person who arranged for them to be taken). So not only does the person who allegedly hacked into Jennifer Lawrence’s image storage account face possible jail time for hacking, that person faces significant penalties for copyright infringement.

It is possible that redistributing the photos - as sites like Perez hilton have done - may also be copyright infringement, and it’s possible that the lawyers for the actresses in question may use the DMCA to have the photos taken down, prevent their purchase by and distribution on other sites. If a news or entertainment site really wants to report on it, they can do so without showing the photos in full (it might be fair use to show only a subject’s face).

A developing story, link:

Buzzfeed