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Fan fiction webinar now available

boys and girls dressed as Hogwarts students.
Harry Potter enthusiasts dress as Hogwarts students (image from Wikimedia).

An archive of the CopyTalk webinar on fan fiction and copyright issues originally broadcast on Thursday, November 5, 2015 is available.

Fan-created works are in general broadly available to people at the click of a link. Fan fiction hasn’t been the subject of any litigation, but it plays an increasing role in literacy as its creation and consumption has skyrocketed. Practice on the ground can matter as much as court cases and the explosion of noncommercial creativity is a big part of the fair use ecosystem. This presentation touched on many of the ways in which creativity has impacted recent judicial rulings on fair use, from Google books , to  putting a mayor’s face on a T-shirt, to copying a competitor’s ad for a competing ad. Legal scholar and counsel to the Organization for Transformative Works, Rebecca Tushnet enlightened us.

This was a really interesting webinar. Do check it out!

Rebecca Tushnet clerked for Chief Judge Edward R. Becker of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia and Associate Justice David H. Souter of the United States Supreme Court and spent two years as an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton in Washington, DC, specializing in intellectual property. After two years at the NYU School of Law, she moved to Georgetown, where she now teaches intellectual property, advertising law, and First Amendment law.

Her work currently focuses on the relationship between the First Amendment and false advertising law. She has advised and represented several fan fiction websites in disputes with copyright and trademark owners. She serves as a member of the legal team of the Organization for Transformative Works, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting and promoting fanworks, and is also an expert on the law of engagement rings.

Our next CopyTalk is December 3rd at 2pm Eastern/11am Pacific. Our topic will be the 1201 rulemaking and this year’s exemptions. Get ready for absurdity!

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Carrie Russell

Carrie Russell is the director of the Program on Public Access to Information in the Washington Office. Her portfolio includes copyright, international copyright, accessibility, e-books, and other public policy issues. She has an MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an MA in media arts from the University of Arizona.

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