Fiesler (2018)

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Advertising Architectural Publishing of books, periodicals and other publishing Programming and broadcasting Computer programming Computer consultancy Creative, arts and entertainment Cultural education

Film and motion pictures Sound recording and music publishing Photographic activities PR and communication Software publishing (including video games) Specialised design Television programmes Translation and interpretation

1. Relationship between protection (subject matter/term/scope) and supply/economic development/growth/welfare 2. Relationship between creative process and protection - what motivates creators (e.g. attribution; control; remuneration; time allocation)? 3. Harmony of interest assumption between authors and publishers (creators and producers/investors) 4. Effects of protection on industry structure (e.g. oligopolies; competition; economics of superstars; business models; technology adoption) 5. Understanding consumption/use (e.g. determinants of unlawful behaviour; user-generated content; social media)

A. Nature and Scope of exclusive rights (hyperlinking/browsing; reproduction right) B. Exceptions (distinguish innovation and public policy purposes; open-ended/closed list; commercial/non-commercial distinction) C. Mass digitisation/orphan works (non-use; extended collective licensing) D. Licensing and Business models (collecting societies; meta data; exchanges/hubs; windowing; crossborder availability) E. Fair remuneration (levies; copyright contracts) F. Enforcement (quantifying infringement; criminal sanctions; intermediary liability; graduated response; litigation and court data; commercial/non-commercial distinction; education and awareness)

Source Details

Fiesler (2018)
Title: Everything I Needed to Know: Empirical Investigations of Copyright Norms in Fandom
Author(s): Casey Fiesler
Year: 2018
Citation: Fiesler, C. (2018) Everything I Needed to Know: Empirical Investigations of Copyright Norms in Fandom. IDEA - The Law Review of the Franklin Pierce Centre for Intellectual Property. 59(1), pp 65 - 87
Link(s): Open Access
Key Related Studies:
Discipline:
Linked by:
About the Data
Data Description: The study consists of a literature review and reflections of the author’s research into fan fiction. The studies mostly consist of qualitative research into questions of social and community norms.
Data Type: Secondary data
Secondary Data Sources:
Data Collection Methods:
Data Analysis Methods:
Industry(ies):
Country(ies):
Cross Country Study?: No
Comparative Study?: No
Literature review?: Yes
Government or policy study?: No
Time Period(s) of Collection:
  • 2008-2016
Funder(s):
  • National Science Foundation (award #1216247)

Abstract

“With the growing popularity of YouTube and other platforms for user-generated content, such as blogs and wikis, copyright holders are increasingly concerned about potential infringing uses of their content. However, when enforcing their copyrights, owners often do not distinguish between direct piracy, such as uploading an entire episode of a television show, and transformative works, such as a fan-made video that incorporates clips from a television show. The line can be a difficult one to draw. However, there is at least one source of user-generated content that has existed for decades and that clearly differentiates itself from piracy: fandom and " fan fiction " writers. This note traces the history of fan communities and the copyright issues associated with fiction that borrows characters and settings that the fan-author did not create. The author discusses established social norms within these communities that developed to deal with copyright issues, such as requirements for non-commercial use and attribution, and how these norms track to Creative Commons licenses. The author argues that widespread use of these licenses, granting copyrighted works " some rights reserved " instead of " all rights reserved, " would allow copyright holders to give their consumers some creative freedom in creating transformative works, while maintaining the control needed to combat piracy. However, the author also suggests a more immediate solution: copyright holders, in making decisions concerning copyright enforcement, should consider using the norms associated with established user-generated content communities as a framework for drawing a line between transformative work and piracy.”

Main Results of the Study

• Fandom communities show a lack of understanding, and misconception of fair use which centre around ethical considerations as opposed to legal fact. Due to this, chilling effects are evident, as fans self-censor by not uploading adapted content.

• Communities perpetuate misinformation about copyright law e.g. about the consequences of infringement (see for example YouTube’s Copyright School video). This is perpetuated by misunderstandings of website Terms of Service, with many fans unaware of “uncomfortable” terms such as e.g. the right to transfer, irrevocable licences.

• Fandom is a close-knit community that values privacy and community norms. In the copyright context this includes self-policing behaviours: attribution is viewed as essential; permission is important community etiquette; commerciality (e.g. Fifty Shades of Grey/Twilight) is frowned upon, and; sanctions are placed upon those acting outwith the community norms (e.g. “art theft” tag).

Policy Implications as Stated By Author

The author offers several suggestions as to how to improve copyright compliance in fan communities, including: the use of plain language Terms of Service which are explicit about platform values; dedicated spaces for user concerns and questions; incorporation of copyright information into the upload process, and; a better understanding of community norms, which judges often refer to in fair use considerations.



Coverage of Study

Coverage of Fundamental Issues
Issue Included within Study
Relationship between protection (subject matter/term/scope) and supply/economic development/growth/welfare
Relationship between creative process and protection - what motivates creators (e.g. attribution; control; remuneration; time allocation)?
Harmony of interest assumption between authors and publishers (creators and producers/investors)
Effects of protection on industry structure (e.g. oligopolies; competition; economics of superstars; business models; technology adoption)
Understanding consumption/use (e.g. determinants of unlawful behaviour; user-generated content; social media)
Green-tick.png
Coverage of Evidence Based Policies
Issue Included within Study
Nature and Scope of exclusive rights (hyperlinking/browsing; reproduction right)
Exceptions (distinguish innovation and public policy purposes; open-ended/closed list; commercial/non-commercial distinction)
Green-tick.png
Mass digitisation/orphan works (non-use; extended collective licensing)
Licensing and Business models (collecting societies; meta data; exchanges/hubs; windowing; crossborder availability)
Fair remuneration (levies; copyright contracts)
Enforcement (quantifying infringement; criminal sanctions; intermediary liability; graduated response; litigation and court data; commercial/non-commercial distinction; education and awareness)

Datasets