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Helpful resources on Copyright Law
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TOPIC: Helpful resources on Copyright Law
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Helpful resources on Copyright Law 9 Months, 2 Weeks ago Karma: 4
Hey, guys. I figured I should probably make a resource thread for artists and other content creators for defending their art online.

In light of the recent Es Sesshoume debacle, it's probably gonna make things a lot smoother in the future if we all have quick reference of our rights as content creators.

First, here's US Copyright Law (Title 17) Section 103, which directly addresses the rights of "derivative works," i.e., fanart, fanfiction, compilations, translation, etc. Essentially, they define "derivative works" as any work which takes from an original copyrighted source "transforms" that source to create a new work. To be considered "fair use," that new work must contain "sufficient" originality to be recognizable as being it's own work, and without interfering with the financial security of the original work's copyright holder.
To that end, "derivative works" are considered original works to their creators, and, therefore, protected as their own copyrighted material.

The actual text in Title 17 can be read and referenced to here.

Second, there is Keeling Vs. Hars, which was a contract dispute between the writer of a parody musical, Jaime Keeling, "Point Break LIVE!," and her producer, Eve Hars.
Keeling had brought the suit to court, stating Hars had broken contract, among other things. Hars appealed, stating that Keeling had no right to enforce the contract, as her work was "unauthorized" by copyright, and was therefore unprotected by the Law.
Both district and Second Circuit courts affirmed that Keeling did, indeed, retain legal copyright over her play as per Title 17, USC 103.
The complete case summary can be read here.

And as an extra, and just based on experience and for issues specifically on Facebook, I figured I should include a How-To for reporting infringement of your copyrights. Facebook is a mess of a site if you're trying to find anything, so I hope this streamlines any future needs.

First, you have to find the online form which Facebook uses to submit reports. After a bunch of link clicking, eventually you end up on this page, where there is a link on the words "online form" in the first paragraph. That link goes directly to the form for reporting infringement.

Second, you have to fill out the form. Keep in mind (and Facebook does warn you of this) that they ask for your full name, address, and email. They also inform you that this information could be made available to the person or persons you are reporting. I haven't figured out under which circumstances they would do this, but I suspect it would have to take some more action before they would do this.

Be sure to check off "Copyright" when they ask you what kind of infringement you believe has been committed.

They ask you to provide links to the post or posts in which your work has been posted illegally. This can be tedious if there's multiple posts, but it's worth it to get everything.
You also need to provide your original posting of your work. If you have your work published on multiple sites, you can just pick one to use.

Finally, they ask you to explain the reasoning behind your report. There are generic options, but you should pick "Other."

Then you can state your case. Here's the template I have written up if you're not sure what to right. Feel free to use it!

These works are fair use derivative works created by me, protected by copyright under Section 103 in the US Copyright Law (Title 17), and have been reposted on this page without my permission.

(if you have asked them to stop and they have refused, include this next paragraph)
The [offender] have expressed their explicit intent to continue reposting my content without permission/license, despite requests to cease.

Hope this helps clear up any future art theft problems quicker and with relatively less fuss.

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