Appleseed

A.C.T.A. and how it affects the legallity of fanfiction and fanart

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Counterf...Trade_Agreement

Everyone who writes fanfiction or draws fanart NEEDS to know about this. It potentially criminalizes nonprofit copyright infringment, as opposed to it being a civil matter. In other words instead of getting a cease and desist letter you might get arrested.

Can anyone tell me how AFF plans to respond to this matter and what, if any, protection will be afforded to the authors?

Edited by Appleseed

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At this point, your disclaimer is your best protection. The thing is, this treaty is still very much in the works, and is not, in fact, in place yet.

There are some organizations which are fighting against this, of course.

EFF being a major one, of course. Currently, the intellectual property suits have been targeting more for video and music than anything.

Copyright Watch is a good resource for finding what the most current copyright laws are, and they are working at making it a world wide repository of those laws as a resource, so that one knows what the laws are in different countries. Where this would affect any given site, is that where it is hosted, are the laws which are applied.

Chilling Effects has a FAQ up regarding fanfiction specifically.

I would expect if the treaty every did get signed in to law, and fanfiction archives were to be targeted, it could cause us a host of problems. But that's speculative at BEST right now. Until this thing is hammered out and passed, we have no way of knowing how it will affect this site, the users, or anything. Nor do we have any real well to tell what, if any, courses of action will be available.

All any of us can do at this point is wait and see what exactly they come up with for the final treaty, and which countries end up signing it in to law.

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you mean they would arrest us if we dont use a disclaimer? even tho we know that the material does not belong to us? dear me

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That I seriously doubt. As I said, this whole thing is being hammered out to begin with. Currently though, what your disclaimer does is make it so that if I must do anything, it's simply to delete the content in question. Of course, if I did not, then the site itself would be in jeopardy by my refusal to comply. It also makes it so that I do not have to release any information about the users specifically to whoever it is making it to where I must delete content.

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That I seriously doubt. As I said, this whole thing is being hammered out to begin with. Currently though, what your disclaimer does is make it so that if I must do anything, it's simply to delete the content in question. Of course, if I did not, then the site itself would be in jeopardy by my refusal to comply. It also makes it so that I do not have to release any information about the users specifically to whoever it is making it to where I must delete content.

well, i mean it's kinda crazy, because of the fact that we know it don't belong to us, and we make it out of pure fan-ness. so it seems kinda weird that they try something like that on fanmade things.

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you mean they would arrest us if we dont use a disclaimer? even tho we know that the material does not belong to us? dear me

Well in theory since it seeks to criminalize what is currently civil copyright infringement and thus far is purposefully vague as to give authorities and copyright holders a lot of room to work with against people who infringe on copyrights. Fan art and fan fiction, regardless of whether or not there is a disclaimer, infringes on copyright. As it is many copyright holders don't care that much about free fan fiction and fan art, in fact some encourage it since they feel it's good for business, but some are very much opposed to it, especially fan fiction and fan art of an erotic nature, but luckily they don't bother most of the time since current laws make it a civil matter and since it's free the most they could get out of a law suit is the removal of the content. Under the acta laws governing the handling of copyright infringement change. One of the main tools of the acta is giving authorities the ability to go after people without permission from copyright holders and takes away ISP's safe harbor status forcing them to comply with any request for information regardless of whether or not they have a warrant. So if it were to pass it could potentially spell a bit of trouble not just for ff writers but more so for anyone who downloads anything at sources other than directly from copyright holders.

However, as DemonGoddess061 pointed out, it's still being hammered out and might stay that way for a while. In the end it may turn out drastically different than it currently is and hopefully may wind up being implemented very differently than my paranoid mind says it may. Hell, it might even not get passed at all.

Still people should keep an eye on it. some of the stuff proposed in it is down right awful (such as ipod checks for copied music at customs and border crossings, though I'm not sure if that part got shot down yet) and how it's even made it this far is people are being kept in the dark about what's being done. It wasn't my intent to scare anyone and I'm truly sorry if I have but I felt it was a matter too important not to bring up.

P.S. thank you to Demongoddess061 for answering my query in a timely and thorough manner and for all the tremendous hard work you put into this site. and for putting up with a paranoid idiot like me biggrin.gif

Edited by Appleseed

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Appleseed, I'm JUST as paranoid.

I wouldn't so much call it paranoia, as being careful, and wanting to CYA. You bet that I check status on it periodically. Thing is, if it does get passed as proposed, fanfiction sites, fanart sites, and etc would all be in very serious trouble. But, as I said, I expect once it's all hammered out, it will be very different. Add to that, that because it's not something life threatening, such as drugs, it's going to take a long time to get all sides to agree and ratify any form of document. That actually works to our favor for now.

Shunskitten,

We've been through this sort of thing on the having to remove content end, including a cease and desist with one person already. (That would be Anne Rice). That's also why I went through and eliminated all that content, and as it shows up here and there (and it does) I am obliged to delete it as soon as I see it. By complying in that fashion, not only was the site not forced to be shut down via the hosting company (they would have had no choice), I also did not have to release one IOTA of information. Which is exactly how I like it. What gave us the time and made it so it was a more workable solution was the disclaimers, and the format I insist on. It really does help in the initial contact phase, should it occur.

Overall, I'm thankful that most of the people who's work gets ...twisted around (as a form of homage) don't tend to get upset about it, and look at it as free publicity, often.

Having said that, I also can understand and respect where authors get upset at fans trying to make money off their work and worlds, and are more aggressive in protecting themselves and their work. MZB comes to mind, there. Any of you old enough very likely know what I'm talking about, where a fan SUED her for taking an idea (she claimed, it wasn't true) for and about her Darkover series. In that for instance, the author was definitely abused by the fan, as the fan took correspondence they'd been exchanging, and then published, and then claimed it wasn't MZB's original stuff to begin with. Which, if one looks at the chronology of the works, the letters involved and etc, it definitely WAS.

More recently, you have the person who tried to make money off of the Potterverse, via a website I think it was. Ms. Rowling was well within her rights to sue them and get that whole mess shut down, of course.

What both examples point to, however, is that most fans would never do that. It just takes a couple "bad apples" to spoil everything for all the rest of 'em you know.

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I love the fact that our users are so very passionate about the site to ensure that we are aware of things like this. Personally, I try not to sweat stuff like this until it becomes law. Playing the what if game will just end up giving me ulcers lol! But, as DG said, we are definitely keeping an eye on this and any other legislation that may impact the site. the ACTA has already been in the works for 3-4 years and with the way government goes, it may be another 3-4 years before they get close to passing something. When the time comes we'll take appropriate measures and make sure that its communicated to all of you :)

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So far ACTA has fallen through the cracks since, I believe, quite a few countries were not willing to play ball. Although, another issue for Americans using the board has come up. Net neutrality in the US was somewhat done away with around Christmas 2010. So I don't know if the FCC board will be a problem at the moment, it may be a bigger one for the Americans of the board and site later.

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I think ACTA is mostly concerned with movies music and Video based copyrights. I haven't followed it all that closely, but I am fairly sure that so long as proper credit is given books, art content such as manga and the like, those publishers are not going to hit fanfcition very hard. Sadly, that could change at any time. So let's cross our proverbial fingers that the publishing industry does not go all out psychotic about their profits any time soon.

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