FROM DOCUMENTARIES TO FANVIDS: PARTICIPATORY CULTURE, VIDEO REMIX AND COPYRIGHT – AN ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Anderson, N. (2009, Jan 15). What fair use? Three strikes and you’re out… of YouTube [online]. Ars Technica. Retrieved March 27, 2009 from http://arstechnica.com/ tech-policy/news/2009/01/what-fair-use-three-strikes-and-youre-out-of-youtube.ars

This short article from Ars Technica, a respected tech-news blog, discusses the questionable policy of YouTube in complying with the DMCA notice-takedown system in regards to fair use and the use of materials for educational or critiquing purposes. Anderson also takes on YouTube’s “three strikes your out” policy, in which user accounts are disabled if they receive three or more takedown notices. Though the article only interviews users who have been hurt by this policy, not copyright holders who ordered the initial takedown notice, this work is prevalent to those interested in current remix copyright issues.

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Aufderheide, P. & Jaszi, P. (2008). Recut, reframe, recycle: Quoting copyrighted material in user-generated video. Center for Social Media. Retrieved March 20th, fromhttp://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/files/pdf/CSM_Recut_Reframe_Recycle_report.pdf

Auferheide and Jaszi, professors at the American University’s School of Communication Center for Social Media, detail in this multimedia report how many video remixes are eligible for fair use consideration due to the nature of the work being a parody, commentary, trigger for discussion, or other uses applicable to fair use. In addition, the authors recommend the creation of a committee comprised of remixers, scholars and lawyers to develop a set of best-practices. This work would be helpful to those looking to further understand the application of fair use to video remixes and those interested in creating change to current copyright law.

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Charmax (2009). Unnatural selection [Video]. Retrieved March 29, 2009 fromhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vxQl7977BE

This video, entitled Natural Selection, is an excellent example of a multi-faceted remix video and shows how fanvids can be transformative. The video itself is a mashup of clips from Battlestar Galactica and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, while the audio is a dance remix of The Pixies’ “Monkey Gone to Heaven”. Charmax (the creator and uploader of the remix) has pulled scenes and music together to exhibit a theme that is prevalent to both shows: The end of the world.

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Coombe, R.J. (1998). The cultural life of intellectual properties: Authorship, appropriation, and the law. Duke University Press: Durham.

Rosemary Coombe discusses how intellectual property law can be used to study the relationship between culture and law. Delving into the culture and law of celebrity, Coombe also looks at how marginalized groups often create alternative (and subjective) interpretations of materials, including women’s reimagining of the Star Trek world. Coombes work is rife with interesting examples and is a seminal work on the intersection between culture of authorship and law.

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Copyright Website (n.d.). Copyright casebook: David Bowie, Queen and Vanilla Ice. Retrieved March 28, 2009 from http://www.benedict.com/audio/Vanilla/Vanilla.aspx

The Copyright Website is a simple site that documents copyright cases regarding the sampling of music. Though not an academic work, the site functions to provide quick and easy facts about major music sampling controversies.

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Jenkins, H. (1992). Textual Poachers: Television Fans & Participatory Culture. Routledge: New York.

As an academic who has been following the creation of fanvids for over 15 years, Jenkins is one of the leading experts on video remix culture. Though written in 1992, this book is especially helpful in looking at the history of video remix and the underground status of fanvid creators. Jenkins conducts extensive interviews with some of the leading video remixers, all of whom chose to remain anonymous due to the possible illegality of their works. An excellent look into the culture from an insider’s point of view, Jenkins work could be seen as supporting a case for fair use, especially as the people interviewed see their work as creative and adding value to the original work.

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Jhally, S. (2008). Sut Jhally on MTV & fair use [Video]. Retrieved March 28, 2009 fromhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iTQ5IA7Uqw

As the founder of the Media Education Foundation, Sut Jhally is a leading academic on video remix and fair use. In this interview, Jhally discusses his struggles with MTV over the creation of documentary-style video remixes for academic purposes, the impetus for creating the MEF, and the importance of fair use and educational remix videos.

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Kravets, D. (2008, July 18). Universal says DMCA takedown notices can ignore ‘fair use’. Wired.com. Retrieved April 26, 2009 from http://www.wired.com/ threatlevel/2008/07/universal-says

This short news coverage regarding the questionable removal of a YouTube video using the DMCA takedown notice system illustrates the ways in which the DMCA is being used to take down materials that are obvious cases of fair use. Although Universal Music (the copyright owners in this case) admitted that the material was indeed an instance of fair use, Universal maintained that fair use should not be a consideration in takedown notices and that even copyright owners who file takedown notices in clear cases of fair use should not be liable for monetary damages.

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Kreisinger, E. (2009, March 21). Political Remix Video. Retrieved March 29th, 2009 fromhttp://www.politicalremixvideo.com/2009/03/21/detachable-penis/

Political Remix Video is a site dedicated to “transforming mass media” by advocating for the creation of transformative remix videos. As one half of the creative team behind PRV, Kreisinger is a well-known video artist and writer who has direct experience participating in remix culture and focuses on “deconstructing identities of race and gender through remixing”. This particular article, though short, is important in that it discusses how our own knowledge and background can affect how we view videos as being critical and/or political. The intent of the creator is often not known, and though there are cultural themes that may seem explicitly political, fanvids are not necessarily critical or political in nature.

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Lessig, L. (2008). Remix: Making art and commerce thrive in a hybrid economy. Penguin Press: New York.

As the celebrity copyright critic of this generation, Lawrence Lessig has established himself as an important scholar who also speaks to the masses. The latest book from Lessig focuses on defining and exploring remix culture and what this shift in cultural norms means for copyright law. In looking towards the future, Lessig makes proposals for copyright reform that will work with remix culture rather than against it.

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Manovich, L. (2007). What comes after remix? Retrieved from http://remixtheory.net/ ?p=169

In this piece, Manovich takes a very basic look at the history and theory of remix in order to gain better understanding of its cultural importance. From art, music, literature, video, software (better known as mash-ups), Manovich documents how remix has transitioned from being about primarily about music to encompassing other areas of innovation; even though remix is not just a passing fad but a facet of mainstream culture, copyright law has not been revised to adapt to this cultural revolution. This is a good article for those new to thinking about remix as a cultural phenomenon in gaining a basic understanding and provide fodder to begin thinking about the future of remix.

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McLeod, K. (2004). How copyright law changed hip hop [Electronic version]. Stay Free Magazine, 20. Retrieved March 28, 2009 from http://www.stayfreemagazine.org/archives/20/public_enemy.html

As an associate professor at the University of Iowa, McLeod is a prominent writer and documentary filmmaker whose work focuses on pop music and intellectual property law. In this interview with Chuck D and Hank Shocklee, pioneers of digital sampling, the three discuss the history of sampling in hip-hop. Two separate interviews compiled into one narrative, this piece is an excellent look through the eyes of industry insiders at how copyright law has ultimately changed hip-hop music.

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Porter, J.E. & Devoss D.N. (2006). Rethinking Plagiarism in the Digital Age: Remixing as a Means for Economic Development. Wide Research Center 2006 Conference.

In looking at remix from a literary point of view, Porter and Devoss note that the pay-per-use structure currently in place is detrimental to creativity (and thus the economy), and that all authors and innovators borrow from others. They advocate for academics to turn their focus away from copyright law and look towards a focus on the ethics of fair use.

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Radosh, D. (2004, June 22). Harry Potter: The digital remix. Salon.com. Retrieved April 3, 2009 from http://dir.salon.com/story/ent/feature/2004/06/22/harry/index1.html

In looking at a case study of how remixing can be transformative, Radosh takes a look at the work of Brad Neely, a well-known independent comic book artist and cartoonist. In 2004, Neely’s Wizard People, Dear Reader became a cult hit with adult fans of Harry Potter. This article details the creation of Wizard People, as well as the copyright issues and subsequent end of public performances due to the infringing nature of the work.

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Sanchez, J (2009, Feb. 12). Animal rights vs. rodeo DMCA takedown fight settled. Ars Technica. Retrieved April 26, 2009 from http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/02/shark-vs-cowboy-dmca-fight-settled.ars

In this piece from Ars Technica, Sanchez looks into the most recent communications regarding the YouTube/DMCA takedown policy. In attempt to censor SHARK, an animal rights group who had been using videos to demonstrate the cruelty of rodeos, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) filed unwarranted complaints for DMCA takedown notices of materials they did not own the rights to. Though initially successful, SHARK struck back with a lawsuit, which ended in a settlement. As part of the settlement, the PRCA agreed to discuss copyright matters with the group directly rather than just filing a complaint. This case is important, as it demonstrates a new way for copyright holders to deal with potential copyright infringement.

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Schwabach, A. (2009). The Harry Potter Lexicon and the world of fandom: Fan fiction, outsider works, and copyright. University of Pittsburgh Law Review, 70(3) (forthcoming in 2009). SSRN eLibrary. Retrieved from http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1274293.

Schwabach’s work, which focuses on the copyright issues surrounding fanfiction, is remarkable in not only its description of fan culture, or fandom, but also in its analysis of key cases that demonstrate how copyright law is currently working in fanfiction. Fanfiction and fanvids are similar types of user-generated content that utilize different formats; many of the legal analyses Schwabach’s uses for fanfiction can also be applied to remix video. Current and well-researched, this work is very important in thinking about the legality of fan-created content, including the use of multimedia in fan works.

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Tushnet, R. (1997). Legal fictions: Copyright, fan fiction, and a new common law. Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Journal, 17(3), 651-686.

As the founder of the Organization for Transformative Works, Tushnet, who is both a law professor at Georgetown University and a writer of fan fiction, is a well-known advocate for carving out a legal space for fan works. In this seminal work, Tushnet describes the murky legal status of fan works, utilizing extensive in-depth footnotes and case studies. Outlining the factors for fair use, Tushnet argues for the protection of non-commercial works and a reexamination of copyright law to more adequately reflect copyright norms. Tushnet’s blog is also an excellent resource on the topic, and this work is a must-read for all individuals interested in the legality of fan works in relation to copyright law.

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Vaidhyanathan, S. (2001). Copyrights and copywrongs: The rise of intellectual property and how it threatens creativity. New York University Press: New York.

As one of the leading scholars on intellectual property, Vaidhyanathan is more than qualified to tackle this complex topic. Focusing on consumer culture, Vaidhyanathan’s work utilizes cases studies to show how copyright is negatively affecting creativity in the arts. Chapter four, which is devoted to music, is especially helpful in seeing the history of remix and sampling in not just hip-hop music, but other genres such as rock and pop as well.

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Vineyard, J. (2007). Britney Spears launches fan-made-video contest – Winning clip to air on ‘TRL’. MTV.com. Retrieved March 28, 2009 fromhttp://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1575400/20071129/spears_britney.jhtml

By opening their archive of materials, MTV’s promotional contest was beneficial to not only end-users, but the corporation and Britney Spears as well. In promoting the use of copyrighted material by fans, MTV has validated remix as a cultural art-form that brings users outside of their typical roles as consumers.

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Von Lohmann, F (2009, Feb. 3).YouTube’s January fair use massacre. Electronic Frontier Foundation. Retrieved March 26, 2009 from http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/01/youtubes-january-fair-use-massacre

In detailing the new system that YouTube has employed to curb copyright infringement, this article is not only a news piece, but a call to arms. YouTube’s Content ID system is an automated way for copyright owners to find potential copyright infringing videos, but it highly flawed. In searching for content, it does not factor in fair use, thus removing videos that are not necessarily infringing. In addition, Von Lohmann calls for YouTube to change their system and offers assistance to people who have been unfairly targeted by copyright owners employing Content ID.

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