10 minutes | Dec 19, 2018
Don’t Let the EU Ruin the Internet For Everyone Else
In the 15th episode of Copy This, host Kirby Ferguson talks with copyright policy advisor Paul Keller about his work to oppose the European Union’s Copyright Directive and its controversial Article 13 content filtering proposal. Paul, along with the #saveyourinternet campaign, have helped lead the public fight against the the restrictive copyright proposal.
9 minutes | Nov 26, 2018
Do You Know How To #dotheshiggy?
If you were a victim of the now infamous viral “rickroll” gag, you may not have even known it would mark your place in a broader viral movement that transcended languages and actually led to the revival of Rick Astley’s career. In the latest Copy This podcast, host Kirby Ferguson points back to this and other peak viral moments when examining the popularity of Drake’s song “In My Feelings.” The song was a summer hit and rose to the top of the charts thanks, in large part, to the help of a viral dance craze by Instagram comedian Shiggy. The song and hashtag #dotheshiggy demonstrate the role the internet has played in changing the way fans participate in culture today, sometimes serving as co-authors of popular works. Through a close look at “In My Feelings” and its rise in the charts, a conversation with music business executive, cultural critic, and media professor Casey Rae, and a fun review of other viral sensations (remember “Sad Affleck”?), this latest podcast will help you better understand how fans and artists are all benefitting from these cultural events with the help of our nation’s carefully balanced copyright laws.
11 minutes | Jul 30, 2018
Copyright: The Conservative Curveball
Is copyright one of those rare policy issues that can bring Republicans and Democrats together in agreement? In a conversation about copyright with FreedomWorks Chief Economist Wayne Brough, Kirby Ferguson tries to break down the complex and evolving relationship between conservatives and copyright law in the digital age. In response to questions about our nation’s copyright law serving as a right or regulation, its role in helping or hurting free speech, and how special interests are changing the intent of our nation’s founders when they incorporated it into the Constitution, Wayne explains the delicate balance needed to promote innovation and reward creators. He cautions against allowing copyright law to swing too far and protect monopolies over culture -- rather than let market forces drive the solution. Tune in to learn more about how the internet is forcing new conversations about copyright and the role of government, and how achieving this delicate balance may just be an issue that bridges both sides of the aisle.
12 minutes | Feb 27, 2018
Copying is Human Nature
Libraries are often overlooked for the important role they play in serving the common good: preserving important works to make knowledge accessible to the public, no matter your station in life. In this latest episode of Copy This, host Kirby Ferguson talks with Laura Quilter, Copyright and Information Policy Librarian at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, about the role copyright plays in education, research and learning. Laura explains that her primary role as a university librarian is to help simplify the complex issue of copyright and its role in education, by helping listeners recognize that it is human nature to copy as part of the learning process. She not only helps make materials accessible for the expansion of knowledge, but also works with both faculty and students to understand their rights to make copies, what is the fair use of a work, how to protect their own works, and so much more. Unsure if you need permission to use an old wartime photo? Ask a librarian. In celebration of Fair Use Week, tune in to expand your own copyright knowledge and what gets librarians excited to party (hint: new works coming into the public domain in 2019).
12 minutes | Nov 30, 2017
Pop Culture and the Public Domain
In the 11th episode of Copy This, host Kirby Ferguson talks with James Boyle, law professor at Duke and co-founder of the Center for the Study of the Public Domain. He is also the co-author of the graphic novels "Theft! A History of Music" and "Bound By Law." The public domain is composed of books, songs, movies, artwork and other copyrighted works that are available for free to the public. Either their copyrights expired over time - as the Founding Fathers intended - or they were never subject to copyright in the first place. This is why popular characters like Frankenstein, the Wizard of Oz, and King Arthur are in the public domain and, therefore, can be reproduced and adapted into other creative formats. The public domain is why Benedict Cumberbatch can star as the eponymous detective in Sherlock Holmes and how musicians can produce holiday albums with classics like “Silent Night” and “Jingle Bells.” Kirby and James will also discuss the entertainment industries’ efforts over the years to extend copyright terms and prevent works from entering the public domain. While it is more difficult to place a work in the public domain today, James explains why the public domain remains an important resource for innovation and creativity, and is critical for allowing the public to access information and historical materials.
15 minutes | Oct 31, 2017
Exporting Balanced Copyright In A Renegotiated NAFTA
As representatives from the United States, Canada and Mexico continue to renegotiate NAFTA, host Kirby Ferguson sits down with University of Ottawa Law Professor Michael Geist in the tenth installment of Copy This to discuss how intellectual property and copyright fits into the trade agreement. While trade agreements were once designed to remove barriers to trade and eliminate tariffs on traditional goods and services, the debate has evolved to include digital trade and intellectual property. Geist explains why copyright limitations and exceptions -- such as fair use and safe harbors -- are just as important for inclusion as copyright enforcement. With fair use industries adding $2.8 trillion to the U.S. economy and benefitting 18 million American workers, NAFTA must include balanced copyright provisions that reflect the realities of today’s digital age.
11 minutes | Sep 11, 2017
Parody Isn’t Always a Laughing Matter
From social media, to videos, to 24-hour cable news, media has a significant influence over how we perceive the modern world. With such a pervasive influence, it is subject to wide criticism and commentary. In the 9th episode of Copy This, host Kirby Ferguson talks with Jack Lerner, Clinical Professor of Law at the University of California-Irvine about the right and wrong way to legally criticize media and the concept of parody. Fair use comes in all forms including using YouTube to catch highlights of your favorite sports teams, or watching late night critical commentary by John Oliver or Samantha Bee. TV shows like The Simpsons and Family Guy which routinely satirize literature, pop culture and music for humorous effects, are possible because of fair use. In the podcast, Lerner explains that criticism and commentary are by far the most common forms of fair use and helps listeners better understand the often misunderstood subset of fair use, parody. Lerner defines parody as “imitating works in a comedic way” and cites a Supreme Court case where rap group 2 Live Crew was sued for releasing a parody song of Roy Orbison’s “Oh Pretty Woman” as an event that changed copyright law forever by ruling in favor of the parody. He also points out that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to fair use, and that each case is treated independently from the next, referencing Refuge from the Storm by Michael Donaldson as an important resource.
12 minutes | Jul 20, 2017
Cosplay, Copyright and Comic-Con
In the eighth episode of Copy This, Kirby sits down with Betsy Rosenblatt, legal chair for the Organization for Transformative Works (OTW), and Sherlock Holmes superfan. Released as OTW and the Re:Create Coalition head to Comic-Con International in San Diego, Betsy points out during the discussion that almost everything that happens at Comic-Con relies on fair use, even taking a photo and posting it online. But another aspect of Comic-Con that relies heavily on copyright law is the concept of fanworks, new creations based on existing creations. Fanworks are produced and written by fans of popular books, movies, and tv shows. Franchises like Star Wars and Harry Potter have been transformed into works of fan fiction. In addition, fanworks go way beyond fan fiction and can include art, games, video montages, cosplay. Even dressing up as Batman or Wonder Woman for Halloween or baking a Mickey Mouse birthday cake count as fanworks. As OTW celebrates its 10th anniversary, Betsy discusses the vast range that fanworks can take, the profound impact the internet has had on fanworks, and why she works with OTW to fight back against Hollywood studios to advocate for fanworks as fair use.
11 minutes | Jul 10, 2017
A New Kind of CEO: Creators In The Digital Age
In the seventh episode of Copy This, Kirby Ferguson sits down with YouTube superstar Peter Hollens to find out what it takes to be a successful a cappella singer and online entrepreneur in today’s digital world. It turns out, there is much more to being an digital star than just creating music. Hollens may have started out as a one man shop, but today he’s a YouTube cover artist with more than 1.5 million subscribers and successful small business owner with more than 25 employees. On top of a lot of hard work and passion, Hollens relies on many types of platforms including YouTube, Patreon, Musical.ly, Live.ly, Houseparty, Facebook and Instagram to connect and collaborate with fans and other artists. He credits his online creative and entrepreneurial success to the protections of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and its safe harbors for making it all possible. Tune in to hear more about how balanced copyright empowers Peter Hollens and other online creators to make a living doing what they love.
7 minutes | May 24, 2017
Copyright Reform To Geek Out Your Toaster? There’s Legislation for That.
In the sixth episode of Copy This, host Kirby Ferguson talks with U.S. Congressman Blake Farenthold (TX-27) about the copyright debates driving conversations among members of Congress.
11 minutes | Apr 26, 2017
Copyright Drives the Beat of Social Justice
The latest episode of Copy This will have you humming along to classic melodies by the Beatles, and more current rhythmic jives to help introduce listeners to the role copyright law plays in enabling social justice movements. While many may think about copyright law in terms of music, books and movies and how to access them, Lateef Mtima, Professor of Law at the Howard University School of Law and Founder and Director of The Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice, points to the Constitution to remind listeners that copyright’s “most important function is to provide people with knowledge, to educate themselves… to share ideas and information.”
9 minutes | Feb 21, 2017
Fair Use: You Use It More Than You Realize
If it is February, it is time to commemorate the importance of Fair Use. This week, Re:Create is proud to take part in the Association of Research Library’s annual Fair Use Week. While those of us at Re:Create recognize just how important and prevalent the principle of fair use is in our lives, especially in this digital age, we also recognize how complex it can be. That is why we are fortunate to feature the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Legal Director Corynne McSherry as our guest on this fourth episode of the Copy This podcast hosted by Kirby Ferguson.
11 minutes | Feb 2, 2017
Notice and Takedown: Leave It Be
Is it time to change our nation’s copyright law? In the third episode of Copy This, host Kirby Ferguson talks with Stanford Law Professor Mark Lemley, about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Despite all that has changed since the passage of 1998 law, Lemley argues the act has worked “amazingly well.”
9 minutes | Jan 19, 2017
A New Era at the Copyright Office
Host Kirby Ferguson talks with Re:Create’s Executive Director Joshua Lamel about the U.S. Copyright Office’s past, present and future, its challenges and critics, and its role in the digital age.
9 minutes | Dec 8, 2016
What Star Wars Can Teach Us About Copyright
Released on December 8, Episode I features a conversation between host Kirby Ferguson and journalist and science fiction author Cory Doctorow as they examine where copyright is working, where it isn’t, and what changes are needed to catch up to the technological innovations of the digital age.