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Published on February 9th, 2010 | by travors


World’s Fair Use Day

January 12th was World’s Fair Use Day. The event was an all-day celebration of the doctrine of fair use: the legal right that allows innovators and creators to make particular uses of copyrighted materials. WFUD was held at the Newseum in Washington D.C., organized by Public Knowledge, a Washington D.C.-based non-profit, consumer-advocacy group.

I was lucky enough to be invited along as a guest speaker, to tell the story of my site Garfield minus Garfield and how it eventually became a book, released with Jim Davis, creator of Garfield.


My panel was made up of remix artists:

Elisa Kreisinger: a video artist, remixer and writer. Elisa constructs narratives from words, images, found footage and popular culture fragments. She also teaches youth media production and literacy, coordinates community productions and facilitate production groups at Cambridge Community Television. Check out her remixes on youtube.

Chris Burke, writer and director of This Spartan Life online TV series. Chris uses video game content to create new stories, in the machinima genre. Video game companies see the value of user generated content as it extends the shelf life of the game. Chris also has the best hair I’ve ever seen.

Jonathan McIntosh, a video remix artist, photographer, new media teacher, consultant and activist. Chris has also worked on numerous media and social justice related projects in the United States and around the world.
Check out his hilarious Buffy/Twilight remix:

Other guests included Mark Hosler of Negativland, Mike Masnick of TechDirt, and directors Brett Gaylor and Kembrew McLeod who showed clips from their brilliant movies RIP: A Remix Manifesto and Copyright Criminals.

Panel discussions on the day were recorded and can be viewed at WFUD’s website. I had a great time and left with great admiration for my fellow guests who challenge overzealous copyright laws and in the process make entertaining and beautiful art and music.

I don’t know if Ireland has a Fair Use law, but given the Irish government’s recent attack on free speech, I highly doubt it. I guess we’ll have to sit back and wait for another, more enlightened, European country to take the lead.


About the Author

Dan Walsh is a musician, artist, nerd and cubicle dweller from Dublin, Ireland. In early 2008 Dan started the webcomic GarfieldMinusGarfield.net which went on to become one of the most celebrated blogs of 2008. It has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, Rolling Stone Magazine, The Washington Post & The New Yorker. He received a book deal with Ballantine Books and Garfield Minus Garfield the book was released in late 2008. His personal blog is travors.com.

2 Responses to World’s Fair Use Day

  1. Allan says:

    That’s brilliant Dan.

  2. travors says:

    Cheers. Next up is ROFLCon in Boston, really looking forward to it 🙂

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