Looks like your Disney fanfics and other IP are fucked bloomvalyria.tumblr.com

Submitted by FuckCopyright in anticapital

Original text

Disney Wants Your Stuff. (No, I’m serious, they literally say you own the copyright to your fanwork until they say that THEY own it, i.e. Welcome to the new Disney TOS, Baby.

First up, the link, so chill already: https://disneytermsofuse.com/ Your relevant and terrifying passage(s) are the entirety of Section 7. Go read it. I’ll wait.

Now. First thing to understand is that the legal language within the new TOS implies that Disney is only referring to people who use its services, people who clicked and agreed to this new TOS. But it’s implication only. That’s not what this TOS actually says.

This TOS spends a lot of time defining fanworks, or as they call it, User Generated Content.

They want to make it clear that,

a) You totally have the right to make User Generated Content (UGC) all you want.

b) You can put that UGC anywhere you want, whether they own the site or someone else does. What matters is that you’ve put that UGC in a publically accessible place…like, oh, AO3.

c) Disney spends a few breaths saying that the creator of the UGC owns the copyright to that UGC…except if you read those words carefully, they’re not guaranteeing you anything, because THEY own the copyright.

d) Disney then says, since they own the copyright to your UGC, they can literally do anything they want with it. They can steal it, crib it, use the entire thing as their own, make money off of it, reprint it, ANYTHING–and you do not get credit. You do not get paid. You do not get acknowledgement. You might get a DMCA telling you take down your UGC because it is now their content that they’re selling and how dare you steal from them. (No, I’m not kidding.)

e) Nobody seems to know a fucking thing about this.

f) The bullshit on Twitter over May the Fourth was just a smokescreen, sorry. https://www.theverge.com/2020/4/28/21238909/disney-star-wars-maythe4th-hashtag-copyright-contract-twitter

Disney doesn’t want your Tweets. They just wanted to see who was paying attention, and how, and if they could get away with it. (Yes, they did go after someone who reposted Disney’s own tweets. No more information on that yet.)

g) Yes, you should absolutely take this seriously. You should be terrified, because how many fan content creators have the bank to fight this if their “copyrighted content” that Disney specifies is still their copyrighted content is stolen? OTW exists for this very reason, but this is fucking Disney. They. Own. Almost. Everything. In. The. Corporate. United. States. Entertainment. Industry.

h) No, your MCU, Star Wars, Pixar, Disney animated films, ANY such fanworks, are not safe. If Disney likes it, they will take it. If you say they can’t, they’ll point to their new site-wide TOS and say that they can. Is that legal? Don’t actually know, but think about who’s in the White House right now. Think about who he’d support. Yes, the Library of Congress and the House of Reps are supposed to be in charge, but how long until we could push for them to deal with/fix this shit?

i) Yes, Disney is probably trying to steal content in order to survive the pandemic, seeing as their major sources of revenue (parks and movies) aren’t happening right now.

j) Yes, I will be removing my Star Wars content. I didn’t work on that fucking story for nearly 20 years just for some corporate shill to fucking steal it.

k) Someone who currently wishes to remain anonymous has pinged an OTW peep to see if they’re aware.

l) If they weren’t so specific to point out that they really do mean Any Public Place, I wouldn’t be so concerned…but it doesn’t. This isn’t just about their services. This is about the entire fucking internet.

That’s it. You guys now know everything I know, so no, I wouldn’t be able to answer any of your questions. I suggest spreading the word, if only so someone else with more information can step up and reassure us that Disney can’t do what they believe they can do…

…but it’s fucking DISNEY. They nearly destroyed Public Domain in the United States over fucking Mickey Mouse a hundred years ago. Do you really think they’re going to say, “Oh, sorry, our bad” about this?

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masque wrote (edited )

I'm as anti-copyright as the next anarchist, but I feel like this doesn't really understand the TOS.

Now. First thing to understand is that the legal language within the new TOS implies that Disney is only referring to people who use its services, people who clicked and agreed to this new TOS. But it’s implication only. That’s not what this TOS actually says.

This is incorrect. Section 1 of the TOS explicitly states that this is an agreement between Disney and users of Disney products. Note, however, that a "click" is not necessarily needed, and it's possible that simply watching a Disney movie could be enough to make you a user of a Disney product.

This TOS spends a lot of time defining fanworks, or as they call it, User Generated Content. ...

b) You can put that UGC anywhere you want, whether they own the site or someone else does. What matters is that you’ve put that UGC in a publically accessible place…like, oh, AO3.

This is also incorrect. The author is implying that any Disney fan work is considered UGC, but in the text of the TOS, User Generated Content refers to content uploaded to/via a Disney service (specifically, content that "the Disney Products may ask for or allow you to communicate, submit, upload or otherwise make available..."). Keep in mind also that the term "user generated content" is widely used in TOSes and has a generally accepted meaning.

Disney spends a few breaths saying that the creator of the UGC owns the copyright to that UGC…except if you read those words carefully, they’re not guaranteeing you anything, because THEY own the copyright.

For UGC in general (i.e. any comments etc. uploaded to a Disney service), the user retains the copyright but grants Disney a license to do whatever the fuck they want (as is the case for literally every other service that allows user-uploaded content).

The exception is that UGC which "requires the use of our [Disney's] copyrighted works" must have the copyright assigned to Disney in exchange for a license to create the work in the first place, which is scummy, but, as already stated, only applies to stuff uploaded to a Disney service.

So, in summary:

  • If you upload content to a Disney service that doesn't use Disney copyrighted material, you retain the copyright but Disney is also licensed to do whatever they want with it (same as any other site).
  • If you upload a Disney-infringing fan work to a Disney service, then they might license you to produce that content, but claim copyright over the resulting work (which is scummy, but also very avoidable).
  • If you upload an infringing fan work only to some 3rd-party service (AO3 etc.) then Disney can go after it for copyright infringement in the conventional way.

In conclusion, fuck copyright, but this TOS does not pose a greater threat to fan works than already existed. And Disney is definitely not able to claim copyright over arbitrary works written by people who just happen to have also used a Disney product.

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FuckCopyright OP wrote (edited )

I hope this doesn't affect anyone who doesn't use Disney IP and a Disney service (since while I don't have a problem with Disney IP itself, it generally doesn't interest me); I'm merely worried for any IP I may generate and it being claimed by such parties, as these users are, and I refuse to generally have any IP I feel ready to publish locked up under wraps.

If you upload an infringing fan work only to some 3rd-party service (AO3 etc.) then Disney can go after it for copyright infringement in the conventional way.

The last point though is what most fanfic writers are worried about because this licenses Disney to scour the internet for unauthorized use of their IP and prevent fandom culture from existing without having to pay Disney royalties - most other companies (for now) generally have a hands-off approach to user-generated content or even capitalize on it as opposed to trying to sue them to hell.

The implications this has unto some people is that it can really fuck with how one can use the web, especially considering that Disney has bought Marvel and can theoretically buy any IP they please.

I am hoping that they only stick to Disney-related content but eventually the only entertainment we could get is either owned by Disney or in dangerously close reach to them.

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masque wrote (edited )

The last point though is what most fanfic writers are worried about because this licenses Disney to scour the internet for unauthorized use of their IP and prevent fandom culture from existing without having to pay Disney royalties

They could already do this, though. The new TOS does not change this in any way.

I mean, the exact legal status of fanfic is a bit fuzzy, but big corporations have always interpreted copyright as broadly as possible, and even corporations that officially "allow" fanfiction usually still believe that they could take it down if they wanted to.

I'm not saying there's no problem with Disney & fanfic. I'm just saying that this TOS change in particular means very little unless you're posting your fan works on a Disney-owned service, and even then the change seems aimed at "allowing" fan works to use Disney copyright, but in a way that gives Disney total control.

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