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Help OTW Advocate for Fan-Friendly Law In New Zealand

It’s an active time for OTW’s copyright-law advocacy, and if you’re in or from New Zealand, we need your help! Here’s what you can do.

We’re hard at work arguing for fan-friendly law around the world. In addition to our continuing work in the EU and our upcoming testimony to the U.S. Copyright Office about the importance of safe harbors for online service providers, we’ll also be submitting a comment to the government of New Zealand in connection with that country’s review of its Copyright Act.

Here’s where you come in! As we’ve done in many countries, including Canada, Australia, the U.S., and South Africa, we’d like our New Zealand submission to include first-hand accounts from New Zealanders about the benefits of laws that promote the creation and sharing of transformative works.

If you’re in or from New Zealand and have expressed yourself, gained skills, been part of creative communities, or otherwise experienced the benefits of being able to create transformative works, we’d love to hear your stories. They can be long or short–just give us some specifics about why making and enjoying fanworks matters to you, so we can include those stories in our submission.

The deadline is approaching quickly! Please send your stories to us by April 3 using our contact form (scroll down to “Legal Advocacy”) or e-mailing us at legal [at] transformativeworks.org. (Feel free to use a pseudonym if you don’t want us to share your personally identifying information.)

One thought to “Help OTW Advocate for Fan-Friendly Law In New Zealand”

  1. I am a New Zealand citizen, currently living abroad. Fandom and transformative fan fiction are an important part of my life and have contributed to my education, work and social experiences. I learned to code as a fan in order to design webpages and a recommendation database which helped me get a job as programmer in the late 1990s. I learned many editorial and writing skills through my own writing and the shared editorial of other fans’ writing over the next three decades that went on to help with my freelance writing and editorial career. I have edited four print books, written one non-fiction print book, many magazine articles and edited technical and copy for corporate, non-profit and fiction-writing clients. As I left university under pressure from my ex-husband before graduating, none of this would be possible without the skills and support of the fandom community and the experience in writing transformative fiction with them.

    Through fandom, as a young teenager to a young woman in an isolating abusive marriage, fandom friends were very often the only social outlet I had. My ex-husband cut off access to my fandom community in the later part of our marriage to further isolate me and this loss of the warm and supportive community I had built through creative exchanges of writing, art and other content curation was devastating.

    My children have been raised in a household now where content is celebrated as a starting point. We tell what-if stories and write sequels in our family. My oldest children who have been through serious trauma found the experience of reinventing themselves through the stories of Buffy, Babylon 5, Star Wars and Avatar a way to reframe their own family histories and explore the narratives of their lives.

    This month, my youngest daughter was asked to present a fairytale for her school. She chose Perseus vs Medusa, retold from Medusa’s point of view and with Medusa, a survivor of violation and gifted with protective powers, slaying Perseus as the invader of her island. She doesn’t understand copyright law at her age but the power of taking a story and transform it is already a powerful tool. I hope very much that New Zealand gives her and other children the freedom to explore modern stories as well.

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