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22

Aug

I originally posted this photo about a week ago. It is a crop of a publicity still released by Fox to promote X-Men: Days Of Future Past. According to an email I received from tumblr, tumblr took down my post this morning at the request of Fox. At the time it was taken down, it had over 30,000 likes/reblogs.

It struck me as strange that Fox asked tumblr to take down a photo Fox itself released to promote their film. Thousands of comic and movie fan blogs have posted the publicity still, drawing attention to the film, which is why the still was released in the first place. But fans on tumblr can’t do the same? I emailed tumblr, saying “But publicity still!” I received this response.

If content is published in a press release that doesn’t give you permission to use it. You should only post copyrighted content on your blog if you’re the copyright holder or have permission from the copyright holder. If you can’t find a way to get such permission, you shouldn’t post the content in order to comply with copyright law.

So  tumblr fans can’t post an officially released publicity still unless they get permission from the copyright holder first. This means, in essence, that they can’t post publicity stills. If that accurately represents tumblr’s current policy, then billions of tumblr posts are going to vanish, starting with 99 percent of tumblr’s curated film tag.

 A policy that restrictive seems unimaginable. But tumblr is currently wooing businesses to open tumblr accounts. If any of those businesses are entertainment conglomerates like Fox, then tumblr will be pressured to remove all Fox-related posts which do not originate through the official Fox (for example) tumblr account.

In the meantime, tumblr-ists, remember not to make any posts about X-Men: Days Of Future Past until you’ve cleared them with Fox legal first. While I’m using a joking tone, it isn’t a joke, because tumblr can delete my account for “copyright violation.” If that email accurately represents tumblr policy, then my tumblr account (and every tumblr account I follow) will inevitably get axed, and tumblr will become a wasteland of corporate-blessed media no one can crop, re-size, mash up, or otherwise fannishly transform.

I originally posted this photo about a week ago. It is a crop of a publicity still released by Fox to promote X-Men: Days Of Future Past. According to an email I received from tumblr, tumblr took down my post this morning at the request of Fox. At the time it was taken down, it had over 30,000 likes/reblogs.

It struck me as strange that Fox asked tumblr to take down a photo Fox itself released to promote their film. Thousands of comic and movie fan blogs have posted the publicity still, drawing attention to the film, which is why the still was released in the first place. But fans on tumblr can’t do the same? I emailed tumblr, saying “But publicity still!” I received this response.

If content is published in a press release that doesn’t give you permission to use it. You should only post copyrighted content on your blog if you’re the copyright holder or have permission from the copyright holder. If you can’t find a way to get such permission, you shouldn’t post the content in order to comply with copyright law.

So tumblr fans can’t post an officially released publicity still unless they get permission from the copyright holder first. This means, in essence, that they can’t post publicity stills. If that accurately represents tumblr’s current policy, then billions of tumblr posts are going to vanish, starting with 99 percent of tumblr’s curated film tag.

A policy that restrictive seems unimaginable. But tumblr is currently wooing businesses to open tumblr accounts. If any of those businesses are entertainment conglomerates like Fox, then tumblr will be pressured to remove all Fox-related posts which do not originate through the official Fox (for example) tumblr account.

In the meantime, tumblr-ists, remember not to make any posts about X-Men: Days Of Future Past until you’ve cleared them with Fox legal first. While I’m using a joking tone, it isn’t a joke, because tumblr can delete my account for “copyright violation.” If that email accurately represents tumblr policy, then my tumblr account (and every tumblr account I follow) will inevitably get axed, and tumblr will become a wasteland of corporate-blessed media no one can crop, re-size, mash up, or otherwise fannishly transform.

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    What this will mean is that people will begin to decamp and go elsewhere, and the very audience that the media related...
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