Insofar as the public sphere becomes writable, the university classroom needs some protection; a certain contingent erasure from the public sphere. While students ought to do work that is alive in the world– indeed, they report feeling more engaged when they do so– there is also an important need for a buffer zone, since undergraduate education gives students the freedom to take risks, to experiment, and to fail.

Virginia Kuhn & Vicki Callahan, “Nomadic Archives: Remix and the Drift to Praxis”

“Buffy vs Edward” remix unfairly removed by Lionsgate | Ars Technica

“Buffy vs Edward” remix unfairly removed by Lionsgate | Ars Technica

It has been three and a half years since I first uploaded my remix video “Buffy vs Edward: Twilight Remixed” to YouTube. The work is an example of fair use, transformative storytelling which serves as a visual critique of gender roles and representations in modern pop culture vampire media.

Since I published the remix in 2009 it has been viewed over 3 million times on YouTube and fans have translated the subtitles into 30 different languages. It has been featured and written about by the LA Times, Boston Globe, Salon, Slate, Wired, Vanity Fair, and Entertainment Weekly, and it was discussed on NPR radio. It was nominated for a 2010 Webby Award in the best remix/mashup category. The video is used in law school programs, media studies courses, and gender studies curricula across the country. The remix also ignited countless online debates over the troubling ways stalking-type behavior is often framed as deeply romantic in movie and television narratives.

This past summer, together with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, I even screened the remix for the US Copyright Office at the 2012 hearings on exemptions to the DMCA. Afterward, my “Buffy vs. Edward” remix was mentioned by name in the official recommendations by the US Copyright Office (PDF) on exemptions to the DMCA as an example of a transformative noncommercial video work.

Despite the clear and rather unambiguous fair use argument that exists for the video, Lionsgate Entertainment has now abused YouTube’s system, filed a DMCA takedown, and had my remix deleted for “copyright infringement.” Below is a brief chronicle of my struggle to get “Buffy vs Edward” back on YouTube where it belongs.

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 It’ll be interesting to watch where this goes.