Rebecca Tushnet

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Name: Rebecca Tushnet
Also Known As:
Occupation: law professor, former OTW Board member (2007-2010)
Medium: articles, blog
Works: listed
Official Website(s): 43(B)log, web page
Fan Website(s):
On Fanlore: Related pages

Rebecca Tushnet is a professor of law at Harvard specializing in intellectual property. While a professor at Georgetown, she was a founding member of the board of the Organization for Transformative Works, serving from 2007 - 2010.[1] In the Organization for Transformative Works' 2007 introductory post, Tushnet was also announced as the chair of the Legal Committee.[2]

A graduate of both Harvard and Yale, Tushnet clerked for Judge Edward R. Becker of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and A Supreme Court justice David Souter. She has represented and advised fan fiction websites in disputes with copyright and trademark owners and currently serves on the OTW's Legal committee.

Tushnet also writes the widely-followed 43(B)log, which reports on current IP cases, issues, conferences, and debates.

OTW Biography

Rebecca Tushnet is a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center. A graduate of Yale Law School, she clerked for Chief Judge Edward R. Becker of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia and Associate Justice David H. Souter on the Supreme Court. She practiced intellectual property law at Debevoise & Plimpton before joining the NYU faculty, then moving to Georgetown. Her work on copyright, trademark, and free speech has been published in the Yale Law Journal, the UCLA Law Review, and the Texas Law Review, and she maintains a blog on advertising and intellectual property law at She has advised and represented several fanfiction Web sites in disputes with copyright and trademark owners. Tushnet has been active in online fandom since 1996 and has written stories in the X-Files, Buffy, and Smallville fandoms, among others.[3]


Legal Analysis

Her publications on fan fiction and fan culture are extensive; a selection is below.

  • Organization for Transformative Works submits comments on remix to PTO/NTIA (2013)
  • Hybrid Vigor: Mashups, Cyborgs, and Other Necessary Monsters, 6 I/S: J. L. & POL. INFO. SOC. 1 (2010).
  • Economies of Desire: Fair Use and Marketplace Assumptions, 51 WM. & MARY L. REV 513 (2009).
  • User-Generated Discontent: Transformation in Practice, 31 COLUM. J.L. & ARTS 110 (2008).
  • Payment in Credit: Copyright Law and Subcultural Creativity, 70 L. & CONTEMP. PROBS. 135 (2007)
  • Copyright Law, Fan Practices, and the Rights of the Author, in FANDOM: IDENTITIES AND COMMUNITIES IN A MEDIATED WORLD (Jon Grey et al. eds., 2007) (NYU Press).
  • My Fair Ladies: Sex, Gender, and Fair Use in Copyright, 15 AM. U. J. GENDER, SOC. POL’Y & L. 273 (2007)
  • Copy This Essay: How Fair Use Doctrine Harms Free Speech and How Copying Serves It, 114 YALE L.J. 535 (2004)
  • Legal Fictions: Copyright, Fan Fiction, and a New Common Law, 17 LOY. L.A. ENT. L.J. 651 (1997)