Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Someone Is Angry On the Internet

My position on so-called "fan fiction" is pretty well known. I'm against it, for a variety of reasons that I've stated previously more than once. I won't repeat 'em here.

My position is not unique. It is not universal either, I realize. Some writers actually encourage fan fiction (I know some of them, have heard their arguments), others don't seem to care one way or another (I know many of those). Many writers have no idea that it exists, no concept of what it is (in part because of the confusing term "fan fiction," which subject I will return to later), and have given the subject no thought. So there's a wide range of opinion on this matter, even among writers.

There are lots of us who oppose fan fiction, though. One such is my friend Diana Gabaldon, author of the mega-bestselling OUTLANDER series... and the occasional terrific short story and novella, some of which Gardner Dozois and I have been privileged to publish in our anthologies. Diana recently outlined her own feelings about fan fiction -- especially fan fiction involving her own world and characters -- in a series of posts on her blog:


Subsequent to Diana's first post, all hell broke loose. (As it seems to do more and more often on this "interweb" thingie). A thousand comments on her first two blog posts on the subject. It's all there, for those who want to check out the "debate." Which soon, alas, became heated, as hundreds of... what's the correct term here? fanficcers? fan fictioneers? fans of fanfic? defenders of fanfic?... arrived from all over the internet to take issue with Diana. A good number of them seemed to open their posts with variations on 'I don't know who you are and I've never read your books and I've never visited this blog before, but I've come by specially to lambast you.'


I have a colorful metaphor in mind to describe what this reminds me of, but I won't use it. Metaphors seemed to spark much of the outrage here. Writers have a natural prediliction for the colorful phrase, the striking comparison, but in political discussions -- and this is, at base, a political discussion -- that can lead to hyperbole, which can lead to anger.

So let me try to eschew all that and remain calm.

I am not going to rehash the arguments for and against "fan fiction." If you want to read those, go to Diana's blog. In between the shouting and the abuse and the endless restatement of the same three or four points by several hundred different posters, there's actually some fairly cogent posts on both sides, arguing the pros and cons of the issue.

I would like to say a couple of things that I don't think anyone else covered, however (and yes, I read all thousand-plus comments, though admittedly I skimmed some that just seemed to be more of the same).

As I said, my reasons for opposing fan fiction have been stated in the past. They are more-or-less the same reasons as those cited by Diana Gabaldon, and pretty much the same reasons that would given by any writer who shares our viewpoint on the matter. So I won't repeat them here. But I'll add a few thoughts.

One of the things I mislike about fan fiction is its NAME. Truth is, I wrote fan fiction myself. That was how I began, when I was a kid in high school writing for the dittoed comic fanzines of the early 1960s. In those days, however, the term did not mean "fiction set in someone else's universe using someone else's characters." It simply meant "stories written by fans for fans, amateur fiction published in fanzines." Comic fandom was in its infancy then, and most of us who started it were kids... some of whom did make the mistake of publishing amateur fan-written stories about Batman or the Fantastic Four in their 'zines. National (what we called DC back then) and Marvel shut those down pretty quickly.

The rest of us knew better. Including me. I was a fan, an amateur, writing stories out of love just like today's fan fictioneers... but it never dawned on me to write about the JLA or the Fantastic Four or Spider-Man, much as I loved them. I invented my own characters, and wrote about those. Garizan, the Mechanical Warrior. Manta Ray. The White Raider. When Howard Keltner, one of the editors and publishers of STAR-STUDDED COMICS, the leading fanzine of its day, invited me to write about two of his creations, Powerman and Dr. Weird, I leapt at the chance... but only with Howard's express invitation and permission.

So that's the sort of fan fiction I wrote. How and when the term began to be used for what is called fan fiction today, I don't know. I wish there was another term for that, though I confess I cannot think of one that isn't either cumbersome, vague, or prejorative. But it does bother me that people hear I wrote fan fiction, and take that to mean I wrote stories about characters taken from the work of other writers without their consent.

Consent, for me, is the heart of this issue. If a writer wants to allow or even encourage others to use their worlds and characters, that's fine. Their call. If a writer would prefer not to allow that... well, I think their wishes should be respected.

Myself, I think the writers who allow fan fiction are making a mistake. I am not saying here that the people who write fan fiction are evil or immoral or untrustworthy. The vast majority of them are honest and sincere and passionate about whatever work they chose to base their fictions on, and have only the best of intentions for the original author. But (1) there are always a few, in any group, who are perhaps less wonderful, and (2) this door, once opened, can be very difficult to close again.

Most of us laboring in the genres of science fiction and fantasy (but perhaps not Diana Gabaldon, who comes from outside SF and thus may not be familiar with the case I am about to cite) had a lesson in the dangers of permitting fan fiction a couple of decades back, courtesy of Marion Zimmer Bradley. MZB had been an author who not only allowed fan fiction based on her Darkover series, but actively encouraged it... even read and critiqued the stories of her fans. All was happiness and joy, until one day she encountered in one such fan story an idea similar to one she was using in her current Darkover novel-in-progress. MZB wrote to the fan, explained the situation, even offered a token payment and an acknowledgement in the book. The fan replied that she wanted full co-authorship of said book, and half the money, or she would sue. MZB scrapped the novel instead, rather than risk a lawsuit. She also stopped encouraging and reading fan fiction, and wrote an account of this incident for the SFWA FORUM to warn other writers of the potential pitfalls of same.

That was twenty years ago or thereabouts, but that episode had a profound effect on me and, I suspect, on many other SF and fantasy writers of my generation.

Okay, it was one incident a long time ago, you may say. Fair enough. Let me bring up a couple other writers, then. Contemporaries of an earlier age, each of whom was known by a set of initials: ERB and HPL. ERB created Tarzan and John Carter of Mars. HPL created Cthulhu and his Mythos. ERB, and later his estate, was extremely protective of his creations. Try to use Tarzan, or even an ape man who was suspiciously similar to Tarzan, without his/ their permission, and their lawyers would famously descend on you like a ton of bricks. HPL was the complete opposite. The Cthulhu Mythos soon turned into one of our genres first shared worlds. HPL encouraged writer friends like Robert Bloch and Clark Ashton Smith to borrow elements from his Cuthulhu Mythos, and to add elements as well, which HPL himself would borrow in turn. And in time, other writers who were NOT friends of HPL also began to write Cthulhu Mythos stories, which continues to this day.

Fair enough. Two writers, two different decisions.

Thing is, ERB died a millionaire many times over, living on a gigantic ranch in a town that was named Tarzana after his creation. HPL lived and died in genteel poverty, and some biographers have suggested that poor diet brought on by poverty may have hastened his death. HPL was a far more beloved figure amongst other writers, but love will only get you so far. Sometimes it's nice to be able to have a steak too. The Burroughs estate was paid handsomely for every Tarzan movie ever made, and collected plenty on the PRINCESS OF MARS movie I worked on during my Hollywood years, and no doubt is still collecting on the one currently in development... though the book is in the public domain by now. Did the Lovecraft estate make a penny off THE DUNWICH HORROR movie, the HERBERT WEST, REANIMATOR movie, the recent DAGON movie, the internet version of CALL OF CTHULHU? I don't know. I rather doubt it. If they did, I'll betcha it was just chump change. Meanwhile, new writers go right on mining the Cthulhu mythos, writing new stories and novels.

Cthulhu, like John Carter, is in the public domain by now, I know. But it wouldn't matter. Because HPL let so many others play in his sandbox, he essentially lost control of his own creations. That's what I mean by (2), above. The fan fiction door, once opened, is hard to close again.

A writer's creations are his livelihood. Those copyrights are ultimately all that separates an ERB from a HPL. Is it any wonder that most writers are so protective of them?

Those of us, like Diana Galabdon and myself, who prefer not to allow fan fictioners to use our worlds and characters are not doing it just to be mean. We are doing it to protect ourselves and our creations.

Furthermore, we HAVE to do it. That's something no one addressed, in those thousand comments about Diana's blog. There was a lot of talk about copyright, and whether or not fan fiction was illegal, whether it was fair use (it is NOT fair use, by the way, not as I understand the term, and I have a certain familiarity with what is and isn't fair use thanks to my own experiences with THE ARMAGEDDON RAG), but no one mentioned one crucial aspect of copyright law -- a copyright MUST BE DEFENDED. If someone infringes on your copyright, and you are aware of the infringement, and you do not defend your copyright, the law assumes that you have abandoned it. Once you have done that, anyone can do whatever the hell they want with your stuff. If I let Peter and Paul and Nancy publish their Ice & Fire fanfics, and say nothing, then I have no ground to stand on when Bill B. Hack and Ripoff Publishing decide they will publish an Ice & Fire novel and make some bucks. Peter and Paul and Nancy may be the nicest people in the world, motivated only by sincere love of my world and characters, but Bill B. Hack and Ripoff don't give a damn. They just want the bucks.

Once you open that door, you can't control who might come in.

No one would ever do that, I hear someone muttering in the back. Hoo hah. The history of publishing is full of such cases. Even the famously and fiercely litigious ERB estate was famously victimized back in the 60s, when someone forget to timely renew the copyright on a Tarzan book, and a bottom rung comic company noticed and promptly started up a completely unauthorized (and unpaid for) Tarzan comic.

Those are some of the reasons writers like me will not permit fanfic, but before I close, let me put aside the legal and financial aspects of all this for a moment, and talk about more personal ones. Here, I think, Diana Gabaldon absolutely hit the nail on the head in the latest of her blog posts on the subject. And here, she and I agree completely. Many years ago, I won a Nebula for a story called "Portraits of His Children," which was all about a writer's relationship with the characters he creates. I don't have any actual children, myself (Diana does). My characters are my children, I have been heard to say. I don't want people making off with them, thank you. Even people who say they love my children. I'm sure that's true, I don't doubt the sincerity of the affection, but still...

I have sometimes allowed other writers to play with my children. In Wild Cards, for instance, which is a shared world. Lohengrin, Hoodoo Mama, Popinjay, the Turtle, and all my other WC creations have been written by other writers, and I have written their characters. But I submit, this is NOT at all the same thing. A shared world is a tightly controlled environment. In the case of Wild Cards, it's controlled by me. I decide who gets to borrow my creations, and I review their stories, and approve or disapproval what is done with them. "No, Popinjay would say it this way," I say, or "Sorry, the Turtle would never do that," or, more importantly (this has never come up in Wild Cards, but it did in some other shared worlds), "No, absolutely not, your character may not rape my character, I don't give a fuck how powerful you think it would be."

And that's Wild Cards. A world and characters created to be shared. It's not at all the same with Ice & Fire. No one gets to abuse the people of Westeros but me.


I have gone on longer than I intended, but I think this is important stuff. "Fan fiction" -- or whatever you want to call it -- has been around for a long time, but never like now. The internet has changed everything. Whereas before the fanfic might be published in obscure fanzines with a circulation of a hundred, now tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, can read these... well, let's just call them "unauthorized derivative works." (Except in cases where the writer has authorized 'em, which I suppose would be "authorized derivative works.") More than ever, we need some boundaries here.

I salute Diana Gabaldon for opening the debate.

And now I step back, and await the onslaught.

(But a word of warning. I'm not nearly as nice a person as Diana is, and this Not A Blog is screened and monitored by my assistant Ty. Diana was willing to let everything go in her comments section. I'm not. So -- my roof, my rules. Disagree, if you want. Disagree vigorously. Argue your points. But no name-calling, no abuse, no threats. And you can spare me the "I have never read any of your books, but now I'm not going to, and I'm going to tell all my friends not to read your books either" posts as well. Fine, you just want to read books by authors who support fan fiction, go ahead, do that, there are a number of very fine writers in that group, we don't need to hear about it here. No derailing the discussion, please. Let's talk about the issue, not tone. I'd love to see some rational discourse here, thanks).

(And yes, the title of this post is a reference to the classic xkcd cartoon that can be seen here: http://xkcd.com/386/)



Page 1 of 16
<<[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] >>
May. 8th, 2010 01:50 am (UTC)
Personally, I love the stance Charlie Stross has on fan fiction:

"I do not mind you writing fanfic using my characters and sharing it with your friends unless you do so in a manner that f**s with my ability to earn a living. . . . I am not a precious sparkly unicorn who is obsessed with the purity of his characters — rather, I am a glittery and avaricious dragon who is jealous of his steaming pile of gold. If you do not steal the dragon's gold, the dragon will leave you alone. Offer to bring the dragon more gold and the dragon will be your friend."

As well, JK Rowling, of course, who said that as long young people are encouraged to write, she's happy, though, of course, as long as they don't try to make money off it.

It's a personal opinion. It's going to be a little while yet until I publish my book, and I would only be lucky if it is good and popular enough for people to want to write fic for it. If it is, however, I stand strongly by my opinion that what I wrote, my books, are there, it's my universe, my characters, they go where I sent them and do what I told them. But what people want to imagine they do in their own times is really their business as long as they don't try to make money out of it or claim ownership of the characters/universe. I am, however, a rather laid back person who cares little for things like this. As well, I am a person who is a good writer thanks to fan fiction and the feedback and practice it provided. (I was an immigrant when I started off, and somehow stumbled into fan fiction for the Harry Potter books).

However, I fully support both your opinion and your right to have them and act upon them. Your books, characters, and works will always be yours, and you have a right to have people respect your wishes as to their use no matter what their personal opinions about that may be. I've noticed a lot of people don't get that. It's all good and well to argue and tell you what we think, and try to change your mind, but in the end, whatever you feel the end of that conversation.

(I also wanted to mention, that I completely agree with your "children" analogy, despite my views on fan fiction. I feel the same way. I can hardly have people edit my work. So I would never ever look up any fan fiction based on my work, or I may just join you in your opinion, no matter how strongly I oppose it at the moment. You just never know exactly until it happens to you, I suppose.)

Edited at 2010-05-08 02:10 am (UTC)
May. 8th, 2010 02:57 am (UTC)
I'm not so sure about the illegality of fanfics. Fanfics use the "world" an author created, which is a concept, an idea. However, copyright law is not supposed to apply to ideas, only to the words themselves. Unusual names however, you might be able to defend infringement on the copyright and as trademarks.

As for Marion Zimmer Bradley, her failure might have been to be actively reading the facfics. In copyright law, you have to prove that the "copy" is indeed a copy and not only someone arriving at the same result in a completely separate process. ie: if you write something and it never leaves your computer, you can't sue someone who used the exact same words as they would not have been able to copy your work in the first place.
(no subject) - hippoiathanatoi - May. 8th, 2010 08:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mysticmoonstorm - May. 8th, 2010 04:47 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - siamkor - May. 8th, 2010 07:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sasha_davidovna - May. 8th, 2010 11:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - midnight_birth - May. 8th, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 8th, 2010 01:52 am (UTC)
The reasons you list are good enough for me on the subject of Fan Fiction, but I'm writing this to ask about "fair use" and The Armageddon Rag - I suspect the long list of songs "used with permission" in the front is the source of your education here?

(And, slightly off-topic, but slightly not, if someone wanted to create a Nazgul tribute album, how would they go about doing so? Where would a song like "Elf Rock" - mentioned, but with no lyrics - fall in the "Fan Fic/Filk" good versus evil dichotomy?)

May. 8th, 2010 02:00 am (UTC)
Yes, it was the song lyrics.

I thought they were fair use. They were all quite short, no longer than two lines.

My publisher's attorneys took a more conservative stance (publishers are always conservative on such matters, preferring to avoid lawsuits rather than win them) and said, "no, not fair use, you have to get permissions."

I decided to consult my own attorney, one of the country's leading experts on copyright law. He said, "In my opinion these are fair use, but there has never been a conclusive test case on the matter. If you use them without permission, you will get sued. I think you will prevail in the end, but the music publishers will fight you all the way, and the costs of litigation could run well into six figures. I am prepared to argue your case to your last penny. We can win a historic judgment."

I preferred to keep my last penny. I got the permissions. It took six months and cost me thousands of dollars... but not tens of thousands, nor hundreds of thousands.

As yet, there is still no conclusive precedent on song lyrics.

Nor on fan fiction, so far as I know.

Edited at 2010-05-08 02:05 am (UTC)
May. 8th, 2010 01:57 am (UTC)
Just for clarification, your objection is purely legal? I didn't get the sense that you thought there was anything wrong with using someone else's characters on an intellectual level. But with copyright law as it currently stands, there's no way to let someone else use your characters without giving up some amount of rights to them.
May. 8th, 2010 02:02 am (UTC)
No, not purely legal.

As I tried to suggest in the "children" portion of my post, there is a deep emotional connection between a writer and his characters. Reading other people's versions of them, and seeing them saying and doing things they would never say or do, would disturb me. How MUCH it would disturb me would depend on exactly what they were saying and doing, and how wrong it was.
Characters as the author's children - divtb - May. 8th, 2010 04:11 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - balinares - May. 8th, 2010 08:12 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pandorahx - May. 8th, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
May. 8th, 2010 02:39 pm (UTC)
I don't think so....
Isn't that kind of like saying nobody can ever love a person except their birth mother?
May. 8th, 2010 02:00 am (UTC)
Internet minefield right there. I tend to agree with the consent and defend concepts.

There's probably many authors who have no problem with it. Maybe they should stick to writing in those worlds.
May. 8th, 2010 02:01 am (UTC)
I have to admit that I sometimes read fan fiction and enjoy it. But it would certainly mar that enjoyment to know that the author didn't have permission to "play in the sandbox."
Fanfic has its place, but sharing it with others should only happen when the owner of the universe has given permission. Otherwise, it needs to be private--that's what diaries are for. There's nothing wrong with writing it as an exercise, or a curiosity, as long as you keep it to yourself.
When you want to share, write your own characters and world. Just my opinion.
May. 8th, 2010 02:41 pm (UTC)
Where would the benefit be in using it as an exercise be if you didn't share it? That's like creative writing 101. You have to share and get feedback in order to improve. Otherwise, it's just pure vanity.
May. 8th, 2010 02:01 am (UTC)
It's the internet, so even if posting fanfics is illegal they're going to be posted. But because of the legal reasons you mentioned, you can't just "turn a blind eye." You have to say no, even if you didn't have a problem with it, or risk your copyright being compromised.

So in my opinion, the fanfic writers should keep their little fanfics as long as they aren't hurting anyone, just trying to get some practice writing with familiar pre-established settings and characters.. and the authors should keep on disapproving, but not trying to actively stop the fanfic writers (that is, getting their sites taken down, etc)

Personally I hate fanfics. They're usually really bad. :| But sometimes they can be well written, particularly when the setting is used but the characters and story are original. And like I said, it's good practice for kids who want to write and are enthusiastic about some fandom. I can't imagine how disturbing it must be to see as a writer, though.

I know a lot of readers like fanfics because it gives them something to read while they wait for the next episode/book/game etc. I think another sort is when something is skimmed over in the real fiction, they like to fill the gaps. And write alternate versions, like how they would have done it. That last one might be a bit insulting to the original writers, though. Just a bit, heh.. :P
May. 8th, 2010 03:50 am (UTC)
Re: Well,
As was said above: If the author finds out about the "fanfic" and takes no action, he is no longer defending his copyright. Authors are not allowed to selectively enforce their copyrights.

I agree with the statement that has been made many times: Create your own characters and then write about them. Half of writing is putting the word to the page, the other half is understanding why the characters are doing what they are doing.
Re: Well, - mindstalk - May. 8th, 2010 07:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Well, - boss_bass - May. 8th, 2010 05:13 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Well, - metao - May. 8th, 2010 03:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 8th, 2010 02:04 am (UTC)
I'm entirely on your (and Diana's) side. I edit books for a living, and have a huge amount of respect for authors and what they do. I think fanfic is theft, and also lazy, and I've been stomped on many times before for saying so, but frankly, I'm glad to be in your company on this one, and I'll happily pay for the privilege by getting stomped on again.
May. 8th, 2010 03:08 am (UTC)
I would have written pretty much the exact same comment, so I'll just second this one instead.
May. 8th, 2010 02:04 am (UTC)
Writing fanfic is kind of like playing with someone else's toys, isn't it?

It's a tricky debate, but for all of the reasons stated above... yeah.

Personally, I believe that you should respect the wishes of the author who created the characters. If they don't care, hey, go crazy. But if they do, just bloody don't.
May. 8th, 2010 07:06 pm (UTC)
And kind of not, because if I play with your toys I'm creating wear and tear and risking breaking them, but characters like any information can be freely duplicated. Someone writing stories with X's characters does not hurt the ability of X to write with those characters.

Reputation might get broken, but that calls for a defense based on trademark ((TM) (R)) and brand identity, not copyright.
May. 8th, 2010 02:07 am (UTC)
The only point I would raise is that the only place of publication for unlicensed derivative works is the Internet--and that these works do not make anyone money.

That said, I wonder how much fanfiction affects sales in this day and age. I don't feel that HPL is an apt comparison here, because others who published under the Cthulu mythos were published, made money, and were authorized by HPL to do so. Fanfiction today, even when the author states that they "do not mind" fanfiction about their characters, does not get published for profit (unless you count those works in the public domain such as Pride and Prejudice). And most people are more concerned about what's 'canon' and what's written by the copyright holder than fanfiction; I doubt that someone who has read fanfiction about a beloved piece of fiction will be suddenly inspired to not purchase the newest book.
May. 8th, 2010 03:54 am (UTC)
I think that there is a different point being made: It is a point of control. Someone above compared it to playing with someone elses toys. I compare it more to letting a couple of people sack out on your couch. Next thing they raid the fridge and leave the toilet seat up. And then they are inviting their friends come visit and their friends friends and suddenly you have a house full of people that you don't know and get out because they have squatters rights.
(no subject) - akutaco - May. 8th, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pandarus - May. 8th, 2010 05:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 8th, 2010 02:08 am (UTC)
Mr. Martin, what do you think about people writing about your characters after you are gone? Do you have a moral object to that as well? Is it more the monetary element, that could occur if you lose control of your work? And what about if your series goes unfinished? Do you think that would affect/factor into your views?
May. 8th, 2010 02:17 am (UTC)
after death
Well, if there really is life after death, I will return as a vengeful spirit and haunt those people, screeching the lyrics to MY MOTHER THE CAR in their ears every night as they try to sleep.

But since I don't really believe that, I suspect I won't care. I'll be dead.

My heirs will be alive, though, and they may feel otherwise.

I HOPE my heirs will respect my views on this subject. No all heirs do, however. I could give you chapter and verse, but...

I just hope Christopher Tolkien lives forever. Once he dies, I have a deep abiding fear that we will be seeing SAURON STRIKES BACK, written by (fill in the name of your favorite hack) and based on a scrap of paper they found stuck to the bottom of one of JRRT's old hiking boots.

Edited at 2010-05-08 02:19 am (UTC)
Re: after death - kalimac - May. 8th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: after death - monksp - May. 8th, 2010 04:31 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: after death - grrm - May. 8th, 2010 07:04 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: after death - hippoiathanatoi - May. 8th, 2010 08:12 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: after death - nategator007 - May. 8th, 2010 05:04 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: after death - quorothorn - May. 8th, 2010 05:24 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: after death - vcpjr - May. 8th, 2010 06:12 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: after death - haeddre - May. 8th, 2010 06:22 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: after death - 9fires - May. 8th, 2010 09:40 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: after death - mindstalk - May. 8th, 2010 07:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 8th, 2010 02:09 am (UTC)
I didn't know about the HPL story -- that's fascinating.

I must admit that the Marion Zimmer Bradley anecdote, as well as the kerfluffle over the fan who wouldn't take "no" for an answer from Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, are the stories that always leap to mind when it comes to authors asking for people to please not write fanfic about their creations. And at the end of the day, I'm always a little puzzled why if someone says, "No, please don't use my creations that way," that people who are professed fans of said creations say, "Screw you, I'll do it anyway."

I try and stay out of debates with those people, because inevitably faces get red and sweaty, and things are said that are later regretted, and no one changes their stance. But it is odd. And puzzling.
May. 8th, 2010 04:39 am (UTC)
Do you have a link for the Chelsea Yarbro thing? She's one of my favorites, so it piqued my curiosity.
(no subject) - gregmce - May. 8th, 2010 02:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - countess_baltar - May. 8th, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 8th, 2010 02:10 am (UTC)
Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and experience on this!
May. 8th, 2010 07:44 am (UTC)
Love the avatar.
May. 8th, 2010 02:10 am (UTC)
I know who you are and I've read most of your books and I'm always visiting this blog, and I've come by specially to thank you for opening my eyes to something I thought was as innocent as folk-singing Smurfs. Never read or written fanfiction, but now I know to keep them out of my barn.
May. 8th, 2010 02:11 am (UTC)
Consent, for me, is the heart of this issue. If a writer wants to allow or even encourage others to use their worlds and characters, that's fine. Their call. If a writer would prefer not to allow that... well, I think their wishes should be respected.

This. If the creator has no problem with it, then it's fair game. Or, using the example of a fandom I've become familiar with, if a company puts up a "communtiy creations" forum on their company owned website, then to me they not only approve but are encouraging it. You can disagree with their decision, of course.

I do disagree, however, that if video game giant EA felt its toes were being stepped on, they would threaten legal action. Someone that big, the threat of legal action would be all it would take to get someone to back down. Maybe it's a case of "speak loudly and carry a huge bag of money", and that makes it different from your rank-and-file authors.

Also, as much as it may pain you, I would suggest contacting the webmasters of fanfiction.net, asking that stories based off your worlds not be posted. There is a warning that is posted before you post anything there (and yes, I guess that means I'm admitting my sins, but the fandom I allude to above is my only transgression) listing authors who have specifically requested that fanfic not be posted from their works.

FanFiction.Net respects the expressed wishes of the following authors/publishers and will not archive entries based on their work:

Anne Rice
Archie comics
Dennis L. McKiernan
Irene Radford
J.R. Ward
Laurell K. Hamilton
Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb
P.N. Elrod
Raymond Feist
Robin Hobb
Robin McKinley
Terry Goodkind

I know it's a lot to swallow, being among the ranks of Tairy Goodkind, but I thought I'd mention it.

For the vast majority of people, fanfic is either a hobby, or a place to work the kinks out before tackling their own original works. But yes, a few bad apples can quickly ruin the bunch. :/
May. 8th, 2010 08:25 am (UTC)
Wait, what? *Dennis L. McKiernan* doesn't approve of derivative works? Dennis *Yes-I-Did-Copy-Tolkien-And-It's-OK* McKiernan???


(Um, I don't mean this as an attack. I like McKiernan's Tolkien-derivative stuff and I like derivative works in general. I'm just extremely baffled at the moment. And reading http://www.sfsite.com/08b/dm134.htm suggests I haven't completely misremembered the issue.)
(no subject) - odiedragon - May. 8th, 2010 02:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - pandarus - May. 8th, 2010 05:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Page 1 of 16
<<[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] >>


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

Latest Month

April 2018


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner