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-   -   Thoughts about fanfic (http://www.criticalfumble.net/forum/showthread.php?t=23495)

Harper 02-14-2010 06:10 PM

Thoughts about fanfic
 
I'm talking about the parts that get left, or cut, out over at my blog and that makes me think about fanfic.

I did write some fanfic myself, once--actually I was asked to and I did one piece that went up for the requesting site and another that never did. I often wish the copyright issues weren't so complicated, because I'm plainly not against the idea of people extending a world they enjoy just for the fun of it.

Some of it can get pretty gruesome; a lot of slash is kind of awful and just badly written. But fanfic itself has a wonderful aspect: it's an easy sandbox for developing writers to play in, since they don't have to worry about character and world development; they can just work on basic writing, plot, and motivation.

One of the annoying things about writing novels is that they demand that the writer juggle so many technical aspects of craft as well as artistic expression at the same time, along with engaging and keeping the reader's attention. I wish we had more sandboxes....

Anthraxus 02-15-2010 09:50 AM

So does that mean that you are against people producing Greywalker fanfic? Have you looked into Creative Commons licensing?

Archaelos 02-15-2010 12:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Anthraxus (Post 343978)
So does that mean that you are against people producing Greywalker fanfic? Have you looked into Creative Commons licensing?

My understanding is that fanfic is a very dangerous subject for a published author. Acknowledged, widely disseminated fanfic can jeapordize their rights to their own creation, something no one wants to happen (usually even the fanfic writer.) There are also legal issues concerning the relationship of the publisher and their right to be compensated for derivative works in some cases.

BlueNinja 02-15-2010 11:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Harper (Post 343922)
I did write some fanfic myself, once

I did too, at one point. Writing a good one is a lot harder than it seems, even if it is only a parody of the game. I actually have a great deal of admiration for the folks over at Undocumented Features for not only writing really good fanfic, but writing some really odd combo fanfics. There's two anime series that they have gotten me to watch from how good their writings are.

Quote:

I'm plainly not against the idea of people extending a world they enjoy just for the fun of it.
What, you mean you're not going to go on LHK-style rants cursing the audacity of feckless amateurs ruining your characters? :grin:

Quote:

a lot of slash is kind of awful and just badly written.
QFT.

QFT = quoted for truth

Harper 02-17-2010 02:13 PM

Archelos has the right of it: I don't have a philosophical or personal problem with fanfic, but I have to tread very carefully with respect to licensing and implied licenses because of the nature of my contract with my publisher.

I could probably work out some kind of Creative Commons license that was agreeable to the publisher under the right circumstances, but I haven't had a chance to discuss it with them yet. The intellectual property is mine and they are granted a limited license to publish certain stories under certain conditions, so they have an interest only in so far as derivative works may "damage" their license to publish. But it can be tricky.

Alas, a "don't ask, don't tell" situation is what usually comes about.

AnotherSKip 02-19-2010 09:17 PM

Would character conversions (Ie converting Harper into Hero System Stats) fall under fanfic or something else entirely?

rse2412 02-20-2010 06:02 PM

As someone who only writes in fandom and is still writing fanfic, when there are enough hours in the day, I believe there are more complications when writing fanfic which plays in the written word sandbox rather than the TV sandbox.

There have been examples of C&D orders being obtained in TV fandoms but they are very few and far between. They are more common, I believe, in the written world.

I presume the problem with fans writing in say the Harry Potter world or the Greywalker world is that authors are still alive and kicking and writing themselves and there are definite infringements of ownership rights.

As you say Harper, it is very much a situation of keeping your head below the parapet if you do write fanfic whether it is slash or gen.

Rae

AnotherSKip 02-23-2010 10:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Harper (Post 343922)
I'm talking about the parts that get left, or cut, out over at my blog and that makes me think about fanfic...



Hmm that Blog made me think what would be the properties of someone made out of twigs and clay....

Harper 02-23-2010 05:33 PM

A fan of mine did ask for permission to use the characters and adapt the world concepts for a single-time RPG campaign. Nothing wrong with that, since it's not going out in public, nor is it being packaged and sold. He's not making any money on it, nor is he operating in a venue that overlaps with the publisher's licenses.

This sort of personal use is pretty much in the "fair use" doctrine, since no one is stepping on the copyright in public or making money on it.

And on the Cease and Desist business: the issue often turns on the venue in which the possible infringement takes place. There's kind of an informal hierarchy of entertainment venues when you come down to it, and the higher up that food chain the original property sits, the less they are worried about "lower" venues. it's still an infringement, technically, but where the original venue is unlikely to extend a license, they will care less. So a TV show is a lot less likely to issue a C&D "down" to something like an internet fanfic site, because the possible injury to their property is negligible (it's also a nice demonstration of market penetration). But a writer might well sell "up" into TV or film (or sideways into games and comics), so they're more protective of everything near and above their venue-level.

Hagelrat 03-03-2010 03:02 AM

I've never really read fanfic and will admit to not knowing much about it, but it's a throughly fascinating discussion and is a further highlight of just how complex being an author is outside the actualy writing.


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