News of Note

  • OTW Fannews: Fannish platforms

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Samstag, 13 Juli 2013 - 10:38pm
    Nachrichtenart:
    • The Times of India explored fandom sites. "Special interest websites appear to be edging out Facebook as popular hangout places on the internet. Art, travel, baking, fan fiction - there is a platform for everybody with a passion." They look briefly at Fanfiction.net and deviantArt, which "began as an online community to showcase user created art work. The site is ancient, by internet standards - launched in 2000. As of 2011, it was the 13th largest social networking service in the world."
    • While "ancient" sites are doing well for fans, there are a number of new platforms that also want fannish engagement. One is Glipho, which "has deep integration with all of the leading social networks, which makes sharing your content one click simple". Site spokesperson Rachel Monte told the OTW that "We are very open to transformative works, recently added a fiction category to our site, and are eager to see more discourse of a fannish nature on there - the trouble seems to be in letting fandom know that we're here and ready to welcome it with open arms...We allow imports from blogs which are powered by Wordpress, Blogger, or Tumblr, without affecting the original blog at all and looking after the SEO. We also integrate optional connectivity with all the major social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest."
    • Asked about Glipho's Terms of Service, Monte responded that "All copyright remains with the original creator of the content on Glipho. Glipho is granted a non-exclusive transferable worldwide royalty-free license to the content posted on Glipho (see 8.3.1 in the TOS). We will never delete content completely from Glipho without the user specifically requesting it. If a gliph breaks Glipho’s Terms of Service, the Glipho team will notify the user and ask them to amend it. If there is a complaint about a particular gliph, the Glipho team will pass the complaint on to the user. The most that we would do is revert a gliph to draft status, or mark it as ‘removed’. In this case, although the gliph would no longer appear on the site, the user would still be able to access their content. If the content is amended to address the issue, it may be re-published to the site. And all users would be notified by email of any ToS changes."
    • Yet another company looking for fanfic writers is NARR8, which sent out a press release about its Storybuilder editing tool for interactive stories. "All user-generated content will be available free of charge, but once a user's episode hits 1,000 downloads, that user will be authorized to sell the content for NARRs, virtual currency that NARR8 released in February. This will let the user unlock additional content and features. In the near future, NARR8 will implement a revenue-sharing model that will let the authors of popular series earn money from virtual sales of their content."

    What fannish platforms do you use? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Marketing fanfiction

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Donnerstag, 11 Juli 2013 - 6:48pm
    Nachrichtenart:
    • Australia's Business Review Weekly put a local angle on Amazon's expanding properties for Kindle Worlds. "The e-book market has enormous growth potential but it is also fraught with pitfalls. Australia’s biggest book retail chain Dymocks tried its hand at e-book publishing but struggled to get the business model right and closed its D Publishing venture in March this year after 15 months. However, it is not just about size; one of the big stories in the e-book world is Australian-based Writers Coffee Shop, a small e-book fiction publisher that shot to fame with the success of erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey."
    • Canada's The Province Book blog posted about Kindle Worlds as well with a different sort of "local" angle. "Amazon has made a fortune off of KDP, and it is well aware that many indie writers either got their start writing fan fiction or continue to write fan fiction even as their writing careers take off. Bestselling author Naomi Novik, for instance, whose Temeraire series has been optioned for film by Peter Jackson, is a supporter of fan fiction...The Organization for Transformative Works, a 'nonprofit organization established by fans to serve the interests of fans by providing access to and preserving the history of fanworks and fan culture in its myriad forms,' has a pretty good roundup of responses to this latest move by Amazon. While some fans certainly celebrate the announcement, others have concerns about what Amazon may want in terms of intellectual property — are they going to make films out of the fan fiction others publish?"
    • Digital Book Wire claimed Kindle Worlds Has First Imitator: Outlier Digital From Twilight Producers. "The problem with the recently released Kindle Worlds’ platform, is it traps writers within the confines of Amazon’s as yet unestablished fan-fiction community instead of the extensive network already at their fingertips,” said Mark Morgan, one of the company partners, in the statement. “Their idea is close, but it actually prevents fan-fiction writers from posting their stories anywhere else, halting their existing fan-base outreach on other free portal options. It’s like saying they can write whatever they want as long as they do it for Amazon."
    • Gamma Squad talked about the Jim Henson Company's pitch to fanfic writers to write a prequel story to The Dark Crystal. "To be fair, this is a bit more of a deal than Amazon’s attempt to get the next Fifty Shades of Grey for dirt; the winner, if there is one, will receive $10,000 as part of their contract. Of course, one doesn’t see the word 'advance' anywhere in the official rules, so you might be forking over your writing ability for little more than a pat on the head, but at least they don’t put 'valuable exposure' as a prize." Of course, given how media outlets are now ready to slap a fanfiction label on anything, the spotlight moment seems more and more likely.

    What fanfic marketing promotions have you come across? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Claiming ownership

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Samstag, 6 Juli 2013 - 5:16pm
    Nachrichtenart:
    • Gamespot reported that "Nintendo is now claiming advertising revenue from user-created YouTube videos that feature the company's games", something that some fans claim make little sense given the nature of game play. "'Video games aren't like movies or TV. Each play-through is a unique audiovisual experience,' Scott said. 'When I see a film that someone else is also watching, I don't need to see it again. When I see a game that someone else is playing, I want to play that game for myself! Sure, there may be some people who watch games rather than play them, but are those people even gamers?'"
    • Discussing a case in the Federal Court of Australia, DC Comics v Cheqout Pty Ltd., an article in The Conversation said "Intellectual property and superheroes is complicated. Superman has spawned a host of imitations and emulations in comic books, graphic novels, and films – everything from Dr Manhattan in The Watchmen to Mr Incredible in Pixar’s The Incredibles. Over-protection of Superman under intellectual property could repress and suppress such creativity and innovation." Noting that the OTW was formed to combat intellectual property claims against fanworks, Professor Matthew Rimmer stated "There has been a concern that the excessive protection of intellectual property rights of superheroes could have an adverse impact upon creativity, remix culture, and fan fiction."
    • Less common is discussion of merchandisers exploiting fans. A particularly egregious case involved cosplayers having their photos used on body pillows being sold at cons. After outraged fans complained to the merchandiser and con organizers, their sale was halted. "It's difficult to see how screening a cosplayer onto a $12 pillow could inspire anyone, or why models who went uncompensated for their work would be "flattered" to be exploited to turn a quick buck for the photographer. But while condemnation continued to be swift, several people did thank Pearce for his relatively quick action in removing the pillows."

    What legal actions have caught your attention? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Cue the fans

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Donnerstag, 27 Juni 2013 - 7:05pm
    Nachrichtenart:
    • io9 created a post on the various TV shows whose canon took a swipe at fanfiction writers. The post cites examples from ST:TNG, Futurama, Supernatural, Buffy, X-Files, Daria, and concludes with what it cites as a fanfic twist from Roseanne. "Roseanne had long been established on the series as a frustrated writer, and the entire show is revealed as her writing the story of her life. The sudden change to fantasy at the end came when her life got awful after her husband's death, and she had to make up an alternate world to cope with the trauma. This twist ending, as strange and depressing as it was, heartily endorses everything the other shows condemned. What, it asks, is so wrong with writing a fun, escapist fantasy? It doesn't have to be great art to be a pursuit that allows a person a creative outlet which sparks their imagination and gives them a lot of pleasure. So take that, Star Trek."
    • Perhaps professional writers find the sheer volume of fan writing intimidating? The numbers provided by Wattpad list hundreds of thousands of stories covering everything from toys, YouTube stars, and particular celebrities as well as a few specific crossovers. An abbreviated history of fanfiction begins in 1850 and cites Jane Austen fanfiction, but then omits any other online sites that contributed to fanfic distribution by skipping straight from 1970 to Wattpad's launch in 2007. Apparently forgotten are non-commercial fandom uses of newsgroups, mailing lists, individual fandom and author archives, as well as fan use of commercial sites such as blogging platforms or Fanfiction.net.
    • The Fandom Post ran a press release by corporate consortium, Anime Sols' who appear to prefer partnering with fans, at least in terms of getting content released. The post describes their efforts to connect with fans by surveying them "on which further titles anime fans would like to see streamed and crowd funded on animesols.com" where fans could prepay for DVD sets. "'User feedback is crucial for our site to grow and to provide important information about the customers directly to the Japanese animation studios. Anime Sols strives to be as transparent as possible about the process and money involved, and this is one method to get closer to the fans and their needs,' says Hiroaki Tanaka, Yomiuri TV Enterprise Project Manager."

    What fan/creator interactions do you know about? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Love and respect

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Dienstag, 25 Juni 2013 - 7:39pm
    Nachrichtenart:
    • The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art opened a new exhibit last month called Love to Love You which "gathers art work that takes fan culture as a cue to examine not only the specifics of how we express affection for people far removed from us, but also what that means beyond the exact relationship between audience and creator." The exhibit focuses primarily on music and sports fandoms. "Elissa Goldstone creates objects where there is some resemblance to merchandise or objects that circulate in fan culture, but because of the handmade quality of it, it really has very emotive aspects. It also has a performative aspect, because she sits and watches games and keeps scorecards and then embroiders them, so it's fan identity as performance that then gets transferred to an object."
    • While stories such as a fan's walk-on role in "The Office" finale tend to get press for linking fans to creators, places such as The Keysmash blog have been celebrating fandom stories for their personal aspects. In one post a mother realized that fandom could be her community in many ways. "Folks were open and welcoming. I met other women with special needs children and we could talk out our problems and delight in our kids. I met women who had battled depression and anxiety too and I learned from them. I met writers who encouraged me to follow my passion for it. I met women who were not afraid to write and talk about kinks. I met artists who just blew my mind with their talent and creativity. I met runners and fitness gurus who helped me run two 5Ks...I met people from all over the world with different lives and different experiences and different knowledge and I basked in it and shared what I could with them...I am the healthiest I have ever been in mind, body, and spirit and it is all because a prince and a sorcerer couldn’t stop eye-fucking each other."
    • The SplitSider focused on fandom's effects on a larger scale by discussing The Arrested Development Documentary Project just as Netflix resurrected the series. The film "flips between interviews with...creator Mitch Hurwitz, seven of the nine regulars, and the show’s producers- and thoughts from die-hard fans of the show. Featuring interviews with passionate Arrested Development fans is a great idea. After all, it's the fans that kept the show alive, making it the cult hit it is today. Unfortunately, this technique doesn’t entirely work. For one thing, the fans [are] never identified—it’s a string of anonymous faces and a brief cameo from Keith Olbermann. And all the enthusiasm in the world doesn’t necessarily make someone an eloquent orator, able to clearly articulate the brilliance of the series."
    • Fan eloquence can shine in individual posts, however, utilizing more than just words. One post among the Month of Meta's offerings on Dreamwidth discusses fan expression on Tumblr and why "feels" have come to be. "The term is, far from being a corruption of the language, an elegantly precise word that serves a very useful function. So next time you feel reluctant to say something 'hit you right in the feels' or to cry out 'ow, my feels!' embrace your inner fan, let go of your inner grammarian, and go for it!"

    What tributes to fandom have struck a chord with you? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Cultural objects

    Von .Cynthia am Sonntag, 23 Juni 2013 - 6:32pm
    Nachrichtenart:
    • The Barnard Center for Research on Women's blog proposed feminist remixes as the next step to combating negative media representations. "Through our studies, work, and activism, many of us have learned to be critical of these images, to deconstruct them in order to understand the assumptions and messages behind them." Remixes can then create something new out of the deconstructed work. Emeritus OTW Board member Francesca Coppa teamed with Elisa Kreisenger to present at this year’s Utopia conference. "Kreisinger encouraged Utopia attendees to try their own hand at remixing as a way to take back their identities from corporate commoditization and depict women in ways that do not revolve around heteronormative relationships and procreation. Her mantra and advice to fellow feminists: 'Don’t blame the media, become the media.'"
    • The U.S. Department of Defense site Armed With Science wrote about how fandom objects are also historical markers. "From the swirls and statues of the ancient world, to the banners of the mid-evil armies, to the crests of colleges and sports teams, to iconic superhero emblems, to even the branding of large companies, humanity is filled with identifiable signs that mark the trail through our history." Discussing the impact of Star Trek in culture, the post cites how its creations "are often seen as agents of scientific and social change."
    • While some fandoms like Bronies don't lack for people willing to step forward and declare their allegiance, many in furry fandom reacted poorly to media presence at Furlandia. "Attendees started to wonder what was going on when production teams and cameras began to show up. It didn’t take long for someone to announce that MTV had arrived. According to the PR director, an announcement had been made at opening ceremonies; no written notification had been given." In comments to the post, one reader pointed out "From a television producer's point of view, furries really are a nightmare scenario" because "you have a producer who's expected to get exciting footage trying to get said exciting footage from a group of hard-to-find, reluctant, camera-shy people who may only agree under very specific and limiting conditions (which almost ensure that nothing crazy will happen), all the while letting you know that they will be scrutinizing your every movement and most likely hate anything you say about them." The poster concluded that "if a good documentary about furries is going to come from somewhere, it's going to come from within the fandom, and it's probably going to be targeted toward furries (it just won't have the appeal or the resources to make it to the mass public)."

    What fandom objects do you think will have an impact on general culture? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Project spaces

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Donnerstag, 20 Juni 2013 - 8:56pm
    Nachrichtenart:
    • In the post Fandom as Inhabitation of Negative Space, Tumblr blogger Saathi 1013 addressed the common question "Why don’t fanficcers write original stories instead of fanfic?” She uses the poetic concept of enjambment to explain the differences in thinking between fanfic and original writing. "[O]ne of the cool things about enjambment is that the break is...essentially a half-second of playing conceptual mad libs before your eye tracks to the next line and you finish the sentence...the way the author wants you to. But the thing is, good poets build that moment of unknowing into the meaning of the poem...It’s not just a pause for breath or for emphasis, but it can also be the thing that gives room for the poem to do something special: to ignite from the essential spark of the reader’s imagination, to turn and twist like a living thing, never the same twice."
    • Boston Metro's take on fanfiction was decidedly different, as it described an Erotic Fan Fiction competition. "The thing is, though, that while we’re sure a fair amount of this particular type of literature is penned by pasty, 50-year-old virgins, typing sweatily and furiously in their parents basements at 3 a.m., fan fiction can also be mined for comedic gold. That’s the idea behind comedian Bryan Murphy’s Competitive Erotic Fan Fiction, a monthly comedy show (soon to be made into a podcast) he’s hosted for the past two-odd years at the Nerdist Theatre in San Francisco. The premise: eight comics write — and read aloud — short pieces of erotic fan fiction based either upon their own fancy or audience suggestions. The audience decides who has written the most titillating — or just plain absurd — story by a show of applause."
    • The fan practice of remixing TV content to filter out specific storylines is presumably only as racy as its original content, but it was upsetting to at least some creators, regardless. "Mr. Lindelof, who was aware of Mr. Maloney’s chronological re-edit of “Lost,” said he could not quite bring himself to watch it, even if he appreciated the impulses that led to its creation. 'I totally embrace the experiment,' Mr. Lindelof said. 'But part of me feels like, oh my God, if it actually works better in chronological order, what does that say about me?'"
    • Twin Peaks is a show some might say could benefit from plot clarification, but The USA Today instead gave a nod to its fandom's Welcome to Twin Peaks photo project "in which fans submit pics that combine the iconic image from the series' opening credits with a road/scene in their town."

    What's your take on fannish creations? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: OTW and the Press

    Von John Bayard am Dienstag, 18 Juni 2013 - 4:15pm
    Nachrichtenart:
    • The Kindle Worlds story didn't just result in hundreds of media outlets running pieces on the story, but also quite a few requests to the OTW for comment. While some have been previously linked to and some have yet to be published, several more have made an appearance. The Verge talked with OTW Communications staffer Nistasha Perez about the Amazon's new move as well as similar efforts to commercialize fanfiction in the past. "In 2007, former Yahoo executive Chris Williams decided it was time to make money off fan fiction. 'I work for a brand-new fan fiction website called FanLib.com and my colleagues and I want it to be the ultimate place for talented writers like you,' read an email sent to hundreds of authors." But "[a]fter barely over a year, FanLib's infrastructure was bought by Disney, and the fan fiction archive was quietly shut down. Six years later, media powerhouse Amazon is giving the idea another try."
    • In "Kindle Worlds: Do fan fiction writers want to make money?", the BBC spoke to Jen West, Naomi Novik and Francesca Coppa about fanfiction writing and the potential impact of Kindle Worlds. "The thing that people don't get about fandom, especially now that it seems to be an internet phenomeom is [the idea] that fans are very isolated and are having these relationships with consumer products. But that's not true, they're having relationships with other people. There are fans they might have known for 20 years." (No transcript available)
    • Naomi Alderman interviewed Francesca Coppa last year for Radio 4 about how fanfiction is a huge chunk of the literary iceberg, with fiction published by large commercial publishers being only a small fraction of this. A small part of the interview was run again in the BBC Arts Hour. In discussing the crossover, Coppa stressed what a natural impulse this would be for writers yet due to copyright restrictions, characters need to stay in separate boxes. Alderman then did a brief reading of a Lord of the Flies crossover with The Walking Dead noting how the juxtaposition of characters and storyline revealed similarities in those tales. (0:33 to 0:38 minutes - No transcript available)
    • The CBC Radio show Q with Jian Ghomeshi interviewed OTW staffer Naomi Novik about Kindle Worlds and fanfiction's role in culture. Speaking of Kindle Worlds' vague content guidelines, Novik said "The problem with those restrictions is that it lends itself so easily to unpredictable enforcement...When you post your story, do you know if it's going to be "all right" or not? If they take it down, do you now have the rights back to it?...And part of the wonderful aspect of fanfiction is that fanfiction is about having all the tools in the box, and being able to write anything and follow a story anywhere, even if it's not the thing that's going to sell the most copies, even if it's not the story that whoever owns it wants told." (0:54 - 1:09 minutes - No transcript available)

    What other discussions have you seen about Kindle Worlds? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Voices of dissent

    Von Julia Allis am Dienstag, 11 Juni 2013 - 10:35pm
    Nachrichtenart:
    • Journalists and bloggers who have come across only a few works about fandom have a tendency to make broad claims about those documents. Case in point, Irish Times writer Brian Boyd who says that the new fandom documentary Springsteen and I is "the first feature of its type to de-stigmatise fandom and celebrate it as a meaningful and healthy form of behaviour." However, fandom studies are going on continuously, as Canada's Metro notes in a recent feature on a graduate student who is researching female fans of Saskatchewan Roughriders. Not all examinations of fandom need to be a form of defense, either, since negative behavior can itself be informative to either fans or their culture at large.
    • For example, The Daily Dot put a spotlight on anti-fandom spaces: "The Tumblr Your Fave is Problematic (YFIP) has one purpose: making sure you have a list of all the uncool things—read: racist, homophobic, sexist, ableist, sizeist, transphobic—your favorite celebrity has allegedly done or said. Normally it flies under the fandom radar, serving its intended purpose as a resource for people looking for the other side of the endless waves of praise that fandom can bestow on its chosen heroes." The purposes behind it are varied. "[I]n an increasingly diverse, increasingly mainstreamed fandom, the number of cultural and political clashes is increasing all the time" and "The distinction between fan and critic, advocate and antagonist is widening but blurring with every baited reblog. And as anti-fandoms continue to grow along with fandom itself, it seems to be a divide that won’t be shrinking any time soon."
    • The Washington Post used sports fandom to discuss fans' monetary tributes to their favorite fannish objects. "[P]rompted by a question from his own fiancee — he’s actually thought a lot about why he felt so compelled to buy the quarterback an inexpensive gift from his registry, even though he still hasn’t bought wedding gifts for some of his closest personal friends." The fan replied that “'It’s no one else’s decision whether I buy a cake pan for a guy I’m never going to meet. And so what if he’s got 15 of them? I’m now a part of his cabinet. A little piece of me is part of that cake pan in his cabinet. It’s less about Robert than it is about the fans. We want to be a part of his life, just the same way he’s a part of ours.'”
    • On the other end of the scale Seoul Beats wrote about how some fans are deliberately disconnected from the sources of their fandom and points of fan congregation. "There does indeed seem to be a very large disconnect between the purported global aims of Hallyu, the Korean Wave, and the way that international K-pop fans are treated within K-pop fandoms. Specifically, despite the fact that K-pop companies are (and for the past few years, have been) essentially falling all over themselves to attract more interest from the farthest corners of the globe, when it comes to official K-pop fandom, international fans are, for the most part, just plain unwelcome and need not apply." The article examines discrimination in fan club memberships which affect the experiences fans can have as well as how the visibility of non-Korean fans can be limited.

    What interesting examinations of fandom have you come across? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Pushback on Kindle Worlds

    Von Claudia Rebaza am Samstag, 8 Juni 2013 - 5:53pm
    Nachrichtenart:
    • The first wave of Kindle Worlds press coverage mostly quoted from Amazon's press release with a few reaction links. Follow-up articles proved to be more critical and more aware of fannish perspective. The Millions asked Will Kindle Worlds Commodify Fan Fiction?. "It is fitting, perhaps, that the same week as the Yahoo/Tumblr acquisition, Amazon announced a project entitled 'Kindle Worlds.' It feels like more of a broader trend than a coincidence, because the Kindle Worlds endeavor is about an organization inserting itself from the top down. 'Worlds,' we learn, are Amazon-ese for fandoms."

      By contrast "There is an enormously freeing diversity in the world of fan fiction. I don’t mean that the writers are diverse — they are mostly female, and surely there must be socioeconomic implications in the ability to sustain such a hobby...The possibilities spin off into exponentially increasing permutations, spurring weird stuff and beautiful stuff, quite often fiction that’s better written than the source material that inspired it, creating fandoms that are so broad and varied and encompassing that a person can usually find whatever they’re seeking within. If not, well, that person may as well just write it herself. If that’s not the most accurate reflection of the rest of the internet — the organic, cultivated internet, grown from the bottom up, with no contracts, no exchanges of cash — then I don’t know what is."

    • The Guardian again tackled the topic, this time declaring How Kindle Worlds aims to colonise fan fiction The "colonization" term seemed deliberately chosen. "Fan fiction writers are, first and foremost, fans: passionate ones, sophisticated ones, and knowledgable about the culture they're writing for and about. And while Amazon's not-very-exciting payment terms might entice a few into the professional fold, many more will continue to write whatever they like online for the joy and social prestige of the thing itself. Nevertheless, the attempted legalisation and professionalisation of one of the weirder and most enjoyable subcultures of the internet marks a significant moment in the history of networked literature."
    • Publishers Melville House decided to tackle the announcement in fanfiction form. "Jeff looked up from his arm screen to find that Damon had leaned in close enough that he could smell the cool death on his breath. 'Glad to see you’re up to your usual business, Jeff—taking a happy and vibrant community and doling out a pittance to exploit and corrupt it.' He placed his long-fingered hand on Jeff’s chest. Jeff heard himself whimper quietly from somewhere beyond his control. 'And what about content, Jeff? I assume there are restrictions? You have to take the fun out of it somehow.'"
    • Geek Empire noted Amazon's true target, professional writers. "In that regard, Kindle Worlds resembles nothing so much as another Amazon service, Mechanical Turk. There, business and developers commission small, iterative tasks that users can perform, often for remuneration as low as a penny. As Amazon would have it, Mechanical Turk gives businesses a “scalable workforce”—to which one might add, a workforce that is cheap and inherently disposable . That’s what Warner Bros. has gotten in exchange for the license to use its characters: a virtually free and disposable workforce."
    • Investing site Motley Fool hosted a post which noted that the move was a way to create a longer revenue stream for content owners. "Partnering with Amazon in its fan fiction program would not only help media companies, which are looking for ways to promote their television shows and movies, but it would also help laggard book publishers such as Scholastic, which need new ways to profit from concluded franchises."
    • An article in Chicago Grid reminded people that books aren't all Amazon may be after. "And do remember that Amazon also has a TV production studio. The language on the Kindle Worlds page that describes the relationship between a Kindle Worlds author and Amazon is conversational; I’m certain that authors will be required to click through something more obtuse and comprehensive when the program goes live next month. But as-is, we can’t dismiss the possibility that Amazon (and its first-look production partner…yes, Warner Studios) is buying worldwide rights to exploit the author’s work across all media for the life of the copyright, for nothing more than the possibility of royalties for the ebook."
    • A post at Tosche Station poked at all the problematic possibilities in Amazon's announcement -- such as rights granted upon submission, not acceptance, no legal protection if there's infringement of non-partner brands, and "The net revenue is based off the customer sales price, not the wholesale price, which tends to be less. That seems okay, doesn’t it? It does until you read this: 'Amazon Publishing will set the price for Kindle Worlds stories.' Hm. So that means that your royalties and revenue could change in an instant, depending on how Amazon decides to price your story–and keep in mind, Amazon could decide to price it at zero, depending on how your contract is written."
    • Another fannish blogger noted the problem with shared universes among fans -- who really owns fanon? "Lastly, what about plagiarism between Fan Fictions? Fan Fiction writers inside of fandoms can and will borrow from each other. Sometimes an idea is so great that one person reads it in a Fan Fiction, thinks it’s actually canon that they missed, and puts it in their story. I’m guilty of that because the idea that Tycho Celchu was talking to his fiance when Alderaan was destroyed was a beautiful idea and I honestly thought it was canon. When I asked the writer, they also had thought it was canon then realized it wasn’t and unfortunately I was never able to trace back to the person with the original idea. But at least in Fan Fiction, it’s free and we can call enough other out on it without needing legal recourse. Now that we start making money off of the ideas? Oh boy…"
    • The UK's Metro covered the bases with the pros and cons of fanfic as well as where best to publish it. "Tastes may be changing – Justin Bieber and The Hunger Games have made way for One Direction and Star Trek in the past year or so – but demand remains high – fanfic story uploads to the site [Wattpad] have increased by 60 per cent from 2012 to 2013, and this year is only five months old...The other issue is control –- [novelist Sheenagh] Pugh suspects that better writers will opt out to preserve theirs, particularly as Amazon would take ownership of their ideas. ‘I don’t think the best of fic will find its way on to Kindle Worlds,’ she said. ‘If the standard does prove to be low, that in itself will put off writers who care about their work, in the same way that they often won’t put their work on the FanFiction.net website because of its reputation for hosting acres of rubbish.’"
    • The Daily Dot also took note of the varied volume of content among fandom sites. "However, there is also the possibility that Kindle Worlds is aimed at a new generation of fans—ones who are growing up with the assumption that it’s completely reasonable to want payment for your fanfic. While popular Tumblr-based fandoms range from crime shows to young adult novels, and participants range in in age from 12 to 60, many are simply unaware of the seething underbelly of Wattpad-style fanfiction. On Wattpad, a One Direction fic written by a middle-schooler can receive upwards of a million hits. The fiction on traditional sites like Archive of our Own may be more tightly written, but the most popular story there only boasts a measly 360,000 hits. The question is, will the mostly teenage Wattpad audience have enough interest to pay for fanfic when you can already read ten stories on your smartphone every day, for free?"
    • At The Atlantic, Noah Berlatsky uses comic fandom to suggest that there's little difference between official tie-in works and fanworks. He asks "In terms of creative process and in terms of audience, does it really matter all that much if you're writing about Kirk and Spock's new adventures for free or for profit?" Then he dismisses one obvious difference with "Admittedly there's not a whole lot of gay sex in super-hero comics... but that seems more like a genre distinction than an existential one." Instead he suggests "If "fan fic" was the name of a genre and a community, it can now be the name of a marketing campaign and a marketing demographic. You could even say that Amazon is turning the term "fan fiction" into fan fiction itself, lifting it from its original context and giving it a new purpose and a new narrative, related to the original but not beholden to it. Dreams come out of the corporation and go back to the corporation, fungibly circulating. Your brain is just another medium of exchange."

    What other discussions have you seen about Kindle Worlds? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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