News of Note

  • OTW Fannews: Restricting fandom

    By Claudia Rebaza on jeudi, 27 February 2014 - 8:06pm
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    • OTW legal staffer Casey Fiesler has written a paper on “Remixers’ Understandings of Fair Use Online" which found that fans' understanding of fair use is often incorrect. “What the community typically believes and does can actually affect what is judged legal,” says Amy Bruckman, professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech and researcher on the study. “So it’s in their interests to have cohesion to craft codes of best practice.”
    • The Australian government has released a report on Copyright and the Digital Economy that supports the development of fair use, and specifically mentions fan fiction as a reason to adopt it. "Fair use in relation to quotation may provide more room for some artistic practices, including the sampling, mashup and remixing of copyright material in musical compositions, new films, art works and fan fiction. More broadly, some artistic practices based on appropriation, including collage, where images or objects are ‘borrowed’ and re-contextualised might be covered by fair use." (p.212)
    • When commercial entities get sold, or decide that a particular project isn't sufficiently profitable, fans can lose both the product and the work they put into it when it's shut down. "An enormous fan outcry began as the remaining [YoVille]players were the most dedicated the game had, and they didn’t want to lose everything they’d invested in their virtual lives. They threatened Zynga boycotts and made heartfelt YouTube videos pleading their case. Their response got the attention of the original creators of the game, Big Viking, and now there’s a new push to buy back the title from Zynga, rather than having it be killed outright."
    • Another problem is when businesses fight to restrict new technology that can help consumers influence those decisions. "Studios and broadcasters argued then that [recording] technology would end civilization as we know it. Instead, it opened up a universe of new opportunities. Just last week, my colleague Ryan Faughnder reported that the Fox comedy Enlisted may be saved from low-ratings death by a surprising surge in DVR and on-demand viewing."

    What legal and business stories have you come across that involve fandom? Write about them on 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: Cross-border fandoms

    By Claudia Rebaza on mercredi, 26 February 2014 - 8:25pm
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    Banner by Robyn of two stick figures saying 'Fan' and 'Fiction' to one another while standing on a split color square

    • The Manila Standard Today featured some articles on fanfiction, dubbing them "The other side of the fandom." The features explain types of fanfic and their locations online, concluding "Writers are not paid when they write fanfics. They all do it for the fandom, for their readers, and for themselves. Thus for consolation, reading the comments of their reader, knowing someone appreciates their work and waits patiently for the new chapter are enough for them to keep on writing."
    • A spate of stories on Sherlock fanfiction writing in China show a certain surprise about slash but there is also a focus on the significance of it within Chinese culture. "The other part of that equation is that the cultural landscape has shifted, attitudes about gay men, gender roles, and sex have shifted and women have seen this...In a country where gay men are in marriages they don't want to be in, where people are told to act straight, and where gay men and lesbians are even entering fake marriages to get people off their backs and live their lives, the Fu Nv represent an improvement in the country's attitudes toward the LGBT community, even if it is by way of raunchy Curly Fu-Peanut fan fiction."
    • In France some have decided to crowdfund a Sherlock fanfic adaptation of a young Sherlock and John meeting. Asked about the motivation for the project, director Naomi Javor replied "To quote the author. “You don’t need to be gay to like someone the same sex as you. [You must be] In love.” This is the message that spoke to me and inspired me...[I] want the viewers to feel like it gives [sexual] minorities an opportunity to be represented as well. It differs from mainstream media because I don’t need to worry that my network will shut me down."
    • The Fandom Post looked back at 2013 to pick out The (Lighter Side of the) Year in Anime. "Before the first month of the new year is over, we’d like to make some additions to The Year in Anime Awards, which we presented a short while ago. It’s not all just about serious awards for worthy shows. No, the review staff of The Fandom Post also knows when it’s time to kick back and take a less reverent look at the year just passed. Here, our staff members present some individual or specialized 'awards' for outstanding…something or other."

    What fanworks have you seen crossing boundaries? Write about it on 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: Fandom accomplishments

    By Claudia Rebaza on lundi, 24 February 2014 - 6:22pm
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    • Transformative Works and Cultures editor, Karen Hellekson, will be delivering one of the Academic keynote presentations at the 72nd meeting of WorldCon in London. She will discuss a range of Doctor Who fan videos, including those that recreate missing episodes and re-frame post-2005 episodes.
    • Legal staffer Heidi Tandy will be presenting at South by Southwest on Tuesday, March 11 at 10 AM at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. Together with professor Anne Jamison, she will be discussing Why Fanfic Is Taking Over the World
    • The 5th annual Digital Media and Learning Conference, themed “Connecting Practices,” calls for learning organizations and institutions to pursue “extreme collaborating" and will be attracting hundreds of technologists, educators, activists and researchers to the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston, Massacussets on March 6-8. Among the projects being highlighted is an "online fan fiction community that brings together readers and writers to create, read and review fiction works, fostering mentoring relationships that advance writing and intergenerational learning."
    • The speedrunning site Speed Demos Archive has been holding an annual winter livestreamed speedrunning marathon called Awesome Games Done Quick which has been raising money for cancer research. This year, they raised over a million dollars for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. As LibertyVoice noted "The non-stop game-fest continued for seven days straight and then kept going for bonus games."

    What fan accomplishments do you think should be remembered? 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: Creativity everywhere

    By Claudia Rebaza on vendredi, 21 February 2014 - 4:59pm
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    Banner by Erin of a sunrise behind the OTW logo with images of a globe, paintbrushes and a computer sound button.

    • Crunchyroll displayed a slew of artwork when taking note of a new fanart meme. "The last week has given rise to bit of obvious genius on Japanese art portal Pixiv. Suitable for some awesome wallpapers, the hot trend of the moment in fanart is to draw characters trapped behind the glass of a smartphone."
    • Meanwhile, io9 pointed out how fans are drawing the next Disney princess even though her details haven't been released yet. "Only one image associated with Moana has come out, and Disney has said that it isn't concept art for the movie, which focuses on Moana Waialiki, the only daughter of a chief from a long line of navigators. But based on that artwork and the setting of the film, a handful of artists have started drawing their own visions of Moana, drawing from various South Pacific cultures."
    • Bowing to user demand, the World of Warcraft site battle.net added a fanfiction forum. "That's right, you asked for it and now you've got it. We hope you have your creative juices flowing because now is the time to share just what it is that's been crawling through your brain and itching to be be shared beyond the confines of your skull. Those voices you hear? Those are your own characters or interpretations of the world (of Warcraft) whispering in your ear and begging to be set free upon your fellows."
    • IGN looked at audio fanworks for games. "Fans go to great lengths to celebrate the games they love. Some write fan fiction, draw beautiful images, or cosplay as their favorite characters. Others channel their reverence and admiration into rap albums. Some video game-themed rap songs make a big impact, but several more fall under the radar. The following are some of the best songs that didn't quite nab the recognition they deserve."

    What fanwork discussions have you come across? Write about it on 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: Fan words and papers

    By Claudia Rebaza on mercredi, 19 February 2014 - 7:24pm
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    Banner by dogtagsandsmut of an open book with the OTW logo and the post title in two word bubbles

    • Texas A&M's libraries wrote about the closing of a Game of Thrones exhibit while one on filk replaced it. "The Cushing Library filk collection will showcase examples of these songbooks, as well as audio, video, digital recordings and fanzines and fanvids— which demonstrate the interest and affection for particular aspects of both literary and broadcast science fiction and fantasy media. The collection seeks to preserve the popular legacy of science fiction and fantasy by documenting and acquiring various fanworks." They are also looking for donations of "fanworks and filk-related materials."
    • The University of California Riverside posted about 10 Notable Fanzines in the Eaton Collection. "You could say the fanzine is the internet’s precursor. These amateur publications began in the 1930s as a way for science fiction fans – who were geographically spread out–to share their ideas with one another. Created with mimeograph machines during people’s private time, fanzines included letter columns, author interviews and book reviews...The Eaton Collection is home to nearly 100,000 fanzines."
    • The Macquarie Dictionary Online selected a word of the year but fanfic didn't make it to the final round. It was, however, the finalist in the Arts category.
    • The Guardian looked at words as well, specifically those found in Buzzfeed's style guide. Listing reasons to love the guide, the first choice was that "[i]t's got entries that no other style guide has. 'Fangirl', 'batshit', 'bitchface' – one word or two? You aren't going to find the answers in the Telegraph Style Book."

    What fan words do you think need a guide? Write some definitions on 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: A closer look at fandom

    By Claudia Rebaza on jeudi, 13 February 2014 - 8:32pm
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    • King's College London will be offering a new undergraduate degree in Digital Culture which includes sessions on transformative and fan culture as part of its modules. Admissions have opened for the degree program which will launch in 2015.
    • Den of Geek wrote about Holmesians as the template for modern fandom. "The kind of hype surrounding Sherlock today very much resembles the hysteria around the time the stories were originally published; in fact, Sherlock Holmes is arguably responsible for much of fandom as we know it today. Long before the possibilities of today’s mediated world, he was one of the first characters to massively, irrevocably, step off the page and into the world, and refuse to get back on the page...It’s a fascinating history about what it means to love a story, to let it have power, and to be a fan (or a geek)."
    • While the Holmes fandom is certainly a very long running one, sites as varied as The Asheboro Courier-Tribune and Huffington Post have been looking at Beatles fandom, which is reaching an important U.S. milestone. One fan in particular is part of a nightly remembrance. "When Paul performs a song 'All My Loving'...he picked one girl to be behind him in the Jumbotron showing the days from 1964. There is Irene--she travels the world with Paul." Irene added, "The first time I saw it was just totally amazing to me. I had no idea it was coming up, and all of a sudden you see my face jumping from screen to screen to screen, ending up on the Jumbotron. And then I did scream, because I was completely freaked out."
    • The demographics of fandom is something that NPR's discussion of Supernatural failed to examine, only mentioning how slash is "usually written by women." But it focused on the effect of fandom on a show's success and even storylines, asking "Fan engagement gives color and volume to dry data, such as ratings, but the question remains, how do you quantify depth of feeling? Writing a story takes longer and means more than hitting a 'like' button or re-blogging a picture. How do you measure a kind of success that, by its very nature, is completely resistant to metrics?"

    What closer looks at fandom have you come across? Write about it on 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: Fannish connections

    By Claudia Rebaza on mardi, 11 February 2014 - 9:01pm
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    • Mina Kimes wrote in Slate about how critical football is in maintaining her relationship with her father. "My father still calls me almost every day when he’s driving home from work. We still talk about the news, and the weather, and the pain in his back, which has gotten a lot worse over the years. But mostly we talk about football. I tell him the rumors that I read on the Internet that day. We scoff at the ignoramuses who dare criticize our team—typically East Coast sports analysts—and praise the brilliance of our coach and general manager. We keep talking as I fiddle with my key, unlock the door, and trudge up the stairs."
    • The Hindu discussed the expansion of fandom from those close to home. "Before the Internet invaded our lives, trends and popular culture meant tidbits of information shared by friends and family members. Once a popular series ended, there was no platform to learn more about the characters, new plots etc. The Internet seems to have changed the manner in which we consume new trends of popular culture. From running promotions on social media websites to operating fan pages and Wikia pages on the net, fans are ensuring that the characters they adore live on forever on the Net."
    • Marketers are latching onto the word fan as a way to connect people emotionally to their brands. However, one group long acknowledged as fans are tech fans. The Verge took a long look inside the mind of a fanboy and explored the hostility emerging from brand loyalty. "Once somebody has acquired this level of arcane knowledge, there is absolutely nothing to do but share it with other fanboys. 'Among my close friends and family no one really operates at the same level as me,' says one high school Android hobbyist. Thus, fanboy culture takes place in the comments sections of tech news sites and YouTube."
    • Shadowlocked blogged about the marketing approach being used for The Muppets Movie. Saying the ads target multiple audiences, Calvin Peat explains, "[I]t's not as simple as a binary between fans and critics, as if you're either a fan or a critic; or even a continuum between fans and critics, as if you're somewhere along the line between being a fan and being a critic. Rather, it might be more accurate to consider two dimensions: from high-brow to low-brow, and from appreciation to excoriation."

    What personal or marketing connections have you seen in fandom? Write about it on 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: What fanfic does for writers

    By Claudia Rebaza on lundi, 10 February 2014 - 5:00pm
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    • Two articles examined the value of Amazon's Kindle Worlds. Slate featured author Hugh Howey. "I had read Slaughterhouse-Five in high school and didn’t really get it. And then a few years ago, I studied the work again, and the story had not just meaning but special meaning...Vonnegut’s didactic work helped me through a similar trauma. With my first work of fan fiction, I chose to use his example of writing about the bombing of Dresden in order to confront my 9/11 experiences—an event I’ve long avoided discussing directly. And what I discovered surprised me. Fan fiction is difficult. More difficult than the dozen or so novels I’d previously written."
    • Over at MainStreet, Craig Donofrio questioned what Kindle Worlds does for authors. "Another Kindle Worlds author, C.L. Marlene, began writing Vampire Diaries fan fiction for Kindle Worlds last June. It was her first venture into any kind of publishing, and she has written two novels, a novella and a short story since then. While sales have only allowed her 'a few extra nice dates' with her husband and gave her 'a minute bump or two' for her savings account, her overall experience with Worlds has been positive and she would recommend it to other authors—with the caveat to stay realistic. 'I'm not expecting this to pay my bills or launch me into a best-selling author list.'"
    • Certainly one way of getting paid for fanfic is writing a fanfic article, as Cora Frazier did at The New Yorker with her Scandal fanfiction where "Olivia Pope Fixes Chris Christie."
    • The Charleston, South Carolina Post & Courier included fan fiction in the bio of the youngest college student in their area. "Amber went on to skip third, fifth and seventh grades. Fourth-grade was her last full year in a traditional school setting, and after that year, Amber was helping high school students with algebra concepts." Her writing skills were quickly noted. "Rachel Walker, an associate professor of psychology, taught Amber in a writing and psychology class last semester, and she said Amber was 'exceptional.' The class was meant to teach students scientific writing, and Amber grasped concepts that many students find to be challenging, Walker said."

    What has fanfiction done for you? Write about it on 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: How much is too much?

    By Claudia Rebaza on vendredi, 7 February 2014 - 7:41pm
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    Banner by Diane of two graph lines labeled 'fanon' and 'canon' with fanon rising and canon sinking.

    • Death and Taxes complained about What happens when fan fiction takes over the original? "It’s not unusual to do a concept production of a play or musical." But "Playbill has just announced a national tour of the long-running musical The Fantasticks that is 're-envisioned as a steampunk-inspired production.'" Writer Madeline Raynor complained "not only are you foisting a misguided concept onto the show, but you’re not actually integrating it in?" and concludes "[W]hen the creative team behind the source material uses fan fiction-like elements to change the original? That gets weird."
    • Some reviewers agreed with this sentiment in regards to the third season of Sherlock. The International Business Times said "Some people have not been too happy that the series has catered to its online fan base over more casual viewers. 'While any successful TV drama these days should generate fan fiction, it can not afford to become entirely fan fiction itself,' said Mark Lawson in The Guardian." But IBT countered "It's an interesting point, but fails to recognise the unique position of Sherlock as fan fiction since its inception, as well as how over recent years the boundaries between professional media and fan fiction have become increasingly blurred."
    • Laurie Penny at The New Statesman agreed, claiming "The BBC's Sherlock doesn’t just engage with fan fiction - it is fan fiction." However she goes further to note "What is significant about unofficial, extra-canonical fan fiction is that it often spins the kind of stories that showrunners wouldn’t think to tell, because fanficcers often come from a different demographic. The discomfort seems to be not that the shows are being reinterpreted by fans, but that they are being reinterpreted by the wrong sorts of fans - women, people of colour, queer kids, horny teenagers, people who are not professional writers, people who actually care about continuity (sorry). The proper way for cultural mythmaking to progress, it is implied, is for privileged men to recreate the works of privileged men from previous generations whilst everyone else listens quietly."
    • NPR's Monkey See blog discussed both Sherlock and the opening episode of Community when questioning the amount of outside intrusion. "Fan service is kind of a cheap gimmick, like a drug thrown out to keep the fans quiet for now, in case something happens down the line that will really upset them. It may feel really good, but it doesn't last, and like a lot of other temporary boosts, it will one day lead to withdrawal...I didn't tune in to Sherlock to see slash fiction or to Community for jokes about the people writing the dialogue. It's great that they know their fans, but they should also remember what they did to get fans in the first place."

    What percolating fandom influences have you noticed in media texts? Write about it on 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: Fandom challenges

    By Claudia Rebaza on mercredi, 5 February 2014 - 7:00pm
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    • NPR's Code Switch asked Who Gets To Be A Superhero?. "But an artist named Orion Martin noted that the X-Men comics have on the receiving end of much real-life discrimination: the main lineup in the X-Men team has been mostly straight, white dudes...So Martin decided to reimagine them, recoloring some famous panels so that the main characters are brown — a gimmick that changes the subtext and stakes for the X-people."
    • A post on Flayrah discussed what makes furries a fandom. "Fandoms revolve around a common interest, not a canon. At times the common interest will also serve as the canon, in such things as the Doctor Who fandom or the Pokémon fandom, but at other times the common interest will be more vague, such as the anime fandom, the sci-fi fandom and the furry fandom. In those cases the fans are fans of a concept that can encompass many different fandoms due to a common element. Furry certainly has what we can term a canon. Fred Patten has compiled a long, but incomplete, list of works that influenced and led to the formation of the furry fandom between 1966-1996."
    • Gamer Zarnyx discussed early prejudices and missing past experiences. "I am aware that had A Link Between Worlds been my first game in the series, I would have been voicing an entirely different opinion. I am aware that it is a little bit selfish to dismiss the game as 'just another Zelda game', just as I am aware it would be ridiculous of me (again) to dismiss Nintendo and tell you my faith is wavering. That's not my intent for a company who has given me more amazing memories than forgettable ones and continues to do so even now...But as I listened to my sister's gleeful squeals sprinkled in with the 'oh no' moments of hearing death approaching...I wanted that excitement too instead of the occasional jaded groan I mustered when encountering some of the same things I encountered on so many adventures before this one."

    What fandom challenges have you experienced? Write about it on 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.

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