Gender and Sexuality, News of Note, Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality, Gaming, Television
The Backlot's Shipping News series was among those providing a look back at 2013. They recounted various important moments for slash fandoms, such as May's Saturday Night Live event. "In a whirlwind skit that included cameos from Ben Affleck to Anderson Cooper; Seth Meyer and Hader’s character, Stefon, tied the knot! In perhaps one of the best OTP-becomes-canon moments ever, Meyers gave his usual Weekend Update sign off as, 'For Weekend Update, we are Seth and Stefon Meyers, good night!'"
Gender and Sexuality, News of Note, Commercial Works Authors, Fanfiction , Fannish Practices, News Media
Over the last ten years as fanworks have spread to more and more online sites, it's become a daily occurrence to find a media story pointing to one or more of them. Often these stories profess a sense of astonishment that they exist but don't do any research or provide any useful information. More recently, an even less informative but more unpleasant stunt has become common, as interviewers use fanworks to provoke a celebrity reaction. The fanwork creators are generally no more pleased at the outcome than the celebrities.
News of Note, Fanfiction , Music, Television, Fannish Practices, Technology
Tech developers are taking note of people's interest in using all sorts of platforms for storytelling. AuthorBee is targeting those using Twitter clients (or AuthorBee's own web interface) "to create, co-create and curate rich, long-form stories with their followers." Targeting both professionals and amateurs the company states "'A story can really be anything...it can be breaking news, fan fiction or poetry. It can also be a travel log, a Haiku, a hip-hop song or a chocolate chip cookie recipe. What matters is the common interest or passion shared by the contributors.'"
Activism, Spotlight, Intellectual Property, Legal Advocacy
As many fans know from personal experience, copyright laws and their enforcement can be problematic when it comes to either serving creators or the public well. Currently, some groups in the European Union are looking for public input when it comes to their own experiences with copyright.
These organizations, such as The Open Knowledge Foundation, are encouraging members of the public to fill out a questionnaire. With these responses they are hoping to begin action on copyright reform.
News of Note, Music, Fannish Communities, Fannish Histories
Nico Lang wrote in Salon about why an album is her Thanksgiving go-to. "When Liz Phair was recording 'Guyville,'...she had to pretend that she could find the answers in his music, a way to go forward as an artist. However, Phair knew all you really have is what’s in your own head, and listening to 'Exile on Main Street' on repeat tells you more about yourself than it ever will about Mick Jagger. 'Exile' has become a tradition for me...not as a memento of the past but as part of a relationship that will continue to evolve even as others come and go. We have the traditions that are given to us by historical edict, but the more important ones are those you build for yourself, the constants that remind you of who you are and where you’ve been."
DMCA, Gender and Sexuality, News of Note, Intellectual Property, Commercial Works Authors, Music
A recent legal spat over the repurposing of a Beastie Boys song brought discussions of fair use to the fore. xojane claimed "The Beastie Boys versus GoldieBlox battle cuts close to my heart because I love the Beastie Boys, and I love companies developing anti-sexist takes on products, but I also love fair use. And in this particular instance, the Beastie Boys are wrong. The celebration of their fight against GoldieBlox is missing a key component of the situation here, which is that the GoldieBlox video, which perhaps not ethically defensible given the expressed wishes of Adam Yauch, could very well be perfectly legal. And you should want it to be, because fair use and transformative works lie at the heart of so much of art, culture, criticism, and society."
News of Note, Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality, Gaming, Books, Fanfiction , Television
As fanfiction and other fanworks become an increasingly common mainstream reference, disputes about what it is and isn't are likely to grow. However, one problem emerges when professionally published content is somehow distinguished from fanfic simply because an outlet like NPR doesn't want to call it that. "When writers finish a book, they may think they've had the last word. But sometimes another writer will decide there's more to the story. Bertha from Jane Eyre and the father in Little Women are just two examples of secondary characters who have been given a fuller life in a new work of fiction based on a classic novel."
Conferences, Comics, Fan Conventions, Event, Television
Happy New Year! Welcome to our Events Calendar roundup for the month of January! The Events Calendar can be found on the OTW website
Report, Strategic Planning, Survey Research
The Strategic Planning Committee is pleased to announce that we have completed the Survey Workgroup report.
You can download the report as a PDF from the OTW website.
Announcement, Intellectual Property, Books, Legal Advocacy
On December 26, 2013, a U.S. Federal Court issued a ruling about copyright protection in Sherlock Holmes and the Sherlock Holmes stories. The court held that all elements of the Holmes canon that were first introduced before 1923 -- including the characters of Holmes and Watson -- are in the public domain.