News of Note

  • OTW Fannews: Kindle Worlds edition

    By .Curtis Jefferson on Sunday, 26 May 2013 - 8:57pm
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    • Amazon's announcement earlier this month that it would be launching Kindle Worlds as a way to capitalize on fanfic writers didn't just get a lot of attention among fans and online discussion sites it also launched dozens of related articles ranging from tech publications, business publications, publishing sites, entertainment sites, journalism sites, fan-oriented media and mass-market media, in the U.S. and internationally, as well as individual responses by authors. We thought we'd take a look at some of the issues raised in this coverage and what the media was focusing on.
    • One of Forbes' articles on the topic pointed out that the content restrictions imposed by Amazon's terms mean that the juggernaut hit that was Fifty Shades of Grey wouldn't have been able to be published through this program. Writers using this program won't be making that much either. "The revenue split is considerably less generous than authors who use their own characters enjoy, with Kindle Worlds writers keeping 35% of the net. That’s for works over 10,000 words; for shorter ones, the rate is an even lower 20%. Ordinarily, writers who self-publish e-books through Amazon keep 70% percent."
    • Author John Scalzi also looked critically at Amazon's terms and what a bad deal it is for fanfic writers. "Essentially, this means that all the work in the Kindle Worlds arena is a work for hire that Alloy (and whomever else signs on) can mine with impunity. This is a very good deal for Alloy, et al — they’re getting story ideas! Free! — and less of a good deal for the actual writers themselves. I mean, the official media tie-in writers and script writers are doing work for hire, too, but they get advances and\or at least WGA minimum scale for their work."
    • Scalzi's comments about how Amazon's move was more likely to replace writers of tie-in novels with cheap, unedited writers, tied into Forbes contributor Suw Charman-Anderson's comments about how Amazon's move was yet another example of a slow-moving and risk-averse traditional publishing industry. "How many more business opportunities are Amazon going to create from things that the publishing industry has ignored or rejected? Publishers cannot allow themselves to be pushed constantly onto their back foot by Amazon, they can’t let outdated attitudes towards copyright, licensing and creativity define their future. They need to do what Amazon does only too well: Find under-served communities and then give them the tools to write, to create and to make money from their work." Megan Carter at The Daily Beast also looks at the matter from a publishing perspective, saying "The interesting thing about the Kindle Single is that it isn't just changing how long people write, but how people write. The books can be written much faster--you say as much as you have to say, and then you stop. Then if they do well, they get turned into a hardcover, which can be revised and extended based on the commentary the ebook received. "
    • Some, such as Matt Carter, are concerned about what this will do to professional writers. "The joy of fan-fiction for some has always been the pleasure of writing for the sake of writing, and then sharing among like-minded friends. The concern here is twofold in that the original author of, say, a “Vampire Diaries” script could feel slighted if a fan-fiction author suddenly pulls in more money than them, and that there will suddenly be authors who will actually take to writing fan-fiction rather than trying to create original worlds of their own, thus setting a limit on future creative projects."
    • Carina Adly MacKenzie at Zap2It pointed out what Alloy is. "It should be noted that Alloy is a book packager, so the three available properties aren't the brainchild of specific authors, but of a sort of brain trust of creative types and marketing geniuses. Alloy has a team of people who sit down and come up with plot ideas that they believe will make profitable franchises, mostly directed at young women. Then, they hire an author to write their previously outlined stories. This means that Alloy retains the creative rights to the "world" in which the books are set, because Alloy came up with it, which makes something like Kindle World a lot easier. Whether this sort of system would work with content that emerged in a more traditional way -- from the mind of one writer or producer -- is yet to be seen."
    • TechnoBuffalo raised a concern likely on many fans' minds -- what comes next. "One lingering question from this project, however, is if the studios that license the properties will continue to allow fans to publish their works for free around the Web. In theory not much should change, but there is now a financial stake in this sub-section of fandom where companies can earn money from the work of others, so there might be an incentive to drive people towards the pay version of fan fiction. We reached out to Warner Bros., the parent company of Alloy Entertainment, for comment on the matter, but had not received a reply by publication time."
    • One concern about the Worlds program may not be as restrictive as people think. "Fan fiction has never been about money. Inhabiting a beloved world and bonding about it with other fans is what's kept people publishing thousands of words for free. Doing so for dollars but being limited by Amazon's terms (one of which is no pornography, of which a sizeable amount of fan fiction is comprised) may turn many off. However, when asked if Fifty Shades of Grey would violate the "no pornography" clause, an Amazon spokesperson said, "Fifty Shades of Grey involves consensual sex between adults and does not violate our content guidelines." So how Amazon defines pornography is definitely somewhere outside the "I know it when I see it" dictum."
    • However, others are more concerned about what this development will mean for fanfiction communities, though the less they know about them, the more likely the think of Kindle Worlds as a great development. "Most fan fic authors would jump at the chance to legally write for their beloved franchise, but with a possibility of getting paid and perhaps even recognition from the creator? It's going to be an instant, phenomenal success." Others are less sanguine: "Fan fiction is a place of wing fic...and Mpreg...You can't package up a place like that and sell it. And telling and retelling stories, however we want to, is bigger even than a giant like Amazon. Fanfic existed before the internet and it will still be around when we live in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. After all, it's created enough of them." And one commentator proposed the idea that Amazon spaces will become community forums for fanfic writers. "'I think it just builds the network effect, which is one of the cornerstones of Amazon’s competitive advantage,' said R.J. Hottovy, senior ecommerce analyst at Morningstar. 'The more people use (the platform) and discuss, the more powerful it is for people who sell things.'"
    • Some outlets contacted the OTW for comment, such as Wired: "Indeed, given the limited licenses, draconian content guidelines, and dubious contracts, it’s hard to imagine fans abandoning open platforms for a far-from-guaranteed paycheck. While Kindle Worlds is sure to attract a fair number of fan writers excited at the prospect of working under official license and maybe even making a buck or two off their stories, for many, the most appealing route to publication will remain the one taken by Fifty Shades of Grey author E. L. James: just file off the serial numbers."
    • At least one likely outcome to widespread media stories on fanfiction will be the continuing practice of spreading confusion about fanfiction terms and practices due to a lack of fact checking or research, including being able to accurately determine the number of Vampire Diaries stories at Fanfiction.net. But at least fanfiction readers can rest easy that fanfic's already been easily available for their Kindles since 2010.

    What additional views on Kindle Worlds have you seen? 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: Awesome creations

    By Claudia Rebaza on Friday, 24 May 2013 - 3:18pm
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    • Mother Jones wrote about Jennie Lamere, who recently won the "best in show" award at the national TVnext Hack event by helping fans avoid spoilers on Twitter. She did it by writing "Twivo, a new program that allows Twitter users to censor their feeds from mentioning a certain TV show (and its characters) for a set time period." She was the only solo woman participating. "Hackathons (which have nothing to do with illegal hacking) bring together programmers, developers, and designers, who compete to code an innovative new program in a limited amount of time." Lamere has already been approached by a company to market her creation. "She came up with the idea for Twivo the night before the competition, and it took her 10 hours and 150 lines of code to complete."
    • Fan creativity isn't just becoming a given, it's beginning to be demanded as well. Kotaku posted about "Little Witch Academia...an animated 30-minute short released by Studio Trigger on YouTube" which was "produced as a part of the 'Young Animator Training Project'." Noting that anime fandom had successfully instigated a series from their response to an ad, writer Patricia Hernandez urged them to do the same with this project.
    • While non-scripted TV shows tend to lag in terms of fanwork creations, there's at least one fan video out there, "Hold Up, Bro" that can make people take note that they exist. "Lisa Ferreira recreated last week’s episode in Legos, showing how three idols led to Phillip’s exit. It’s fantastic and kind of shocking that Legos are so effective at representing Survivor cast members and locations." Ferreira then added " a full-length song and musical number...written and performed by Lisa and her brother Matthew Willcott."

    What cool fanworks have you seen lately? 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: Collective action

    By Claudia Rebaza on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 - 6:02pm
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    • Fans and the general public are becoming less tolerant of corporate overreaches in copyright claims. A crackdown on Etsy vendors marketing Firefly-related hats caused sufficient outrage that one outlet selling the licensed hats decided to donate its profits to a Firefly charity. Yet as The Mary Sue pointed out, at least part of the anger was because now that "Fox has actually decided to license merchandise based on the ten year old television series" they're "taking shots at the smaller, unlicensed retailers that have been serving the market niche they’ve been ignoring."
    • Other overreaches garnered an even larger response, prompting the enforcement-happy Disney company to change an upcoming film title. "[T]he Internet flipped out in response to the news that Disney had filed several applications to trademark the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos, which is the subject of an upcoming Pixar film. The freak out-age is completely justified: Trademarking Día de los Muertos would be exploitative, appropriative, and disrespectful of Mexican culture, plus it’s just downright insane (owning trademark to a holiday? C’mon, Disney). Luckily the massive amount of criticism got Disney to back off."
    • Collective action seems key. Research fellow Nicholas Theisen wrote about copyright in relation to manga and scanlations as well as examining issues surrounding fair use. "[M]edia companies quite often bully individuals and smaller companies into abdicating fair use rights simply by virtue of being able to spend more money on lawyers and on legal means of protecting one’s IP." This doesn't affect just fans but also scholars. "[I]t has become standard practice for publishers of comics scholarship to demand that authors get express written permission for each and every image to be reproduced, even though a work of scholarship is an obvious example of fair use." The problem is one that doesn't even reach litigation. "Scholars regularly lament this state of affairs, yet there is little pushback, because, at the end of the day, if you don’t get the permissions, your book doesn’t get published, and if your book doesn’t get published, the likelihood of your getting tenure plummets. The practice of publishers is likely never to change unless people at some point say “no,” at very real risk to themselves and their careers."
    • The new U.S. H.R. 1892 bill would amend the DMCA to require that circumvention be in aid of copyright infringement to be unlawful. This would fix a number of issues, including the OTW's need to get an exemption for vidders every three years. U.S. fans to whom these exemptions are important might want to contact their representatives in support of the bill.

    What collective action have you seen bring about a success for fans? 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: Collaborative playgrounds

    By Claudia Rebaza on Saturday, 18 May 2013 - 3:42pm
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    • It's not only communication between entertainment creators and fans that's becoming common, but also a creative dialogue. Anna Pinkert at Spinoff Online wrote about the benefits of embracing slash and other fan creations. "At a recent event, a reporter showed The Avengers star Mark Ruffalo a series of drawings of his character snuggling with Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark. He began giggling, and then even made up captions for one of the cartoons, “Would you like a gummy worm?” Better yet, he told the reporter, “I endorse [this art] 100 percent. You know what it is? It’s open-source creativity.” She suggests that "[h]omoerotic fan art might be a new signal that you’ve arrived in Hollywood. People know your face (and your abs) well enough to do 30 sketches of you embracing another star." At least some actors are ready to invite fans to play.
    • Of course, direct collaborations can be a mismatch of expectations. The L.A. Times wrote about Paul Verhoeven's semi-crowdsourced film Tricked describing the problems. Fans were asked to develop chapters of a story that were then filmed. "Nearly 30,000 people...were part of the community submitting or commenting on prospective "Tricked" elements...Nor was the process cheap -- production on the film only cost about $800,000, Verhoeven said, but the expenses incurred running things such as the online-submission platform approached $4 million." Assembling disparate suggestions was also challenging. "When the suggestions poured in...they again found themselves with a mess (one writer might drop in aliens, another would dial in characters more at home in “50 Shades of Gray"), Verhoeven kept fiddling, working on the episode for several weeks, shooting it and repeating the process. Finally, after nearly a year, he had a film that was about 70 minutes long."
    • A better model seems to be to adopt after the fact. "[W]hen ZeniMax Online Studios and Bethesda Softworks noticed singer-songwriter Malukah's covers of songs from their hit game Skyrim had gone viral on YouTube, the companies approached her to create an original song about the upcoming massive multiplayer game "The Elder Scrolls Online" (ESO)." Suggesting that a game is by nature a collaborative creative work, writer Yannick LeJacq concludes "We can probably expect more blurring of the lines between fans and creators in the next-generation as the technology behind game development becomes ever more accessible and democratized."

    What do you think are the best collaborative fandom playgrounds? 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: Separate by intention?

    By Claudia Rebaza on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 - 4:55pm
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    • Given media representations apparently a lot of people continue to think that female fandom projects are rare, although this may have to do with how gender segregated fandom projects often are. In a feature on the "Hello Sweetie" podcast, its founder discusses why it came into being. "She and others were listening...to 'Geek Show Podcast,' the popular online show started by X96’s 'Radio From Hell' host Kerry Jackson, local movie critics Jeff Vice and Jimmy Martin, and Tribune TV critic Scott D. Pierce. "'They never have any female panelists, rarely had female guests, and a lot of people were complaining about that,'"...On one episode of 'Geek Show Podcast,' one of the hosts said, 'If you [women] want to have a podcast, you should start one.'"
    • One reason for the separation may have to do with how female characters in fandoms are frequently depicted. One of the latest fans to address that issue uses cosplaying girls to create artwork depicting superheroes as they might really be. "It's not only combatting the myth that girls don't read or care about comics, but it’s showing that girls, too, can play the male superheroes that so often overshadow their female counterparts. And it's also proving just how easy it is to upend the sexist conventions that keep the women of comics in scantily clad, unrealistic uniforms for the purpose of sexually objectifying them."
    • The site Machinima.com pitches itself as equivalent with the fanwork in the tagline "a programming movement that captures the hard-to-reach 18 to 34-year-old male demographic." They have decided to try crowdsourcing video production on its Happy Hour Tales series. “Fans are invited to submit ideas for what happens in the second part of Trial of the Songbird…I wonder if there’s some branded intentions here; after all, inviting viewers to write about a brand new video game is a good way to get them to play that game. Happy Hour Tales is the overarching name of the series, which suggests that we will get crowdsourced stories set in other video game worlds before long.” Since fans have little need for an invitation to create new fannish content, the plan seems more in line with further commercializing fannish creativity rather than encouraging its independent development.
    • Another fannish site that's looking for fannish contributions has a long history of female participation, though Aja Romano wonders if the creative team is taking that into account. For one thing the fandom already has major fandom wiki projects, although they don't "emphasize fan creations and fanworks the way that Roddenberry's Trek Initiative does." But "it seems odd that Roddenberry has gone the traditional route of archives, wikis, and fan forums, rather than the more web 2.0 route emphasizing social media, media sharing, and interactive media. It's possible he hasn't registered just how big Star Trek is on Tumblr, where the new reboot reigns supreme among millions of fans, mostly women."

    Do the fandom sites you visit seem to target one gender over another? 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 Triggers

    By .C. Ryan Smith on Sunday, 12 May 2013 - 1:01am
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    • While in some places fanfic writers are getting arrested, in others the concern is instead about how fans could be ruining pop culture. "Mr. Rushfield laments that fan culture is set in its ways and does not want to be challenged. I think this is an oversimplification...Yes of course, some fans will never be happy. Some fans say and do things I find shocking and disrespectful, but I think that this is a very small minority...To think that this subset of fans is the driving force behind any artistic decisions, is not giving enough credit to writers and producers in entertainment."
    • Fandom activities can also lead to a new vision of culture. As a post on Amazing Stories pointed out, fannish activism may also serve wider social causes. "I often see proponents of greater diversity in the media tarred with a certain brush—it’s the brush that paints them as self-absorbed, hysterical, wannabe victims who cannot take a moment to step outside their bubble and understand the cold, hard truth of how the world works. Those who employ this brush see themselves as realists...Female protagonists can’t possibly sell in great enough numbers, they say. There isn’t enough of a market to make the character gay, they say. I understand you’re upset, they say, but you have to look beyond your (petty, juvenile) concerns and deal with the fact that the characters are going to be white."
    • On the flip side, fans also need to take a look at their own creations when it comes to social impact. Blogger Luz Delfondo takes fanfiction to task on its contributions to rape culture. "What’s really exciting about fandom from a feminist point of view is that it is predominantly female. The people who are talking back to fictional media with their own takes on their favorite stories are women. This is a great opportunity to transform patriarchal, sex-negative stories told using the male gaze (which is the majority of media, sadly) into stories that represent our points of view...However, all too often, the same biases that come up over and over again in fictional media are also replicated in fandom."

    What cultural effects do you see fans having? 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: The places fanfiction goes

    By Claudia Rebaza on Thursday, 9 May 2013 - 9:55pm
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    • NYU's student newspaper decided to feature fanfiction with a particularly local angle -- fanfiction set on its campus. "Remember when you were waiting for your acceptance letter? Whether NYU was your dream school or just your safety, you’d catch yourself longing for the city, dreaming of the day when you’d leave your home for the magic of New York...You weren’t the only one dreaming. In fact, some would-be students have dedicated hundreds of pages to their NYU-centric fantasies. So focused are these writers’ efforts that NYU Fanfiction has swelled into its own thriving—if slightly inaccurate—genre."
    • Australia's The Monthly article on erotic fan fiction nights is somewhat inaccurate as well. Author Linda Jaivin says, "My three co-readers had chosen to write about real people, a subgenre of fanfic that got its start along with the first boy bands." She also speculates that her concern regarding derivative works might be age related. "I raised the question of copyright and fanfic with Eddie Sharp, host of the erotic fan-fiction nights. He dismissed my concerns: “I can’t think of anyone my age” – he’s 30 – “who would be upset.” He characterised the “attitude shift” towards copyright as “a generational thing”.
    • People have apparently been reading about fanfiction at 50,000 feet. Following a feature in American Airlines, Choose Your Own Adventure, KLM's inflight magazine, Holland Herald also featured a story on it and both had an OTW connection. In the former, board member emeritus Francesca Coppa attempted to clarify the ethos of fanfiction writing, something which was expressed much better in the latter piece. "For [writing workshop founder Lisa Friedman], fan fiction is a ‘marginalised’ genre in its infancy, comparable to the graphic novel before it found widespread acceptance via the publication of Art Spiegelman’s 1991 Holocaust memoir Maus. “In any case,” she observes, “it’s kind of amazing how much skill it takes to work within someone else’s parameters, to attune oneself so acutely in matters of style and character.” Joanne Harris agrees with the latter point, and draws a comparison to the traditions of fine art: “All young artists used to copy the Old Masters before they were allowed to develop their own style, and fan fiction is the modern equivalent,” she says."

    What unexpected places have you found fanfiction in? 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: Fans front and center

    By Claudia Rebaza on Friday, 3 May 2013 - 10:52pm
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    • Television is increasingly turning to fandom to find viewers. The Los Angeles Times put a spotlight on AMC's The Talking Dead. "Broadcast directly after the phenomenally successful 'The Walking Dead,' 'The Talking Dead' has taken on a life of its own, evolving from a half-hour companion show into a full-fledged, hour-long monster mash whose ratings in the coveted 18-49 demographic surpass a host of prime-time shows on the major networks." It seems likely this recipe will be copied since "Even more significantly, 'The Talking Dead' is one of the least expensive series on AMC's prime-time slate — the set is spare, there's no band and the production is low-frills. While declining to say how much the show costs, Stillerman said 'it's a good business model. We get a nice return on our investment.'"
    • In a 2-part interview on Henry Jenkins' blog, several academics address the future of television, focusing in part on the Veronica Mars kickstarter campaign. "Fans are now Studios. Advertisers are Studios. Amazon is a studio. Netflix too. So, the roles are not only changing, they are blurred and the winner is the story. Because generally we don’t know what we want until a story is in front of us and we say: I want more of that. And I will pay with my time, my emotions, my network of friends and my money."
    • Other shows aren't just for fannish audiences, fans are the content as well. Articles about shows in development mentioned AMC's "Geek Out" and SyFy's "Cosworld" and "Fandemonium". "'Cosworld' will...follow some of the top people in the cosplay world as they come up with new and ever more imaginative and intricate costumes in an effort to win a cash prize and bragging rights" while "'Fandemonium'...will follow a group in Los Angeles as they try to balance their lives and their obsession with their heroes." However, people are more likely to want to appear on "Geek Out" which "aims to make the dreams of real-life Number One fans come true and give them an 'awesome, otherwise unattainable experience related to their obsession.'" The show will be taking a broad fandom approach, as "fans tracked down for the show will be of the sci-fi lover/videogame player/comic book reader/George Lucas-opinion-haver variety [but]...will also include aficionados of athletes, celebrities, and authors."

    Have you been tracking the development of fan-focused shows? 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: Giving people what they want

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sunday, 28 April 2013 - 6:55pm
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    • Slate wrote about how badly the DMCA affects accessibility of technology from ebooks to online videos. "[P]ublishers, video programmers, and other copyright owners lock down digital content with digital rights management technology designed to limit users’ ability to access, copy, and adapt copyrighted works to specific circumstances. And copyright owners frequently fail to account for the need to adapt DRM-encumbered works to make them accessible to people with disabilities.

      For example, e-books often include DRM technology that prevents people who are blind or visually impaired from running e-books that they have lawfully purchased through a text-to-speech converter that reads the books aloud. Similarly, Internet-distributed video and DVD and Blu-ray discs include DRM features that prevent researchers from developing advanced closed captioning and video description technologies that make movies and television shows accessible."

      What's more the process is the same one the OTW has to follow to maintain its DMCA exemption for fan video makers. "Requiring nonprofit disability groups to ask permission from the government every three years and navigate a complex legal minefield to implement urgently needed accessibility technology is not compatible with progressive, conservative, or libertarian values; the goal of equal access for people with disabilities; or common sense.”

    • Two of the OTW's Legal Committee members, Heidi Tandy and Rebecca Tushnet, recently were on a fanfiction panel with Vice President and Senior Intellectual Property Counsel for Warner Bros, Dale Nelson at the 6th Annual PIPG Symposium. Tushnet wrote about the panel and Nelson's discussion of fan activities: "Fan activity is fans having fun. Are they legitimate, are they acting from love? Or do they see fan activity as a loophole—make a fan film to showcase talent without having read Harry Potter? It’s not fans commercializing the property. We have exclusive rights; commercialization/merchandising in particular will draw our attention. But we tolerate a lot, including fan films, websites (the Leaky Cauldron, popular HP site); Dallas fan site; Lord of the Rings fan site; Quiddich players." She also responded later that it was how they interpreted fan intentions that mattered the most. For example, running ads on a website was usually not an issue because "some fan activities/sites do involve costs, and if it couldn’t run ads/raise a little money it wouldn’t exist."
    • Techdirt posted about a White House petition aimed at changing copyright for the digital age. "The petition notes that the public has lost respect for copyright law, and the government should take steps to fix that, including securing first sale rights, more transparency and a right to remix." Fan rights are expressed in the following: "[A]s responsible creators we need to be able to freely remix existing music and other forms of creative expression to create new works without undue fear of prosecution. This upholds the original Constitutional purpose of copyright, which is to promote progress."
    • Popular bookmarking site Pinboard has made it easier for fans to use it. "For months now it's been possible to declare yourself a part of fandom on the Pinboard settings page, but apart from making people feel good, the checkbox had no practical effect. I've finally changed that by offering a version of the sitewide search engine scoped only to users who self-declare as fans. This should make it easier to find fic using common keywords that would get drowned out on the main search page."

    Do you have stories about fan-focused technology or legal developments? 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: Fanfiction, where can you find it?

    By Claudia Rebaza on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 - 5:07pm
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    • College newspapers are a constant source of stories on fanfiction, but The Varsity tried to take a more comprehensive look at the practice, noting that "fan fiction predates the Internet. In fact, amateur press associations, which first flourished in the early decades of the 20th century, provided a way for aspiring writers to put together and share their own magazines and works of fiction. A distribution manager or official editor would collect the magazines and letter publications and send them to other members of the association. In the 1930s, fans of science fiction magazines printed their own mimeographed or hectographed works which contained their own reviews, printed fiction, and even art."
    • Meanwhile The Londonist decided to write fanfiction as a review of a play that was itself RPF. The play takes the real-life inspirations for Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan and has them meet "at a bookshop in the 1930s...An American playwright, John Logan, takes this meeting as his inspiration; the ensuing 90-minutes muse on the nature of childhood, the draw of fantasy, memory, loss, celebrity and several other things besides." The review is in the style of J.M. Barrie writing to Arthur Llewelyn Davies about the play he's just seen.
    • Speaking of RPF, it isn't just AUs and canon fiction rewrites that are getting published these days. In an interview about her book, Tell Me You Want Me, writer Amelia James is open about her inspiration for the novel. "I had lots of downtime to daydream with Eliot in the center of all my fantasies. I had to know more about him, so I read Christian Kane's bio and dusted off my Angel DVDs...I started a short story about a cocky college quarterback with a smile like an angel and deep blue eyes that promised sin: Austin Sinclair. But long hair just didn't work on him. I couldn't picture it, so I gave him a best friend, Jack Wheeler. Jack became everything I'd imagined about Eliot — a tormented past, a wounded heart and long dark hair a woman could get tangled up in."
    • Unfortunately all the coverage of a fanfiction reference on The Good Wife seemed to play into the show's framing of fanfiction writing as something unusual and unknown. Instead it's something that shows up in the general media all the time, and is connected to just about anything.

    If you have your own take on all the places fanfiction can be found, write an entry 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.

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