Music

  • OTW Fannews: Interpreting Transformation

    Kiri Van Santen on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 - 3:26pm
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    Graphic by Bremo of a gavel

    • While many identify fanworks as derivative creations, at Sequential Tart, Olwyn Supeene considered that same issue in regards to One Direction's music. "My interpretation of this, which I admit may be overly charitable, is that this is the next step on their way toward genuine and original artistic expression. They seem to be trying on different styles to see what best suits them... Like a collage or a mashup, Better Than Words repurposes existing material, compiling it to create meaning in a new context. The derivative becomes transformative."
    • A recent court case about transformative works had U.S. Circuit Courts in disagreement, although they agreed on the end result. "The court said it was 'skeptical' of the fair use approach that its sister circuit took in a 2013 copyright infringement case, Cariou v. Prince...The problem with focusing only on whether a work is transformative, the Seventh Circuit said, is that derivative works to some extent will always transform an original work...The Seventh Circuit instead focused on the four fair use factors set forth in Section 107 of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. §107, saying, 'the most important [factor] usually is the fourth (market effect)'...'I don't think there is a circuit conflict,' Professor Shubha Ghosh of the University of Wisconsin Law School told Bloomberg BNA. 'Easterbrook just balances the four factors differently than what the 2nd Circuit would do.'
    • The Velveteen Rabbi looked at transformation and regeneration in relation to Dr. Who. "I doubt highly that the folks at the BBC had any notion, in 1963 when Doctor Who began, that they were creating a text which might evoke the journey of teshuvah for Jewish viewers for half a century to come. But I believe that it's our task as readers of any text (whether written or televisual) to find our own meaning in it, and that the finding of meaning is an essentially creative act. In coming to our own interpretations of what we're given, we become in a way co-creators of the text we're reading."

    What examples of transformative works are your favorites? 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 Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Caution, Advice Ahead

    Janita Burgess on Sunday, 28 September 2014 - 4:13pm
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    OTW Fannews Caution Advice Ahead

    • Advice columnist Prudie from Slate reassured a mother who discovered her 13-year-old daughter reading "fan fiction for a very popular all boy band which describes in explicit detail sex acts between the male band members." (One guess?) In her response, Prudie reminisced on her own illicit Playboy reading as an adolescent and suggested that the mother address the issue but understand she can't police everything. "Your discovery is the kind of thing that does call for a talk," she wrote, "but first you have to both gather yourself and find your sense of humor." She finished by speculating that "the writers of this series didn't think their most avid fans would be teenage girls!"
    • Of course, not all advice is always well understood. Writer Michelle R. Wood discussed her discovery of the OTW's mission to protect and preserve fanworks but stated, "It's important to remember that technically, all of this work is still illegal. Without authorization from the author, publisher, or studio, a fan work is still in violation of copyright." In fact, as the OTW's Legal Advocacy project often explains, fanworks are creative and transformative, which are core fair uses.
    • Then there's also advice that isn't advice at all, such as a post in The Guardian that raised the hackles of some fanfic writers. Its author later apologized, saying "Piece was meant to be quite tongue in cheek, but as we've presented it as a 'how to' that could be misleading. I know fanfic is a big universe, and people do it for all sorts of reasons, inspired by a ton of different ideas. I love that it exists and as far as I'm concerned the more people that are writing stories the better. Sorry to offend!"

    Have words of wisdom for other fanfic readers and writers? 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 Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Spotting Fanworks

    Jennifer Rose Hale on Sunday, 21 September 2014 - 5:11pm
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    Graphic of digital music play screen with text Spotting Fanworks
    • Business 2 Community featured fan video work in a recent post and looked at some stats. "In the past 30 days, Doctor Who has garnered 7.9 million views on YouTube with 355 videos uploaded about the show. Doctor Who also had its series 8 premiere in this window of time...By comparison, BBC’s Merlin (which has been off the air for nearly three years) had around 33 thousand views across 140 videos in the past 30 days. It is apparent that new official content drives views, but fandom still makes videos even without any new footage available. If we compare Doctor Who with smash hit Harry Potter for the past 30 days, Doctor Who still wins. But Harry Potter still has a healthy 2.8 million views across 89 videos."
    • The Asian Age looked at audio works. "In an emerging musical microtrend, fans of many such literary and cinematic fictional franchises have taken to creating and downloading 'ambient mixes' in a bid to recreate their favourite spaces and sequences from the narrative...Vasudev Rathore sees in ambient mixes a way to give your life a background score and make routine or even tedious things feel more exciting. Add to this an association with your favourite books or movies and the outcome is unparalleled. 'You can make a novel come alive by recreating its environment using ambient sounds. I have started reading Lord of The Rings and Harry Potter again with these new sound mixes in the background. It is a whole new experience.'"
    • The Hollywood Reporter's feature on the future of films included the role of fans, though it was perhaps a little behind the times in not acknowledging that fan films were already here. "The accessibility of tech makes it all possible for us to produce — and own. The intellectual property of our own tales will be ours to use and repurpose in new innovative ways. We’ll see them screened and voted upon (like The Voice), with the winners getting widespread release. It will be an entirely new business model. You've heard about Fan Fiction? Get ready for Fan Film, in which self becomes film studio."

    What fanwork features 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 Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Every Kind of Fan

    Janita Burgess on Tuesday, 2 September 2014 - 4:22pm
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    OTW Fannews Every Kind of Fan

    • NPR reported on a K-Pop con in Los Angeles. "[T]alking demographics, Killoren says that most of the 40,000 KCON-goers are girls. Now, you might expect that most of the fans are Korean. 'Most every single person will think that. In fact, most Koreans think that. And they come and they realize we have - less than 10 percent of our audience is Korean.' And Killoren says, that's kind of the point. KCON is a way to give American K-pop fans a taste of something they usually only see on YouTube and to get them caught up in that Hallyu wave." (Transcript available).
    • Portugal News Online reported on an international Cliff Richard con. "Sandra Nicholson, from Newcastle, flew in purposely from the UK for the fundraising event, as did 57-year-old life-long fan Margrit, from Austria. Most of the fans were already well-acquainted, having bumped into each other several times before at a number of the many concerts and events that have been held over the past half a century, since Cliff Richard rocked onto the scene in the late 1950s. Dutch fan Petra de Nie, who runs the Sir Cliff Video Clips website, was also on the cruise, as was Karen Campbell, who possibly had the longest trip of all fans, having travelled with her husband from Brisbane, Australia."
    • Essential Pittsburgh hosted a discussion on "Why Pittsburgh is Geek City, USA" to explain "the start of the Comic Con cultural movement." Comics museum director Joe Wos explained that geek culture was also critical for the growth of cities. "Geek is driving the economy...so I think it's really important for a city to have the attractions, the resources, the sort of things that geeks look for when they move to a city." A caller noted that "Pittsburgh has now had three generations of science fiction clubs all started by women" and Wos added "There was just this huge movement of women who wanted to take comics to the next level." (No transcript available).
    • The Los Angeles Times discussed Outlander's appeal. "The series arrives at a time when Hollywood is acutely aware of the value of female audiences, thanks to 'The Hunger Games,' 'Twilight' and the upcoming 'Fifty Shades of Grey' — projects with passionate, built-in fan bases that have forced the industry to rethink its attitude toward so-called 'chick lit.' And even though while television is thought to be a more female-friendly medium than film, prestige drama remains a realm dominated by male antiheroes. Starz, which last year broadcast 'The White Queen,' another sexy period piece featuring a strong heroine and adapted from a popular historical novel, is specifically trying to reach out to this 'underserved audience' of female subscribers."

    What fandoms have you seen that reach around the globe? 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 Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Terms in Use

    Jennifer Rose Hale on Friday, 29 August 2014 - 4:57pm
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    Magnifying glass over a dictionary with text that reads OTW Fannews Terms in Use
    • As fandom has become more visible, the terms it uses have spread out into new areas. At this point various bands have written songs titled "Fan fiction" and Australian musician Geoffrey O'Connor has recently titled a whole album "Fan Fiction", while there is also a band with the same name.
    • In one of a constant stream of fanwork contests across the web, Vita.mn discussed their fanfiction entries and made some curious claims. "After weeding out the slashfic (which is to regular fan fiction what '50 Shades' is to 'Twilight')...'Second Player' tells the tale of the Mario Bros. from Luigi’s perspective — only they’re not actually brothers in this otherwise spot-on continuity nod. They’re a couple who fell in love in the days before Pride Parades and Rainbow Road Races, and had no choice but to disguise the true nature of their relationship or face the scorn of the Mushroom Kingdom. If you’re worried that this sounds like slashfic, don’t be. It’s a well-crafted original take on a beloved video-game icon and his less celebrated brother, and it traces their lives together in a way that leaves you rethinking every Mario-branded game you’ve ever button-mashed your way through. The goal of any great piece of fanfic is to enhance the original work, so read 'Second Player,' then go back and play 'Super Mario Bros.' and see if you don’t find it a little more interesting and far more tragic."
    • In an interview with IT expert Taylor Judd about password security, he discussed hacker strategies using a fandom example. "So they'll say, 'Ok it's Joe Schmoe Password123 on Battlestar Galactica fan fiction, the first thing I'm going to do when I see that is I'm going to go to gmail.com and see if that username and password works there." (No transcript available).
    • Of course, fandom is constantly inventing new terms as seen at Richard Armitage Frenzy. "Fandom forensics is when a fangirl (or fanboy) goes into detail mode to solve a mystery. What happened?! When?! Who did it?! Who was there?! Did the tie have a tie clip?! If so, whose was it?!"

    What fandom terms have you seen used (or misused)? 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 Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Studying Fandom

    Jennifer Rose Hale on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 - 4:54pm
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    Person looking through microscope with text reading OTW Fannews Studying Fandom
    • The International Business Times was one of many outlets that wrote about a college course on Game of Thrones. "The students also take turns to lead classroom discussions, which touch on diverse topics including racialism, fanfiction, gender roles and power, identity formation, incest, cultural allegory and, of course, good, evil and the grey area in between. For their final assignment, students will create their own addition to the Game of Thrones saga."
    • A PhD candidate created a website to share her research on fanfiction and is looking for comments. "The Fandom Then/Now project presents research conducted in 2008 and uses it to facilitate conversations about fan fiction's past and future. What do you notice in the data from 2008? What do you think about the intersections between fan fiction and romantic storytelling? Now, in 2014, what has and hasn't changed about fans' reading and writing practices?"
    • The Washington Post wanted to know why female fans scream. "'When men cry at a sports event, it’s very similar' to the screaming that takes place at a One Direction concert, says author Rachel Simmons. 'It wouldn’t be okay for men to do that anywhere else. But the sporting event sanctions that behavior.' Simmons is the author of 'The Curse of the Good Girl,' a book in which she argues that young women are unfairly asked to squeeze into an impossible mold of politeness and modesty. Simmons says a concert is a unique event that gives girls the rare opportunity to break out of those roles. 'In their day-to-day, non-concert-going lives, girls don’t have a lot of permission to scream,' she says. 'A concert offers an oasis from the daily rules about being good girls. Screaming is about letting go and leaving the confines of being the self-conscious pleaser.'"
    • Comics Beat cited a recent study which showed that younger congoers are evenly split between males and females, with a skew toward men among older congoers. "I can’t wait to see the comments talking about how this survey isn’t as valid as something some comcis publishers did 40 years ago, or these fans don’t actually BUY things or they don’t really READ comics and blah blah blah. The truth is: the world is changing and this time it’s for the better." Indeed, for yet another year different media outlets continue to rediscover that fans aren't all male.

    What fandom studies have grabbed you? 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 Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Investigating Fandom

    Janita Burgess on Wednesday, 16 July 2014 - 4:48pm
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    Describe the image in this space for the visually impaired

    • At Research Hazel Robinson discussed how fandom works. "Everyone behaves slightly differently online. So in the same way that a blogger might be more confessional on the internet than they would be in their office, fans will be sillier, more obscene in the privacy of a secluded online spot. The specific behaviours of fans will vary a lot from medium to medium though. Some fans might be quite coy on Twitter, as that’s often used for more cross-fandom/experience discussion and feels more public, whereas they’d be very open and in-depth about their fandom on a specific message-board or community."
    • The New Republic posted about fandom ethics in relation to the World Cup. "Objecting citizens may be overlooking the fact that students all over the world are learning about Brazilian arts, letters, and philosophy due to the attention brought upon the country by the World Cup. For example, this past semester, a student in my course on Latin American thought at Brooklyn College argued that the World Cup in fact represented a serious threat to democracy, given the authoritarian policies installed to organize and realize the Cup. He cited Leonardo Boff, a Brazilian theologian and philosopher, as a source for his concept of a just, participatory democracy...trying to track down all the consequences of buying a ticket from FIFA, coming to Brazil, and participating in the business surrounding the World Cup is impossible and does not get to the heart of the matter."
    • GMA News Online posted about KPop fans and stans. "'Fandom is a fuel of trade,' said Catherine Deen, one of three scholars who spoke about the hallyu phenomenon in the forum 'The Hallyu Mosaic in the Philippines: Framing Perception and Praxis' at the Ateneo Initiative for Korean Studies Conference...last week. In their studies, Deen and fellow speakers Patrick Capili and Gilbert Que surveyed hundreds of fans and major KPop fanclubs in the Philippines, categorizing the fans based on their activities and level of affinity with their idols."
    • The Ogiue Maniax blog discussed American anime fandom. "Historically, anime has not needed its American fanbase. Sure, there have been a lot of viewers, but anime’s domestic market is Japan, and it also finds success around the world, in Europe, South America, and Asia. The US certainly has an online presence when it comes to anime discussion and enthusiasm, but over the years it’s been easy to get the impression that this fandom is a paper tiger, especially when it comes to popular shows among the internet fandom not translating to home video sales...Now, however, not only are American viewers tuning in to catch Toonami and its latest anime, but the shows people are most interested in are also the ones that have developed large fanbases online as well."

    What parts of fandom history do you remember? 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 Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Remembering the past

    Claudia Rebaza on Sunday, 13 July 2014 - 5:54pm
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    Banner by Bremo of a timeline showing different fannish platforms starting with Geocities and ending with AO3

    • At The Atlantic, Courtney Klauser discussed her education in social networks thanks to fandom. "Looking back, I most miss the personal anonymity; an online existence without photography or video, a time when it was normal not to use your real name, when people could interact without demographic data being harvested for advertisers or shuffling people into neat demographic categories in the name of improved user experience...Yet the online world where I first encountered the pleasures of fan culture no longer exists at all."
    • Corinne Duyvis wrote at YA Highway about lessons learned while roleplaying. "My absolute biggest hobby as a teenager was online X-Men roleplaying...Roleplaying wasn’t fanfiction like most people know it, but it’s probably the most apt comparison—and that’s why it baffles me when people dismiss fandom as a waste of time for writers, or even call it actively damaging. It’s often the exact opposite. Without fandom, I wouldn’t be writing today. I wouldn’t have a shiny hardcover on shelves as of this month."
    • Author Peter David re-posted a poem about fandom he'd published in 2001 about the spread of fandom online. "And the Grynch straight away fashioned 'Fandom Dot Com/ By fans and for fans,' said the Grynch with aplomb/ The fans, they just loved it, they flocked by the ton/ And they told all their friends, and they came on the run/ Created new websites and posted the things/ On Star Wars, Godzilla, and Lord of the Rings/ The theory, you see, was by acting as one/ The fans would not ever be put on the run/ By studio lawyers with frozen-fish faces/ Subpoenas and letters and leather briefcases."
    • Elizabeth Minkel wrote in New Statesman about changing times. "It might be easy to forget that a little more than a decade ago, Warner Brothers was yanking down Harry Potter fan sites without warning, particularly those that 'sent the wrong message', like speculating that a character could be gay. Now media corporations are actively trying to create the kind of spaces for fan engagement that mimic the volume and enthusiasm of what’s historically been built from the bottom-up – organic celebrations of (and critical space to examine) a book or movie or television show or band. Now we’ve got 'official fan fiction partners' of a book or a movie, and even corporate-sponsored incentive – rewards, like access to special content, that sort of thing – to create more content in their spaces."

    What parts of fandom history do you remember? 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 Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: When fandoms hit the big time

    Janita Burgess on Friday, 4 July 2014 - 5:35pm
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    • As the World Cup kicked off, an American fan talked about the changes he's seen in his fandom. "Now, I will be able to stream the games on my phone at work. I can choose from multiple public parties showing the games I want to see. I can bring up the US team in casual conversation without worrying that people will think I'm weird." Back in 2002 "I watched alone in my house, careful not to wake up anyone else and sporadically running upstairs to post on a message board."
    • Re/Code.net talked about the fandom that launched the success of The Fault in Our Stars. "Judging from more than 100,000 responses, it appears that most Nerdfighters are female, especially the most active Nerdfighters (60 percent of the Vlogbrothers video watchers; 72 percent of survey responders). Some 85 percent of this year’s respondents are non-Hispanic white. Most Nerdfighters are American, and between the ages of 13 and 30. More than 87,000 respondents have read a John Green novel; 28,000 people have purchased something from DFTBA.com, the merchandising arm of Nerdfighteria."
    • The Washington Post cited Wattpad's statistic about how often the fanfic 'After' has been read. "For perspective, that is: (1) almost twice the number of Harry Potter books that have ever been sold, (2) roughly 1.5 times the number of Apple iPhones in existence and (3) two and a half times the population of the United States."
    • A new French documentary on fanwork creations, Citizen Fan launched on July 5. French Public Broadcaster France Télévisons' Online Services, provided it without any territory limits and with English subtitles. Citizen Fan will also be an open "museum" with 400 fan works from 32 countries in it. The documentary was a 2 year long project by filmmaker Emmanuelle Wielezynski-Debats.

    What fandoms have you seen hit the big time? Write about their history 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 Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom Legal Topics

    Claudia Rebaza on Tuesday, 10 June 2014 - 4:23pm
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    Banner by Sidhrat of a pair of glasses laid on an open book

    • The Age reported on a lawsuit involving the founders of The Writers Coffee Shop. "The lawsuit asks the court to recognise that TWCS is an ongoing partnership and, as a partner, Pedroza is entitled to 25 per cent of the profits. Pedroza and Beebe are seeking...'to trap funds not yet paid by Random House'" as a result of their rights purchase for Fifty Shades of Grey. The plaintiffs claim that Amanda "Hayward, 'fraudulently' restructured TWCS under the guise of tax minimisation, without the knowledge of the partners, so payments from the Random House deal, signed in March 2012, flowed exclusively to herself."
    • A post at Screen Invasion suggested that companies using Amazon's Kindle Worlds were setting a precedent for the “potential market” factor of fair use. However, it is the pornier side of fanfiction that is likely to be unaffected. "TV’s GG can show a blush-worthy encounter between Chuck and Blair in his limo’s spacious backseat...but Kindle Worlds can reject a GG fanfic that describes a similar tryst based on the author’s word-choice. Ergo, sites featuring only blue fan-fiction do not impact the same market(s) as their un-obscene peers." This argument tracks to the case involving The Wind Done Gone, since part of that legal argument was that there was no lost revenue because Margaret Mitchell's estate would never have licensed such a work.
    • Evergreen State College's student newspaper posted an open letter from faculty about threats to academic freedom involving a parody theater piece about Disney content. "On Monday of week eight, without consulting the faculty sponsors, Dean Reece issued a written request to fundamentally alter the script, with indication that the college would prevent the students from using campus facilities to perform the script as written." The letter cited the fair use aspects of the work and their belief that a fear of legal action was behind the effort to alter the performance.
    • TIME looked at aspects of One Direction fanfiction following a high-profile fanfic book deal. "Jamison also notes that the idea of making money from fanfiction — something long seen as dubious among fans, even as recently as 50 Shades of Grey — doesn’t seem to be so strange to younger and newer fanfic writers...After all, it’s much less legally thorny to file off those serial numbers when the inspiration is reality: changing the names of a boy band doesn’t risk overstepping the fair use of someone else’s creation. And besides, it’s a time-honored tradition. As Jamison says: 'Every fiction author bases their characters on real people.'”

    What fandom-related legal issues have you heard about? Create some entries for 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 Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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