The Appeal of Fan-Fiction

Jul 4, 23:49 by IROSF
Let's talk some more about fan fiction!

Heidi Kneale's article can be found here.

Another article on the topic, published over a year ago, can also be found in the archives. And it's worth noting that that article stirred up a conversation of it's own back in the day.
Jul 5, 10:55 by Jed Hartman
Thanks for the followup article!

I haven't had time to read this in detail yet, but for now I have one small quasi-correction to one brief item at the end. Kneale writes: "a fanfiction story can be considered a derivative work and generally derivative works are considered allowable." The emphasis and implications of that statement, in my reading of it, don't quite match what the "Copyright 101" article says, which is:

"Therefore, technically, all fan fictions, which are derivative works (see, Sec. 4.1), are copyright violations. While many copyright holders turn a blind eye to such works [...], they don't have to be so nice about it."

Note that "derivative works" is one of the categories of material protected by copyright.
Jul 5, 14:00 by Bluejack
Yes, that point was also clearly made in Khadiz' original article.

Derivative works are protected by copyright unless specially licensed by the author.

Presumably Kneale's point is that authors generally allow it, but that could have been clearer.
Jul 5, 19:04 by David Bratman
Anyone at pains to observe that fan writers are, or can be, "real writers" should be cautious about dismissive remarks about "mere filk."

Kneale says of the Harry Potter songs, "This is not mere filk, but original music compositions and lyrics."

But the genre of filk includes not just parodies, but original music, not to mention original lyrics. If it's songs about science fiction, especially if it's songs inspired by existing SF literature and film, and it's distributed in an amateur context, it is, or is likely to be considered, filk.

As an example, Leslie Fish, one of the most renowned filksingers of all, got her start in the field by writing original songs based on Star Trek - some humorous, some serious.
Jul 6, 15:28 by Carey McGee
Since fan fiction is such a hot topic, I thought I'd toss in this link to Neal Pollack's recent, (and rather dismissive) article for Wired.
Jul 25, 13:23 by Dan Goodman
At least one sex-story website has a fair amount of fan fiction, which is in the same category as stories about famous real people: The fan fiction is under "Celebrities."
Aug 10, 12:49 by Allan Rosewarne
Real cautious stepping into the water here. But let's go anyway...

The type of story mentioned previously is a specific subcategory sometimes known as RPF (real people fic). Interestingly, in many, many cases the characters are based on current popular "boy" bands (think 'nsync, etc.), and pro wrestling figures. Fan fiction community has actively discussed the appropriateness of this type of writing.

Restating something I mentioned before, not all fan fiction writing (appropriating characters from another work and incorporating that into a non-licensed derivative work) is smutty; furthermore, I would not even say the majority is smutty. Empirical evidence, way back in summer 2003 or 2002, the internet's major fanfiction archive stopped accepting writing into its archive that was smutty, and the archive still receives hundreds of submissions each week.

Being quite again.

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