Having just completed my most elaborate piece of fan fiction to date (“fanfic” to those in the know) I found this set of items from the always interesting Eve Tushnet to be especially noteworthy. Eve links to:
- a FindLaw article on an organization trying to change the legal status of fanfic under U.S. copyright law;
- the response of her sister, an attorney and passionate defender of fan fiction, to that article;
- and to Eve’s own thoughts on the subject.
I started writing fanfic myself while in graduate school as an antidote to the academic and theoretical bilge I was forced to read and regurgitate on exams and papers. I’ve loved it ever since. I think fans writing their own stories about characters from [insert name of your favorite TV shows, movies, books, etc. here] is a way for fans to take part ownership of characters they enjoy and become producers of culture and entertainment, rather than just passive consumers of whatever swill the corporate suits in New York and Hollywood want to feed us. While I think it would be unfair for fanfic writers to publish their work via conventional means and profit from it without acknowledging or paying royalties to the creators of the characters they borrowed, I can’t see any harm in uploading your own stories of Captain Kirk or Mulder and Scully to a website and making them available for free. Write on!