September got off to a pretty spiffy start for us here at the OTW with an article from Inverse that talked about why people make fanworks and what the OTW does in fandom. (While the OTW gives many interviews, most resulting publications don’t actually talk about our mission, so this was exciting for us.) “Very often, fans come into [creating] fanwork because they’re not finding what they’re looking for, either from the show itself or from existing fan works,” the article says, adding that “what many creators have in common is the desire to shape their preferred narratives.” The article focuses on LGBTQ+ elements as a primary trait of many fanworks, and includes testimonials from fanworks creators about how “there’s just not a lot of mass culture that’s made for [LGBTQ+ people] and [their] tastes.” Is that why you create fanworks? Let us know in the comments!
Also from Inverse comes an article on being a “professional fan.” This one’s perhaps a bit more limited in its notion of fans. Two of the people interviewed for the article started on their road to being professional fans via a love for Twilight. However, they were of the opinion that “a couple twenty-somethings obsessed with a young-adult novel about vampires is a bit odd.” They did expand that, though: “In reality, Twilight [fans are] moms, teachers, lawyers; it’s two thirty-somethings running their own marketing agency.”
This post was made on the OTW’s main Tumblr account a few months ago as a sort of joke, but, as several people pointed out, there are indeed many ways to turn being a fan into a career. The Inverse article explores two of the less common ways.
Lastly, in a spectacularly facepalm-worthy move, Warner Bros. reported its own websites to Google as being illegal due to copyright infringement. As Torrent Freak says, “Warner Bros. is vigorously trying to prevent pirated content from showing up in search results, but in doing so the movie studio has shot itself in the foot.” The BBC quotes Torrent Freak as explaining “Piracy monitoring firms often use automated systems to find and report copyright infringing websites. I’m fairly certain that this happened here as well, considering the obvious mistakes that were made.” And this is why you should always know your rights with regards to DMCA takedown notices. If you receive one about your fanworks and you’re not sure what to do, you can contact the OTW’s Legal committee.
As an Imzy post (login required) on the Warner Bros. story says, “The inmates are running the asylum.”
And speaking of Imzy, the OTW now has a community there! You can visit and join here! We’re still getting things set up, so there’s not much going on yet, but we are definitely on board this bandwagon.
We want your suggestions! If you have a story you think we should include, please contact us! Suggestions are welcome in all languages. Submitting a story doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a TWIF post, and inclusion of a story doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.