This Week in Fandom

This Week in Fandom, Volume 54

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start, a shoutout to Fandom‘s blog for the best headline to come out of E3: ‘Super Mario Odyssey’ Shows You Can Teach an Old Hat Magical New Tricks. You can watch the trailer for the game here on Nintendo’s YouTube channel. And while we’re talking trailers, check out new material from Spiderman: Homecoming.


It’s been 20 years since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was first published. Wow. Mashable published an article about how technology grew along with the series, allowing the fandom to grow and author JK Rowling to engage with it. Scroll.in also published a long article about the anniversary which sums up the series’ impact pretty well:

“What we celebrate on June 26 is more than a bestselling children’s book series, but what it has come to mean and developed into in the twenty years since 1997. The everlasting effects of the magic can be seen all around the muggle world, which will now forever pale in comparison to the wonderful wizarding world created by JK Rowling. Countless Potterheads are still waiting for an owl to fly in through a window with our letters from The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. We won’t give up!”

And with new canon still being released via Pottermore and other sources, it’s easy to stay devoted to the series. Just this week, we learned new things about each of the Hogwarts houses like the highlight of this article, that Professors Sprout and Flitwick were romantically involved, and information about the Potter family tree. In short:

What are your favourite things about the Harry Potter series and its fandom? Let us know in the comments!


In legal news, there was a major victory for fair use recently. As ComicMix reports, a lawsuit about a Dr. Seuss and Star Trek mashup book was partially dismissed by a United States District Judge. “Judge Sammartino found that the book is “a highly transformative work that takes no more than necessary [from Dr. Seuss’s books] to accomplish its transformative purpose and will not impinge on the original market for Plaintiff’s underlying work.”

This decision was made with the broader mashup culture in mind, and with a nod to the importance of fair use:

“[Judge Sammartino] emphasized that the case has broader significance: ‘This case presents an important question regarding the emerging ‘mash-up’ culture where artists combine two independent works in a new and unique way. … Applying the fair use factors in the manner Plaintiff outlines would almost always preclude a finding of fair use under these circumstances. However, if fair use was not viable in a case such as this, an entire body of highly creative work would be effectively foreclosed.'”

While the trademark portion of the lawsuit was dismissed, the copyright issue of market harm is still to be decided. For more detailed information, you can read the blog of OTW Legal Staffer Rebecca Tushnet.


Lastly, we have an academic survey to signal boost. Lindsay Mixer, a graduate student at Humboldt State University, is conducting a survey for her Master’s thesis on fanfiction and sexual development, specifically with regards to how people use fanfiction to inform their sexuality. Lindsay can be contacted at lindsay.mixer [at] humboldt.edu, and her supervisor, Dr. Meredith Williams, Professor of Sociology, can be contacted at meredith.williams [at] humboldt.edu. Respondents must be at least 18 years old. Click here to take the survey!


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.

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