Are you Canadian? OTW Legal Wants Your Stories!

Are you Canadian? OTW Legal wants your stories about being a fan!

Over the years, OTW Legal has spoken for fans and fanwork creators in comments to governments around the world including the U.S., the E.U., Canada, Australia, and South Africa. And we want your help to keep doing that! The Canadian government is currently conducting a review of the Canadian Copyright Act. The Parliamentary Committee responsible for the review has already received some comments complaining about fan-friendly laws like the 2012 expansions to fair dealing and the User-Generated Content exception to copyright infringement. OTW Legal wants to show Parliament the other side of the story: the important value that Canadian fanwork creators get from being able to create transformative works.

Are you Canadian and have you expressed yourself, gained skills, been part of creative communities, or otherwise experienced the benefits of being able to create transformative works–works that are legal to create in Canada because of fair dealing and the UGC exception? If so, OTW Legal would love to hear your stories. We need to submit our comments soon, so please send our Legal Advocacy team your stories about how being able to create fanworks and belong to fan communities has helped you, by the end of May. (Feel free to use a pseudonym if you don’t want us to share your personally identifying information.) We’ll use your stories to support our legal advocacy work in Canada and worldwide.


Legal Advocacy
  1. Hadespuppy commented:

    Being a part of the fan communities I have has allowed me to build connections with people around the world, to learn skills including writing, copyediting, research, and communication across unexpected cultural differences.
    Explicit works allowed me to explore sexuality in a safe way that, while my parents would probably be shocked and appalled by what I was exposed to, at a young age in terms of fictional content, probably kept me safe from real world harm.
    Works of all kinds, and the meta analysis to be found in fandom spaces taught me to be critical of art I all forms, to ask where it comes from and what the creators are trying to say, as well as what they are saying unintentionally, which I think allows me to be a better fan, and to advocate for better content.

  2. Gerec commented:

    I am in my forties, and have enjoyed the benefits of safe fandom spaces for the past six years. Being able to create and consume transformative works has been a wonderful experience, allowing me to connect with fans all over the world over common passion and interests. It has also given me the opportunity to hone my writing skills, which I have used extensively in my daily work life. I have a daughter in her early teens who has just discovered the joy of fandom and transformative works, and I look forward to exploring these spaces with her together.

  3. Sloth commented:

    Fan made works allows people to expand stories beyond what the original creator had given, it allows viewers to answer questions or to create what ifs, that perhaps the creator hadn’t thought of or hadn’t felt it was needed. The ability to use transformative works from existing content not only lets fans of the works get a deeper attachment to characters but allows themselves to express ideals, fantasies, and personal experiences. Truth be told and there is quite a number of evidence that transformative works created by fans of other works often leads to those fans developing skills including their own ability to create their own original works that later become published. There are copyrighted works that are best sellers in stores that were at one point fanworks of another creator’s work.

    i’m a fan work creator, the ability to create my fanworks of my favourite shows, and on occasion books, helps develop writing skills that can assist me in future jobs or in allowing me to expand on a pre-existing universe or character, that can assist with one day creating my own. it allows fans to express themes in a safe manner, including explicit content without the risk of harm to themselves or another person. the fan base i am apart of through the influx of fan-works and transformative contributions ultimately lead to the franchise to expand well beyond the creator’s initial intention. it allowed for more universes to be thought up, allowed for stories to be expanded. the content creator created this franchise for the sole reason of selling toys and had not thought it would go beyond it’s introduction in the 80s, now the content creator has hired writers who started out doing fanworks to create further stories, expand universes and have the ability to change, adapt and rewrite for new generations of fans to get involved and create their own fanworks.

    the ability to share fanworks online allows fans to find and connect to other fans that perhaps would have been harder or impossible to do otherwise. it allows fans to express their ideas, to ask questions, ultimately to find out there are like minded people. transformative works promotes growth either within communities or within individuals. in my 20 years of fan writing i have seen it happen personally not only with myself but to others around me. truthfully if i ever get my own original content created and officially published, i hope it inspires others to add to it, to express how much the content i created meant to them. my skills are what they are because i was able to use someone else’s work as a starting base to practice with and learn to create my own. with 6 billion people on this planet, the chances of someone else coming up with the exact same ideas and you isn’t that hard to believe.

    there is a quote on the internet that says “Once you’ve read the dictionary, every other book is just a remix”

  4. Fujimoto Chiaki commented:

    I enjoy writing regularly and I’ve started sharing fan works nearly 22 years ago. Of course, there was no safer outlet for some time (MSN Groups was shut down), so I ended up finding other websites to share fan made material and be part of an active, friendly community.

    Of course I was born and raised in Canada, always looking at The US from the outside and worming my way in to interact and connect with fellow fans. This expanded a little more after YouTube (2005 – 2009) became a top hit! I’ve befriended and bounced ideas with other writers/fans from other parts of the globe.

    I haven’t been to comic conventions yet. Never dressed up in a costume nor attended a Meet & Greet with actors, writers, artists, producers, etc. (those who helped bring the original source materials to life). Yet I still do the best I can to be involved and just kick it.

    On the plus side, I am able to develop my writing skills and help others improve on theirs. Many of my fanfics are still available for at least one lucky reader (on several platforms), because there will always be one person who finds something enjoyable, memorable or gripping. Since I’ve started writing again last year, AO3 became my main platform as I’ve migrated two old fics over and started producing more. I use FFNet, Tumblr and Lunaescence as backup (when I cross-post). So far, my fics are not “all that” on Luna, but they tend to be well-received by various users and guests. I steer clear of begging for reviews because, what’s meant to be will be. Traffic relies solely on Fandom size and activity. When to post a new fic/chapter also depends on time zone, possible holidays, and whether or not I have an active readership ratio.

    Otherwise, I am writing and editing. Once in awhile, I will search for Betas because we’re all busy people with additional life responsibilities. It is still rewarding to build rapport and relationship with others who intend to see your writing become a success. If they ask you to lend a hand on theirs, that’s a bonus!

    So, transformative works is just as important and useful to have outside of the USA. Without it, I don’t know where I’d be today.