Links Roundup for 25 November 2011

Here’s a roundup of stories providing a a look at fan and creator interactions that might be of interest to fans:

  • In the KUOW podcast To Be A Fan Is To Be In Love: 3 Films About Fandom, music writer and DJ Hannah Levin spoke about the “tribalism” of Judas Priest fans shown in the documentary “Heavy Metal Parking Lot.” She cited how the fans saw the band they follow as the leaders of their community, and thus had very high expectations for them. The expectation of fans is also at the root of “The People vs. George Lucas” in which the storyline of Anakin Skywalker is compared to Lucas’ career trajectory. Levin suggests that fans’ own age and nostalgia is at the root of much of their disaffection with the first trilogy of the Star Wars franchise. She concludes by discussing “Almost Famous” the semi-autobiographical film by Cameron Crowe and how his ambition to be a rock journalist is at war with his innate fannishness. Levin identifies with Crowe’s character, stating she was also determined to protect her inner fangirl when she followed the same career path. (Links to the films, including a full viewing of the heavy metal documentary, are available at the website.)
  • Wired magazine also focused on the Lucas documentary by interviewing the creator, who stated “I’ve always been fascinated by the uniquely dysfunctional relationship between George Lucas and his fans.” While those in other fandoms might disagree about the uniqueness of the relationship, they might identify with his frustration: “Why would George care, when the message that the fans send him is that they’ll buy anything he releases– even if they don’t like it?”
  • A NY Times article looks at the financial exchange between creators and fans on a different front: the California Resale Royalties Act, which requires “anyone reselling a piece of fine art who lives in the state, or who sells the art there for $1,000 or more, to pay the artist 5 percent of the resale price.” The law is at the heart of several recent lawsuits, as it is neither well understood nor generally adhered to as it stands in contrast to more common copyright law. A post at Freakonomics noted that the law tended to benefit wealthier artists and like California’s law on ““right of publicity” that gives living and dead people alike (in the latter case, through their heirs) the right to control commercial use of his or her likeness, name, image or identity” came about because the most likely beneficiaries resided in the state.

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