OTW Fannews: Caution, Advice Ahead

OTW Fannews Caution Advice Ahead

  • Advice columnist Prudie from Slate reassured a mother who discovered her 13-year-old daughter reading “fan fiction for a very popular all boy band which describes in explicit detail sex acts between the male band members.” (One guess?) In her response, Prudie reminisced on her own illicit Playboy reading as an adolescent and suggested that the mother address the issue but understand she can’t police everything. “Your discovery is the kind of thing that does call for a talk,” she wrote, “but first you have to both gather yourself and find your sense of humor.” She finished by speculating that “the writers of this series didn’t think their most avid fans would be teenage girls!”
  • Of course, not all advice is always well understood. Writer Michelle R. Wood discussed her discovery of the OTW’s mission to protect and preserve fanworks but stated, “It’s important to remember that technically, all of this work is still illegal. Without authorization from the author, publisher, or studio, a fan work is still in violation of copyright.” In fact, as the OTW’s Legal Advocacy project often explains, fanworks are creative and transformative, which are core fair uses.
  • Then there’s also advice that isn’t advice at all, such as a post in The Guardian that raised the hackles of some fanfic writers. Its author later apologized, saying “Piece was meant to be quite tongue in cheek, but as we’ve presented it as a ‘how to’ that could be misleading. I know fanfic is a big universe, and people do it for all sorts of reasons, inspired by a ton of different ideas. I love that it exists and as far as I’m concerned the more people that are writing stories the better. Sorry to offend!”

Have words of wisdom for other fanfic readers and writers? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.