OTW Fannews: Fandom Pushback

Star Trek

  • Some months ago, OTW Legal submitted an amicus brief in the case of Garcia v Google. Now the Ninth Circuit has reversed a panel opinion granting an injunction against Google, on the ground that an actor’s performance was not separately protected by copyright and that the First Amendment should have precluded an injunction. This is a great result for free speech on the internet!
  • In other legal news impacting fans and fandom The Telegraph revealed a proposal for police monitoring of fandom during the late 1990s. “It has emerged that Scotland Yard kept a secret dossier on Star Trek, The X-Files, and other US sci fi shows amid fears that British fans would go mad and kill themselves, turn against society or start a weird cult. The American TV shows Roswell and Dark Skies and the film The Lawnmower Man were also monitored to protect the country from rioting and cyber attacks.”
  • The police have hardly been the only ones to mischaracterize fannish practices, as a Gizmodo article assigned credit/blame to X-Files fans for changing fandom. The entertainment industry was slower to change. “Even though the show’s crew was largely interested in the online fandoms, 20th Century Fox took a far harder stance, especially towards fan sites sharing unauthorized images of Mulder and Scully. Fans organized, fighting for their right to post artwork and stories about their favorite characters. Without pushback, the studio could’ve stymied the fan fiction community— as well as remix culture, which is also sometimes attacked as derivative— before it had a chance to take off.”
  • On the other hand, Quartz singled out women’s continuing contributions to fandom. “Women make up half the human race—including their perspectives makes for richer, better stories. But more than that, the presence of women in fandoms serves as a constant counterpoint to the dreary stereotype of sexless, gross guys huddling in their mothers’ basements. Geeks were never really like that to begin with: all sorts of people have always loved Dr. Who and Mr. Spock and Wonder Woman. The greater visibility of fangirls helps geekdom in general, by showing that there’s no one way to be a fan.”

When have you seen fans push back? Write about those events in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

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