Call for Papers, Conferences, Fan Conventions, Event
Welcome to our Events Calendar roundup for the month of April! The Events Calendar can be found on the OTW website and is open to submissions by anyone with news of an event. These can be viewed by event-type, such as Academic Events, Fan Gatherings, Legal Events, OTW Events, or Technology Events taking place around the world.
Business Models, Commercial Works Authors, Commercialization of Fans, Conferences, Entertainment Industries, Fandoms, Fanfiction, News of Note
At Slate, Tammy Oler lauds writer Hugh Howey's approach to dealing with fans in a piece discussing the success of his self-published sci-fi novel. "Most intriguingly, Howey has encouraged readers who want to develop their own Wool stories to self-publish and sell their works. In an interview, I asked Howey about why he’s not just encouraging fan fiction but actually endorsing it. 'There’s room for readers to become writers and play in this world,' he said. 'I view fan fiction as the opportunity to teach readers how much joy there is in creating worlds instead of just living in them.' Right now—much to Simon and Schuster’s chagrin, one has to imagine—the first two of what are sure to be many Wool-related fan fiction stories are available for sale on Amazon."
Commercialization of Fans, Intellectual Property, News of Note
Posting on Mondaq, a legal, regulatory and financial commentary site, law firm Duane Morris offered advice to people about paying more attention to Terms of Service language at the sites where they post. "Smash Pictures produced a porn/adult movie entitled Fifty Shades of Grey: A XXX Adaptation. A predictable result was a lawsuit by Fifty Shades Limited and Universal City Studios, who own rights to the book franchise and movies respectively...the defendants raised an intriguing argument in Counterclaim, namely that the copyrights in the Fifty Shades of Grey books are invalid -- and free for everyone to use -- because 'as much as 89% of the content of the allegedly copyrighted materials grew out of a multi-part series of fan fiction called Masters of the Universe based on Stephanie Myer's Twilight novels'...So a distinctive point in the case was the role of the fan fiction site's user terms of service."
Movies, Music, Television, News of Note
A post on fan site Fringenuity focusing on the life of a show after it ends contained a quote from actor Joshua Jackson. In it he placed the work of content creators as a sort of prequel to the later life it lives in its fandom community. "I think there will probably be a lot of fan fiction. Maybe there will be even some sort of filmed addendum to the show or televised or podcasts or however it manifests itself, but I feel like the afterlife of Fringe is the test case for how modern cult shows are going to live on after they go off the air.”
Books, DMCA, Gaming, Intellectual Property, Tag Wrangling Committee, Takedowns, Television, News of Note
A thesis written about the AO3's tagging system "attempts to begin exploring the question of what kind of environment the site's particular blend of open social tagging and some behind-the-scenes vocabulary control, plus hierarchical linking, creates for the users who search through it for fiction." The study, conducted in 2012, had a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods and the survey was completed by 116 people. "The current online information glut calls for some sort of subject labeling to facilitate efficiency in searching, but the volume of information is well beyond a size that could ever be dealt with by information professionals. “Social tagging” is an approach to this problem that lets non-professionals attempt to organize online information via tagging, for their own and one another's use. But social tagging is a new and rapidly evolving field, and so no consensus has yet been reached on its overall usefulness, or on what best practices might be."
Business Models, News of Note
Some entertainment creators like Dan Harmon have fanfiction writers in mind when it comes to their work. Discussing his departure from the beloved show Community, he said "“So, in the immediate wake of it, I was sitting on a linoleum, fluorescent-lit floor outside a dirty little lost-luggage office, with my head between my knees...It probably looked like I was sad, but I think you would have assumed it was because I lost my luggage.” But “I just kept thinking, ‘This is going to be a bummer for the people who get tattoos of the characters, the people who write poems about them, who write fan fiction — they’re the ones that are going to suffer’. ”
Journal Committee, Transformative Works and Cultures, Announcement
Transformative Works and Cultures (TWC) today released issue No. 12, "Transnational Boys' Love Fan Studies," guest edited by Kazumi Nagaike and Katsuhiko Suganuma, both of Oita University, Oita, Japan. This issue features academic articles on the growing interest in and engagement with Boys' Love (BL) within international fan communities. Following its regular format, this open-access online multimedia journal has collected scholarly essays, personal essays, and book reviews that seek to bridge fan and academic writers and readers. TWC is published under the umbrella of the nonprofit fan advocacy group Organization for Transformative Works.
Archive of Our Own, Content Policy
The Board’s decision on meta has sparked a great deal of conversation, externally and internally, and we appreciate the detailed comments many people have left. Over the course of internal discussions among the affected committees, we've determined that "fandom nonfiction" is a more useful term than “meta” to explain the kinds of works covered by the Board vote. We invite your feedback on these proposals. We will be collecting feedback for two weeks, and then will incorporate that feedback into a policy for Board approval.
Education and Curriculum, Fannish Practices, Music, Television, News of Note
Peter Guttierez wrote in School Library Journal that "[T]here’s probably no single better way to teach online citizenship to young people than through their participation in organized fandom." To him this involved a behavior checklist because "fans must take into account not just the short-term value of making a point or having the last word, but their long-term relationships with their fellow fans." Some of them include "Am I “adding value” through this interaction, either to an individual or to the wider community? Or am I making this online conversation almost entirely about myself?" and "Am I considerate of others’ privacy and safety?"
Commercial Works Authors, Education and Curriculum, Fanfiction, News of Note
The Salt Lake Tribune talked fanfiction misconceptions with newly published author Christina Hobbs, who says it's a mistake to think "[t]hat there’s a specific type of people who read and write fan fiction — scientists, business professionals, teachers and people who are well-educated to people who haven’t gone to college are all part of it. It’s not just women. It’s not just men. It’s not a certain age group. You have this huge group of people who want to write and read for others, and that’s what’s so amazing about it."