Links roundup for 7 March 2012

Here’s a roundup of stories about fan fiction that might be of interest to fans:

  • In Isn’t It All Fanfic? Carljoe Javier (author of And the Geek Shall Inherit the Earth) thinks about fan fiction’s place in the study of literature and concludes, “It is not for Fan Fiction to find a way to be elevated to the status of Literature with the capital L. Rather, it’s for us, who write, read, and engage in literature, to realize that all writing is in its essence fan fiction.” His presentation was part of a panel discussion on “The Fan Fiction Genre,” the recording of which is available online.
  • Book editor Jessica Dall also looks at this intersection in I Can’t Believe It’s Not Fanfic where she discusses fanfic that has had its serial numbers filed off. “Often times the authors realize that their stories come from these sources as fanfics of sorts (or at least admit to having been heavily inspired by X work) but still it seems many, many I Can’t Believe It’s Not Fanfics still find their way out into the publishing world – as true fanfics (hopefully) never would – and stumble across acquisitions desks all over.”
  • However, some of that fan fiction still gets the author published. Digital publishers Say Books decided to publish the original fiction of a Castle fanfic writer that the editor stumbled upon through Twitter. “Fanfic sits at the margins of mainstream creative endeavour, and interrogates established views of what it means to be a writer; the meaning of intellectual property, creativity, originality, ‘ownership’, boundaries, and the nature of ‘public’. Of course, as a publishing person and daughter of an artist, I have an uneasy relationship with how fanfic steps on these well-established fences, but am fascinated too.”
  • HowItShouldHaveEnded.com’s Tina Alexander was interviewed about the site’s animated video fanfic. “We launched the website in July of 2005 and making the cartoons was just a hobby for us and a way for Daniel Baxter (the artist/animator) to dabble in some programs and produce something. The response we got encouraged us to make more. To date we’ve created 60 ‘How It Should Have Ended’ cartoons.” They are now partnered with Starz and plan lots more production in 2012. “We have every intention of doing ‘Hunger Games’ (which is highly requested) even though it makes us really nervous! We also foresee a heavy superhero summer with all the ‘Avengers’ and ‘Batman’ action hitting theaters.”

If you create cartoons or write fan fiction, why not contribute to Fanlore? Additions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, event, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent Links Roundup — on transformativeworks.org, LJ, or DW — or give @OTW_News a shoutout on Twitter. Links are welcome in all languages!

Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

Links Roundup for 30 September 2011

Here’s a roundup of stories on fandom practices stretching beyond fannish spaces that might be of interest to fans:

  • Many courses have been taught on fandom texts, but fewer texts have been used to develop general skills. This interview with a US High School educator on Supernatural in the classroom discusses how the writing skills and critical thinking found in many fan forums can be brought into a classroom curriculum.
  • L.A. Weekly looks at its local art scene through the lens of art fandom in its piece Peter Voulkos, Can I Have Your Autograph? noting that “Fandom typically involves frivolous pursuits like Dodger dogs or Comic-Con nerdery, but for artists it’s practically a necessity…Maybe the best artists make work so well-timed it leaves the past in its wake, but even those pioneers usually start out as big fans.”

If you’re part of Supernatural fandom or know of fandom found in non-fannish spaces, why not contribute your own stories and projects to Fanlore? Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, event, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent Links Roundup — on transformativeworks.org, LJ, or DW — or give @OTW_News a shoutout on Twitter. Links are welcome in all languages!

Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

Fan Art is Coming! Fan Art Is Coming!

In preparation for hosting fanart on the AO3 (that is, you will soon be able to upload art directly to our servers and not just link it from elsewhere), we are revising the official Terms of Service and our FAQ!

As always, we actively seek and very much appreciate feedback on all archive policies. The coding for fanart is still underway, and there is time to make changes, so if there’s anything in this draft that concerns you, please let us know.

Here are the proposed additions to the FAQ:

* When can I use pictures I have made on the archive?

The basic rule is that a fanwork based on an existing work should be transformative. Transformation means adding something new, in meaning or message, to the original. We consider that fanart, like fan fiction, is generally transformative. Please remember that the ratings and warnings policies apply to images.

You can also use pictures you’ve made to complement a fanwork–so, if you are illustrating a story, you can use illustrations of the setting, the original characters, or anything else that fits with the story, as long as you otherwise follow the content policy.

We do not allow sexually explicit photos of minors, nor images manipulated so that they look like sexually explicit photos of minors (even if the manipulation is obvious). This is necessary for us to comply with US law, which has special rules for photographs and video of human beings under age 18. In addition, under Section IV.H of the Terms of Service, we may remove content, including photos or drawings, when we determine that it is necessary to resolve a threatened or pending lawsuit. We will not screen or ban images for offensiveness.

* When can I use existing (nonmanipulated) pictures in my fanworks on the archive?

The basic rule is that a fanwork should be transformative. Transformation means adding something new, in meaning or message, to the original. Existing works, including pictures, can be part of a transformative work. Please remember that the ratings and warnings policies apply to images.

When you’re using an existing picture, commentary and critique are particularly favored kinds of transformativeness. A use that highlights the way that framing, angle, or other pictorial elements affect the pictures’ meaning; a use that draws attention to the roles of different people in the pictures; and a use that contrasts different pictures are all examples of potential transformation. Humor can also be transformative: unlikely subtitles may change the meaning of the picture substantially. Commentary can be explicit or implicit, as when it’s done by pointed contrasts between images, where the use of a picture recontextualizes it and gives it new meaning.

The number of pictures should be appropriate to the purpose: if you’re illustrating the relationship of a character’s costumes to her story arc, then you are likely to need more pictures than if you merely want to introduce the character so your audience knows what s/he looks like.

Where possible, credit or attribution to the original source of your image is also helpful.

We have drawn on the American University Center for Social Media’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Online Video in our discussion here. You may find a full copy of the code here http://www.centerforsocialmedia.org/fair-use/related-materials/codes/code-best-practices-fair-use-online-video if you want to see more detailed discussion and examples, though they are focused on video.

* When can I use pictures in my skins on the archive?

We generally consider skins containing pictures to be fanworks, so please follow the guidelines in the sections above. In addition, since skins are created by individual users, the OTW does not endorse particular skins in any way. We do screen public skins for technical compliance, to limit the proliferation of public skins in order to keep the public skins feature usable for other people, and for obvious violations of the content policy, but it’s the user’s responsibility to make sure a skin complies.

You can use pictures you’ve made for skins, even if they aren’t fanworks, as long as you otherwise follow the content policy–e.g., you can use a picture of the view from your window.

You can put attributions for images in your skins into a comment like this:

/* This image comes from SOURCE and is used here for INSERT TRANSFORMATIVE PURPOSE */
header { background: url(http://url/of/image.jpg); }

Here is the current text in the Terms of Service about user icons, which are the only artworks currently on the archive:

J. User Icons

User icons should be appropriate for general audiences. They should not contain depictions of genital nudity or explicit sexual activity. For more information, please refer to the ToS FAQ.

Here is the proposed new text of the Terms of Service for our new expanded set of artwork:

J. Images

A. User icons

User icons should be appropriate for general audiences. They should not contain depictions of genital nudity or explicit sexual activity. For more information, please refer to the ToS FAQ.

B. Other images

Other images are subject to the general content policy, including the ratings and warnings policy. No sexually explicit photographs of minors (people under age 18) or sexually explicit photomanipulations that appear to be pictures of minors (people under age 18) are allowed. For more information, please refer to the ToS FAQ.

Relatedly, we propose to delete the last paragraph of Section IV.D, which currently reads:

Please note that the first version of the Archive will only host text and user icons. Future policies will focus on other media.