Links roundup for 27 April 2012

Here’s a roundup of stories on the stifling of fan production that might be of interest to fans:

  • In “A ‘Trek’ Script Is Grounded in Cyberspace,” The New York Times discusses the case of well known sci-fi writer Norman Spinrad’s unproduced 1967 script for Star Trek being resurrected by the fan-produced Web series, “Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II.” Unfortunately CBS, the current rights-holder to Trek, barred the script from being produced, and is currently negotiating with Spinrad to sell licensed copies of the script. The article’s author nicely sums up the core conflict for fans: “At issue is the extent to which fans can participate in a franchise that has yielded more than $4 billion in merchandising as well as 11 feature-length movies that have grossed some $1.5 billion.”
  • However, toymakers can apparently be more difficult to deal with than movie studios. In a rather bizarre case, an Australian hobbyist blogger was apparently tricked by an offer of free merch from Hasbro employees into giving up his street address, which the blogger believes the Hasbro legal team then used to send him a cease and desist about photos on his site of an unreleased Nerf gun, insisting that he reveal the photos’ source. Though the blogger refused to give up his source and informed the Hasbro lawyer that said photos were easily accessible via a targeted Web search, Hasbro followed up with concerns about his access to other unreleased products, and then allegedly sent a private investigator or lawyer to confront him about the photos and products. Hasbro has also upset Transformers fans with their decision to restrict fan art being sold at BotCon 2012. As one fan commented, “It sounds to me like Botcon is eating itself. What was a fan con became a company convention and is now a corporate presentation that we are graciously allowed to pay to attend.”
  • For fans who have never profited from their fan works, the Transformers case may seem out-of-touch, but it isn’t always rights-holders crushing fan spirits. A story that celebrates fan art, “Fan Fiction Meets Graphic Design in the Groovy Online Subculture of ‘Alternative Movie Posters'” nonetheless distinguishes between alternative movie posters, “unimaginative commercial posters,” and “the creepy/sad DIY fan art thriving on the Internet” of the Mary Sue variety.
  • At least some artists not only recognize the value of remixing works, but also welcome what it says about their art. In this video, Gwen Seemel notes that not all art gets copied, and that which does is more likely to endure. What’s more, no copy copies exactly, and copying isn’t predictive of her own future work. (No transcript available).

If you are a Star Trek or Transformers fan or a creator of fan art, why not write about it in 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 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.