Links Roundup 11 July 2011

Here’s a roundup of stories that might be of interest to fans: articles about professional fanart, technology meant to control fans, interactive fan sites, erotic fan fiction and sexuality, new models for fan-TPTB collaboration, and fans as transmedia specialists, all beneath the cut!

* Just Don’t Call It Fanart. Salon did a fascinating article on an ongoing art show called “Crazy 4 Cult” which features artists making work based on movie stills. The show is patronized by the likes of Kevin Smith, Quentin Tarentino, Samuel L. Jackson and others. But, Salon warns, “Just don’t call it ‘fan art.'” (It sounds to us a lot like fan art.)

* Who Controls Your Camera? The Electronic Frontier Foundation recently posted about the implications of Apple’s new patent: a camera that can be turned off by a third party. The idea is to stop fans from, say, capturing “illegal images” at a rock concert. The EFF points out that this repression of fans is bad enough, but also asks us also to imagine how that technology might be used in an era where portable cameras have been used to document and publicize civil rights abuses and spread important news all around the world. Who gets to decide what you can record?

* Interactive Sites Before Pottermore. There have been many stories these last few weeks about Pottermore, J.K. Rowling’s new interactive Harry Potter site, but here’s an article about some other explicitly pro-fanfiction and pro-interactivity authors who have put together creative sandboxes for their fans.

* Elmer Fudd vs. Miss Marple? This review of A Billion Wicked Thoughts, a book which uses erotic fan fiction and other online materials to draw conclusions about human sexuality, critiques the book on many fronts, but most notably from a lesbian perspective: “Is the near total silence about this quadrant of human desire because the authors couldn’t fit lesbians into their thesis?”

* No Endorsement; Endless Possibilities: Cory Doctorow, thinking through the implication of creating “ODOs” or On-Demand Objects, imagines a world where creators and owners could give fans a “no endorsement” license to make and sell derivative (not transformative!) works. The maker would automatically cut in the creator/owner for a stipulated percent of any profit.

* Transmedia 2: Electric Bugaloo: Henry Jenkins has posted footage from all four panels of this spring’s Transmedia Hollywood 2 conference. There was discussion of fan culture and works throughout the conference, with many panelists believing that fans have acknowledged expertise in transmedia storytelling, and others debating how best to engage fans in this new multi-modal world. (OTW Board Member Francesca Coppa was on the second panel to talk explicitly about fan works and characterization.)

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, event, or link you think we should know about you can submit it in three easy ways: comment on the most recent Link Roundup on transformativeworks.org, LJ, or DW, tag a link with “for:otw_news” on Delicious 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 13 April 2011

We’re highlighting links of interest to fans and OTW supporters — today, we’ve found two new initiatives that may yield interesting results:

  • The Digital Media Consumption Manifesto is an international effort to offer media producers a solution to digital piracy by suggesting a set of industry standards including transparent pricing, simultaneous international distribution, accessibility options, and freedom from DRM, in exchange for a commitment to purchase rather than pirate from consumers. Many globe-spanning fandoms would breathe a sigh of relief at an alternative to file-sharing that included simultaneous international releases, and we know a few vidders who would be relieved at the end of DRM.

    The Manifesto is also interesting in light of the recent brief issued by the London School of Economics criticizing the UK’s Digital Economy Act. Ars Technica posted an analysis of the brief pulling out the main points, including the statement that providing user-friendly ways to download media legally is a more effective strategy for enforcing copyright than heavy-handed regulation. The full text of the brief can be read here: Creative Destruction and Copyright Protection: Regulatory Responses to File-sharing.

  • The Future of Art Project, which originated in the Open Zone section of Transmediale 2011 (the Open Zone was described as “a social experiment with different social territories that are occupied by artists and media activists”) espouses an open-philosophy model and transmedia approaches that sound a lot like many fandom cultures to us, and their micro-grant may prove relevant to fanartists working with new and innovative technology.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, event, or link you think we should know about you can submit it in three easy ways: comment on the most recent Link Roundup on transformativeworks.org, LJ, or DW, tag a link with “for:otw_news” on Delicious 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.

AO3: Fanart on the horizon!

Now that the Archive of Our Own is humming along on new, more powerful servers (thank you, fandom!), members of the Archive team have begun fleshing out a list of concrete and not-so-concrete tasks needed to make fanart hosting a reality!

As with text-based works, support for fanart will be rolled out in phases, starting with the most basic uploading functionality and gradually adding more features until we can make the Archive a place as uniquely accommodating for art as it is for text. As one of our first steps, we’re working on a roadmap to outline those phases — however, fanart is far from the end of the story (so to speak!). While we’ll be starting with fanart, we’re trying to come up with a design that will cater to many media types and cross-media works, building up gradually until we can meet as many needs as awesomely as possible. To help us get started, we’ve been brainstorming posting needs for various media, based in large part on the input we received from fanartists last year. We’re considering the needs of art, fic, filk, sequential art, cosplay, cookery, and crafts, among others (video hosting is part of the separate Torrent of Our Own project) — but while we keep the bigger goal of multimedia support in mind, fanart will be the first step down that road.

This is a huge project that will involve restructuring our backend databases to accommodate different work types as well as designing and building user-friendly interfaces for posting and browsing. There are many questions that need to be explored — such as how tags and thumbnail images will work, what the file size limit should be, and what file formats will be supported, to name only a few. We’re also particularly keeping in mind how to accommodate sequential art — one of the things that came across strongly in last year’s feedback was the need to make it easier to post, browse, and navigate sequential art. We’re working on ways to make that a reality: we want to make sure that people can post transcripts, page easily, and post in a variety of layouts, including left-to-right, right-to-left, and vertical.

Throughout this process, we’ll be working in cycles of design, coding, and public feedback. Eventually we’ll be asking for fanartists to volunteer as beta testers. We’re also always on the lookout for experienced or newbie coders who are interested in working on the AO3, whether on the back-end functionality (Ruby on Rails) or the front-end style (CSS and JavaScript). If you’re interested in volunteering for the OTW in any capacity, get in touch with our Volunteers and Recruitment Committee.

Fanart hosting on the AO3 has been a long time coming, and there’s a lot of work still ahead to make it a reality. We’re excited to have reached the point where we can begin planning and building in earnest, and grateful to all the fans who have donated their time, resources, energy, and ideas to help us get here. Thank you, and stay tuned for exciting things ahead!

Storage server: cartoon style image of server

Fanart by AD&T member bingeling of our beautiful storage server, which will be used to host fanart in the future!

Mirrored from an original post on the Archive of Our Own, where it is also available in Deutsch and Español.