Posts in News Media

OTW Fannews: Justifying the Drama

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The Learned Fangirl wrote about the professionalization of fandom. “As we see more mainstream writing and academic study about the economies of fan culture and digital media, the ideas that Timberg presents here are worth revisiting. Communities of fan creators are more robust than ever before, and the semi-professionalization of fandom is more formalized than it has ever been, with clearly defined points of access and channels of distribution of creative work (cons, social media, podcasts, etc.). And if technology is the lifeblood of the creative class, allowing more rapid growth and implementation of ideas from different sources, then that doesn’t sound quite like a ‘killing’ to me.”

OTW Fannews: Setting Goals

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The Phillipine Star offered a look at fanfic’s changing prominence. “You, me, and your lola are probably now aware of what fanfiction is. In my simple mind, it used to be some underground cult, but has grown into a legitimate hobby in the last few years. You got your books, you got your movie tie-in novelizations, and then you got fanfiction. It’s not quite a sequel, in the way the New Testament followed the Old one. Imagine a hardcore Bible-reader wanting to know what happened after the Book of Revelations, so he wrote a post-apocalyptic novel featuring The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Ridiculous, but strangely plausible.”

OTW Fannews: For Reals

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The BBC noted that fans have been right all along in their devotion to popular culture, given that it’s adding to the stories of old. “Our modern civilisation, like all civilisations before it, has settled around a set of myths and legends as the basis of its culture. They are more complex, more interesting, more sophisticated, and with a much richer interaction between creators and fans than you might think. Far from being mere films or comic books, they are whole extended fictional universes, entirely self-consistent, with deep histories, hundreds of characters, and even a form of theological scholarship.”

OTW Fannews: What’s in a Name?

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The New Statesman weighed in on an important discussion as fanworks become more well known: what actually counts as one? “It comes down, as it often does, to money. Because money, and a lack of it, is at the heart of long-held tensions about fanworks. Fanfiction is overwhelmingly the product of unpaid labour, millions and millions of words given freely, whether for legal reasons or community norms. Because it isn’t compensated – and because it is so often done by women it is devalued, as an art form and as a way to spend one’s time. When money is added to the mix, whether in giant pull-to-publish book deals or, increasingly, fanfiction contests and authors sponsored by television networks and Hollywood studios, the place that fanworks occupy in the vast sphere of adaptation and reworking begins to shift. And not always for the better.”

OTW Fannews: Staying Vigilant

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  • The Japan News posted a story about how a Trans-Pacific Partnership crackdown could affect fanfiction publishing. “[T]he 12 nations engaged in the TPP negotiations are building a consensus that would allow for prosecution of copyright infringement without the need for a formal complaint, but instead based on reports from third parties or an independent judgement by an investigative authority.” This contrasts with Japan’s current system, “copyright infringement can only be investigated after a formal complaint from the creator of the original work or its rights holder.”