OTW Fannews: Commercial Opportunities

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  • Airlock Alpha posted Ann Morris’ discussion of What Mainstreaming Of Fandom Has Done For Me. Namedropping the OTW’s Fanlore, she notes that tech advances have helped her follow her fannish interests despite having low vision problems. “I have low vision, and it used to be super annoying to go to the library and try to find large-print science-fiction books. The people who published large-print books didn’t seem to think that anyone with low vision would be interested in those weirdo books with the rocket ship on the spine. Here’s a pet peeve which is fortunately a thing of the past. The Science Fiction Book Club and the Large Print Book Club were owned by the same company. And yet, they did not publish any science-fiction books in large print. Augh!”
  • At MTV.com Taylor Trudon thanks the makers of Almost Famous for being able to see herself on screen. “When adults don’t take the ideas, passions and dreams of fangirls seriously, they’re missing out. They’re missing out on finding possible solutions to major social problems. They’re missing out on the opportunity to ask important questions. They’re missing out on the chance to view the world through a different lens and in doing so, are missing the voices that have the potential to change it.”
  • At Popzette Tom Smithyman looked at how fannish activity is driving the growth of crowdfunding. “‘We’re making the ‘Star Trek’ that we all want to see,’ Peters told a crowd at the San Diego Comic-Con. And, judging from fans’ response, Peters is correct. An initial Kickstarter campaign netted more than $100,000, and led to a second initiative, which raised more than $600,000. It also sparked a competition among the crowdfunding sites to house the second. The campaign has since moved to Indiegogo, where it has raised an additional $525,000.”
  • Autostraddle‘s Fan Fiction Friday column is expanding because “fandom is more powerful than ever…And because money makes people in charge pay attention, and social media makes our voices hard to ignore, the folks who make TV are listening and responding to us, both on-air and in real life…starting this week, Fan Fiction Friday will…include fan fiction recommendations, of course, but it will now also offer you news round-ups about fan culture, interviews with fic writers and TV writers and TV recappers and TV directors, mini-essays about fandom from people in fandom, polls, discussion questions, infographics, advice about harnessing the power of fandom to affect real change, and a grab bag where I answer questions people have been asking me.”

What commercial opportunities have you seen opening up because of fandom? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a Fannews post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

Contribute to Fanworks Taught Me

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In July, the OTW joined with The Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) and fans from around the world to promote their Fan Works Are Fair Use (FWAFU) campaign. Part of the OTW’s mission since its founding has been to support transformative works that manifest as fanfiction, fanart, fan films, discussion communities, cosplay and other forms of fannish creativity. With the HPA, we are working to build a community of 5,000 fans and fan creators interested in protecting all types of fan-made works.

The campaign has launched with a celebration of fanworks on social media. Using #FanWorksTaughtMe, fans are discussing the different skills, perspectives, and communities they have gained from fanworks that they love. Contributions span from tweets to videos and are shedding light on how fans use fanworks to build their confidence, refine their skills, explore issues like race and gender, understand the perspectives of others, and more.

Several artists and fan creators are already celebrating fanworks through the campaign. Sleepy Hollow’s Orlando Jones has signed on as a spokesperson for the campaign, along with FictionAlley co-founder/original OTW Legal Committee member Heidi Tandy, wizard rockers Harry and the Potters, YouTubers Kristina Horner and Lauren Fairweather, and novelist Naomi Novik, one of the OTW’s founders.

Fandom is not a passive experience. Today, fan creators actively help to bring in new fans and add to new energy that benefits the source material and its creators. The FWAFU coalition believes that this culture is worth celebrating and protecting. If you’ve ever enjoyed a piece of fan work, you probably do, too. Visit fanworksarefairuse.org to join the community and add your voice to the celebration using the hashtag #FanWorksTaughtMe.

Fan Works Are Fair Use grew from the fact that, under US copyright law, it is fair to use copyrighted material for certain uses, including commenting on the original, which is usually the purpose or inspiration behind fanworks. Fan Works Are Fair Use and the #FanworksTaughtMe hashtag inform fans of their right to be creative, and support changes to US copyright law that protect original content creators as well as fan creators who produce beloved parodies, homages, and works of art honoring the source material.

OTW’s 2014 Annual Report Now Available

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We are pleased to announce that the OTW has published its 2014 Annual Report (available in PDF or in HTML). The report provides a summary of our activities during the past financial and calendar year, our financial statements for 2014, and our goals for 2015. This is the eighth annual report of the OTW (see previous reports).

The 2014 Annual Report highlights successes and achievements from across the organization and challenges we faced during the year. We encourage all those interested to take a look at the report and, if you have questions, please feel free to contact us here or through our contact form.

Thank you to all of our members, staff, donors and volunteers for your support!