This Week in Fandom, Volume 101

Welcome to This Week in Fandom, the OTW’s roundup of things which are happening! Before we start, happy new year to all! If you’re hoping to have a more positive fannish experience in 2019, Hypable has published a list of fandom-related new year’s resolution suggestions.

A major event in the world of copyright happened on January first. According to Lifehacker, 1923 works just entered the public domain, the first time this has happened in 20 years, thanks to the “Sonny Bono Copyright Act” of 1998.

WBUR News published an article examining the creative implications of this event, which includes an interview with OTW co-founder and author Naomi Novik.

Those lengthy copyrights can be a barrier to the creation of new art. “Copyright has been overextended so many times, largely at the behest of major copyright holders,” says author Naomi Novik. “Even though what that actually does is inhibit people from creating new works and sharing these older works.”

What do you think? Will you be playing around with these newly released works in a way you couldn’t have before? Or are you going to stick to things like transformative works that were allowed under Fair Use?

Next, let’s talk about K-Pop, because we don’t do that enough around here. There have been a couple of interesting articles published recently about Stan Twitter and the practices of K-Pop fans. The first article, published by ABS-CBN, details one person’s journey into the stan community. For them, it was a joyful and riotous experience.

Some may indifferently reduce stans into “screaming teenagers” due to the amount of capslocked posts that populate their profile. But, being one myself, I realized that there’s no helping the agressive, incoherent spazzing, and stan accounts are made exactly for this purpose. Stan Twitter is a real community and a safe space for us to react the way we want to without holding back in fear of judgement.

As the article points out, stans are an enormous force, one that has a notable impact on the how the industry functions: “Along with their talented idols, they carry the whole K-pop industry and keep it alive… The way I look at it, the fans support their idols with massive efforts, and in return, they become a crucial part of the idols’ decision-making process in the spirit of respect and giving back.”

The other article is a listicle from Soompi of 21 tweets that poke loving fun at stan culture and its enthusiastic and mercurial nature.

Elsewhere, a new documentary about esports recently premiered on CBSN. According to an article about the documentary on the CBS Sports website, the documentary explores the dangers and potential issues surrounding professional video game playing.

CBSN looks into the practice hours of a grinder, what gameday is like for [players] and what an international match looks like. The documentary ties into an industry that may well try to exploit [players], and some of the ways that organizers can try to curb that exploitation — with one of the first steps being organizing a player’s union.

The article notes that esports is a largely unregulated industry, and that regulations should be considered “a necessity” soon.

Lastly, AO3 got a shoutout recently from Study Breaks as a website that can help jumpstart your writing career. How do you use AO3? Do you just want to enjoy fanworks, or do you hope to someday write professionally? Let us know in the comments!

This Week in Fandom
  1. Scribblemoose commented:

    I do write professionally (as well as fanfic, still) – and I learned a huge amount of my craft writing transformative fiction. It’s a great community to practise in – supportive, diverse and joyful.