Monday, July 21, 2008

Fan Fiction's Legal Ally

Fan fiction is a relatively new entrant to the literary world. While the concept has probably been around since the advent of fiction itself, copyright issues have never made it a viable field. But the advent of the Internet has led to an explosion of the form - fan fiction websites, e-mail newsletters, groups, and more.

Fan fiction is best described as fans who write stories using others' creations. Sometimes this fan fiction consists of further adventures of the characters in their native settings, while other times, the characters are set in situations, worlds, or settings far removed from their normal ones. Whatever the case may be, the writer (fan) does not hold the copyrights to the creations, and thus often fear litigation.

To be sure, litigation has been threatened and even followed-through on in the arena, but the Organization for Transformative Works seeks to change all of that.

Co-founder, Rebecca Tushnet - a professor of Law at Georgetown, as well as a fan fiction writer herself - seeks to spread the word that fan fiction writers need not fear litigation. The law allows for the "fair use" of copyrighted materials, which may include fan fiction. She admits the legal area is "fuzzy," but notes most creators have no intention of challenging their fans, as it is detrimental to their creations' popularity, and their own careers!

© C Harris Lynn, 2008

1 comment:

  1. Just to say hi, you're on my blogroll and I'll catch up with you at Blogcatalog or bloglog soon. Hope your back is ok