Write anything you want, using Jamie Fraser, Edward Cullen, Harry Potter and Dr. Who….and then change the characters’ names before you post it. Simple. Find All: “Jamie Fraser”. Replace with: “Joe Kerastopolous.” No problemo, all your own work, and any praise you get is duly earned.
The second approach requires the creation of some gating mechanism on content viewing on devices. For example, if music can only get on an iPod through iTunes and the itunes store, then enforcement isn't as necessary (I understadn that at present pirated music can be loaded onto an ipod through itunes - this would have to change).
And when I was done, I thought, well, that’s not too bad, I wonder if I can do something with it? And that’s when Ethan started talking to folks.
What if you had asked for permission and the answer was “no”?
Well, then I guess Fuzzy Nation would be The Super Secret Project That You Will Never Ever Find Out About.
As you folks already know, my agent, Russel Galen, has in the past been opposed to fanfiction. However, he is also Cory Doctorow's agent now, and Cory is a persuasive little gnome.
As a result of this, I am happy to announce that we are officially permitting fanfiction to be licensed as derivative fiction under the Creative Commons umbrella....YES, you may write and post away, folks, so long as you license it as derivative and under Creative Commons. If it is anything other than PG-13, please take all the proper precautions to stick it somewhere that innocent souls won't be corrupted. Do not scare the children or the horses. Have fun!
In 2009, Glorianna Arias attempted to publish and sell Russett Noon, a “tribute sequel to the Twilight saga” (her words). She actually intended to sell on eBay until word got out. And even now, if you go to her website, you can see on the left side of the screen that she’s included Russet Noon in a list alongside the actual Twilight books. As if it’s actually a Twilight book.
In 2006, Lorie Jareo began selling her fanfic Star Wars novel Another Hope on Amazon.com, of all places, as a print-on-demand book. According to a section of the Q and A that Jareo had on her website (now down, but the Q and A is reproduced here), she claimed that there was no problem with her action because it’s not a commercial book. Her rationale was that because only her friends and family know that it’s there, and she’s self-publishing, it’s not commercial. Even though she was selling it on Amazon.com. Even though she was selling it on her (now-defunct) web site. And even though she took the extra step of announcing the book was for sale in her church’s newsletter.
….many fic writers simply do not *want* to pursue professional, mainstream publishing. Why? Because the odds of getting published are tough, the odds of rejection are high, and the odds of anyone EVER writing well enough and long enough to make a living at it, as has been suggested here, is astronomically not in favor of the writer.
I mean, let’s look at the original-writing process. Keep in mind that many average folks simply do not have access to writers groups, and they cannot affort to galavant across the country to pricy writers conferences. They are apt to be students or working moms or hold full-time jobs that don’t permit much out-of-town travel. So … they work alone. They spend hours, weeks, months pecking away at a story, then if it’s a short story they send it to magazine editors; if a novel they send it to fiction agents. Then they wait weeks, if not months, to get a reply – which like as not will be a form-letter response that says, “Thank you for your submission but this does not fit our needs at this time.” (That’s one of my favorites.) Often there is no indication of what fault or failing the story might have had that caused rejection.
So, the disappointed author goes over the story again, revises anxiously, and compiles a new list of prospective magazines/agents….More months of waiting, worrying, anxiety – and more chances of rejection.
The fact is, to pursue conventional publishing one must be tough, tenacious and a little bit masochistic. Rejection becomes a fact of life, before acceptance is won, since it is rare indeed that a new writer achieves any instant success. Out there in the realm of fan fiction … how many would-be writers really want to put themselves through that ringer? …
Fan fiction, however, allows one to indulge in the creative process, to learn, grow and improve in the arts of writing and storytelling – AND fic writers are not alone! That I firmly believe is a HUGE factor in the popularity of fan fiction. A fic writer is not working in a vacuum, they are not isolated in their battle against rejection slips, they are not pouring out their hearts in their creative efforts and winning only silence. Rather, they are being read, they are being critiqued, they are being supported by fellow fans who will tell them when their writing gets it right – and when it does not. That community waits right at the fingertips…
So the accessibility and immediacy of fan fiction is perhaps one of the major reasons why some very talented people have no desire to pursue original works. One may write original works for years before meeting success. One may write fan fiction and know within 24 hours whether their story flew or bombed. That, fellow netizens, is precious to the creative spirit. The loneliness of writing need not be absolute any more.
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