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Fanzines - Part 2 - The Chilling Effect and Phone Trees - Morgan Dawn Livejournal:The Here And Now
The Here And Now
Fanzines - Part 2 - The Chilling Effect and Phone Trees
As a follow-up to yesterday's fanzine discussion here and here. Check back as there may be more updates.

1. One fanzine publisher decides to rethink her plans to publish a fanzine of her own work

2. Examples of how the signal can be distorted

This warning here:
"One of the authors on my flist discovered an ebay listing for her work printed, bound and listed as a 'fanzine' without her knowledge."

turned into this viral warning here, pasted and copied over and over in journals.

"it looks like everything doctor_beth2000 is selling is stolen, printed and put in a cheap binder with fanart without the knowledge or permission of the writer or artist."

Which then led to another fan giving instructions on how to report fanzines for copyright infringement (link removed because when we showed the fan that the fanzines she listed as stolen fic were legit, she locked her post and asked that all links be removed). So far only 3 of the 700 fanzines listed by this one seller on eBay were printed and sold without the writer's permission. And of those 3, they were most likely a single copy made by a fan for personal use that ended up in a seller's hands.  Further edits (7/27):  I have private confirmation that the 3 fanzines were single copies made by one fan for her own reading use and they were never intended to be resold on eBay.  I expect she and the authors will have some chatting to do.

3. Are fanzine writers and publishers being paranoid?

The following sentiment is not unique among newer fans.
"I've never charged anyone for my fan works and actually turned down an invitation to a fanzine because I disliked the idea that anyone would have to pay for my creations, even if it was purportedly just for production costs. Seeing the 'real' fanzines listed for sale in that Ebay store just adds to my personal reasons not to participate in such projects."

Final thoughts: It is a long road (or it should be) from saying - 'Hey I don't' want to participate in fanzines' to saying: 'Let's report fan writers and fanzine publishers and fanzine sellers for copyright infringement. Here is a link to the fanzines and here are instructions on how to shut them down. 'Go get em!'

What is at issue is not that one fan made a few hard copies of fan fic without permission and that these copies ended up on eBay, but that more fans were willing to target fellow fans for copyright infringement without stopping to verify the facts, find the source of the problem and more importantly decide if their goal was to save the village or burn it down. In both cases (printing/selling fan fic stories without permission *and* targeting fanzine publishers with the dreaded copyright club) result in a chilling and fearful impact on the fannish community.

Is there anything to do to help repair the loss of trust? I wrote to doctor beth and suggested that she offer the 3 fanzines to the authors to help smooth things over. If they don't want them, maybe the copies could be auctioned off for charity (with the writer's permission.) In other words, do something positive to make people feel like a community again and not like we're sharks circling each other waiting for a misstep. If the fan is out there who made the copies for personal use, write to the authors and explain these were personal printed copies and never intended to be resold. Don't leave the community thinking there is a fan fic shark swimming in our waters. 7/27 - See edit above.

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Current Mood: calm calm

10 comments or Leave a comment
rivkat From: rivkat Date: July 27th, 2009 01:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
For me, the thing that stands out is "cheap binder": no, that's just how The Skeptic and the Believer really looked--and it wasn't cheap! Boy, I am old.
morgandawn From: morgandawn Date: July 27th, 2009 01:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
hahaha. yes, the reality gap can be wide.
seagull2eagle From: seagull2eagle Date: July 27th, 2009 01:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's the idea that fans will report somebody for copyright violation that still gets me. WTF? Just... Okay, you can approve or disapprove of fanzines all you want in your own private world, but REPORTING somebody to the authorities? o.O How, in any possible world mindset of a fan, can that possibly be a good thing to do?

Edited at 2009-07-27 05:54 pm (UTC)
morgandawn From: morgandawn Date: July 27th, 2009 02:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

call me a radical....

it falls into the 'burning the village to save it? I know what is best and I will make certain you know it too even at the barrel of a gun? ' mindset.

we can achieve much more by shunning and pointing fannish fingers. and at the same time keep our fannish trust and community intact.
gwyn_r From: gwyn_r Date: July 27th, 2009 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
You are being a lot nicer about this than I can be. I hear this about vids too, trading tapes and buying tapes. I really just want to beat the crap out of these stupid n00bs and their complete lack of understanding. It's one of many things that newer fans are doing that really is just driving my participation further and further back.
morgandawn From: morgandawn Date: July 27th, 2009 02:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
haha. and here I was told I was being obnoxious. it probably didn;t help that when I googled I found over LJ 5 posts where fans reposted the same misinformation and call to action. and that I gave them links to the more updated info.

I am the Fact Stalker!!! She will invade your lives with spreadsheets and charts and real information. run and hide. :-)
From: laurashapiro Date: July 27th, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Your patience impresses the shit out of me, I've gotta say. (:

Hope to signal-boost this today, but I have a lot on my to-do list...
murielperun From: murielperun Date: July 27th, 2009 08:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Are there any reports of people copying old fanzines and selling those on ebay? I would think that would be even easier for those who want to make money off other people's work without their consent.
morgandawn From: morgandawn Date: July 27th, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
no....only the 3 'printed off the net sines mentioned above. it is hard to gauge whether the zines being sold at eBay are copies of real zines - most sellers scan the covers and you can eyeball them. some dealers will say - this looks like a copy. I always ask

the amount of work that goes into making copies/color covers - it is easier for them to grab zines cheaply and then resell them at premium. they do not need to copy to make money.
murielperun From: murielperun Date: July 27th, 2009 11:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's too bad the rumor mill got going on this one, because the bottom line is that fans need to do all they can to ascertain if a zine is being offered for sale legitimately before they buy. Good for you for trying to being some calm back to the situation.
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