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Fandom History: Why It Pays To Have One. That Is Written. By Many Of Us. - Morgan Dawn Livejournal:The Here And Now
The Here And Now
Fandom History: Why It Pays To Have One. That Is Written. By Many Of Us.
In 2010, a fan wrote passionately, about the ethics of turning fan fic into commercially published work. She asked the  community whether anyone in her fandom would ever do this and whether it was a moral practice? The irony, is that in her fandom (which dates back to the 1970s) there were fans who turned their fanfic into commercial fiction just as there were fan communities who not only did not object to "going pro", they cheered their fellow fans for getting published. This was repeated across many fandoms: Star Trek, Professionals, Due South, etc.   At the end of this long discussion thread someone linked to the Fanlore page on Filing off the serial numbers.

My take on the discussion: Without places like Fanlore, the ability to imagine a history  beyond your own boundaries is much harder.  And any history that relies on the memories of  only a few or that is orally passed from person to person to person will be full of rumour and innuendo and misperceptions.

"You may have heard about a certain Twilight-fanfic-turned-novel called 50 Shades of Grey and all the brouhaha about it. If you haven't, the non-tl;dr version of the situation is that a fanfic writer in the Twilight fandom posted a many-chaptered AU story featuring Edward/Bella called Masters of the Universe, but then pulled it, changed the names of the characters and then published it as a book called 50 Shades of Grey.

So I ask the S&H fandom in regards to doing such a thing is: If a writer in the fandom were to take their long S&H stories off the internet and change character names, locations, time (e.g. from the 70s to the present) and then publish the stories as 'original novels', would you consider this legal/ethical? Would you support the books because of their S&H fanfic origins, or not?

Me, I definitely consider taking a fanfic, AU or not, that's been posted online and changing it into an 'original novel' for sale to be unethical. Sometimes the alterations may be enough that the characters in the published novel don't seem like those in the fanfic, but still, there's something sleazy to me about taking advantage of another creator's fanbase and their work to make profit for yourself."

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4 comments or Leave a comment
catalenamara From: catalenamara Date: October 3rd, 2013 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I can see this sort of attitude cropping up in a new fandom, but considering a famous S&H fanfic author turned one of her stories into an Edgar-winning mystery, comments like this make me realize how crucial fan history is in maintaining perspective on this and many other issues.
morgandawn From: morgandawn Date: October 3rd, 2013 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think places like Fanlore help both 'new fan in old fandom' as well as "new fans in new fandoms.' Not that you should need to know fandom history in order to be a fan or have fun. But when meta discussions like this happen, it helps to have a bigger framework - not just historically but geographically.

catalenamara From: catalenamara Date: October 20th, 2013 10:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Geographically" - that reminded me of an early fannish survey. The person doing the survey assumed most women in fandom were nurses or in healthcare professions because the people surveyed were friends who had become acquainted in their professions and then found/pimped fandoms to each other.
catalenamara From: catalenamara Date: October 3rd, 2013 01:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Also, consider how many pro works are inspired by the ideas of others. We're talking about the entire history of writing here.
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