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Author Topic: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers  (Read 3183 times)

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Offline Tairis

Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2014, 11:10:14 PM »
Do, uh, you realize what site you're on?

But hey, good to know I among many, many, MANY others am despised "in general" for what amounts to writing exercises, creative exploration, and a generally non-injurious hobby.

*raises glass to the fellow 'despised'*

Not to mention that the entire concept that authors can 'forbid' fanfic is nothing short of laughable. An author has every right to forbid people to sell their ideas. What they do not have is the write to stop someone from writing, thinking, or talking about whatever they want.

But then I suppose it was greatly offensive to Shakespeare every time they've made a Romeo & Juliet movie, right?

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2014, 10:39:04 AM »
Shakespeare would love movies, probably. We know so little about him, but he did write for the masses of his time (seriously, Shakespearean theatre was basically Victorian England's South Park), and movies are a great way of distributing stories to said masses. As long as he was getting his royalties, he'd have no problem with R+J adaptations.


Personally, I can agree with sentiments like that posted...it's very similar to the reasonings why I don't write/RP as canon characters, I just don't feel like I can 'grok' them like their creators instead of just making an OC with a canon name/history, so I just write OC from the start. But I still love (good) fanfiction of series/settings I enjoy, and have full support for authors who endorse fanfiction, because it makes something I already enjoy bigger and better.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #27 on: May 03, 2014, 10:50:47 AM »
*raises glass to the fellow 'despised'*

Not to mention that the entire concept that authors can 'forbid' fanfic is nothing short of laughable. An author has every right to forbid people to sell their ideas. What they do not have is the write to stop someone from writing, thinking, or talking about whatever they want.

But then I suppose it was greatly offensive to Shakespeare every time they've made a Romeo & Juliet movie, right?

I think some authors get twitchy because fanfict writers HAVE sued them. Mary Zimmerman Bradley for one if I recall correctly. We live in a very litigious society and if I was an established author I'd be more than a little twitchy myself.

Offline Lilias

Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #28 on: May 03, 2014, 12:08:17 PM »
I think some authors get twitchy because fanfict writers HAVE sued them. Mary Zimmerman Bradley for one if I recall correctly. We live in a very litigious society and if I was an established author I'd be more than a little twitchy myself.

The Darkover anthologies were not exactly fanfics. They involved OCs set in the Darkover world, with MZB's encouragement to fill in the gaps in the official novels. I have eight volumes, and her own characters never appear in other people's stories, beyond the odd mention or walkover. It's a crying shame those awesome stories stopped coming because someone went to court over a case of synchronicity.

Offline consortium11

Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #29 on: May 03, 2014, 02:03:36 PM »
The Darkover anthologies were not exactly fanfics. They involved OCs set in the Darkover world, with MZB's encouragement to fill in the gaps in the official novels. I have eight volumes, and her own characters never appear in other people's stories, beyond the odd mention or walkover. It's a crying shame those awesome stories stopped coming because someone went to court over a case of synchronicity.

It's also a different situation because MZB was directly aware of the work in question and its contents which led to the issue as it opened up the possibility that she "stole" the idea for the next work (and to be fair MZB doesn't come out of it particular well either; from the evidence... confused thought it is... we're likely either talking exceptionally sharp business practices or a massive over-reaction). While I'm sure there's a possibility that *insert well known author here* browses fanfiction.net or such a site it's far less verifiable then if they take an active part of the scene... and thus if there is any crossover between fanfiction ideas and what the original author intends to write it's less of a legal issue. It was less a case of copyright/trademark/general IP law and more one of plagiarism.

The IP issues generally relate to monetisation. Different jurisdictions have different laws relating to copyright and trademarks (the two key things here) but a general concept is that one has to keep the "purity" of the IP; one cannot allow the IP to be used by everyone and anyone over a sustained period of time and then bring a case to defend it against a party... in essence by letting those previous infringements stand one has given up one's claims to the IP. Now, for practical reasons it's generally not expected that every breach of IP is met with a legal threat and (if necessary) a legal action; it would be a huge waste of an IP owner's (who is frequently also the creator) time and money if they had to go after every piece of fan-fiction or the like which included their IP. But one still has to defend against serious or major breaches.

So what constitutes serious or major?

Well, there's no strict definition. But one that has been taken on is that if the third party is making money from it it's more likely to constitute such a breach. So someone writing a piece of fan-fiction and emailing it to a friend? Not likely to weaken an IP. Turning it into a novel and publishing it? Much more likely to. And as with most things the internet has made this both simpler and more complex. Have you posted it on a blog? Do you make money from the blog? Bang. Or even wider... does someone make money from the blog/website it's hosted on?

Now, in a similar way to a lack of monetisation not meaning IP hasn't been breached, having some people monetising their fanfiction or the like doesn't mean an IP has been significantly weakened. But it does hurt it. If an IP holder tries to go after someone who is infringing on their copyright... and for these purposes let's say it's a "big" case where someone has released a novel/game/film based on their IP without their permission... and it is revealed that over the years they've allowed dozens/hundreds/thousands of people to make money from that IP without their permission then their case is weakened. And people don't like weak cases...

Offline Rhapsody

Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #30 on: May 03, 2014, 11:47:56 PM »
Shakespeare would love movies, probably. We know so little about him, but he did write for the masses of his time (seriously, Shakespearean theatre was basically Victorian England's South Park), and movies are a great way of distributing stories to said masses. As long as he was getting his royalties, he'd have no problem with R+J adaptations.

Correction: Shakespeare wrote not for the masses, but for the Tudors. Elizabeth I was in power then (Victorian age was 200 years later), and Shakespeare rather rewrote history a bit with his plays, and spun propaganda with them in very troubling times. Tudor ancestors were spoken well-of, while Tudor enemies were demonized in verse. (MacBeth's a great example; the historical MacBeth was absolutely nothing like the character, and around the time it was being written, Elizabeth was having all those pesky succession issues with Mary Queen of Scots). The English monarchs were all kinda batshit crazy. I can almost guarantee that if Shakespeare wrote for the masses, we wouldn't have nearly the body of work that we do, because he'd have been imprisoned or executed for sedition.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #31 on: May 04, 2014, 12:16:10 AM »
Correction: Shakespeare wrote not for the masses, but for the Tudors. Elizabeth I was in power then (Victorian age was 200 years later), and Shakespeare rather rewrote history a bit with his plays, and spun propaganda with them in very troubling times. Tudor ancestors were spoken well-of, while Tudor enemies were demonized in verse. (MacBeth's a great example; the historical MacBeth was absolutely nothing like the character, and around the time it was being written, Elizabeth was having all those pesky succession issues with Mary Queen of Scots). The English monarchs were all kinda batshit crazy. I can almost guarantee that if Shakespeare wrote for the masses, we wouldn't have nearly the body of work that we do, because he'd have been imprisoned or executed for sedition.

I didn't say he wasn't politically astute - of course he wrote stuff that the Tudors would approve of in terms of material. But his plays were performed in common theatres, and written at a dialogue-plot level to get the Elizabethan equivalent of packed box offices. Just take a look at the frequency of dirty puns and innuendos that works like Romeo and Juliet or Hamlet are riddled with; jokes about breaking the heads of the maids or speaking of country matters were not directed at the Tudor rulers.

Offline Tairis

Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #32 on: May 04, 2014, 11:10:10 PM »
In essence, Shakespeare was the Michael Bay of his time.

All in all I've seen a few works of fanfic that rival or at least stand up as well as the original works. It just amuses me when people lose their minds about it. If it's well written how are those stories any worse than written by authors that write heavily in the universes of others? (Michael Stackpole, Salvatore, etc) Just because they didn't create everything themselves, clearly they mustn't have any abilties of their own!

In more relation to the original post, this is obviously a power play as was stated. China is slowly accepting more and more western culture and business ideals to foster their burgeoning economy. Their middle class is exploding in both size and influence and thus they feel the need to remind their citizens who is really in control.

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Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #33 on: May 04, 2014, 11:12:24 PM »
In essence, Shakespeare was the Michael Bay of his time.

All in all I've seen a few works of fanfic that rival or at least stand up as well as the original works. It just amuses me when people lose their minds about it. If it's well written how are those stories any worse than written by authors that write heavily in the universes of others? (Michael Stackpole, Salvatore, etc) Just because they didn't create everything themselves, clearly they mustn't have any abilties of their own!

Considering the recent decisions at Disney, Tor Books may suddenly become the largest official publisher of fanfic ever.