Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Thoughts on Fan Fiction

I've been having an e-mail conversation with a certain Aragem (I'll write you back soon, Aragem), and the conversation turned to the topic of fan fiction. Aragem gave me permission to post his comments, so I am doing so here. I find them interesting, and they convey information I didn't know.

My own opinion on fan fiction is simple. I see it as a natural extension, one impossible to get rid of, of our love for storytelling. Good stories make us want to tell more stories about the characters we care about. Of course, copyright law, at least as I understand it, doesn't accomodate this; and of course, I also believe in keeping the law. Aragem suggests that Japan has already found a solution to this dilemma:

Now here is my opinion on fanfiction, fanart, and AMVs (anime music
videos). To me, it is free advertising for the creator's work and
merchandise. Plus, it's a great way for creators and people who created
the fanon to see how much people love their comics, shows, and work. I
understand if someone is claiming it as their own and is making money off of it
that it would violate copyright law, but at most times every fic writer is
careful to give ownership to the creators and claim ONLY the characters they
created for the fic or art.

AMVs have recently taken a hit
from copyright law, but ONLY from the music companies, not from anime. In
Japan they actually encourage them. Especially doujinshi, an unauthorized
comic based off a canon comic that takes the characters and continues or expands
the story. Most anime makers encourage this because they see it as a fan
showing their love of the series and others see it as drawing in more business
from people unfamiliar with the work.

And this is true in my
case. There are several animes I didn't know existed or I wasn't
interested in until I saw some nice artwork on the net with the characters
that it drew me to learn more about them and ended with me actually buying the
dvd set for them. The creators got money from my pocket because somebody
took her own time to draw a picture of the characters for free. It was a
poster that advertised their work.

There was even an AMV that drew
me because it was playing a song that I liked, but I saw the characters and the
situation and I got curious, looked at some fansites, and I am purchasing the
anime now as I can find the dvds. There are even music artists I knew
nothing about until I saw an AMV with an anime I liked of whose I bought a

When I hear of the music company giving online sites a
hard time, I think to myself, "They are shooting themselves in the foot."
They are losing money instead of making it and are hurting the fans by
disallowing them from showing their love. It's like a mother pushing a
child away for trying to hug her.

Yes, there are irresponsible
people on the net who would ruin the fun for everyone, but there are many
responsible people. Imagine if every writer, anime creator, comic artist,
and music star chose not to allow fans to create fansites of their work on the
internet? It would be a very boring net and how would anybody learn
anything about shows or music or art? Imagine how little you knew before
you got access to the internet. Me, I can remember when I first got the
internet when I was 11 and it changed my life. Honestly, I spent it
looking at Gargoyles fansites till 2:00 in the morning that Summer.

And yes, just about every site has advertisements. But there
is a Vin Disel fansite, called the VinXeperince, that has a link to
so you could buy some of the movies he was in. To me, if that isn't
helpful to the actor or producers of the movies, what is? has links to sites that sell Transformer toys and
EVEN puts out alerts when a comic is in stores, or there is a sale at Toys R Us,
Walmart, or Target and even when a certain toy hits these stores. Is this
site hurting Hasbro's business?

I think the Copyright laws
should be tweaked or changes a little to allow fans to show their love and even
make some money for the businesses.

Well, that's my opinion
and you can post it if you want, but I'm sure it's the same as a lot of other
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