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Article on Adult fanfiction

Trekqueen and I both got interviewed for this:

Article at Columbia University.

It's funny. When we were contacted by the young lady who wrote it, I was thinking to myself, "professional journalist", and I was trying to be helpful, informative, and supply her with lots of information and tidbits she could use. However, it didn't occur to me that a) good article writing is a skill that requires art and practice, and b) people can only absorb a few tiny chunks, so don't tell them much. She quoted Trekqueen a bit without giving her source, and I feel this article is a bit weak and scattered, but then it is only a piece for a college paper, after all!

The interviewer excerpted my most shocking and startling comment, and left out my more general remarks on how fanfic works, the function it serves, the ethical issues involved, and my own feelings about copyright, which are... cautious.

~ Do whatever the heck you want on your own computer.
~ Sharing it on the web means making a permanent record for all to read. Then you need to ponder ethical considerations and Fair Use.
~ Violation of copyright laws by using someone else's creation in your own writing = technically illegal. Naughty, but as long as you give authorial credit or it's something well-known like Star Wars where people KNOW what the original is, and whose it is, it's not unethical, it's more on the level of parking without putting money in the meter. You should not turn a blind eye to the fact that it's illegal, or resent fanfiction websites setting rules to mitigate the possibility of legal action.
~ As long as you're not making money off of it, it's not bad. If you're making money, then the original artist deserves a cut.
~ Writing things that authors would not like you to write with their characters -- that's where I start to draw the line. For me, I understand that artistic creations are like one's children. One lets them out into the world, and they become a gift to the world, but you don't want them raped, folded, or mutilated. Therefore, I feel no guilt about writing normal fanfic, but I wouldn't post adult fanfic in a world whose author has requested that his/her world not be fanfic'd. It would be abhorrent to him/her, and at that point I think artist's wishes take precedent over my own fun. That's with a living author. With a dead author, like Tolkien, I may feel a twinge of guilt, but he's not around to be bothered by it, and it's certainly no worse than what Jackson got paid big bucks to do.



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 16th, 2006 10:56 pm (UTC)
yea a little bit peturbed about that but what can we do? *shrugs* still wondering why she didnt double check with you on your personal details.
Mar. 16th, 2006 11:03 pm (UTC)
I was supposed to be interviewed but I insisted it be over e-mail so I could have a record of EXACTLY what was said on both sides and would have legal basis to blast her in a court of law if she tried to twist/misrepresent anything I said. Seems I was a bit too knowledgeable and cautious for her tastes. Never heard back from her. Now reading the article I'm glad I didn't contribute. The journalist in question still has a lot of distance to go before she will be a credible author.

Just my opinion.
Mar. 17th, 2006 01:09 am (UTC)
*hugs Trekqueen* Meh. Well, we all learned something from that episode, eh? I'm sorry your words got plucked.

Shanastay, I think you are VERY wise.

I wrote back to Rachel asking for her to remove my first name from the article, which she has now done. I created this "Helluin" identity precisely so that employers/relatives/friends with more delicate dispositions won't stumble across my baby steps writing erotica. I was more than a little distressed when she put my first name and my biographical information right there!

This journalist is young. Hopefully she'll learn with experience how to approach sources with care and confidentiatily, how to listen to and digest their comments, and how to assemble the material in an informative, organized, and insightful fashion. Journalism is an art and a craft, just like writing fanfic is an art. Writers are going to be better or worse at it, and grow with practice.

Goddess knows the fanfic I'm writing now is probably going to look ghastly to me in five years!

Hm. I think I'm going to indulge five seconds of drooling over Shanastay's icon. Lara Croft is another of my idols, whether pixellated or Jolie-enhanced. :)

I like meeting your friends, Trekqueen! :)
Mar. 17th, 2006 02:49 am (UTC)
haha I knew you two would click even a little bit. Shan is a RL friend so once she comes to visit again back down here *glances at Shan* we'll all go out for chocolate mud pie or something (since she and I would do that on occasion and its time to bring another into our chocolate fun cult).
Mar. 17th, 2006 02:55 am (UTC)
Ahhhh yes, the chocolate-lovers (or would addicts be more apt?) club. *reminices* I miss that. Hopefully I can find myself a job soon and will have the fundage to come visit! I love meeting people for "real." *hugs all around*
Mar. 17th, 2006 05:35 pm (UTC)
*drools at Trekqueen's new icon too, I'm so predictable*

That sounds like a wonderful plan, sooner or later. I would like to meet Trekqueen, and it definitely sounds like Shanastay is another of our same crazy tribe. Let me see. Trekqueen is about an hour and a half away from me, unless freeway traffic is being especially evil. Sooo.... give a heads' up! :)
Mar. 17th, 2006 05:45 pm (UTC)
Which freeway do you take to and from school? since you mentioned you do drive sometimes up there... I was thinking you probably pass by my workplace which is right next to a certain major freeway. Home is definitely a little out of the way I'm certain of your drive but work definitely isn't too much!

And thanks for the liking of the avatar! I went about and got new pictures last night as we were chatting over email about them. Yay!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
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