My good buddy eavling
, in response to something on a previous thread, dug this up on Laurell K. Hamilton's stance on fanfic."Fanfiction does not exist. My understanding, legally, is that to keep my copy right completely intact, I must not allow anyone to use my characters for anything. I know the copy right should be protected as long as they don't try and make money from my world or characters, but I'm cautious by nature. I go with the advice of my lawyer has given on it. So if people are writing fanfic, enjoy yourselves, but don't tell me about it. Ever. And don't try and sell stories or books set in my world, with or without my characters. That's illegal."
Excerpt from text interview by Paula Guran for Metropole
There are two separate issues in all this: One, using another person's copyrighted characters for your own profit, and two, LKH and fanfic. One:
She's right: it's illegal to violate copyright like that. But that's not what we fanfic writers are doing. That's why all disclaimers on fanfic say that nothing is being gained by the writing of the fanfic, and that others own the characters. An archive that has Buffy fanfic available on the Internet is all right; one that charges you to view the content is not. If you see someone trying to profit from fanfic, raise shit. Two:
There are two aspects at work here. The more personal one for LKH is that she doesn't like to share her characters (which I find interesting, not in a good or bad way, from someone who wrote a Star Trek derivative novel once upon a time). The other is one that all writers share -- can you read fanfic based on your own material? What if you then, consciously or not, incorporate aspects in that story into your own work? Some author was sued over that a while ago, and since then most authors do not read fanfic based on their own stories.
There is no real conflict there, however, with the existence of Anita Blake and Merry Gentry fanfic. If you read those words, one thing stands out to me:So if people are writing fanfic, enjoy yourselves, but don't tell me about it. Ever.
I can live with that.~~~
Now, I must turn to two other fandoms, briefly, to show different views on fanfic.
1) Joss Whedon: He and his crew are in favour, from what I can recall, because it generates interest in the fandom and brings people back in. They are right on the ball, as reading and writing fanfic can generate new interest in the series, especially after the series is dead. It certainly gets people buying those $60 DVD sets.
2) JK Rowling is in favour of fanfic (BBC Article here
) as well. She’s not in favour of the obscene stuff, which could be the object of another discussion. Frankly, I'm not a fan of the Harry/Voldemort rape fic either, and I sure as hell hope it's labelled as such so those 12-year-olds never find it (Also a parent supervision of the Internet thing, but it’s getting late).
Moral of the story:
Hug a fanfic writer, they're doing it out of love