rivkat: Fandom is my fandom (fandom is my fandom)
( Sep. 6th, 2014 08:55 pm)

Via the OTW: Fan Video & Multimedia is once again working with our Legal Committee as well as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to petition for a DMCA exemption granting vidders, AMV makers, and other creators of noncommercial remix video the right to break copy protection on media files. In 2010, we won the right to rip DVDs; in 2012, we got that exemption renewed and expanded to include digital downloads (iTunes, Amazon Unbox, etc.). In 2015, we’ll be pushing to add Blu-Ray. Right now we’re in the data-gathering stage: asking fan video makers to talk with us about how they get Blu-Ray source and why Blu-Ray is important.


The exemption will expire if not renewed!  The big copyright industries fought really hard last time, and renewal is not a foregone conclusion, even though we’re still right.  As always we need (1) examples of vids that make a critical commentary on the original source, particularly examples from the past 3 years, as well as (2) vids that need very high quality source, in technical terms, to do what they do.  With Blu-Ray, we need (3) explanations of how getting Blu-Ray source can be done, so we can educate the Copyright Office, and (4) explanations for why Blu-Ray source is important.  

If you can help with any of these, please let legal@transformativeworks.org know!

Naomi Novik's congressional testimony on behalf of fair use/fanworks; recap of hearing; video of hearing. I have to admit, I never really imagined fans defending fair use before Congress, but Naomi always did.  (Farscape reference, heh.)

Super NSFW art by pandora_gold
 (pun intended) for A Life Less Invulnerable (Clark/Lex, NC-17).

S1 SPN rewatch: babies! Just finished the Bloody Mary episode.  shallow thoughts )
rivkat: Rivka as Wonder Woman (Default)
( Jan. 20th, 2014 05:03 pm)
I missed a few days, but I'll try to get back in the swing of things.  For [livejournal.com profile] daria234: Jan. 20. How social/political engagement in fandom has changed over time. 

rivkat: Rivka as Wonder Woman (Default)
( Jan. 13th, 2014 06:53 pm)
For [personal profile] serrico: Your thoughts on LJ/DW fandom vs Tumblr fandom, please.

I'm old. )
rivkat: Rivka as Wonder Woman (Default)
( Jan. 12th, 2014 09:05 pm)
For [personal profile] avidrosette: I was wondering how you find yourself balancing fandom and professional life, and fandom and family life. Do you like them to mingle or stay separate? How do they influence each other? Does a connection to fandom ever give you any trouble in the other areas?

separation anxiety )
So the CW wants you to share your SPN fan art:

Have you been waiting to use some of your Supernatural fan art? Here’s your chance!
You create it, design it and we’ll use it! Submit it here: http://blog.cwtv.com/submit

As I said on tumblr, I think one notable thing here is that there are very few fanartists who’ve been “waiting to use” their fan art. Some, undoubtedly. But most of it? Already in use! I am fascinated by how many assumptions about fan v. pro are so baked into the official discourse; I can’t imagine anyone responsible even noticed the wording. (Also of course, yes, I smirked at the “submit” joke; I bet they did too.)

Pollan on cooking; the creation of fake scientific uncertainty )
Sadly, my productive work semester is leaving zero time for making fannish things, but I can at least share some love:

OTW comments on the legal framework for remix
.  If you don’t tear up at a couple of the personal fandom stories, you’re a stronger person than I am.

Also, it turns out that the rules for Amazon’s Kindle Worlds really are quite amusing: All of them ban “erotica” and “offensive content,” but Bloodshot and a couple of others (comics, I think) require characters to be “in-character,” and also ban “profane language,” graphic violence, “references to acquiring, using, or being under the influence of illegal drugs,” and “wanton disregard for scientific and historical accuracy.” So, good luck with that!

Foreign Policy asks: Why is the Chinese Internet obsessed with writing gay Sherlock Holmes fanfiction?  I answer: because the Chinese are people? People who are sometimes willing to go to jail for loving slash. (Though one commenter insists that the arrest came from the fact that the targeted person ran a “porn” website for profit, and that ordinary slash writers are not at risk; the comment doesn’t make clear whether the claim is that it’s the profit or the “porn” that’s the problem under Chinese law, and also deploys “slash is women writing, not ‘gay’” in a way that seems a tad homophobic.)
Two US agencies are holding hearings on copyright reform; enough powerful people (ok, companies) think that copyright law needs changing that this might actually happen.  Don't let it happen without fannish voices: the OTW is soliciting stories of how creating transformative works has helped people in day-to-day life, whether that's through building language skills, video editing, writing, coding, or anything else.  You don't need to provide personal information, but the more specific the better.  You can submit your story through this form.  We need to speak up, or we'll be left out.
Laura Shapiro explains that Jay Smooth and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are making a documentary about remix, and seeking video submissions--vidders should consider participating!

Also, the OTW is seeking stories from fans who’ve received DMCA notices, or who’ve heard mention of the so-called “right of publicity” and its relation to RPF.

three years on and still wondering... )

In the latest Transformative Works and Cultures, Emily Regan Wills has Fannish discourse communities and the construction of gender in The X-Files, in which Iolokus is cited as one of the fandom's attempts to recuperate Scully's reproductive arc. 

I wish I hadn't lost my hard drive with all the XF fic on it.  Perhaps it's time to reread the other stories discussed!

What Flourish Klink says about Amazon’s new fan fiction monetization project is all worth taking seriously, especially the parts about incremental change and bringing in people who weren’t traditionally “fan fiction writers.” I think that’s actually the riskiest part (and I don’t think she argues otherwise); the internet grew to its present point in a context in which it was much easier to go from inventing fan fiction in your own bedroom to finding a community of people who’d made the same invention than it had been when you had to find a convention or a round robin or the like. I’m skeptical of Golden Age thinking, but at the same time I do want to make sure that people who find fandom through places like Amazon can also easily find some non-walled gardens to play in. I also don’t think this is going to be a model for many franchises/works other than those created using the Alloy Entertainment model of monetizing a concept for teen audiences, though I’ve been wrong before!

(Flourish also points out that it’s standard white folk cluelessness to ban “racism” in Vampire Diaries fan fiction given its canonical basis in chattel slavery, though I’m pretty sure Amazon’s enforcers will be defining that term differently than many who might be reading her work; others have noted the ironies in banning excessive brand placement in Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars fic. I guess the official versions have that covered?)

Letters from Titan has a great post too, raising what seem to me to be exactly the key questions. Sure wish I had answers:
Question 1: To what degree does Kindle Worlds suggest that the fanfiction can only be legitimized through the eradication of fan culture’s gift economy?
Question 2: Fanfiction has significantly changed our media culture. Kindle Worlds isn’t just capitalizing on it, but arguably represents an attempt to shape it. Is this a feedback loop in action or an attempt to stop the catalyst that is fan work?
Questions 3: The contractual terms of Kindle Worlds are the sort traditional professional writers would be strongly advised against signing on to. Is fannish work worth less? Should it be?
Question 4: Fanfiction has, arguably, always been about the option to use use all the tools, particularly those often discouraged by corporate content production (e.g., sexuality), to tell story. If the toolbox is limited, whether a given writer would choose to use all the tools or not, is it fanfiction or is it some other form of derivative (vs. transformative) work?
Question 5: How will fan readers view/treat fan writers who use a tool like Kindle Worlds? And how does that impact our communities, hierarchies, and barriers to entry?
I also said some stuff on tumblr. Hi tumblr, I’m trying you out.  And wow are you terrible for conversations!

Relatedly: like vids? Vote in the US? Call your representatives and tell them to support DMCA reform so that vidding stays lawful. There are a variety of proposals, but only one bill that is any good and that fixes anything but cellphone unlocking.
rivkat: Fandom is my fandom (fandom is my fandom)
( May. 6th, 2013 08:15 pm)
Via [personal profile] giandujakiss, the AO3 is one of Time's top 50 websites of 2013.

Also: My relationship to Diet Coke, summed up.

An essay on Superman’s dog, in the form of a conversation between the author of an unauthorized bio of Superman and his editor. I may have to buy this book ….

Pretty Little Liars spinoff! (Spoiler for a character who will leave PLL.) The guy who’s been cast reminds me just a little bit of Jensen Ackles, so I guess we can add that to my DVR at least in the first instance.

And some fiction reviews:

Diane Duane, CJ Cherryh, high school shenanigans )
rivkat: Fandom is my fandom (fandom is my fandom)
( Apr. 3rd, 2013 06:39 pm)
Fandom is love--but fandom is also people. If you can, please consider supporting the Organization for Transformative Works, the Archive of Our Own, and the other great work the OTW does, including defending vidders in front of the US Copyright Office! If DMCA reform goes forward, we might even get to do it in front of the Congress.

Fandom Is Love: Organization for Transformative Works Membership Drive, April 3-9

Three NYT headlines, one societal clusterf*ck:

West Antarctica Warming Faster Than Thought
: "New research suggests that the huge ice sheet there could collapse, with potentially drastic effects on the sea level."

How G.O.P. Shifted to ‘No New Taxes,’ Ever: "Some Republicans fear that the opposition to tax increases is coming at the expense of fiscal responsibility."

The Ultimate Amenity: Grandparents
: "Some affluent New Yorkers are buying apartments near their own so their parents can be closer to grandchildren."  Something about the juxtaposition just really made me sad at how quickly we are becoming a lifeboat society, and certain people have been pre-allocated the boats.

In slightly different news, Harvard is offering a MOOC copyright course from 1/28/2013 to 4/22/2013: it’s free, though you have to apply.  It should be interesting. Terry Fisher, who will be lecturing, was a speaker at the conference that is in part responsible for the creation of the OTW, because of all the guys on stage talking about how they’d invented this awesome new thing where they edited videogame footage to music. I’m not dinging the creativity of machinima--everyone gets to invent fandom—but it was definitely a moment where it was clear that some public representation from our kinds of fandom was called for, because history was going to be written and policy made with or without us, and with us was better.  I would be very curious about how Fisher teaches “user-generated content” these days.  It would be neat if one of you guys had the time to sign up and report back!
rivkat: Rivka as Wonder Woman (Default)
( Dec. 21st, 2012 08:19 pm)
[personal profile] podcath put my DA story Getting By in her anthology: The Manticore Anthology, yay!

[personal profile] cesperanza: So Hey, We Stopped Saying That! Or how fandom learned to stop worrying and love the label “transformative.” (My version of “hey, stop saying that” is here.)

Thanks to [personal profile] geekturnedvamp, [personal profile] talitha78 and [personal profile] mustangsally78 for the holiday cards. It’s not that surprising to me that the latter two both feature cats, and that the first doesn’t!

Via Jason Mittell, a really smart essay on violence in pop culture:
One argument I’m suddenly hearing a lot of is: Of course violent TV has a violent influence. Isn’t the whole TV advertising model based on the idea that content can influence action? Does that influence stop once the commercials are over?
For starters: yes, actually, it kind of does. In the sense, at least, that advertising is a different kind of rhetoric from fiction. It’s generally a direct argument: buy this product, for this reason, you will get this benefit, you will look and feel a certain way.
Fiction–even really bad fiction–doesn’t work that way. It tells a story, and people make meaning from it. It can have profound effects on people, but not necessarily the same ones on everyone, and its message isn’t linear. Breaking Bad, for instance, is a violent story of bad people, but you would have to have much more contempt for its viewers than I do to assume that its “message” is: life is cheap, power is awesome, so go cook some meth, dominate your wife and hurt whomever you have to, even kids, to get your way.
Which led me to this essay on why all the "good" TV is so violent:
But what is concerning is that this revolution has been deep but narrow; it's like we have an army of dazzlingly fluent poets who all write in one language. That doesn't, of course, make all the poetry the same, any more than all English-language poetry is the same. These shows are varied in many ways: The Wire is not the same show as The Walking Dead just because people get shot and otherwise brutalized, and American Horror Story and Boardwalk Empire are hardly identical twins. But they share elements, one of which is that the stakes involve — not solely but largely — avoiding being violently killed. And for that reason, they ask the viewer to want to watch people being violently killed now and then, and sometimes now and then and then and then, because otherwise the threats are false.
(It's worth mentioning that the violence is not the only thing many of these shows have in common. They're also very heavy, though less uniformly so, on the question of what it means to be a morally conflicted 40-ish white guy in modern America, or '60s America, or Prohibition-era America, or Westeros. This is also the theme of the highly decorated Louie, which is sort of a comedy, but only sort of. As much as it's failed to reach many kinds of stories, the revolution has also failed to reach many kinds of people with any regularity.)

Chinese fanworks based on an English textbook from the 80s:  “Li Lei and Han Meimei started to rise as icons of the post-80s collective memory because many found out that they’ve all imaged a love affair between Li and Han during those young and care-free years, when they themselves were told not to touch young love and focus on studies. Fabricated stories and comics started to circulate online …” I love the double meaning of “fabricated.”
Stephen King, K.J. Parker, Malinda Lo, Carol Berg )
Via [twitter.com profile] OTW_News: Alert to fans who lost fanworks as part of the Megaupload seizure: the EFF wants to help. Tell them your story!

Also, via several sources: Delicious is now displaying whatever full name you gave them when you signed up. In my case, my wallet name! Oops.

In happier news, have an old-school XF MSR recommendation:  i made it in my mind, by [archiveofourown.org profile] postcardmystery (warning: suicidal ideation and Mulder’s general lack of wellbeing).

And finally, the complete guide to the US debt problem, brought to you by math.  I'm now largely done with schadenfreude and contemplating various reality-related things, like the weirdness involved in fetishizing Nate Silver because science, when science would perhaps suggest that you not fetishize anyone, and the related question of how to speak to people in a state of epistemic closure (related since liberals have their emotions bound up in their facts, too).
rivkat: Fandom is my fandom (fandom is my fandom)
( Nov. 4th, 2012 02:25 pm)
The Archive is seeking help kicking the tires/making sure the new tag filters work.  If you are willing to poke around and report any problems you discover, please take a look at these instructions.  And yay for the impending return!



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