Fanfiction

I’m not sure if this belongs here or on moral theology:confused:

I admit I’m a sucker for fanfiction, some are just way better than the actual thing. Well I found out that alot of it was a violation of copyright though, so I stopped reading it. But I have heard that some original authors have no problem with people writting fanfictions about their characters, as long as it’s not vulgar or anything. So, I was wondering if it would still be illegal for someone to read fanfictions even though the original author is ok with it?

I was looking around for what the law says but couldn’t seem to find it.:shrug:

Don’t the fanfic authors have to put a disclaimer that they are not the author?

They are not making money or gaining status by the stories, isn’t that essentially what copyright laws are for?

I’m interested to see what others have to say.

Yeah, most put disclaimers but it doesn’t stop it from being illegal, I think. Most basically say ‘don’t sue me’. I read somwhere that dererative works ( just about all fanfics) are only ok if there’s explicit consent form the copyright holder or something like that, does that mean written or can it be a general statement?:confused:

Many mangaka don’t seem to have any problems with fanfics, since in Japan doujinshi is rather popular, and some manga writers even write their own doujinshi of another’s work.

I went poking around the net and couldn’t find a clear awnser. For example, JK Rowling (Harry Potter author) has no problem with fics as long as they’re not indecent, does that give permission and make it legal to write/read hp fics? Other authors don’t like fanfics at all and go about with cease and deceas letters (hope I got the spelling right). And what exactly does permission mean? Written or verbal??:confused:

copyright is rather confusing and for a scrupulous person like me, it can be quite scary, so I like to be sure that everything I do is morally ok and not sinful.

IMO, reading it is not a problem (as long as it is not immoral), just don’t print it out or copy in any way.

That’s just it. Personally, I don’t think fanfiction is wrong along as it’s for nonprofit/entertainment purposes (and moral of course). Copyright law seems to say otherwise. And since I’m not too keen on breaking the law (as nit-picky as it may be), I just want to make sure it’s not a sin. Doesn’t really look like that’s gonna happen anytime soon though.:shrug:

well i write it & i don’t see anything wrong.

I don’t make money off it & i don’t use my real name & everyone knows that i didn’t make up the characters.

I’m a big fan of Firefly and its spin off movie Serenity. Both have spawned many versions of fanfiction projects. While I don’t read it, I do know that the original producers, writers and actors all seem to be supportive of the efforts to keep it going. The fanfiction seems to keep up the interest in the original works, and while there have been some issues with fan produced T-Shirts and Mugs that were being made and sold commercially, there seems to be no issues with fiction that involves the original characters, introduces new characters, etc. There are even PODCASTS that are released (for free) on the internet that contain this type of content.

I suspect that each author/producer/copyright holder has a different view of what can be done with his work?

so then it would be A OK as long as the copyright holder is ok with it? That’s the case with one author I like and would just LOVE to read some good fics about.

I just cant seem to ward off that feeling that just about anything I do is a sin:p

My daughter writes it, or has in the past. One of the funniest stories, IMO, was a romantic comedy set in Regency England with her characters having Japanese names. Too hilarious.

Trouble was, she kept coming up with new plots and seldom finished her stories, very frustrating. Like The Save fanfiction.net/s/1235935/1/The_Save

There’s a website devoted to fan fiction, Fanfiction.net. I like the ones based on old TV shows, (though I haven’t read any lately).

I understand it’s perfectly legal or there would be a lot of lawsuits. So, I don’t see the need to be overscrupulous (sp) about it.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_issues_with_fan_fiction

Most seem to think it’s an infringement of copyright which I assume is illegal.:confused:

Thanks for the info. I meant that for those authors that give approval of fanfiction of their works, of course, it should be all right to enjoy reading it. Hopefully the websites respect the authors’ wishes in that regard.

I’m bumping this because I think there’s more to the debate.

Is fanfic legal? If it wasn’t there wouldn’t be a fanfiction.net, or a Gossamer Project or any of the other sites that are up. There are copyright laws but there are also fair use protections. In the fan fic community generally a disclaimer is thought to be enough, but maybe it’s just tolerated.

Fanfiction.net made the decision several years ago to stop hosting RealPeople fic, a subset of fanfic that’s based on, say, the Who. They had no end of protests from Monkees fans who SWORE that their fics were based on the show. I’m not certain if this decision was a legal issue or a squick factor one.

However, I’ve personally read at least five novels about the life of Lord Byron, including one that rendered him as a vampire. The creation of Frankenstein may well be the most fictionalized incident in all of Western literature. Some are serious; others are silly. It’s hard to read the 19 year old writer of Frankenstein as Mary Sue Shelley. Is it different because the protagonists are dead? Byron himself based a lot of his poetry on legends he’d heard. Is that fan fiction? At least one of his works was staged without his permission in those days before solid international copyright protections. Was that fair use?

There are some writers who actively encourage fanfic of their work. Chris Carter named a minor character in the last two seasons of the X-Files in honor of a popular fanfic writer who died of cancer, Leyla Harrison. On the other hand, George Lucas tried to force writers from the Star Wars ficdom to post their work exclusively to his website and then claimed that their work was his property. Lucas, of course, is currently working with Speilberg again on another Indiana Jones project. In the mid-70’s Speilberg was listed as Executive Producer on “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” a movie about a group of teenagers who plot to meet the Beatles during their first trip to the US. Is that a fan fiction?

I've asked this question on the website www.saint-mike.org and learnt that writing fanfiction = theft = sin, and reading it means participation in this sin. I wanted to add a link to this page but it seems that it is unavailable.

I don’t see that it’s a sin. It’s simply borrowing pre-existing characters and writing new adventures for them, which writers have been doing for ages (think of all the different adaptations of the legend of Robin Hood or the King Arthur legends, or kid books about historical figures written from the point of view of a pet animal, ie. a book I saw about Pope Benedict XVI told from the point of view of his pet cat). As long as you aren’t trying to make a profit by selling your works or claiming that you created the non-original characters (and most fanfic writers put a disclaimer on their works saying that they don’t own Such-and-such series or its characters), there’s no guilt involved. It’s really a hobby, and as such, no sin is involved.

I have been an active member/author of fanfiction.net for over ten years. All of the shows/movies/books etc that other authors can write about have been approved by the authors themselves. In fact when you’re getting ready to post a new story, the owners of the website have in bold, many authors who have explicitly expressed that their work is not to be toyed with (from memory, Anne Rice is one of them) and any story found using their works will be deleted immediately.

Every selection from every category of the website has been given permission by those who own the rights, that it is okay for their show/book/movie etc and its characters to be used as a backdrop for other authors to publish their works on the website (that didn’t feel like it made any sense, but hopefully you get the idea). As a precaution, I always include a disclaimer at the beginning of my stories indicating what is and isn’t mine and that I’m not profiting.

It is not a sin, guys, to read or write using fanfiction.net. As a kid, fanfiction was a fantastic outlet for all my creative energy and I developed my writing skill through use of the website. I highly recommend it to budding authors as the other members of the site give wonderful criticisms as well as supportive comments :slight_smile: However, it IS a sin if you get addicted to all the stupid smut stories (I mean, who REALLY wants to read stories about Harry Potter and Snape having a baby together :rolleyes: ).

But you haven’t read the link, I know it wasn’t available but now it’s working and it’s here.Everything is clearly explained with quotations from the Cathechism. I believe this priest is right about the sinfulness of fanfiction, and about the fact that we should avoid all sin even if it is not mortal one. Take a look at this article :slight_smile:

I’m part of a writing group that participates in NaNoWriMo every year. There’s a guy that likes to cheer on the fanfic-leaning writers in the group when they’re feeling down about the “legitimacy” of their work (even though there are scads of people doing this activity with no intention to publish even with *original *material) by pointing out that “Paradise Lost” is Bible fanfic. :smiley:

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