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Fan Work Hypo

by jdickins Show/Hide

Hypo: A friend emails you with a fan work she created and asks if it is a violation of anyone’s copyright and whether it might be protected under fair use. Drawing on Campbell v. Acuff Rose, SunTrust Bank v. Houghton Mifflin Co., and Salinger v. Colting, what do you think?

Note: Many of the fan works included as options in this hypo can be found in full-text on H2O. However, unless you are already familiar with the communities from which fanfiction arises, you may be well-served in reading/watching/listening/viewing the work you choose to analyze in its native location. For example, “300 Things” has received 3868 views on An Archive of Our Own, 1248 comments on the author’s LiveJournal, and is a subject of regular discussion on Tumblr; this information may help you understand the context of your hypothetical friend’s fan work.

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  1. 1 Show/Hide More Fanvids
    Original Creator: jdickins
    Fanvid: a video made by a fan, often short, often using clips from the work in question, often with music elucidating a theme, sometimes telling a new story and sometimes making an argument about the work.
    1. 1.1 Show/Hide More Blame it on the Fandom
      A mashup of 21 TV shows and movies set to a mashup of 27 pop songs from 2009: http://djearworm.com/united-state-of-pop-2009-blame-it-on-the-pop.htm
    2. 1.2 Show/Hide More Secret Asian Man: Artist's Statement of Intent

      A fanvid critiquing the tv show Firefly’s lack of Asian characters. Firefly was set in a future universe whose culture stems equally from American and Chinese sources.

      If you do not wish to download the video from the creator's site, you can view it through YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv5HN4lU2w4

    3. 1.3 Show/Hide More Untitled | Sherlock BBC
      Spoilers for Episode 3, Series 2 of BBC’s Sherlock. Begins with John Watson shutting down his blog of Sherlock’s cases after the events of “Reichenbach Falls” when he receives a text-message. This is a slash vid, a fanvid which implies a romantic or sexual relationship between two characters, in this case, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson.
    4. 1.4 Show/Hide More Bad Romance x Avengers
      Illustrations of the superheroes from The Avengers perform Laurie-Ann Gibson’s choreography to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” with a clip of that song playing in the background.
  2. 2 Show/Hide More Fan Music
    Original Creator: jdickins
    Fan Music: Music written by fans in the world of a show. Pieces of fan music serve the same function as pieces of fanfiction: they explore the characters, settings, and stories of an established world. Filk music, or filk, is a subset of fan music which began to be produced in the mid-20th century at science fiction and fantasy conventions.
    1. 2.1 Show/Hide More "Doctor Who on Holiday" by Dean Gray (ft. Green Day & The Timelords)
      Part of Dean Gray’s mash-up of Green Day’s “American Idiot” album, “American Edit.” The video is a fanvid for Dr Who, but the audio is the relevant portion.
    2. 2.2 Show/Hide More Star Trek - Bein' Red - Filk Song

      Filk song about “red shirts” in Star Trek The Original Series.

      Red Shirt: a fan-term for a character who is minor and will die by the end of an episode. It originated in the Star Trek fandom, as the characters who often died as part of the plots of the original series wore red shirts.

    3. 2.3 Show/Hide More The Castiel Song
      Song mixing quotes and original text from the TV show Supernatural about the character Castiel. Another fan has made a video, replacing the sung quotes with clips from the show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2l5ItHRIRhA Still yet another fan made an animated version of this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCZdBnoZ0Gc
  3. 3 Show/Hide More Fanfiction
    Original Creator: jdickins
    FanFiction: A genre of creative works which rely in part on characters, settings, or themes from other works of fiction. Often non-commercial, often communally-produced, there are over than 3 million pieces of fanfiction online today written in a wide range of languages, styles, and fandoms. Often abbreviated to “fanfic” or just “fic” and nearly never called “fan fiction” by those who write or read it.
    1. 3.1 Show/Hide More Cauterize
      This fanfic is a short story checking-in with most of the characters in the years after the final battle with Voldemort, examining their experiences through the frame of their scars. It is 1,648 words, been favorited 2,361 times on fanfiction.net, and has earned 767 reviews.
    2. 3.2 Show/Hide More Lunch and Other Obscenities by Rheanna
      Original Creator: jdickins

      This fanfic tells the story of Nyota Uhura's first year of interactions with her with her bright-green roommate at Starfleet Academy whose homeworld taboos are different than Uhura’s. It is 9473 words long and has received 537 comments on the author's LiveJournal account: http://rheanna27.livejournal.com/110953.html

      The author also archived it a personal site: http://www.goldenmaze.com/lunch.htm

    3. 3.3 Show/Hide More 300 Things by cautionzombies (Uncollaged)

      This is an excerpt from a longer fanfic in what is known as a “College AU”, where the characters and relationships of a work are translated into a college setting. In this case, it is a Supernatural fanfic, where Dean Winchester is struggling to finishing his degree while paying for his younger brother’s private school and saving up for his father’s rehab. Castiel Milton becomes one of his professors. It is also a slash fic, meaning it includes a same-sex relationship between the two central characters.

      Because it is uncommon for a fan to read stories from fandoms she is not involved in, this story is best read with some background in the source text. As in many Alternative Universe stories, the characters and their relationships stay static across setting changes: Dean and Sam Winchester are still brothers, their father's failures and successes as a parent still drive their lives, and Castiel (here an English professor rather than an angel) still provides them protection and friendship during a difficult time in their lives. Though there are more formal summaries available, the fan-created TV Tropes page does a good job of explaining the competing facets of this piece of popular culture: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/Supernatural

      Though the example stories included here are shorter, many of the most popular pieces of fanfiction are novel-length. The entirety of 300 Things is 76863 words or 154 pages printed out (you only need to read for first 2399 words, until the first section break). This fic has received 3868 views on An Archive of Our Own (http://archiveofourown.org/works/285374), 1248 comments on the author’s LiveJournal (http://cautionzombies.livejournal.com/12895.html), and is a subject of regular discussion on Tumblr (http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/300-things). Again, you only need to read the first 2399 words (until the first section break).

    4. 3.4 Show/Hide More 300 Things by cautionzombies
      Original Creator: jdickins

      This is an excerpt from a longer fanfic in what is known as a “College AU”, where the characters and relationships of a work are translated into a college setting. In this case, it is a Supernatural fanfic, where Dean Winchester is struggling to finishing his degree while paying for his younger brother’s private school and saving up for his father’s rehab. Castiel Milton becomes one of his professors. It is also a slash fic, meaning it includes a same-sex relationship between the two central characters.

      Because it is uncommon for a fan to read stories from fandoms she is not involved in, this story is best read with some background in the source text. As in many Alternative Universe stories, the characters and their relationships stay static across setting changes: Dean and Sam Winchester are still brothers, their father's failures and successes as a parent still drive their lives, and Castiel (here an English professor rather than an angel) still provides them protection and friendship during a difficult time in their lives. Though there are more formal summaries available, the fan-created TV Tropes page does a good job of explaining the competing facets of this piece of popular culture: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Series/Supernatural

      Though the example stories included here are shorter, many of the most popular pieces of fanfiction are novel-length. The entirety of 300 Things is 76863 words or 154 pages printed out (you only need to read for first 2399 words, until the first section break).

      This fic has received 3868 views on An Archive of Our Own (http://archiveofourown.org/works/285374), 1248 comments on the author’s LiveJournal (http://cautionzombies.livejournal.com/12895.html), and is a subject of regular discussion on Tumblr (http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/300-things).

      Again, you only need to read for first 2399 words (until the first section break).

  4. 4 Show/Hide More Fanart
    Original Creator: jdickins
    Fanart: visual art by fans, serving the same function as pieces of fanfiction: they explore the characters, settings, and stories of an established world. The examples below include both gifsets (moving images in the .gif file format arranged to make an argument) and more traditional illustration.
    1. 4.1 Show/Hide More Noble Maiden Fair

      The mother and daughter from Disney's Brave. In an example of the way that fans engage in multiple media while creating, the author of this image notes she was listening to the song “Noble Maiden Fair” from the Brave soundtrack while she was drawing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CgJInUF7-Y

      Here is another copy of the same image: http://skittzipoo.tumblr.com/post/26424890342/noble-maiden-fair-by-seanchaithe

    2. 4.2 Show/Hide More Sometimes you have to be your own white knight.
      A gifset of the character Fiona from the television show Burn Notice being violent.
    3. 4.3 Show/Hide More Superfamily

      This image is of “superfamily”. There is a popular communally-created Alternative Universe in the Avengers fandom in which the orphaned child Peter Parker (who would become Spiderman) is raised by Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Steve Rogers (Captain America), who are married to each other. This jointly-held vision is usually termed “superfamily” and the marriage of Steve and Tony “superhusbands.”

      It is also an example of a cross-over, though one which exists within the same narrative universe. The Marvelverse (the fictional world in which the X-Men, Captain America, Iron Man, Spiderman, Thor, and all of the Avengers exist) is one world but in the case of superfamily many authors are pulling the current Marvel vision of Spiderman from the comics (that he is a child) into the movie Marvelverse of the Avengers where Captain America is played by Chris Evans and Iron Man by Robert Downey Jr. Cross-overs are an example of the ways in which fans remix source texts.

  5. 5 Show/Hide More Other Fanworks
    Original Creator: jdickins
    An umbrella term which includes fanfiction, fanvids, fanart, fan music, cosplaying, and other forms of fannish expression. This playlist includes examples of fanworks which don’t fit comfortably into the other four categories.
    1. 5.1 Show/Hide More Austenbook
      This is a retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice through Facebook statuses.
    2. 5.2 Show/Hide More Run Program: DUM-E by Amuly
      Original Creator: jdickins
      This work tells the story of Tony Stark (Iron Man) and Steve Rogers (Captain America)’s relationship through the systems logs of one of Tony’s robots. It is slash fiction, as it posits a romantic or sexual relationship between two members of the same sex.
    3. 5.3 Show/Hide More Star Wars Tatoos
      An image of a tattoo on a woman's back of TIE Fighter and an X-Wing facing off. Tie fighters and X-Wings are two classes of star ships from the Star Wars universe.
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May 21, 2013

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