[identity profile] blogfloggery.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] lkh_lashouts
Link: Apr 22 2016, 7:56
Disclaimer: This blog entry is verbatim, as originally posted on LKH's Facebook. Copyright belongs to Ma Petite Enterprises.

Laurell weighs in with her opinion on fanfiction on the BBC podcast, The Why Factor.


Mod note: LKH's part starts around 9mins in, she's on the anti-fanfic side of things.

Date: 2016-04-22 05:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] killiara.livejournal.com
Yeah, she always seemed to identify too much with her protagonists to not get heebie jeebies whenever someone else touched them. It's not like her anti-fanfic bias isn't well known, either. She's flat out said, "Don't" and for the most part, Fanfic writers respected that for the longest time. I mean, you can still find some fic if you look closely, but... nowhere near the amounts that you'd expect for a series that went on that long, with that many fans.

Date: 2016-04-22 07:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apep727.livejournal.com
Just listened to the whole thing. Pretty interesting, and I particularly liked how that one woman managed to get a publishing deal from writing fanfic.

As for LKH's bit, I understand what she's trying to say. There are plenty of good reasons for authors to avoid reading fanfic of their own stuff, including plagiarizing (or appearing to plagiarize) a fan's work. And some authors (*coughcough*) might not like seeing other people playing with their characters.

However, in no way would such works "damage her copyright". No one is making money off of fanfic - if they were, then they could be sued for copyright violation.

(Also, I'm not too happy with that professor's definition of a Mary Sue - I feel it's a bit too broad, and really doesn't capture why the term is negative, even if the bit after that does demonstrate just that)

And personally, I'm in favor of fanfiction, especially for aspiring writers. I think of fanfic as sort of writing with training wheels - you don't have to worry about world building, or establishing character, or any of a number of things you have to do with published fiction. You can just focus on writing a good story.

Date: 2016-04-23 04:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leigh stevens (from livejournal.com)
50 Shades of Shit Grey is fanfic, too. So contracts from fanfic isn't actually uncommon

Date: 2016-04-23 04:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apep727.livejournal.com
Yeah, but I feel like the line of thought there was, "hey, if you change a few minor details, you could publish this," rather than "hey, we read your fanfic and want to talk about publishing fiction of your own."

But then, I'd need to compare the fanfic to the published fic to figure out if the later is just the former with some name changes.

Date: 2016-04-24 09:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] poolnaiad.livejournal.com
writing with training wheels - you don't have to worry about world building, or establishing character, or any of a number of things you have to do with published fiction

I think this is the main reason why there is little LKH related fanfic around. A fanfic writer would have to invest so much time and effort into world building, establishing character, ZOMG character *gasp* development, adjusting social/political/historical/natural science interactions and all that... to get the fanfic to just make the slightest bit of sense, not having the freedom of the original author to just sweep these bothersome things under the carpet.

Date: 2016-04-26 04:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fadeinthewash.livejournal.com
However, in no way would such works "damage her copyright". No one is making money off of fanfic - if they were, then they could be sued for copyright violation.

False, actually, at least under US copyright law. Derivative works are one of the exclusive rights granted to copyright holders, and financial gain for the fan-creator is not necessary to be infringing on copyright (perhaps you're thinking of impact on the market, one of the Fair Use factors?). Fanworks are still a legally grey area (contrast to Japan and doujinshi), because there haven't been any big cases to settle this that I can think of, but technically... yes, they could theoretically be sued. More importantly, they could theoretically lose such a suit to the author/publishing house. But that's really bad press, and a C&D or DMCA takedown notice usually nip/squash such things more quietly.

Of course, copyrights aren't really damageable the way trademarks are, as I understand it. Trademarks have to be defended constantly to stay in play (which is why, e.g. Band-Aid, Kleenex, Xerox, and Adobe Photoshop are all very against their brands being used as generic nouns and verbs). Copyright terms are set by law and exist even without creators making a special effort to have one (though it certainly helps to have a registered copyright when going after violators).

Date: 2016-04-26 08:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apep727.livejournal.com
I get that fanfic is a grey area in legal terms. If someone were trying to monetize fanfic, I'd be entirely in favor of the author/publisher dragging them to court over it. But so long as certain rules are followed (available free of charge, proper citations and attributions), I don't see any problem with people writing fanfic.

I think my problem is mostly how LKH phrased it - like, if she just knew, in even the vaguest possible way, that people were writing fanfics based on her books, it would cause her problems. Another example of how, despite being a professional author, LKH is pretty bad at communicating what she means. To quote Inigo Montoya, "I do not think it means what you think it means."

The example of Marion Zimmer Bradley she discussed is a good example of why authors shouldn't read or even discuss fanfics based on their own work, but simply being aware that people are writing said fics? That seems a bit much. But then, this is LKH we're talking about, and she doesn't seem to like other people playing with her toys (see: any attempt to adapt her work to other mediums).

Date: 2016-04-30 09:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fadeinthewash.livejournal.com
Oh, certainly, it shouldn't be a problem, but it could potentially be, anyway. Copyright guidelines suck, by and large.

Date: 2016-04-24 05:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] desert-vixen.livejournal.com

At least when I see an LKH-related request in a fanfic exchange, a lot of of them seem to be focused on the men's relationship with each other, and not either Anita or Merry.

Date: 2016-04-30 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bloodredroses1.livejournal.com
When LKH said she loved that people love the characters enough to want to write about them I burst into laughter, scared the cat and had to stop the audio and rewind it before I missed something.

I'm still chuckling at poor, naive Laurell because she just doesn't 'get it' does she? I'm willing to bet that a good size chunk of the fic written about her characters are fix-it fics to try to correct the hash she's made of things! Or to get some decently written sex because she fails at it so badly. Or just M/M sex in general because as Vixen alluded to LKH doesn't really write about sex unless Anita or Merry is the center of attention.

Interesting little show. Thanks for pointing it out.


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