Those of you not of the SGA persuasion might miss this (unless you also spend time at Journalfen) but there's a kerfuffle over at sga_flashfic
that's just INTERESTING, particularly as it appears to be time for LJ based fandom to have another broad and meandering discussion about intellectual property. This time, the basic question is: is it cool to use another person's fanfic as the jumping off point for your own fic without clearing it with the original writer?
The majority opinion seems to be, "um, no, and haven't we covered this?" but there's a vocal minority who insist that since we never ask permission from the writers of the original source material, there's no moral or ethical obligation to ask for that from fanwriters, either. This cannibalizing of source material, the mishmash collage approach to ideas and inspiration, that's just what we do
, they say - it's part of what the fannish writing collective is all about.
I... actually think they might be right.
One arguable position is that maybe it's OK to use the work of someone who's not of your tribe as your jumping off point. I have said before that I'm somewhat uncomfortable with the presence of creators at cons and maybe this is part of why. Is this basically about belonging to a subculture and a community and not screwing over your fellow fen? Or is it simply that professional writers got paid for their work and so they've gotten their due off of it, whereas a fanwriter's rewards are more intangible and therefore need to be more protected and more carefully preserved?
What do you think? I'm still working this out for myself. Is there a REASON that within the community, fanfic writers' rights to their property ought to be more respected than the rights of the writers of the source material? And what is that reason?ETA: OK, I think I have worked this out a bit more now. Thoughts behind the cut. ( Read more... )