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So, I typed up this longish (I've done longer) entry about fanfic last night (mostly inspired by this) that I was going to post today. I decided not to post it because I wasn't happy with it... Somehow I'm having trouble saying what I really want to say on this topic, so today I'm typing up version 2.0 - Will it be posted? Who knows, but if you're reading this than the answer is yes. DUH!

First, and foremost I'd have more respect for Mr. Goldbergs point of view on fanfic, if he weren't writing it himself. Okay, he got asked to do it and is getting paid for it. Doesn't really change what it is, because at heart what he's writing is fanfic. Honestly, that is all any tie-in novel really is, unless written by the original creative team. And many times those are just as bad as any fanfic. Sure the grammar and spelling isn't the crap shoot that it is with some fanfics, but that still doesn't make the story good.

Bad? Did you say bad?
Yes, I did.
Because official tie-in novels have to do things a certain way. For example, a Buffy tie-in that I read back in the day had the characters creating something. However, since what they were creating wasn't in the actual show it had to be destroyed in the end thereby making a whole lot of writing/reading pointless. At least unofficial fanfics can change and do things because it doesn't have to stay totally and completely in canon. Again, that in and of itself doesn't make them good, just that there is actually more potential there.

Now granted after a series ends, I assume the tie-in stuff has a bit more freedom, but sadly most times that freedom is wasted. Again I look at how the tie-in Buffy's were FUBARed in Queen of the Slayers and I rest my case!
Though I admit a good number of the Buffy tie-ins are worth reading. Same with Star Trek, there are great tie-ins, there are good tie-ins, and their are those that should have stayed truly in the realm of fanfic, but there is good to be had with tie-ins.

Now I'll cut away for those who don't like long posts while I ramble on and make other points.

But first, and for the record, I have not read any of Goldberg's work, so I can't say if his is good, bad, or ugly.

However, Goldberg seems to think that what he (and others like him do) is perfectly moral because they were asked to do so where as fanfic writers are not (never) asked to do so. Fine. However, where would that land folks writing Buffy, Angel, and Firefly fanfic? Joss Whedon (creator of the above) actually encourages fanfic.
I know Whedon isn't the only one, but he is (I think) the biggest name that does so.
Therefore, I don't think it is fair to charge Buffy, Angel, or Firefly fanfic writers with raping the characters/universe, and that seems to be what Goldberg and friends are trying to do; paint all fanfic writers with that same ugly brush. Granted Whedon ain't paying fanfic writers, but he clearly doesn't object to them, so they can't be guilty of what Goldberg and friends are trying to charge them with.

And while were on the topic of raping universes/characters, lets talk about Anne Rice.
I'm sorry, it was too perfect, I couldn't help myself.

Clearly Rice believes anyone not seeing/reading things her way is raping her universe and characters, whether they are writing fanfic or not. Seriously, I've seen some of her reponses to reviews... GEEZ! Someone needs to tell her that once she's published what she's writen, unless she's got a special mind control device, she cannot expect to control what any reader thinks about her work.

However, on her Anti-Fanfic stance, I can respect her point of view more than I can this Goldberg chap. Why? Because she has created and is writing in her own universe rather than playing with another's. Not counting the Out of Egypt thing.
Even though I personally think she's a whinny little drama queen who's only real fear of fanfic is that someone will write a fanfic better than her books. Actually when you get right down to it, I pretty much think that's the whole entire basis of the Anti-fanfic crusade.

Finally, I want to talk about one other fandom. One that if not for the fanfic the fandom would have long ago crumbled into dust leaving the writer in obscurity. I'm speaking of L.J. Smith, of course. I don't know the details, (she wrote several series's back in the day) but I do know that one was left unfinished with only one book to go. I hear tale she's working on it now, but it has remained unfinished for over (about) a decade. So, the fandom, while small, is still very much alive and that is due in no small part to fanfic.

So, I think anyone who screams about fanfic hurting them is blowing smoke out of their asses, or simply needs a serious wake-up call. Fanfic writers are not raping you or your work, even though they may take certain things (everything) in a different direction than you would ever dream, that still doesn't equal rape.

Then there's authors who write/read fanfic but absolutely refuse to have fanfic writen about their own stuff. THEY SUCK! No, I am not joking, I am completely serious. If it is okay for you to read and write fanfic, then it is okay for fanfic to be read and wrote about your shit! If you disagree agree, then get the hell out of fandom! Now! I'm waiting. LEAVE ALREADY!

But my original point was more along the lines of "Why is fanfic still in that gray area of legal?" Which for me is a valid question. I said way back in the day that stopping fanfic, and I mean truly stopping it isn't an option. I doubt the online posting of it could truly be stopped now.

Seriously, even with Rice's rabid campaign against it, she still hasn't gotten all fanfics based on her works off the net. At best, she's only gotten them off the larger sites, but there are lots of small sites which still house fanfic based on Rice's works.

But even if you could stop the open posting of it, you still wouldn't stop it, even online. There are mailing lists, LiveJournals, etcs, where fics could still be posted, it would only keep them from being in the open and easily found. And not easily found still doesn't equal stopped. Just equals pain in the ass for those who would still want to read it.

Therefore, I've always felt that the benefits of making it legal would far outweight the benefits of trying to stamp it out completely. If you make it legal then you can have rules that protect everyone better. For example, there should be a law along these lines: if you (general you) write a fanfic and then the author/creator uses the idea - you (general) are the screwed. I.E. You have NO legal recourse, you can't sue, all you can do is piss and endlessly moan. Why? Well, you were playing in their pond in the first place; using their world and their ideas, you didn't create the world or the characters, they did!

Honestly that is the way it should be law or not. Any time I hear of a fanfic writer saying that if their ideas are used they will sue, I feel like the person talking about suing should be sent straight to jail! Yes, I mean that, because you are this X close to screwing it up for everyone! Think about it, if fanfic writers did start suing right and left, how long do you think it would take for there to be a serious crackdown on fanfic? So STFU and just be glad someone liked your idea well enough to use it! You know, like you did to them in the first place.

Questions, comments, suggestions, flames? Hit the speak button and let me know.

Well, I'm happier with things this time, except for the title of this entry.
Fandom is like a 4 edged sword ;)


btw, I have checked your site, I guess you're not done updating yet?