Feb. 7th, 2017

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So I’m on AO3 and I see a lot of people who put “I do not own [insert fandom here]” before their story.

Like, I came on this site to read FAN fiction. This is a FAN fiction site. I’m fully aware that you don’t own the fandom or the characters. That’s why it’s called FAN FICTION.

Oh you youngins… How quickly they forget.

Back in the day, before fan fiction was mainstream and even encouraged by creators… This was your “please don’t sue me, I’m poor and just here for a good time” plea.

Cause guess what? That shit used to happen.

how soon they forget ann rice’s lawyers.

What happened with her lawyers.

History became legend. Legend became myth….  And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost.

I worked with one of the women that got contacted by Rice’s lawyers. Scared the hell out of her and she never touched fandom again.
The first time I saw a commission post on tumblr for fanart, I was shocked.

One of the reasons I fell out of love with her writing was her treatment of the fans… (that and the opening chapter of Lasher gave me such heebie-jeebies with the whole underage sex thing I felt unclean just reading it.)

I have zero problem with fanart/fic so long as the creators aren’t making money off of it. It is someone else’s intellectual property and people who create fan related works need to respect that (and a solid 98% of them do.)

The remaining 2% are either easily swayed by being gently prompted to not cash in on someone else’s IP. Or they DGAF… and they are the ones who will eventually land themselves in hot water. Either way: this isn’t much of an excuse to persecute your entire fanbase.

But Anne Rice went off the deep end with this stuff by actively attacking people who were expressing their love for her work and were not profiteering from it.

The Vampire Chronicles was a dangerous fandom to be in back in the day. Most of the works I read/saw were hidden away in the dark recesses of the internet and covered by disclaimers (a lot of them reading like thoroughly researched legal documents.)

And woe betide anyone who was into shipping anyone with ANYONE in that fandom. You were most at risk, it seemed, if your vision of the characters deviated from the creators ‘original intentions.’ (Hypocritical of a woman who made most of her living writing erotica.)

Imagine getting sued over a headcanon…

Put simply: we all lived in fear of her team of highly paid lawyers descending from the heavens and taking us to court over a slashfic less than 500 words long.

all
of
this

Reblogging because I can’t believe there are people out there who don’t know the story behind fan fiction disclaimers. 

Yep I used to have disclaimers on all my Buffy fic back in the day. The Buffy creators were mostly pretty chill about fandom but it’s not like it is now. You did NOT talk about fandom with anyone except other fandom people and bringing it up at cons was a massive no no because of stuff like this.

I think Supernatural (and Misha Collins specifically) was when that wall between fandom and creators started to break down. It’s a relatively new thing.

I remember going to a Merlin panel down in London and a girl sitting next to me asked the cast about slash and I thought she was going to get kicked out!

Fandom history is important.

Oh, this brings back some not so-awesome ‘90s fandom memories! 

Oh man, let me tell you about the X-Files fandom. Lawyers for FOX sued, threatened, and generally terrified the owners of fan websites on a regular basis. God help you if you wrote or created original art set in their (expansive) universe or worse - dared to write about their characters. Even people who weren’t creating fanworks, just hosting Geocities pages about how much people liked the show would be sent C&D orders or actually fined. When I was first discovering the concept, the first rule of fandom was you do not talk about fandom because the consequences could be devastating.

It was such a strange and uncomfortable experience for me when fans in LOTR and Potter fandoms suddenly started shoving their work in people’s faces speaking publicly about fandom and wanting to engage in dialogue with the creators and actors of the Thing they were into. Fan stuff was supposed to stay online, in archives and list-serves and zines we passed around because it just wasn’t cool to talk about it and it could get you in a boatload of trouble. The freedom we have to create and gather together in a shared space, or actually be acknowledged in any way by people outside the fandom was inconceivable to my fannish, teenaged self. I want fans these days to understand how amazing modern fandom really is, cherish the community, and appreciate what it took to get us here. 

“if you found this by googling yourself, hit back now. this means you, pete wentz”

Oh hey, even more blasts from the past.

I was one of the ones who got a love letter from Anne Rice’s lawyers. Bear in mind that up until that point her publisher had encouraged fanfic and worked with the archive keeper (one of my roommates at the time) to drum up publicity for upcoming books and so on.

I could tell such tales of how much Anne screwed over her fans back then. The tl;dr version is that she and her peeps would use fan projects as free market research and then bring in the lawyers once it was felt Anne could make money off of it herself. (Talismanic Tours being one of the most offensive examples of this.)

But where fanfic is concerned not only did we get nastygrams but one of my friends had Anne’s lawyer trying to fuck up her own privately owned business which had NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING ANNE RELATED. Said friend was a small business owner with health issues who wasn’t exactly rolling in money, so guess how well that went?

On top of that when yours truly tried to speak out about it I discovered that someone in Anne’s camp had been cyber stalking me to the point where they took all the tiny crumbs of personal information I had posted over the course of five years or so and used it to doxx me (before that was even a term and in early enough days of the WWW that this wasn’t an easy task) and post VERY personal information about me on the main fandom message board of the time. Luckily for me the mod was my friend and she took that down post haste, but it was still oodles of fun feeling that violated and why to this day I am very strict about keeping my fandom and personal lives separate online.

Hence why those of us in the fandom at the time who still gave enough of a shit to want to keep writing fic DID keep writing fic, but shoved it so far underground and slapped it with so many disclaimers they could’ve outweighed the word count of War & Peace. It wasn’t just for the purpose of protecting fic but for trying to protect our personal lives as well.

(Also would love to know who @tiger-in-the-flightdeck knew. Life paths crossing after so many years….)

Lucasfilm also sent cease-and-desist letters to Star Wars fanzines publishing slash.

My favourite bit I read from one included the idea that you weren’t allowed to have any explicit content, of which anything queer, no matter how tame, was included, to “preserve that innocence even Imperial crew members must be imagined to have”.

Yeah. The same Imperial crew members who helped build the Death Star to commit planetary genocide.

(It’s one reason Sinjir Velus, while I still have some issues with him, feels like such a delicious ‘f*** you’.)

Later on, they were apparently persuaded to ‘allow’ fans to write slash, provided in ‘remained within the nebulous bounds of good taste’.

(On a related note, if I wasn’t quite so attached to my URL, I would 100% change it to ‘Nebulous Bounds’, because that’s just downright catchy)

Anne McCaffrey had this huge long set of rules about how exactly you were allowed to play in her sandbox. Dragonriders of Pern was my first online fandom, and I was big into the Pern RP scene - and just about every fan-Weyr had a copy of these lists of rules McCaffrey wanted enforced. One of which was ‘no porn’ and another was basically ‘it can’t be gay’ (and for a while ‘no fanfiction posted online’? which??? anyway.)

She relaxed a little as time went on, but still. 

Let’s not forget: the reason AO3 is called ‘Archive of our own’  is because it was created in response to some bullshit that assholes were trying to play with fan creators. Basically (if I remember the fiasco correctly) trying to mine fandom creators for content which they could then use to generate ad profit on their shitty websites. When the series creators objected, the fans tried to pull their content, only to find that the website hoster resisted, claiming their content was all his now.

That wasn’t even all that long ago…

fandom history class

To this day, *talking* about writing or reading fanfiction - just acknowledging that it exists - to anyone other than people I know are in fandom as well, feels like a dangerous act. The strict separation I maintained between my real life identity, my online identity, and my fandom identity (yes, they were separate, because some of the most vicious and mocking people were fellow nerds) has broken down a bit these days, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to integrate them as freely as some younger fans do.
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Women: We love you, Josh!CJ: It helps not to know him. 
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Awful Fantasy’s Awfulest Tweets of 2015

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Class Appreciation Week, Day 7: Post whatever you want!

“… at the end of the day, they’re just children. They can’t cope with this.”

The Doctor’s appearance is a strange moment, really. Sweeping in with a few quick and supposedly easy lessons to teach before abandoning Coal Hill to the care of a few scared teenagers is a discordant note in a melody that will prove far more complex. Of course, in these brief moments, we are offered only a simplified version of this character, but it serves as an interesting counterpoint, contrasting the basic tenets of Class and Doctor Who..

In a Doctor Who setting, dangerous aliens are fun, words and clever ideas make for entertaining resolutions an putting four teenagers in mortal peril on a weekly basis could be just an adventure. As serious and as complicated as Doctor Who can get, in the end, the next story will likely start with a Doctor and a companion, happy encounter a new source of danger. Here, this is juxtaposed with the grittier, less fantastical reality of our five protagonists.

Keep reading
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buffyverse meme // (1/9) relationships - buffy and giles
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The real reason Bruce Wayne keeps training kids is so that there’s eventually a gradually cascading order of vigilantes protecting Gotham. When you defeat one, there’s a slightly smaller one just behind, ready to pick up the slack.

Batryoshka dolls.

I am going to fucking set you on fire

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