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Slightly Random But Related, Fanfiction?

#1 User is offline   Manifested Dreams 

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 10:33 AM

So I got into a conversation with my bestfriend the other day about Artist Alleys in general and she brought up the idea of selling fanfiction. Like...nicely bound short story anthologies with fanart throughout and the like. She's a writer and was trying to think of ways to get involved in my AA endeavors.

This brought up the question of legalities. You can sell Fanart so long as the characters are in original poses, etc. But what about fanfiction? Where is the line solid in regards to breaking copywrite laws? People make doujinshi, which is basically fanfiction with art attached.

Has anyone ever SEEN anyone sell this sort of thing?

I thought this would be a good place to come to get some clarification on this. Hoping the AA heads might be able to shed some light on this.

Thanks!

#2 User is offline   frzndaqiri 

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 11:01 AM

The "not always gospel" reference at Wikipedia has an entry:
http://en.wikipedia....ith_fan_fiction

Essentially, the law is unclear. Some authors have been known to express disapproval, and even take legal action against people using their characters in any derivitive works, while others whole heartedly encourage it.

My take: your story relies on the popularity of someone else's creation. If it can stand on it's own, then you should just use your own characters. Otherwise it's hard to argue for profiting from fan fic (writing it, however, I think should be allowed).
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#3 User is offline   lauralyn 

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 02:14 PM

If you were to sell fan made works at a convention in America would it be the American anime industry coming after you? I know that Comiket (the biggest con in Japan) is only fan made works.. and none of the artists get in trouble there. I'm just wondering who you would get in trouble with considering that fan made works are very popular in Japan and there seems to be no repercussions from the industry there.
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#4 User is offline   Manifested Dreams 

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 05:03 PM

View Postfrzndaqiri, on Mar 20 2009, 01:01 PM, said:

My take: your story relies on the popularity of someone else's creation. If it can stand on it's own, then you should just use your own characters. Otherwise it's hard to argue for profiting from fan fic (writing it, however, I think should be allowed).


Wouldn't that also apply to doujinshi then? I understand the logic but I'm trying to figure out why doujinshi, which rely entirely on existing fandoms, would be permissible but fanfiction with original situations would not. Really all fanart is the same principle as well. Existing characters in original positions/situations/etc.

Thank you for your response and particularly the link.

#5 User is offline   frzndaqiri 

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 06:52 PM

With doujinshi, it often ends up under parody, and it's easier to defend because of the reworking of the art. It's easier to argue the "personalization" I think with artwork, and show a percentage of change. However, they too are in a grey zone, and have both camps supporting and going against their use. Straight text stories however, are about taking the character entirely as someone else made it and plopping it into your own work. (Granted, the gay Harry Potter stories obviously have a marked differance, but still.) ;)

Don't get me wrong, I love fanfic, and if blessing can be given by the powers that be, I wouldn't be at your table with a picket sign. :D Just taking the role of devil's advocate here, because stirring discussion makes for better resolutions!
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#6 User is offline   Manifested Dreams 

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Posted 20 March 2009 - 10:28 PM

View Postfrzndaqiri, on Mar 20 2009, 08:52 PM, said:

With doujinshi, it often ends up under parody, and it's easier to defend because of the reworking of the art. It's easier to argue the "personalization" I think with artwork, and show a percentage of change. However, they too are in a grey zone, and have both camps supporting and going against their use. Straight text stories however, are about taking the character entirely as someone else made it and plopping it into your own work. (Granted, the gay Harry Potter stories obviously have a marked differance, but still.) ;)

Don't get me wrong, I love fanfic, and if blessing can be given by the powers that be, I wouldn't be at your table with a picket sign. :D Just taking the role of devil's advocate here, because stirring discussion makes for better resolutions!


I appreciate the input very much. I hadn't thought of the parody aspect, which makes a lot of sense and I'll be passing that part along.

#7 User is offline   billvolk 

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 12:01 AM

Not only does parody count as fair use, but nobody's going to come after you at all if you're dealing on a scale this small and you're not dealing in straight-up pirated copies. You're not pulling business away from anyone, and it's not like suing you would be profitable.

That said, I like to follow Will Eisner's advice - "Never fall in love with a character you don't own."

#8 User is offline   ExentricSage 

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 12:18 AM

As long as you aren't useing Marvel Comics characters, you're probably safe. lol (Marvel didn't treet it's fans very well back when I still read American comics)


I don't think a well writen fanfiction takes any less work than a well rendered fanart, and no, it wouldn't be the same if you substitute OCs for the character in a story you based it on. I adore "Thunder Falling", forinstance; an EPIC Guilty Gear fanfic, and though the story, characterisation, situations, and quality of the writing are all superb, it wouldn't work if it weren't esplicitly the GG characters in the GG universe, because the story is intrenched in their world from the games and in personality traits and backstory of the characters.


Personaly, I would LOVE to see American made Doujinshi in the future. I've been intending to do one myself, but I have trouble staying on one project to completion. ^^; I would be so happy to see some of the realy well writen fics turned into doujinshi someday. <3 (With the exception of real people doujinshi, because that just seems a bit creepy... D: )
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#9 User is offline   Voltaire30 

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 01:56 PM

I have been looking into this for sometime now and I believe to have an answer for ACen AA 09.

Using a character from an anime in a fanfiction is a touchy subject for people who created said character. There is royalties you have to offer said creators for creating the character if you are selling it. This takes so much time most people ignore getting permission and paying royalties if they sell it, which can get them in a whole lot of trouble.

That said, I would strongly recommend not selling fanfiction period, unless you have permission by the creator.

To answer questions that inevitably will arise:
1. Why can we do FanArt then?
1A. FanArt is just that Art (if it is done right). When drawing a character from an anime you are (or at least supposed to) using your own interpretation of the character and molding them to your style. This is an image and can be clearly seen that it is not the actual artwork, but an artist representation of how the Artist views his/her drawn character. This can be an expression of opinion, but is as people have said a grey area.

2. Well why not FanFiction?
2A. FanFiction is writing, this provides for numerous copyright infringements if it is pursued. You are using the image of a character with just using the name or any place in the original piece. For example, when I say Naruto what do you think? If I am correct in assuming you thought of the annoying main character from the show or the show itself. Now many satire authors have gotten past this by offering an intellectual view of the hypocrisy of the world or having a much larger idea that is relatable to the current time period. I would recommend reading Candide written by Voltaire to get a basic ideal of what satire is. FanFiction does not offer a purely satire view on anything, in most cases.

3. Why do you hate FanFiction?
3A. I do NOT hate Fanfiction, I like reading and I like writing.




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#10 User is offline   Alysia 

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 02:05 PM

I will add that people have done this here in the past (back when I was an AA newbie and dinosaurs roamed the earth,) and it just doesn't do well.
I think it works better at media cons where there is an entrenched fanzine culture.
A con is a poor environment for newly introducing that sort of prose-it's hard for a reader to tell whether it's going to be worthwhile from browsing. People are picky about what fanfic they like, and it's readily available for free online.
You get more leeway with original work.

#11 User is offline   Voxx 

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 02:58 PM

Sadly, I don't think it would sell, unless you are already famous for making the fanfiction and people already know your good. Most people buy doujinshis because they can glance at it and pretty much know what they are looking for and fanart is very quick to glance through. Personally, I don't think many people would go out on a whim and buy fanfiction because its well, free, online. Also, as stated before, you wouldnt want to accidentally infringe on copyright and all the bad things that can go with that.

If you had a booth, I think wouldn't make what your table cost. People move quickly through the con, and with all the other tables around, most wont spend the time to read through your stuff, and really, if you let them, youd probably be more likely to lose customers. (Not saying yours would be bad or anything, people can be really critical and harsh T_T)
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Posted 01 April 2009 - 03:42 PM

Selling Fanfiction is one of the silliest ideas I've ever heard.



I can understand people getting mad at others making fanfiction and then selling it. Authors should be angry if some fangirl(or boy) takes their characters, puts them in fanatical situations, and then makes dough off of it.

It's when authors get their panties in a bunch over fanfiction that is just written for fun that gets me mad. If the person isn't banking off of it, I don't see a real problem. Cause to be honest, you can't stop anyone from writing fanfiction... they'll still write it, even if they don't post it anywhere.

I just don't see the point of being mad about non-profit stuff. If I ever see someone try selling a fanfic, I think I'd feel ashamed to call myself a fanfic writer. No offense to anyone who actually tries, I'm just putting forth my opinion. :3
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#13 User is offline   Christy 

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 05:39 PM

I should probably put in my two cents since I'm scheduled to do the copyright panel this year.

From a technical stand point, any derivative work be it fan fiction or fan art, is illegal. However, the effort to pursue an infringement case against fan creators is usually more time consuming and costly then just garnering the goodwill and free advertising by allowing fan works.

That being said, do I think that fan fiction should be sold in AA? Not really. A good, high quality piece of fan fiction can easily be downloaded and read online for free whereas a good piece of fan art needs to be printed or produced on quality paper with quality materials in order to be displayed to the best effect. From an ethical standpoint, fan works shouldn't be garnering large profits because they are derivative works based off of somebody else's intellectual property. Fan fiction doesn't really cost anything to produce except for time and again you can easily distribute high quality versions online for free.

Also, as Alysia said earlier, prose generally doesn't sell well in an Artist Alley. They say when somebody stops by your table, you have 30 seconds to convince that person to buy something. A person can't and won't read the entire fic standing at your table. So, you have to convince this person to spend money on a prose story that:
1) they don't have time to read through before buying
2) is part of a genre known for putting out just as many lemons as winners and
3) that they can probably obtain online for free anyway.

I'm actually rather proud that I have been able to sell prose in the AA. However, the prose pieces are original, contain illustrations and good quality covers, and I have a very effective "elevator pitch" I use to explain the concept behind the story. It also doesn't hurt that the books are only a buck fifty. :) Still, I have to work for every sale I get while people get acquainted with the series.

#14 User is offline   Manifested Dreams 

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 09:06 PM

Thanks to everyone for your input! I'll be passing on all of the input(and the final answer, thanks Voltaire!) to my friend.

Since my question is answered, feel free to lock this.

Thanks again!

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