Resources from Otakon Vegas talks, part 2

Here is some of the information presented at my panel on fan fiction from Otakon Vegas.

Fanfiction community publishing websites:

  1. Archive of Our Own (AO3) the best that’s out there, also look up the parent organization, Organization for Transformative Works, they have a great amount of resources there.
  2. Fanfiction.net – the oldest, and with the best international fan base. (Beware of purgings.)
  3. Live Journal, Deviant Art. (Beware of purgings.)
  4. Tumblr – in my opinion, works better for graphic exchange than text exchange, but still worth a mention here.
  5. Wattpad- a good resource for publishing original fic. They recently branched into fanfiction as well.

Fan Fiction professional publishing websites:

  1. Amazon: Kindle Worlds (beware of exclusivity contract)
  2. Outlier Digital  (read about it here: http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/kindle-worlds-has-first-imitator-outlier-digital-from-twilight-producers/)
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Sherlock and Watson thrust into the Public Domain (in the USA)

Sherlock and Watson thrust into the Public Domain (in the USA)

A few days ago, the US District Court for part of Illinois ruled that Sherlock and Watson are in the public domain. The court case was between a Sherlockian scholar and fanfic writer Leslie S Klinger versus the Conan Doyle Estate, which stated the Sherlock was under the estates copyright since original stories were published about him post 1923.

Klinger only wanted to use pre-1923 cannon (story) and characters, and filed the civil complaint against the Estate in preparation for his (and his editor Laurie R King’s) up-coming anthology “In the Company of Sherlock Holmes” through Pegasus Books. “In the Company…” is a collection of short stories written by many different Sherlockian  fan fic writers.

This ruling has large significance. First, it clarifies and highlights that all characters created before 1923 are in the public domain. (OTW points out that this includes Borrough’s Tarzan, Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, and Disney’s Mickey Mouse. http://www.tranformativeworks.org)

Secondly, it’s a huge step in the direction of proper recognition and appreciation of fan fiction writing as an art form. Not only do large corporations get to re-envision tales, myths, and characters to suit their purposes, but the everyday man can do it to, and benefit from their creative products.

I’m looking forward to seeing a boom in Johnlock fic up for sale. If there is anything that fan fiction does well, it’s challenge dominant paradigms, and now we are seeing a huge opportunity for the writers.

Additional sources:

Organization for Tranformative Work’s page on Sherlock ruling: http://transformativeworks.org/news/free-sherlock-implications-summary-judgment-sherlock-holmes-case

PDF of said ruling: http://freesherlock.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/klinger-order-on-motion-for-summary-judgment-c.pdf

NYT article about this: http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/27/sherlock-holmes-is-in-the-public-domain-american-judge-rules/?_r=0