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You can't post that on YOUR blog...

I remember Scott Imes recommending Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake novels to me back in the day, when pretty much everything stopped for Buffy on Tuesday nights, and I remember liking the first half-dozen or so. After a while Anita lost her charm; as one of her supporting characters remarked, "You're becoming one of the monsters, Blake." Besides, the gratuitous sex content started crowding out the plot, so I stopped reading them.

Professor Bainbridge, on the other hand, didn't stop, and evidently was truly disgusted with the latest Blake novel, Cerulean Sins. So disgusted he solicited a suitable ending for the Anita Blake franchise: an Elric/Anita Blake crossover fanfic which would end in the death of the sometime vampire hunter at the hands of the last King of Melnibone and his soul-sucking sword. Said fanfic was to be posted on his blog.

Unfortunately, fellow lawyer and blogger Eugene Volokh turned thumbs down on the idea, citing the distinct possibility that Bainbridge might run afoul of copyright law. While Volokh discusses parody as a defense, I think he misses the point of most fanfic. Fanfic is not usually parody but rather an homage to the original work, and as such wouldn't be entitled to that defense; the best one could do was claim fair use while pointing to the fact that you weren't doing it for commercial purposes. That would be pretty hard to do if you were posting it on your blog, on which you were accepting ads.

I still think such a fanfic is worth doing, but I sure don't have time to do it myself. For one thing, I'd have to go back and read all the Elric novels all over again, and I'm not even sure those are here in Minnesota...come to think of it, I'm pretty sure they're not. For another, I have enough writing on my plate as it is. If I did do it, though, I could certainly post it here. I'm damn sure not making any money off this LJ.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
revolutionaryjo
Dec. 27th, 2004 10:48 pm (UTC)
Ahhh, the ever exciting world of copyright law. The new motto should be "Cease and desist orders: They're not just for Harry Potter slashers anymore!"

I agree though, fanfic should be written. I'm all for alternate opinions, views, and situations. On the other hand though, as it stands, one probably shouldn't be posting it in their blog if it's connected to one's name and income. Not too smart, that. Although it is quite interesting in terms of commentary and sparking discussion.
wombat_socho
Dec. 27th, 2004 10:59 pm (UTC)
I agree though, fanfic should be written. I'm all for alternate opinions, views, and situations. On the other hand though, as it stands, one probably shouldn't be posting it in their blog if it's connected to one's name and income. Not too smart, that. Although it is quite interesting in terms of commentary and sparking discussion.

Yes, it is. I think fanfic is also a good set of training wheels for aspiring writers: they can work on plot and the mechanics of writing while letting the characterization slide some, because their audience already knows the characters.

I'd like to think the sttitude towards fanfic may be changing a little thanks to shared-world projects, most recently John Ringo's Legacy of the Alldenata series, which featured four or five fanfic stories that got published in the CD supplement to the hardcover of Hell's Faire, but we'll have to wait and see. I don't expect to see the US adopting Japan's free-and0easy attitude toward dojinshi in my lifetime.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )