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commercialization

[QUOTE] From Machinima: A Meme of Our Time | Tracy Harwood

Machinimators have created and distributed tens of thousands of fan vids, parodies, satires, reenactments and original content through online fora in an increasingly complex ecology of technologies and new media. Its influence has been widespread, impacting digital arts, film, new media platforms and even politics through the user-generated co-created and produced content, some of which has been used as ‘pre-production’ for big budget films that have subsequently been realised in mainstream environments such as Hollywood (eg., The Lord of the Rings and Resident Evil).

[Machinima’s] growth in popularity has impacted games developers significantly because it challenges the ways in which they view their intellectual property and the role of their customers (games players) in the creation of commercial value, effectively testing the boundaries between authorship and ownership. In turn, this has resulted in a shift in thinking about the format and framing of end-user license agreements (by eg., Microsoft, EA Games).

Machinima: A Meme of Our Time | Tracy Harwood ift.tt/2gKHZ5M

[QUOTE] From Drew Emanuel Berkowitz, Framing the Future of Fanfiction: How The New York Times’ Portrayal of a Youth Media Subculture Influences Beliefs about Media Literacy Education, p205

Corporations no longer need to sue fanfiction communities; rather than being litigated into submission, authors now give up their rights willingly.

Drew Emanuel Berkowitz, Framing the Future of Fanfiction: How The New York Times’ Portrayal of a Youth Media Subculture Influences Beliefs about Media Literacy Education, p205 ift.tt/2e6dGYd

[QUOTE] From Iron Man in Chinese boys’ love fandom: A story untold | John Wei | Transformative Works and Cultures

Founded in 2003, Jinjiang Wenxue Cheng (the Jinjiang City of Literature, hereafter Jinjiang) (www.jjwxc.net/) proclaims itself to be the largest female cyberlit platform in the world, with 93 percent of its over 7 million registered members being women (JJWXC n.d.; Feng 2009; Xu and Yang 2013). BL fan fics, or danmei tongren (from the Japanese words tanbi, “addicted to beauty,” and dōjinshi), are listed side by side with yanqing (heterosexual romance) as two major genres on the Web site, where male-male love is treated as another form of romantic relationship. Jinjiang is one of the major platforms for online distribution of Chinese BL fiction where people pay the authors in order to read their favorite titles, often with the first few chapters free, while the Web site charges a commission for each subscription. (…) Jinjiang also helps build connections between novelists and publishers to facilitate commercial publication of popular yanqing titles. BL fiction with homosexual content, however, often cannot pass the censors to be legally published in China, even as niche publications.

Iron Man in Chinese boys’ love fandom: A story untold | John Wei | Transformative Works and Cultures ift.tt/2clFc3l

[QUOTE] From Drew Emanuel Berkowitz, Framing the Future of Fanfiction: How The New York Times’ Portrayal of a Youth Media Subculture Influences Beliefs about Media Literacy Education

The New York Times generally presented fanfiction as a financial opportunity for the corporations that own the intellectual properties copied by fanfiction. Many articles asserted that franchises benefit from, and in some cases rely on, their fanfiction communities. For example, Harris (2008) ties the box office success of the X-Files film to the continued health of its fanfiction community, while Heffernan (2008) depicts a lack of homoerotic fanfiction as problematic for the success of any show with a large, attractive male cast. Thompson (2005) reports on the lucrative partnership between the Halo fan-film circle Rooster Teeth and Halo’s copyright holder Microsoft. This “co-opted/encouraged by industry” frame presents a view of fanfiction’s future as a marketing tool, rather than a fan-driven culture. The frame is frequently associated with the “self-branding” purpose frame; teenagers who desire to become part of their favored franchise show their solidarity with the product and fan subculture in ways which are extremely beneficial for intellectual property holders (Hitt 2008; Scott 2002).

Drew Emanuel Berkowitz, Framing the Future of Fanfiction: How The New York Times’ Portrayal of a Youth Media Subculture Influences Beliefs about Media Literacy Education ift.tt/1FA6vyk

[QUOTE] From Posted on September 02, 2014 by Rebecca Tushnet, http://ift.tt/1numd2K

Neal Pollack’s article defending Amazon has many points of interest. The only one I’ll engage with is that, contrary to the marketing, Amazon is still seeding Kindle Worlds with pro authors under contract—and apparently given advances as well as editorial assistance—to produce “fan fiction” in various authorized Worlds, while anyone else who takes Amazon up on its offer will not get an advance. Again, I don’t think Kindle Worlds is inherently bad. I do think that calling it “fan fiction” is misleading; this is not an organic, community-based set of works. I think it’s important to recognize, when Amazon says that it’s happy with the performance of Kindle Worlds, that it’s very different to write from an advance than not.

Posted on September 02, 2014 by Rebecca Tushnet, ift.tt/1numd2K ift.tt/10BGdeO

[QUOTE] From Salil K. Mehra, Copyright and Comics in Japan: Does Law Explain Why All the Cartoons My Kid Watches Are Japanese Imports? p54-55

Perhaps most notably, by offering works that arguably “push the envelope” more than the works of the formal manga industry, dōjinshi may produce examples of innovation that create new opportunities for the entire industry. Indeed, mainstream manga publishing companies have in the past brought the styles and ideas of “hot” subcultures into their own product lines. New genres fostered by the dōjinshi markets– genres that are often quite risqué – have been at times been adopted by mainstream commercial manga publishers. (Examples of such genres include lolicom (sic) and yaoi.)

Salil K. Mehra, Copyright and Comics in Japan: Does Law Explain Why All the Cartoons My Kid Watches Are Japanese Imports? p54-55

[QUOTE] From Anna von Veh, Kindle Worlds: Bringing Fanfiction Into Line But Not Online?

So if being online is so important to fanfiction, why has Amazon not adopted this central mechanism which could have drawn millions of views to its own online site? One reason may simply be that they are relying on sites like Wattpad to generate the traffic to Kindle Worlds. The other may have to do with content control. The plural “Worlds” in Kindle Worlds marks a clear separation between the different fanbases; there will be no boundary crossing here. For fanfiction, boundary crossing of various types is the point. Trying to constrain the unconstrainable is an inherent paradox in a model based on content control. Of course, one way to attempt to control content/text is to contain it in a book rather than have it online where control is always subject to slippage. However, the existence of Fanfiction itself undermines this attempt. Amazon and the licensors have a difficult balancing act. Most licensors would want to retain control over the content that appears online and therefore restrict official content, whether it be original or fan-generated, to their own fan sites; it might indeed be very difficult to keep the licensed Worlds separate in one online environment. So one could argue that the “form” of the ebook in this case, where online would normally be the “native” medium, answers primarily the needs of the licensors rather than those of the fans and readers. This is not to say that Kindle Worlds shouldn’t have ebooks; even in the fanfiction communities, people create ebooks of fanfics for free download. It is the fact that Kindle Worlds appears to be only about ebooks that is the issue in the context of fanfiction. Anna von Veh, Kindle Worlds: Bringing Fanfiction Into Line But Not Online?

[QUOTE] From Thomas Lamarre, Introduction to Mechademia 6: User Enhanced

in the wake of government policies in Japan promoting Akihabara as a tourist destination and championing otaku culture as a new national paradigm for economic prosperity, some otaku were quick to point out that the prosperity of otaku culture was built by otaku, not by government policy makers or corporations. It was otaku prosperity, and otaku wanted not only credit for it but also their share of it. Such a response returns to and deflates the mass deception theory. It demonstrates not only the increased significance of user activity but also an increasing awareness on the part of consumers about their role in the generation of value in the context of commodity-worlds. As such, even as user enhancement results in value-added commodities, the value of those com modities, taking the form of commodity-worlds prolonged both by producers and consumers, is not solely the property of corporations. And the questions of “To whom does a commodity-world belong?” and “Who belongs to it?” are becoming a site for the construction and contestation of social paradigms. Thomas Lamarre, Introduction to Mechademia 6: User Enhanced

[QUOTE] From Suzanne Scott, Repackaging fan culture: The regifting economy of ancillary content models

My concern, as fans and acafans continue to vigorously debate the importance or continued viability of fandom’s gift economy and focus on flagrant instances of the industry’s attempt to co-opt fandom, is that the subtler attempts to replicate fannish gift economies aren’t being met with an equivalent volume of discussion or scrutiny.

There are a number of important reasons why fandom (and those who study it) continue to construct gift and commercial models as discrete economic spheres. This strategic definition of fandom as a gift economy serves as a defensive front to impede encroaching industrial factions.

(…)

Media producers, primarily through the lure of “gifted” ancillary content aimed at fans through official Web sites, are rapidly perfecting a mixed economy that obscures its commercial imperatives through a calculated adoption of fandom’s gift economy, its sense of community, and the promise of participation.

Suzanne Scott, Repackaging fan culture: The regifting economy of ancillary content models

[LINK] New fan-themed issue of the journal Participations

The tenth issue of Participations, an online open access journal for audience studies, has a section full of new articles about fan culture. The section was put together by the Fan Studies Network, a network for fan studies researchers.

I haven’t had time to read any of the articles yet, but it sounds like there’s some very interesting stuff in here about many fandoms and fan practices – from Doctor Who, Glee, and Star Wars to Tumblr, kink memes, fandom and politics, and dojinshi. Here’s a list of all the fan-themed articles in the issue (all links go to PDFs):

Bennett, Lucy & Tom Phillips: ‘An introduction: The Fan Studies Network – new connections, new research’

Booth, Paul & Peter Kelly: ‘The changing faces of Doctor Who fandom: New fans, new technologies, old practices?’

Busse, Kristina: ‘Geek hierarchies, boundary policing, and the gendering of the good fan’

Chin, Bertha & Lori Hitchcock Morimoto: ‘Towards a theory of transcultural fandom’

Ellison, Hannah: ‘Submissives, Nekos and Futanaris: a quantitative and qualitative analysis of the Glee Kink Meme’

Hills, Matt: ‘Fiske’s ‘textual productivity’ and digital fandom: Web 2.0 democratization versus fan distinction?’

Lamerichs, Nicolle: ‘The cultural dynamic of doujinshi and cosplay: Local anime fandom in Japan, USA and Europe’

Pett, Emma: ‘”Hey! Hey! I’ve seen this one, I’ve seen this one. It’s a classic!”: Nostalgia, repeat viewing and cult performance in Back to the Future

Proctor, William: ‘”Holy crap, more Star Wars! More Star Wars? What if they’re crap?”: Disney, Lucasfilm and Star Wars online fandom in the 21st century’

Sandvoss, Cornel: ‘Toward an understanding of political enthusiasm as media fandom: Blogging, fan productivity and affect in American politics’

Whiteman, Natasha, Joanne Metivier: ‘From post-object to “Zombie” fandoms: The “deaths” of online fan communities and what they say about us’

Bury, Rhiannon, Ruth Deller, Adam Greenwood & Bethan Jones: ‘From Usenet to Tumblr: The changing role of social media’

McCulloch, Richard, Virginia Crisp, Jon Hickman & Stephanie Jones: ‘Of proprietors and poachers: Fandom as negotiated brand ownership’

Freund, Kathrina & Dianna Fielding: ‘Research ethics in fan studies’

Jones, Bethan & Lucy Bennett: ‘Blurring boundaries, crossing divides: An interview with Will Brooker’

Delmar, Javier Lozano & Victor Hernández-Santaolalla & Marina Ramos: ‘Fandom generated content: An approach to the concept of ‘fanadvertising”

Sturm, Damion & Andrew McKinney: ‘Affective hyper-consumption and immaterial labors of love: Theorizing sport fandom in the age of new media’

 

[QUOTE] From Akiko Hori, On the response (or lack thereof) of Japanese fans to criticism that yaoi is antigay discrimination

In the middle of the 1980s, fannish dōjinshi based on the manga Captain Tsubasa exploded in popularity, and yaoi dōjinshi circles proliferated accordingly. This caused dōjinshi conventions to grow as well, to the point that commercial manga magazines could no longer ignore the existence of the major dōjinshi circles. These major circles consisted of woman creators who, although amateurs, had often amassed large fan followings of their own. Publishers reasoned that they could save themselves the effort of cultivating new artists if they let these popular fan creators publish in commercial magazines. They began to scout popular yaoi fan creators, and commercial manga magazines that focused solely on boys’ love were launched one after the other. With the availability of yaoi in regular bookstores, a massive expansion of yaoi fandom ensued. However, a less desirable consequence of yaoi’s commercialization was that a hobby that had previously been underground was now thrust into the public eye.

Akiko Hori, On the response (or lack thereof) of Japanese fans to criticism that yaoi is antigay discrimination

[LINK] Timeline of Fandom and Profit

Inspired by the discussion around Amazon’s announcement of Kindle Worlds, here’s a preliminary timeline on Fanlore of notable happenings related to fandom and profit. Famous instances of commercialization of fanworks, of exchange of money in fandom, profit-related incidents between fans or between fans and professionals, and so on.

Any examples to add? Please edit the wiki page or drop the info here so I can edit it in. There’s a great deal still missing, especially about commercialization of fanworks besides fic (fan films, mods, fan translations etc), and I have vague memories of reading about many more profit-related incidents in academic works and elsewhere.

[QUOTE] From Anna von Veh, What Can Trade Publishers Learn from Fanfiction?

Yes, much of fanfiction revolves around romance and ‘M-rated’ stories (and there’s a whole book to be written about that). However, focusing only on the subject matter and traditional boundary issues obscures what fanfiction has to offer us as publishers: a model for community engagement, online interaction between readers, writers and publishers, and a new way of thinking about and doing business.

Anna von Veh, What Can Trade Publishers Learn from Fanfiction?

[QUOTE] From Abigail De Kosnik, Should Fan Fiction Be Free?, p120-123

Over the past decades of sharing their transformative works, fan fiction readers and writers have generally felt wary of commodifying a form of cultural production that is essentially derivative and perhaps subject to copyright infringement lawsuits.

(…)

Digital appropriation artists have developed a number of monetization models: royalties, distribution agreements, reasonably priced licenses that permit remix practitioners to sell their appropriations legally, and small-scale compensation intended only to reimburse remixers for their outlay. Although fan filmmakers and game modders have experimented with these models, fan fiction writers have not conducted similar experiments in marketing their works.

(…)

Fanfic authors who think that selling appropriative art is always and absolutely against the law are mistaken. No such case law exists, and many appropriating artists make money from their work today without constantly encountering legal trouble.

Why, then, do fic writers resist earning income from their output? Many scholars of fan studies claim that fan fiction is, and must remain, free—that is, “free of charge,” but also “free of the social controls that monetization would likely impose on it” —because it is inherently a gift culture, as Hellekson describes in this issue. In fact, even the fan organization, the Organization of Transformative Works, one of whose goals is to redefine fan works as transformative and therefore legal, states: “The mission of the OTW is first and foremost to protect the fan creators who work purely for love and share their works for free within the fannish gift economy.”

(…) writing fan fiction for personal gain —financial, psychological, or emotional— aligns with the fact that self-enrichment is already inherently an important motivation for women to produce and consume fanfic. For some women, belonging to an affinity group or discussing stories with fellow writers and readers is not the primary reason for engaging with this type of fiction. The rewards of participating in a commercial market for this genre might be just as attractive as the rewards of participating in a community’s gift culture; and the existence of commercial markets for goods does not typically eliminate parallel gift economies.

(…)

If fans successfully professionalize and monetize fan fiction, the amateur culture of fic writing will not disappear. Although fans have legitimate anxieties about fan fiction being corrupted or deformed by its entry into the commercial sphere, I argue that there is far greater danger of this happening if fan fiction is not commodified by its own producers, but by parties foreign to fandom who do not understand why or for whom the genre works, and who will promote it for purposes it is unsuited for, ignoring the aspects that make it attractive and dear to its readers.

Abigail De Kosnik, Should Fan Fiction Be Free?, p120-123