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.
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 facesspeaking 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”