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curled around these images
just enough to make us dangerous
I'm curious... 
7th-Jun-2013 10:52 am
Discussion / no weapons discharge
Something that has been on my mind for a while (hee...for a good reason I have to add) is how do fans generally feel about their work being used in other fans work?

If, for example, someone made a video showcasing fan art, fics and vids how would you feel if your work appeared it in? Or if your story was podficced? Or if your art was posted to a story? Do you think you should have been asked permission for it to be used or do you think that because you have released to the public domain it's available for anyone to use in a their own work? (I'm not talking about taking it and claiming it as their own - that's definitely a huge no).

As fans we take inspiration from products that are copyrighted (TV show, films, music etc) and we often use them in our own work - usually transforming them into something else to share with fellow fans. We don't seek permission from the source - once they are available to the public we jump all over them. How does that change for our own work - be it art, fic, vids, podfics? I know we don't get paid and nor do we make money from our work, so is that the sole reason why getting permission to use other people's fan work is so important? Is it just courtesy? Is it an unwritten etiquette amongst fans? Does it depend on the transformative work it appears in? Would it matter if the work was controversial or making a statement you didn't support?

Or am I missing a another explanation for why permission has to be sort and granted whenever we use other's fanworks? (I'm simply curious. I have no agenda here other than making sure I'm not missing some ethical morality (or law!!) when it comes to using fan works). And I'm not talking about taking other people's work and claiming it as your own. Or producing something that the viewer would assume is yours even if you can't give precise credit (I know that's murky, but there are times when it's obvious that the work doesn't belong to the creator - like a screen cap of a website for example).

For me I think the courtesy is nice, but I figure once my work is out there it's up for grabs. I'm usually honored when I see my work used in someone else's - or it's an inspiration for something else. Credit is nice, but not essential. I think part of the fan community is about sharing - but maybe I'm be naive on this front.
7th-Jun-2013 03:06 am (UTC)
I think crediting is important but other than that, it's a free for all once you've released something. Remix culture is remix culture, I say!

I used to be much more precious about it--for Destiny Calling I got all of the vidders' permission before release--but for Still Alive and Coin Operated Boy I used took and credited.
7th-Jun-2013 03:39 am (UTC)
Yeah - I agree about the credit as the only way we get "paid" is through acknowledgement.

And I sometimes wonder if maybe we can become too precious about the permissions - or maybe worried. It's more worry that I'm feeling atm. Did you ever get any fallout from using people's work without seeking permission first?

7th-Jun-2013 03:21 am (UTC)
I freely make my photos available and am always thrilled to see them used (especially in fanvids). I've never even thought about credit being offered in a fanvid. I mean, how would that work? I imagine a fanvid is composed of a LOT of source material and it would never occur to me to see a long credit list at the end.

If my work is used for a gif or manip or some other still photo edit - I ask for a credit and link back in the original post. But I know and realize that doesn't always happen. I think sometimes people push those limits a bit too far as in doing a very slight color balance change and removing my watermark. I state that people can remove my watermark if it interferes with their creative expression, and sometimes that gets pushed. But the reality is, like you said, I figure everything I post in fandom space is pretty much up for grabs and depends "on the kindness of others." (lol)

And honestly? As you say, as fans we use the original source material all the time. How hypocritical would it be of us if we demanded credit all the time. When offerred and practical, it's wonderful. But one of the things I love about the fandom community is how everyone builds ideas off of everyone's work. It's a creative fest every day.

7th-Jun-2013 03:44 am (UTC)

I mean, how would that work?

It would depend on the actual vid. When I used redteekal's photos in a vid I make I credited her and her partner at the end of the vid. Credit can be given in the end credits.

Tumblr has opened up a new level of fan work use I think. I've been hearing lately that fans really jump on other fans who take work and post it as their own over there (I didn't realise that). I never really understood how reblogging worked, but now I see it's a form of reccing and saving. So - it's a nice thing!

It's a creative fest every day.

Oh yes yes!! Lucky us! \o/
7th-Jun-2013 03:26 am (UTC)
I have a blanket statement on my LJ that my fandom stuff can be used as long as I'm credited somewhere (and I think I also say 'informed', but that's far less important.)

I'm flattered to pieces, more often than not. But I draw the line when someone's trying to make a profit or claim my work as their own. So far, neither has happened, huzzah!</p>

Part of the glory of fannish work is in the sharing, yeah?

7th-Jun-2013 07:11 am (UTC)
This all sounds fair and I think that generally fans respect other fans work. I've never understood people taking other fans work and posting it as their own because any feedback would be empty.

7th-Jun-2013 04:41 am (UTC)
I've often wondered about this myself. Considering everything we put out there is based on someone's copyrighted work itself, we can hardly claim foul if the same is done with ours. Most people just like to get credit which is the most we can ask for, I think. Asking for permission merely a matter of courtesy the way I see it.
7th-Jun-2013 02:19 pm (UTC)
I suppose having it done to our own work helps us understand why some people (pro writers for example) take umbrage at their stuff being used. Maybe there are some fans who don't mind it and some that do. Mostly I think people are happy to have their work used...probably. ;))
7th-Jun-2013 04:30 pm (UTC)
I'm even more in the minority in that I don't get why clip-stealing is considered such a big deal. Often in my LJ communities there is someone posting outraged that someone is using clips from their video without permission and encouraging members of the community to dog-pile said person. And idk I can understand being frustrated if the clips took a long time to put together but, at the risk of being unpopular, I do think that people get a bit too precious at not sharing their clips when does it really hurt them personally in any way?

I can understand being annoyed if someone is blatantly taking someone else's video and posting as their own, but a lot of the time I suspect the person using borrowed clips just doesn't know any better and is excited to try and put together their own video, but doesn't know how to make clips themselves, so end up using other videos as a source for clips. Not the greatest idea, but it does make me uncomfortable when fandom at large acts like they've committed such a terrible crime. If it took me absolutely ages to colour clips or whatever then I would probably be happy if anything to see other people from fandom making use of them. Maybe they could ask them to credit them in the video info or something fair enough, but generally the goal seems to be to get all of your friends to hound the person until they take their video off-line

Edited at 2013-06-07 04:35 pm (UTC)
7th-Jun-2013 08:52 am (UTC)
I personally ask permission before using another fanwork, even if only as inspiration for a new work (i.e. a fanfic inspiring fanart). But I know that I'm in the minority here, and most often work is used without permission. If you're lucky, you're given credit and informed of the usage after the fact even if your approval isn't sought beforehand.

I do think fanart is a slightly different scenario than fanvids. And there have been a couple recent incidences of slash fanart being used on talk shows and documentaries without permission. And the art is featured in a way that is not necessarily flattering, which I definitely do not agree with.
7th-Jun-2013 01:12 pm (UTC)
I totally agree that using fanart without credit in "news" shows is offensive. I about had a hernia when those videos (was it PBS or what, I can't remember) surfaced that used women's work to support a general claim that fanartist were brilliant...and then only profiled guys!!! WT actual FUCK.
7th-Jun-2013 08:53 am (UTC)
I've had convention photos of mine turn up all over the place, including two of my photo ops with me cut out, but although an acknowledgement of the source would be nice and courteous, I know that a lot of the time it isn't easy to track down the origin once something is 'out there'. And I posted my pics knowing that it was highly likely this would happen.

I'd be highly pissed off if someone pretended one of my photos was theirs, and it does bug me if I find one of my photos watermarked by someone else - but if people want to use them for fanart of icons or whatever, that is kind of the reason I shared them in the first place. And it is nice to know that people like them enough to use them that way. I have been known to squee a bit seeing one of my pics in a webpost and I will point out that it's mine (in case anyone doesn't know LOL!)

With my own fanart - I don't know if anyone has ever been that bothered about anything I've created to use or abuse it!

From the other side, being admin for Supernatural Seriously Awesome on Face Book, I'm pretty careful about trying to find the artist or source of anything we post - which is one reason I really dislike tumblr. a) the ethics of posting on there are virtually non existent and b) with all th reblogging it's a pain in the arse to track down the source.
8th-Jun-2013 10:19 am (UTC)

I'm in a quandary about using con footage in a fanvid. I have recently dl'd a heap of footage and plan to use it in a vid. In some cases I have mentioned to the vidder that I would like to use it but in most cases I don't. I will credit "fans" at the end (like I did with my Jared vid). I didn't get into trouble for that one, so I still hope it's ok.

I've learned a thing or two about Tumblr recently and that is reposting is seriously frowned upon (taking someone's work without credit and putting it on your own tumblr) or reblogging it and removing the source. With a reblog the source is actually on the post so tracing it back is easy now. I think of reblogging as a way of reccing - as long as the source remains in tact it's all good.

7th-Jun-2013 10:17 am (UTC)
Some of my friend use the Creative Commons licenses to tell people if they can "reuse" their fanworks or not.
8th-Jun-2013 12:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah - this is a good way to go. :)
7th-Jun-2013 11:18 am (UTC)
I have no problem with anybody using my fics in that manner, it's actually a very clear comment that they liked it. I just want to be informed about it and to be credited is nice as well. Of course for art it's often more complicated, it's often not clear who the actual artist was.
And yes, we don't ask permission from the copyright owner of what we use but normally we are actually aware of their wishes. Copyright owners who frown on such things are actually vocal about not wanting that (best case) to sueing wildly.

A good example for that (copy from the fanfiction.net posting guidelines)

FanFiction respects the expressed wishes of the following authors/publishers and will not archive entries based on their work:

Anne Rice
Archie comics
Dennis L. McKiernan
Irene Radford
J.R. Ward
Laurell K. Hamilton
Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb
P.N. Elrod
Raymond Feist
Robin Hobb
Robin McKinley
Terry Goodkind

Failure to comply with site rules will result in the removal of stories and/or suspension of account.
8th-Jun-2013 12:48 pm (UTC)
Oh that list is interesting. I didn't know FF did that. That's good I suppose. It also means that all that work that IS on there, those writers have essentially given permission for it to be used.

7th-Jun-2013 12:09 pm (UTC)
With info in general being shared so openly and fast more and more in the internet I think it's naive to expect your work to be credited everywhere and not used by others to their liking. Everything become more depersonalized. I think it's just how it is. I remember a long time ago I saw someone expecting to get credit for a simple screen cap they did, while you get tons of them from the wonderful screen cap sites without being asked to credit.
So yeah, what's out there is out there. But it's nice when people do credit. I don't know about fanfic though. I'm thinking more in terms of videos.

I had someone once ask if he could embed my video (not fandom) on his FB site. I thought that was sweet. Usually people just share stuff as they please, download with YT downloader what they want and do with it what they want, so I don't much care. It's easier to stay close to those you know generally respect you with your work and let the others do what they want. It's all just copies from copies anyway... ;)
8th-Jun-2013 01:16 pm (UTC)
Yes - screen caps are interesting aren't they? I suspect that's a totally thankless task. We love to use them but seldom credit them.

I gif I make popped up on a comm and my reaction was a little weird - first I thought - oh you pinched that, then I thought - that's cool you used my gif and then I realised I'd put it on Tumblr so it's essentially up for grabs.

My vids are sometimes put in places I don;t know about and I'm totally cool with that. So yeah - things are changing.

I think being asked or told is nice though. :))

7th-Jun-2013 01:03 pm (UTC)
This makes my head hurt too. With screen caps, I tend to give credit but not ask to use unless the comm/person gives permission on their site. I don't mind anyone using mine without credit or permission. With fanart I wouldn't share without crediting, but I don't think you can discuss it without showing it. I won't repost anything on Tumblr if I can reblog though, and if an artist has expressed a specific wish not to share their art I respect it. I won't alter art or trim any part off, if I show it either.

I wouldn't dream of showing a vid without credit but as long as it links back to YT I don't ask (I used to but everyone commented that I was the only one that ever asked and not to worry).

I would never take any part of another persons vid or fanart or fic/fic world, and reuse unless I had express permission. Once the artist has applied their own art my gut tells me it's plagiarism. The same with fic.

As for my own fic - ack - I am a total hypocrite. If I have written within the SPN canon world I have no problem with anyone putting their twist on it, but writing in one of my au worlds would feel invasive to me if the tone or main direction was changed.

It's a gut feeling, not logic at work. When I write it expresses a huge amount of me - especially my dark fic. I think I would be horrified if someone tried to give a 'happy romance rescue' to one of my slave fics because I feel so strongly about not glossing over slavery. Yes, it would feel like plagiarism. Would I consider it? If somebody asked nicely, and the tone of the fic matched, probably. Do I know I actually have no control over it? - yes. Does that make me uncomfortable and growly? -yes.
I don't pretend to be level headed and unemotional about the characters and worlds I create.

While I know that it will happen anyway, I also refuse when I am asked if my fic can be translated into other languages. I know from ESL readers that my fic does not always translate well and it leads to misconceptions, (and misconceptions lead to hate), so I am a grumpy cow. No, I don't want my fic translated either.

I am a bad person!
8th-Jun-2013 02:57 pm (UTC)
I am a bad person!

well, I wouldn't say that.

Other writers writing in your 'verse is an interesting point. I get it - I think if I was a writer I might feel the same way. And I think that's why some professional writers don't want fanfic writers to write in their 'verse using their characters. You have created a world that other may not be able to capture in exactly the same way. And yeah - putting a happy ending on a dark fic would be very weird. (and omg, I love your slave fics. "Mine" is one of my favs. *g*)

I think screen cappers are making caps specifically to be used by fans. I once emailed a capping site to see if I should give credit when using them and I never heard back. I sometimes credit caps - especially if I've used a lot of their caps, but not all the time.

And I never thought about that with translations. Misinterpretations would be an issues, I can see that.
7th-Jun-2013 04:19 pm (UTC)
Personally, I think I'd prefer if someone asked me if they wanted to use any of my art or fics or anything. I think I'd definitely let them if they credited me. To me I think it's just courtesy.

8th-Jun-2013 01:23 pm (UTC)
It IS nice to be asked. I think sometimes it's not always practical (sometimes finding the maker proves to be difficult), but I agree that if it's possible asking is a courtesy.
7th-Jun-2013 05:20 pm (UTC)
I podfic a bit and it's considered bad manners to podfic without author's permission - either via blanket permission note or specific approval. My understanding of the argument surrounding podfic is whether it's a transformative remixed work or whether a podficcer is archiving a fic albeit in a different medium - in which case archiving w/o author permission has long been considered a faux pas.
My personal opinion is that it's a bit of both and would never dream of posting a podfic without crediting the author - just like you'd never see an audiobook marketed without the author's name prominently displayed.

Like you, I think that if a fan put it out there, said fan wanted to share it. So let's SHARE! Some fan art posts contain notes like "please do not redistribute or alter without permission" and I think that sort of request should be honored.

Rec posts and embedding a youtube vid inherently links back to the source so that's not claiming anything or even remixing, but I go as far as noting on my vid rec blog that if any vidder would like me to take down a post to let them know. BECAUSE I DON'T WANT TO BE RUDE.

What's being re-used? Are you transforming something to make something entirely new? Are you referencing for meta purposes? Are you using the fan's creation or the source material the fan used? Does it make a difference?

Like podfic, I would consider using someone's vid or fanart to make something of my own without permission to be slightly rude. However, if someone did that with anything I made, I'd be flattered - whether they asked for permission or not.
But what if you can't find the source to ask? That gets murky and I've seen several people say things like "if you know creator, please advice" etc. I'm actually debating that on a podfic where the author had given permission at some point on another fic but can find no public note and have contacted them with no response. Do I assume permission based on precedence? It gets murky.

Then there are things like screencaps. The fan didn't really 'own' that to begin with, did they? I do like to credit sites I use because of the time it took to extract and provide, but I don't ask permission as I'm not sure there was a creative input on the part of the fan. I'm not sure if that's being judgmental or not. Con photos are different still, they're taken by a fan but in a public(-ish) venue. IDK, I've never thought too hard on con photos and such. Who decides what is creative and what isn't?

essentially I agree with your last sentence, but understand that other fans like to be involved with their fanworks which is why we tend to seek permission - it's a courtesy and we like to be nice people.

Edited at 2013-06-07 05:22 pm (UTC)
8th-Jun-2013 03:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah - I think you make a lot of sense. I think we do need to make an effort to be polite and considerate of other fans' works. Sometimes if depends on the situation and the manner in which the work will be used. I hadn't thought much on podficcing - but yeah, it would be very important to credit the author and get permission. I suspect most authors would be thrilled to have their work read.

I'm often torn with using con footage. I am making a J2 vid atm and I have a heap of dl'd footage. I've thanked people where I can but getting permission from everyone is pretty impractical.

The fan didn't really 'own' that to begin with, did they?

Screen caps are interesting because I feel like they are made for the express purpose of fans using them. I except it's nice to credit the makers where possible though.

Hmmm...a lot of it is murky. I suppose if we try and do the right thing it's the best we can do.
7th-Jun-2013 06:11 pm (UTC)
It has happened to me a couple of times. A piece of Want was used in a vid once, and a screencap of a story I wrote was used as an illustration in a vid. I wasn't asked first, and I didn't really mind. I guess in my head, I put that in a different category than remixes (which to me are is issue of fannish courtesy in terms of people asking before they decide to rewrite my story, because we all have to live with each other here), or people quoting my work and making my URLs available as a source in academic journals (which puts my stuff out there in the wider world beyond fandom). I've been clear that I don't want either of the latter, but to some fans, it doesn't matter. I think it should matter.

I don't know, it's tricky. I don't want to reach a point where I have to lock stuff down. I already took down all my videos, and I only put new ones up for short periods of time, and I change the passwords often to ensure embeds won't work if folks try to pass them around. But it's hard to control people re-uploading things on their own, which has also happened to me; I've had to ask people to remove my stuff from YouTube. I try to assert as much control as I can over my own work, which isn't much, honestly.
8th-Jun-2013 03:14 pm (UTC)
or people quoting my work and making my URLs available as a source in academic journals (which puts my stuff out there in the wider world beyond fandom).

Hmmm, that's a good point. I know a lot of fanwork does end up in academic journals. I thought that those writers sort permission for the works to be used, but maybe they don't. Having work out there beyond our fannish haven is a consideration - especially for those who really, really don't want it to be.

Hmmm... I'm trying to put that into context for which I will be using fanworks.... I think it will be ok, but I'll have to think on that a bit more. Thanks for pointing that out.

7th-Jun-2013 08:11 pm (UTC)
I think it varies. Some are 100% okay with it and consider it flattering. While others think it's stealing (even if you have credit) and aren't comfortable at all.

I would suggest asking ahead of time when wanting to use things and explain why and how you are going to use it.
8th-Jun-2013 03:16 pm (UTC)
Yep - that's what I've done. Only, I haven't heard back from everyone so I'm stuck as to what to do. Use it anyway? Or remove it..

(though it possibly won't be an issue if everything works out the way I'm hoping it will).
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