Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Article Review: Star Trek, Axanar, and the Future of Fan Fiction

Dany Roth did a good job producing an article that is about much more than just Star Trek, but used Axanar as one of the more complicated examples of the (non) interaction between fan and licensed works. It gave a good overview of the copyright-able and non-copyright-able aspects of fan fiction. After what seemed like a decent primer on copyright law, goes into actual lawsuits.
The article also goes into where the courts do not agree amongst themselves with the interpretation of 'fair use' and how that really makes things confusing, and since that can determine the fate of your fan work, it is a crucial area. 
The example court cases are very interesting and well worth a read.

Bloggy Stuff:
What does this mean for works like The Stone that Sings? I think I'm in the mud, like everyone else. My vision of Trek isn't always a perfect one, and in some cases, I think The Stone that Sings is a bit critical of how Trek tends to gloss over the thornier nature of the universe, which is why dulling the tech down in the Sas-a-Shar is important and helps create some of the tension. 
I also appreciate other authors trying to flesh out the fairly two-dimensional aliens, who were there to present the 'conflict of the week', at the same time, I don't mean to knock the script writers too much. A weekly schedule, budget constraints, and just trying to survive in a television market are some serious constraints that I don't think I'd successfully function under. But authors are not stuck to those constraints and can create as they desire, with their time as the only budget being spent -- the need to please any kind of audience is a self-imposed burden and not driven by hard economics. The CGI for a sehlat alone was astronomical for a TV show; here, authors still hold the advantage.
A fascinating read, and it doesn't change my position around The Stone That Sings, which is destined to remain a free fan work, though I intend to give it all the polish that I can to make it rival published works in quality, if not in profitability.

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