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= corporate platform for Fan Fiction


Henry Jenkins:

"Consider, for example,, a start-up company that included established media players such as Titanic producer Jon Landau and entertainment lawyer Jon Moonves as advisors, and former Yahoo CMO Anil Singh as Chairman (Jenkins 2007a). FanLib began by hosting officially sponsored fan fiction competitions around The L Word and The Ghost Whisperer. Soon, the company sought to become a general interest portal for all fan fiction, actively soliciting material from leading fan writers, deciding not to solicit prior approval from the studios and production companies. The company's executives told fans they wanted to promote and protect fan fiction writing and informed initial corporate investors that they would teach fans how to "color within the lines." When fans stumbled onto the corporate pitch online, there was an intense backlash which spread across blogs, LiveJournals, and various social networking sites.

Fans raised a number of objections. The company wanted to profit from content fans had historically circulated for free (and adding insult, they refused to share the generated revenues with the fan authors). This debate revealed a rift between the "gift economy" of fan culture and the commodity logic of "user-generated content." At the same time, the company promised to increase the visibility of once cloaked fan activities, thus, fans argued, heightening the legal risk that media producers would put the entire community under closer legal scrutiny. (There has been an unofficial truce between fans and producers: most producers weren't going after fan fiction sites as long as they didn't intend to make money off of what they created.) Yet, denied that it bore any legal responsibility to defend fan writers against cease and desist letters from studios and networks. All of this fit within a growing debate about whether corporate distribution of user-generated content constitutes a form of unpaid outsourcing of creative labor, contributing to the downsizing of internal production teams (Scholz and Lovink 2007). These fans refused to be the victims of corporate exploitation, quickly and effectively rallying in opposition to FanLib and using their own channels of communication to inflect damage on its nascent brand. At the same time, did attract more than 18,000 participants (personal correspondence with Chris Williams, March 2008), including both those new to the world of fan fiction and thus not part of existing communities and those who, for whatever reason, felt disenfranchised from the existing fan fiction groups (Li, 2008)." (