News Roundup, ending May 22

Oh Amazon Worlds, legitimate licensed fanfiction?

I will link you to Passive Voice’s post on this because I think the comments are important. Look for the two attorneys on the blog (Marc Cabot and Passive Guy) as I think they’re raising the rock on what might be a rather problematic aspect of this otherwise amazing move by Amazon.  First, I think it’s great for authors who want to break into something to DO FANFIC. Absolutely.  Instantly forgiving audience should you cater to the wants/needs of the average fanfic reader.  Yes, Amazon takes its share of the sales. Yes, Amazon’s fine point needs to be analyzed since while you maintain your copyright to what you created, who knows whether you have to be exclusive. We’ll see.

But for a long time I’ve felt like fandom has had no real understanding of copyright and licensing and the ramifications should the licensor also have the ability to enforce their license.

I’m not an attorney but long familiar with debates about copyright/licensing as relates to IP goods.  My question is if Amazon Worlds licenses properties A, B,C, can they enforce /issue cease and desists against sites that host that content?  See, even if it’s available freely, it still infringes and second, while the author doesn’t benefit, the SITES that have ads for stories related to A,B, and C do.  That ad revenue may, in part, really belong back to the intellectual property owner whose property is being exploited on the web.

So – maybe I’m just overseeing things here, but I’m wondering if this move is intended to redefine the landscape of fandom engagement and harness a bit of the fandom into an arrangement that benefits the original holder.

However – for those fans like me who actually really do want to play nicely… I”ll admit this is interesting. I want to find readers. And there are fandom writers who leveraged their success on and made it into the publishing world.  I wouldn’t mind a piece of that action either. Sadly, I would guess Amazon will deal mostly with Western fandoms and not the Japanese ones I adore… but here’s a hint. *COUGHANIMELICENSEPLEASE*

Survey Says Chinese Youth Unsatisfied with Online Literature

A somewhat provocative piece suggests that online chinese fiction might be increasingly unpopular. This in contrast to the article about profitability of online novels in China which a few years ago several us discussed over at

Its’ quite possible that this survey is skewed to start with. We don’t know much about the population sampling. We also don’t have cross-tabulations comparing frequent reader beliefs vs. those who don’t read “frequently,” whatever that may mean. So – like the lone commentor suggested – who knows what to think of this “key finding”?

Story Notes – Episode Endings vs. Chapter Endings (and a change in Ep 5)

Camille Laguire hits upon some really interesting points about crafting serials. The cliffhanger sometimes isn’t literal in a way, but sometimes about setting yours readers up to have to mull and think through things in the time between installments. I really like these more subtle points about writing serials and wish readers would chime in about which serials they like and why. I do think that serial attract a different kind of reader, and that is the one who sort of enjoys the suspense behind “waiting.” I think also the best serial writers are known by their readers to be tricky and likely to surprise them. It makes the waiting all that more full of interesting analysis!

And that’s it for now 🙂


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