10 Vand. J. Ent. & Tech. L. 729 (2007-2008)
Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Fandom: How Existing Social Norms Can Help Shape the Next Generation of User-Generated Content

handle is hein.journals/vanep10 and id is 737 raw text is: Everything I Need To Know I Learned
from Fandom: How Existing Social
Norms Can Help Shape the Next
Generation of User-Generated
Content
ABSTRACT
With the growing popularity of YouTube and other platforms
for user-generated content, such as blogs and wikis, copyright holders
are increasingly concerned about potential infringing uses of their
content. However, when enforcing their copyrights, owners often do not
distinguish between direct piracy, such as uploading an entire episode
of a television show, and transformative works, such as a fan-made
video that incorporates clips from a television show. The line can be a
difficult one to draw. However, there is at least one source of user-
generated content that has existed for decades and that clearly
differentiates itself from piracy: fandom and fan fiction writers.
This note traces the history of fan communities and the
copyright issues associated with fiction that borrows characters and
settings that the fan-author did not create. The author discusses
established social norms within these communities that developed to
deal with copyright issues, such as requirements for non-commercial
use and attribution, and how these norms track to Creative Commons
licenses. The author argues that widespread use of these licenses,
granting copyrighted works some rights reserved instead of all rights
reserved, would allow copyright holders to give their consumers some
creative freedom in creating transformative works, while maintaining
the control needed to combat piracy. However, the author also suggests
a more immediate solution: copyright holders, in making decisions
concerning copyright enforcement, should consider using the norms
associated with established user-generated content communities as a
framework for drawing a line between transformative work and piracy.

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