I love how potato in French is pomme de terre, which pretty much means “earth apple.”
like what stupid frenchman saw this:
and said “zis petite légume looks like a, how you say, APPLE! hmmm… but it grows in ze earth… HON HON HON! MAIS OUI! C’EST UNE POMME DE TERRE!”
j’adore comment ananas se dit pineapple en anglais, ce qui veut littéralement dire “pomme de pin”, genre quel type anglais a vu ça:
et s’est dit : “ow cette étrange big fruit ressemble à une, how do you say, POMME! hmmm… mais plutôt une pomme qui pousse dans les pins… HU HU HU! OH YES, IT’S A PINEAPPLE!”
(z’avez vu, on peut le faire aussi… hon hon hon!)
Well, okay. There are legitimate reasons to be wary of a move by large, wealthy entities to offer a service like this.
Fan fiction is a discourse; it is one of many ways the meta-community of fandom talks about stuff. It is an ongoing conversation fueled on an economy of attention. The introduction of an economy of actual dollars could, if very successful, disrupt fandom in a way that is bad for people who like the way it currently functions.
Not every—indeed, not even most—fan writers have ambitions of being paid. Those that do can participate in a long and glorious tradition of graduation to the ranks of original authors who were once fan writers, by retooling their fan works or simply employing the experience they’ve gained as a fan writer to create original books. This path has the virtue of being functionally no different from any other path to authorhood—you write a book, a publisher buys it and publishes it. There’s no separate caste of “fan writer” where they get to offer you bad terms and less money. You’re a professional writer, or you aren’t.
The creation of a special sanctioned class of official fanfic could potentially disrupt and homogenize the almost unbelievably vibrant discourse that fan culture currently enjoys—but I don’t think that’s going to happen, because why would anyone eat preprocessed, rules-complient pabulum when Ferran Adria’s making deconstructed masterpieces around the corner and giving them away for free. So there’s that.
However, it could potentially exert a downward pressure on authors who make some or all of their living doing work-for-hire, which is a shitty enough business as it is. Kindle Worlds seems to basically be work-for-hire, minus the cash up front, with really terrible terms. It’s damned near spec work. And spec work is evil.
Finally, it creates a class of sanctioned fanfiction, which seems to imply a class of unsanction fanfiction. And while the OTW is well-equipped to defend the rights of fanfiction writers to keep writing, if it turns out there’s real money to be made here, it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where Disney, say, decides you have to write Avengers fic their way or not at all, and decides to lobby for copyright reform to back this assertion up. I mean, that’s admittedly a pretty dystopic projection, but still.
The metafilter post on the Kindle Worlds nonsense is really good, not that I expected anything less.
Amazon Debuts ‘Kindle Worlds,’ Where Your Gossip Girl Fan Fiction Can Earn You Cash Sometimes a writer creates a universe so compelling that others feel the need to join and help flesh out that world with their own tribute fiction. And sometimes you make something crappy like Gossip…
What in the hell! Damn, this makes me hella uncomfortable. I’m torn between deleting all my online fanfiction or… hoping that this madness passes. This is so not a good idea.
People would be stealing shit left and right. Hell, they do that now and fanfiction is for free. Let’s not get into the authors who are going to be fucking pissed at this as well they should be because they won’t be getting any of that money based off of their characters.
I’m not here for this at all. I need people to profit from their own creativity, not just jumping off of someone else’s.
the biggest problem with this is that, even if you do decide to sell your fanfic through them, you won’t get much protection. once you publish - according to the details of this program - they own it. they can republish it in an anthology or in another country/language, and you won’t see an additional dime.
furthermore, the owner of the original universe and characters can take your idea and turn it into a film/book/tv show/etc and not have to compensate you at all. it’s typical Amazon bait-and-switch. on the surface, it seems alluring, but you have to read the fine print. the only way property rights’ owners would agree to this is if Amazon promised them a deal they couldn’t refuse. “you’ll get a cut of the profits AND have an endless pool of story ideas that you don’t have to pay for!” the fanfic writer will get screwed. twice.
fanfiction isn’t new. hell, the Star Trek novels are basically authorized fanfiction. at least there, the authors are properly credited and compensated. this sounds like a really, really bad idea.
I know, right. This will not end well. *headdesk*
Amazon is working with WB to publish (read: sell) fanfiction from the Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars and Vampire Diaries ‘verses. And they said that more “worlds” will be announced soon.
Basically, fanfic writers will be able to sell their fics - formatted for Kindle - via Amazon, and the restrictions are not as massive as you’d think!
No excessive product placement for non-show brands.
But here’s the thing about porn! Amazon says they don’t allow porn to be sold on their site, so as long as your fic content is no more explicit than anything that’s on Amazon’s site today (see: 50 Shades and anything in the erotica category) then it won’t run afoul of Amazon’s content restrictions - and if they say it does, then the Internet will stand behind you as if you were a Nutella fan barred from celebrating its wonderful tastiness.
HOWEVER, each World Licensor will be providing “Content Guidelines” for their specific ‘verse - and I can’t find those anywhere. THAT might make a significant impact on what types of fanfic one can and cannot sell, but until we’ve had a chance to look through them, we can’t determine the specifics.
I don’t think it’s realistic to be concerned that the existence of Kindle Worlds will mean that tv show/film/book creators will stamp out freely given fics. At this point, Kindle Worlds will only accept things over 5000 words, anyway, and the longstanding laches issue that protects fics posted elsewhere and given away will still hold.
However, it does mean that people who write in the fandoms covered by Kindle Worlds and sell ebooks of those stories outside of the Kindle license may find themselves dealing with cease & desist letters. But there was always a chance they would because of the commercial aspect of that action.
Also, this will leave fandom with a lot of questions on issues other than legality be on fan-created gift culture, commissions, fundraising for charity, or even the ability of pro writers to write in other universes>
Does this further “legitimize” fan creativity (which I think has long been a pretty legit hobby), will it just create an additional outlet for story distribution, and what other fandoms will WB add?
I wouldn’t be shocked if they bring Tomorrow People into this as the show launches in the fall, but what about things that are ending their runs like Nikita, or shows with massive fanbases and almost a decade of fan creativity, like the behemoth that is Supernatural?
Oh, and here’t the royalty-related info:
- Amazon Publishing will pay royalties to the rights holder for the World (we call them World Licensors) and to the Fic Author. Fic Author’s standard royalty rate for works of at least 10,000 words will be 35% of net revenue.
- In addition, with the launch of Kindle Worlds, Amazon Publishing will pilot an experimental new program for particularly short works (between 5,000 and 10,000 words). For these short stories—typically priced under one dollar—Amazon will pay the royalties for the World Licensor and will pay authors a digital royalty of 20% of net revenue. The lower royalty for these shorter works is due to significantly higher fixed costs per digital copy (for example, credit-card fees) when prices for the entire class of content will likely be under one dollar.