Web 2.0 has helped bring creative contents closer to the bigger pool of people. By making them more accessible, the Internet has suceeded in prolonging the experience of enjoyment of the audience (Skains, 2010). Before, fans of books, TV shows or films can only enjoy what the contents have to offer, however, they are now an intergral part in the process of sharing, promoting and making of creative contents along with the creators. However, there are still grey areas when it comes to fan contents.
In this complex digital world, how do copyright infringement & credits work and what is the attitude of the creative industry itself?
In the video I made (which is shown above), I have illustrated one of the many frustrations that fan artists (like I am) often have to face when uploading our fan contents online. That is the risk of exposing our arts to content stealers, who would erase our credits and re-post the edited version onto their fanpage of ‘many’ followers. The problem is linked to one of my topic taught in the BCM322 class, Global Media Intervention, Transmedia storytelling & Spreadable Media, which implies the enhanced experience when having multiple creators contributing their effort to one ‘content tree’ as well as interacting with each other to create a more vibrant community.
Firstly, it is important to mention the significant impact that fans can have on creative contents. They have the potential to make and break a series based on the response and interactions between individuals in the relevant community (Kang, 2017). We all know the story of how the Deadpool movie was made possible because of the fans demands (Acuna, 2015).
That is not to mention, the continuous production of fan content such as fanfictions and fan arts have pushed the sequels of the franchise. And this is not just Deadpool alone, other Marvel movies have experienced the same phenomenon, where movies are tailored in accordance to fan contents (Kang, 2017).
While fan contents can be problematic due to the complex rule of copyright infringement. There is some loose unspoken rules between authors and fans in order to create a healthy community (Bailey, 2010) (ANSON-HOLLAND, 2018). With this eco-system, both fans and the creators can enjoy a joint work effort where contents can be produced and improved for an extended period of time.
However, when fan contents are being produced in large quantities every single day, it is hard to manage what belongs to whom and this concerns many smaller artists that is aiming to monetize their work, especially when their arts are being reposted on multiple fanpages (Quora.com, 2018).
The argument usually goes back and forth with the idea of exposure as a digital currency that is blessed upon the artists by art reposting accounts while there is no clear evidence of its effects. Besides the point, ‘digital currency’ do not pay bills.
With the bass-boost-editing-comedy accompanied with Mii music meme at the 57th second, the video has emphasized on the juxtaposition of the artists’ anger in comparison to the bigger issue of reposting art without credits. The video continues with the artist (me) threaten the reposter to ‘expose’ their account on to @forexposure_txt, a Twitter account that expose the darker side of the creative industry, ranging from the explotation of labor to scamming. In between those spectrum, art reposter is being on of the issues that fan artists usually report.
Ironically, the Twitter account has become an intervention for the intervention of the dynamic between authors and readers. Yet, the issue is no where near being solved. At this point, I am just one among many that is yelling to the big void: “AAHHHHHHHH! YOU BETTER STOP! STOOOOP!” (at 1:02 in my video).
While (we) artists do want to contribute more to the fandom as well as to show our love to the people who are involve in the making of books, comics, movies and TV shows, the attitude of many in the community is hindering the development of fanarts, making it hard for artists to make ends meet. Therefore:
Acuna, K. (2018). Ryan Reynolds says the ‘Deadpool’ movie is happening because of the fans. [online] Business Insider Australia. Available at: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/ryan-reynolds-says-fans-made-deadpool-movie-happen-2015-7?r=US&IR=T [Accessed 25 Oct. 2018].
Kang, I. (2018). The Fans Have Inherited the Film Industry — and It’s a Problem for the Rest of Us. [online] The Hollywood Reporter. Available at: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/fans-have-inherited-film-industry-a-problem-rest-us-guest-column-1015340 [Accessed 25 Oct. 2018].
Skains, L. (2010) The shifting author–reader dynamic: Online novel
communities as a bridge from print to digital literature. Convergence:, 6(1), 95–111.
Bailey, J. (2010). The Messy World of Fan Art and Copyright – Plagiarism Today. [online] Plagiarism Today. Available at: https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2010/05/13/the-messy-world-of-fan-art-and-copyright/ [Accessed 25 Oct. 2018].
Quora.com. (2018). Is fanart a good thing or a bad thing. [online] Available at: https://www.quora.com/Is-fan-art-a-good-thing-or-a-bad-thing [Accessed 25 Oct. 2018].
ANSON-HOLLAND, J. J. (2018) ‘Fan fiction : a New Zealand copyright perspective’, NEW ZEALAND LAW REVIEW, (1). Available at: http://ezproxy.uow.edu.au/login?url=https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsapt&AN=rmitplus20182207&site=eds-live (Accessed: 25 October 2018).