's post on c6d_universe
, she links to Diana Gabaldon's blog post about "Fan fiction and moral conundrums"
. In which Gabaldon states that she does not enjoy/appreciate/support fanfiction in any form and finds it to be not only illegal, but immoral
As one might expect, there are already over 350 comments arguing for or against her statements. So far (up to comment 200), everything has been very civil, which I quite appreciate. Because I do think that presenting dissenting (civil, not ranting) views on the topic is beneficial to anyone who's straddling the line and is able to use the thoughts presented as a starting point to further inquiry. And yeah, I know that, for the most part, the back-and-forth arguments aren't likely to change
anyone's opinion who has already made up their mind one way or another. Of course, this argument isn't new by any means, and I suppose I'm reading the comments in almost a watching-a-train-wreck sort of way, since I know what to expect.
But there are quite a few commenters who have made really intelligent, logical, clear
arguments as to why fanfiction is not only NOT ILLEGAL NOR IMMORAL; how it can be, in fact, beneficial to a published author's fanbase and bottom line; and who also comment on the disrespectful way Gabaldon likens fanfic writers to perverts, criminals, pedophiles, and the like (in an "off-handed" way couched in analogy, but the implication is there nonetheless).
It's sad that a person can't understand the reasons one would write fanfic, and even more sad that a clearly creative person would be so narrow-minded and possessive in a way that excludes others from sharing in (but without attempting to possess or claim credit for) that creation. It gladdens me to know that other authors are
able to understand or be sympathetic to their fans in this way -- authors like Jim Butcher
and Mercedes Lackey
-- who have given permission for "fanfiction to be licensed as derivative fiction under the Creative Commons umbrella."
Clearly we all know on which side of the argument I fall, and maybe my interest in this particular "train wreck" is high right now because I recently spoke with someone who stated, with no room for argument, that fanfiction is illegal after I referred to it as a "grey area". Really, I don't propose to know it as well as a copyright lawyer, but as far as I can tell, it is
a grey area. (See: OTW
, "I'm done explaining why fanfic is okay."
While I have no argument with Gabaldon disapproving of fanfic for her own works, and supporting her right to publicly and officially request no fanfic of her works be produced/posted/shared, etc., I find her arguments against it to be inconsistent, illogical, and demeaning.
I whole-heartedly approve of those commenters who said they would now never read her fiction. I'm all for boycotting the products of people/groups/companies that I am in strong, fundamental disagreement with. It's quite ironic, actually -- I never before had much interest in her works as I'm a little wary of epic historical fiction (especially those that simultaneously cohabit the romance and
the mainstream fiction categories), but some of the comments have revealed that I actually would have been interested in many of the situations Gabaldon writes about -- including situations that would be considered "perverted", "deviant" and "immoral" by prudes around the world.