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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

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Old May 22 2013, 11:00 PM   #1
JD
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WTF: Amazon is going to see legal fan fiction

I just stumbled across this story on IO9 today.
Apparently Amazon has started a new program that will allow them to legally publish fan fiction based on specific IPs that they have bought the rights to. They will pay royalties to both the writer and the IP owner.
Right now they only have rights to Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl, and The Vampire Diaries, but it says that they are attempting to get rights to more stuff, including movies, TV shows, games and music.
Right now it doesn't affect Trek, but it's still pretty big news in the fandom world, and I thought it would be worth discussing her.
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Old May 22 2013, 11:08 PM   #2
Halmirdax
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Re: WTF: Amazon is going to see legal fan fiction

That's surprising but intriguing. Wonder how they decide on royalties and whether writers would want people writing rubbish and selling it connected to their work. (Not all fanfiction is terrible, there are some very impressive pieces out there.)
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Old May 22 2013, 11:17 PM   #3
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Re: WTF: Amazon is going to see legal fan fiction

Your link doesn't work.
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Old May 23 2013, 01:34 AM   #4
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Re: WTF: Amazon is going to see legal fan fiction

Here's the link:

http://io9.com/amazon-is-going-to-st...l-fa-509364648

And here's John Scalzi's reaction to it:

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2013/05/2...tant-thoughts/
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Old May 23 2013, 03:23 AM   #5
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Re: WTF: Amazon is going to see legal fan fiction

Thanks for the right link, Christopher.
Dream wrote: View Post
Your link doesn't work.
Sorry, I apparently forgot to change tabs when I copied and pasted.
I'm honestly not really sure what to make of this idea. It just seems kind weird to me that they would sanction fan fic like this, but I guess somebody must have decided it was worth it to make some money off of it.
Scalzi brings up some good points there. It is a little unnerving that companies can get the rights to everything in the books without actually paying the writers. Not to mention the effect this could have on licensed tie-ins.
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Old May 23 2013, 05:26 AM   #6
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Re: WTF: Amazon is going to see legal fan fiction

Seems to me like it's not much different than Strange New Worlds. Just getting permission to publish stories for the IP using "untried" authors.
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Old May 23 2013, 05:55 AM   #7
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Re: WTF: Amazon is going to see legal fan fiction

Call me when they get Star Wars or Star Trek (oh come on, you know CBS will whore this if they see $$$ to be made). Here's an ideal what's to keep someone from ripping stories from (example) fanfiction.net and selling them?
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Old May 23 2013, 01:20 PM   #8
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Re: WTF: Amazon is going to see legal fan fiction

datalogan wrote: View Post
Seems to me like it's not much different than Strange New Worlds. Just getting permission to publish stories for the IP using "untried" authors.
Apart from the quality control and editing aspects.

Even if there is some sort of quality editing done, the guidance and direction of editorial teams will not happen. You can pretty much forget the 'coherent universe' that we currently enjoy.

This could be a 'way in' for budding writers, in the same way as Trek TV's old open submission policy, but it could also damage the position of our current (and appreciated) authors, and thus official Treklit.

On the plus side, authors not currently being employed like KRAD and David A McKintee could easily (should they wish) self produce novels which a lot of us would jump at.

It's swings and roundabouts I suppose, but I am concerned that the drawbacks may outweigh the advantages...
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Old May 23 2013, 05:10 PM   #9
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Re: WTF: Amazon is going to see legal fan fiction

Oh I can see the pros getting screwed on this deal. Why pay a pro when the fanficcers will do it for free. If the pros do self-publish, they'll end up taking a cut in income that'll seriously hurt them. This is a bad deal for the professional writers.
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Old May 23 2013, 05:34 PM   #10
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Re: WTF: Amazon is going to see legal fan fiction

Relayer1 wrote: View Post
On the plus side, authors not currently being employed like KRAD and David A McKintee could easily (should they wish) self produce novels which a lot of us would jump at.
Well, I'm employed writing more books than ever this year- just not Trek ones.

I can't see myself doing anything like Kindle Worlds, unless it was a franchise I *really* always wanted to do something in and there was no other way. And even then I'd probably just post it on a normal fanfic site or something...
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Old May 23 2013, 05:40 PM   #11
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Re: WTF: Amazon is going to see legal fan fiction

SeerSGB wrote: View Post
Oh I can see the pros getting screwed on this deal. Why pay a pro when the fanficcers will do it for free.
Because experienced professionals will turn out better work than most of the amateurs and thus their work will sell better?
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Old May 23 2013, 05:58 PM   #12
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Re: WTF: Amazon is going to see legal fan fiction

Christopher wrote: View Post
SeerSGB wrote: View Post
Oh I can see the pros getting screwed on this deal. Why pay a pro when the fanficcers will do it for free.
Because experienced professionals will turn out better work than most of the amateurs and thus their work will sell better?
True - given a choice between a new novel by either Joe Bloggs or one of the pro's, which one would you go for ?

Whilst Joe may (or may not) be an undiscovered genius, I'd spend my £6.99 with Christopher, Lonemagpie, KRAD and Co.

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Old May 23 2013, 05:59 PM   #13
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Re: WTF: Amazon is going to see legal fan fiction

Christopher wrote: View Post
SeerSGB wrote: View Post
Oh I can see the pros getting screwed on this deal. Why pay a pro when the fanficcers will do it for free.
Because experienced professionals will turn out better work than most of the amateurs and thus their work will sell better?
Quality of work aside, why pay a higher amount to a professional when you can pay zero to a fanficcer and make pure profit? You can bet the royalty scheme on Kindle Worlds is going to be IP holder weighted.

Why pay 1 person out of my pocket, when I can get a dozen little monkeys working for me for free and all I have to do is cash the check coming in?

Not saying it'll be the death of professional tie-in writers, but it's has the potential to cut into their bottom line and clog the market.
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Old May 23 2013, 06:05 PM   #14
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Re: WTF: Amazon is going to see legal fan fiction

Relayer1 wrote: View Post
datalogan wrote: View Post
Seems to me like it's not much different than Strange New Worlds. Just getting permission to publish stories for the IP using "untried" authors.
Apart from the quality control and editing aspects.

Even if there is some sort of quality editing done, the guidance and direction of editorial teams will not happen. You can pretty much forget the 'coherent universe' that we currently enjoy.

This could be a 'way in' for budding writers, in the same way as Trek TV's old open submission policy, but it could also damage the position of our current (and appreciated) authors, and thus official Treklit.
Agreed, there won't be quality control and editing. Agreed, we can wave goodbye to coherent continuity in the fan fiction.

Disagree on damage to the current authors and official Treklit. I don't see fan fiction in any way overriding or chipping away at professional fiction, at least when it comes to Star Trek for the reasons you mentioned: quality and editing.

I think most people who read Treklit today are going to want to continue consuming official (EDIT) professional Trek novels. While publishing fan fiction would give a fillip to budding new authors to try their hand, it is what it is: fiction written by amateurs who could turn out professional work occasionally.

They could co-exist. Just as someone we know likes to say, Trek has room for many different kinds of stories and universes, so does it have room for different kinds of publishing.
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Last edited by rahullak; May 23 2013 at 06:13 PM. Reason: include professional
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Old May 23 2013, 06:16 PM   #15
datalogan
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Re: WTF: Amazon is going to see legal fan fiction

SeerSGB wrote: View Post
Why pay a pro when the fanficcers will do it for free.
SeerSGB wrote: View Post
what's to keep someone from ripping stories from (example) fanfiction.net and selling them?
Did I miss something?
I thought the writers would be getting paid.

JD wrote: View Post
Amazon . . . will pay royalties to both the writer and the IP owner.
It’s just that Amazon is “finding” the writers and prose by looking at pre-existing fanfic work that hasn’t yet been officially published.
Seems like a no-brainer, no-big-deal to me. But maybe I’m missing something.
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