Thursday, October 20, 2005

Buffy Halloween musical shut down :(

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Just read that Fox has sent cease and desist letters to the drama troupe that was to put the BTVS "Once More With Feeling" episode on stage. Even Joss had given the fan-based group his blessing.

Saw it first at BoingBoing, which pointed to LawGeek, who rather eloquently argued that "An artist on their own can make a work of art, but only fans can make it mean something in our society. Fans take art and translate it into culture. They invest in it, obsess over it, share it, and spread it to others. They turn it from an isolated item into a means of communication."

This extends the argument Henry Jenkins makes in Theorizing Fandom that fandom is in itself an act of creation (creating new meanings, new subtexts, new alternate realities). That current copyright law doesn't recognize this is troubling, especially when the law rears its ugly head as it's done in San Francisco.

In my masters thesis, I explored a number of the issues fandom has been facing since it moved online; copyright law is the one that hangs most frighteningly over the heads of fanfic writers, because it can turn a fun, fannish labor of love into a legal problem. It's sad to see that threat coming to pass, especially in a fandom that has the support of the actual creator of the work in question! When you consider that copyright law was designed to encourage artistic expression and to protect creators' rights, this situation becomes even more absurd--it's not the creator who is protesting this alleged violation, it's the network that aired the show.

So i end my rant--my first blog posting since I got back from Spain in May. I'll try to get back in the habit of writing more often.


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