As long as there have been fans, there has been fan fiction. There seems to be a fundamental human need to tell additional stories about the characters after the book, series, play or movie is over. But developments in information technology and copyright law have put these fan stories at risk of collision with the content owners’ intellectual property rights.
Fan fiction has long been a nearly invisible form of outsider art, but over the past decade it has grown exponentially in volume and in legal importance. Because of its nature, authorship, and underground status, fan fiction stands at an intersection of key issues regarding property, sexuality, and gender.
In Fan Fiction and Copyright, author Aaron Schwabach examines various types of fan-created content and asks whether and to what extent they are protected from liability for copyright infringement. Professor Schwabach discusses examples of original and fan works from a wide range of media, genres, and cultures. From Sherlock Holmes to Harry Potter, fictional characters, their authors, and their fans are sympathetically yet realistically assessed.
About the Author: Aaron Schwabach is Professor of Law at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, where he teaches subjects including internet law. His previous books include Intellectual Property: A Reference Handbook (ABC-CLIO, 2007) and Internet and the Law: Technology, Society, and Compromises (ABC-CLIO, 2005).
‘Aaron Schwabach takes readers from Aang to Zorro, exploring the intricacies of copyright in characters and the many ways in which fans respond creatively to existing works, using the characters and situations to tell new stories to themselves and others. His wide knowledge of popular culture and careful examination of existing case law and non-litigated disputes involving fans and authors makes this book a unique resource for those interested in the intersection of law and literature.’
Rebecca Tushnet, Georgetown University, USA