Steven Hetcher reviews Aaron Schwabach’s ‘Fan Fiction and Copyright’ in the THE

Earlier this month the Times Higher Ed published a review of Aaron Schwabach’s Fan Fiction and Copyright. You can read the full review on the THE website, but to whet your appetite, here is an extract…

Copyright issues are at the core of fan fiction because using the characters and fictional worlds of commercial authors to create fan works is arguably a violation of the law from the outset. Thus, whatever one might say about it from other disciplinary perspectives, it is highly relevant whether fan-fiction activities are legal or illegal. While they may be well intentioned, when authors untrained in the law attempt to make statements of legal moment, they are inclined to get things horribly wrong.

Here, Aaron Schwabach, a professor of law, considers the relevant copyright issues for an intended readership not of experts but of an educated public. He confronts the daunting task faced by all specialists seeking to address a wider audience, which is to present the material in a less technical manner than is standard in the profession so as to communicate to non-specialists, while still having something to say to scholarly peers. For the most part, he succeeds admirably. For the copyright specialist, the book has great value as an in-depth study of the phenomenon, much of which is not contained in the case law – the usual grist of law scholars

More about Fan Fiction and Copyright

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