“Rivka, do you know can people withdraw some/all of their stories from Amazon Worlds at any point? IE, are you allowed to leave once you’re in?”
It says “for the term of copyright,” though that is unenforceable unless these are works for hire (arguable, but unlikely). However, it is ok for Amazon to get an exclusive license for 35 years. So you can withdraw a story after 35 years.
Also, if you introduce a new character/plot element, Amazon claims an exclusive right to those too. So no free stories featuring those same characters/elements outside Amazon either (assuming they’re copyrightable, another thing about which one could argue in various ways) —unless they’re fair uses, of course.
I can give you at least one answer—the license agreement is exclusive. No publishing elsewhere, free or not, for users of Amazon Worlds. Along with all the other issues, this fits in with a particular strategy Amazon has for market dominance/getting rid of existing publishing structures. Presumably on advice of counsel, they don’t bar people from getting agents and leaving the program—but Amazon and Alloy will certainly be looking at sales data and seeing if they can identify promising writers before anyone else can.
These five questions strike me as just the right ones (not that I have answers):
Question 1: To what degree does Kindle Worlds suggest that the fanfiction can only be legitimized through the eradication of fan culture’s gift economy? Question 2: Fanfiction has significantly changed our media culture. Kindle Worlds isn’t just capitalizing on it, but arguably represents an attempt to shape it. Is this a feedback loop in action or an attempt to stop the catalyst that is fan work? Questions 3: The contractual terms of Kindle Worlds are the sort traditional professional writers would be strongly advised against signing on to. Is fannish work worth less? Should it be? Question 4: Fanfiction has, arguably, always been about the option to use use all the tools, particularly those often discouraged by corporate content production (e.g., sexuality), to tell story. If the toolbox is limited, whether a given writer would choose to use all the tools or not, is it fanfiction or is it some other form of derivative (vs. transformative) work? Question 5: How will fan readers view/treat fan writers who use a tool like Kindle Worlds? And how does that impact our communities, hierarchies, and barriers to entry?
Amazon is working with WB to publish (read: sell) fanfiction from the Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars and Vampire Diaries ‘verses. And they said that more “worlds” will be announced soon.
Basically, fanfic writers will be able to sell their fics - formatted for Kindle - via Amazon, and the …
I’m definitely not the first to note that (1) these are already corporate entities—created by work for hire agreements, with no human entitled to claim “authorship” or object to this; unlikely to be a model for works with “auteurs”; and (2) the content restrictions are likely, like other Amazon restrictions, to be enforced unevenly (“new adult” is so profitable, after all) and more heavily against certain kinks/pairings/sexualities. That isn’t to say that people should refuse to participate; commercialization makes me uneasy, but as long as there are also noncommercial spaces with greater freedom then it’s one choice among many.
The key thing is preserving that choice! (And holding Amazon accountable when it inevitably does engage in biased enforcement.) My real concern is preserving fair use. I don’t think this announcement changes the fair use environment in any significant way; the content restrictions show exactly why copyright owners don’t have the right to control markets for transformative uses, even when they’d prefer to monetize them. But it’s definitely a development that many will be watching. Alloy Entertainment in particular probably sees little downside in making sure that it gets paid for any potential 50 Shades of Grey arising from its properties.
Further proof that anyone who tells you that they know what entertainment markets will look like in 5 years is overly optimistic.
I also note that I’ve actually written in all 3 of these fandoms! Though I don’t think I have anything that would qualify for the program, and I wouldn’t use it if I did, being an open access sort of girl.
This article contains Spoilers! Do not read unless: a/ you want to, or b/ dislike value-judgements, or c/ have seen Star Trek Into Darkness. Let me get this out of the way: I love Star Trek. More p…
Intriguing discussion of prequels v. reboots along with a bunch of great lines, many spoilery, along with a reaction from Henry Jenkins that is interesting in its own right.My only hitch—and this is something I have done too many times myself, so I offer this mostly as a note to myself—was tripping over “‘the Captain’s Chair’ has been occupied by an American (Kirk); a European (Picard); an African-American (Sisko);”—because doesn’t it have to be “a white American (Kirk),” at a minimum?
Personal histories organized by names, dates of birth, credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers, bank account numbers, and social security numbers have a cyber immortality given the ease at which information can be transmitted and stored on databases. In response to the growth of efficient Digital Information Retrieval (D.I.R.) programs by which one’s personal history can be accessed without one’s knowledge or approval, Rykin Data has developed the methods in which a software-based application can source the total sum of one’s personal information archived on all databases and permanently purge this data, effectively granting the subject a clean slate within the digital world.
I always find it interesting when my work & fandom collide. Here, have a fake patent application from a Tumblr created to promote The Dark Knight Rises, which was involved in a trademark infringement lawsuit by a real company that makes a computer program known as “Clean Slate,” also the name of the program in DKR. They lost, but the court seemed to find it more amusing than unacceptable that they sued in the first place.
Also, does it really make sense to have a tumblr that will be static for most of its “lifetime”? What happened to good old websites?