Is Fanfiction a Legitimate Genre?

Fiction Genres

Fiction Genres (Photo credit: Enokson)



Just encountered this article this afternoon.

You can guess my thoughts.  However, do you think it is different if the work is in the public domain vs it being still under copyright?  I’d love to have your opinions.

Is Fanfiction a Legitimate Genre?

June 19, 2012

By Edward Nawotka, Editor-in-Chief

Fifty Shades of Grey started off as Twilight fanfiction, using the characters of Edward and Bella as a template and then added sex. Now that the books have sold over 12 million copies through their “legitimate” publisher, Vintage Books, the genre is getting some serious commercial credibility. But is fanfiction a legitimate genre? Copyright infringement? Or something altogether unique?

Hit up and you’ll find thousands of books, stories, and other forms of homage based on popular works of literature, film, etc…Fans are passionate and popular characters have inspired them to produce original storylines … that their original creators never envisioned (or quite possibly considered and rejected).

…The real question might be rather than “is fanfiction a legitimate genre” — when is so-called legitimate fiction actually a variation fanfiction?

One thing that’s certain: it’s impossible to ignore something so very popular. And if it inspires people to read and write more, then all the better.

via Is Fanfiction a Legitimate Genre? | Publishing Perspectives.


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    • Sophia Rose on July 25, 2012 at 7:01 pm
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    That’s an interesting question. My opinion (and its just that, my opinion) is that if the book, TV show or movie script is still under copyright, then the idea of the story and the characters belongs to the person who copyrighted it. The fan fiction writer must be careful about permission and infringement for stealing when they set out to publish his/her work.

    Thanks for posting the interesting discussion question!

    1. I think you have a very good point. There are a number of authors who simply do not permit fan fiction because they don’t want people messing with their ‘babies’. I can really understand and appreciate that. Some do permit it as long as it is not sold or otherwise used to make money. For works under copyright, I think it is wrong if fan fiction authors try to make money off of the author’s creation. For works in the public domain I think it is a little different.

      Thanks Sophia!

  1. I think fanfiction writers create something new by building on existing work, but the credit always goes back to the creators, as it should. Fanfiction should only be used for recreational writing, never for professional writing in my opinion.

    1. Thanks for the comment!

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