Okay, I really need to go to bed; blogging will still be here after the sun rises.
Responding to the recent blowup about warnings on fanfic, fox1013 wrote
Before I read a book, I will read the flap copy, the one-sentence Library of Congress summary, the LoC list of subject headings, and at least two or three reviews. I won't go to a movie without having read a detailed synopsis, and with a few exceptions (such as my attempt to see if I could deal with Survivor sans spoilers- as it turned out, it mostly made me angry when I didn't have the time to prepare myself for my favorites leaving), I know as much as I can about a TV episode before starting it. It takes effort to seek it out, but if you know where to look, it's easy and possible with nearly everything. I can't think of an example that won't spoil something for someone, but I do recommend poking around the LoC website and checking out titles of books you know. If you don't have access to review journals through your school, Amazon has excerpts from critical reviews for pretty much all the books they sell, and the IMDB keeps track of movie critics' responses. Both of these sites also have user reviews, where people will frequently mention if something is particularly problematic. When all else fails, I have heard good things about the Google machine.
The expectation for warnings isn't specially for fic because fic is held to different standards. It's specifically for fic because there isn't anywhere that one can, reliably, go to check this out.
Maybe what we need is a fannish equivalent of the Library of Congress- not a place to host fic, but one to keep track of warnings and subjects, so that people who don't want it don't need to be bothered but those who do can have a central location to check with.
Or maybe what we just need is a more universal understanding that triggers are not the same thing as squicks, and the difference between "ew" and "this will have me breaking down completely until I drug myself up and then collapse" is a big fucking difference, and if you don't get that maybe you should read imp's post (warning: very explicit discussion of sexual assault and the nature, anatomy, cause & effect of triggers. is itself triggery.) a few times until it clicks. You know, either way.
The bolding is my addition, highlighting the two really important ideas articulated here.
***[Harvard Summer School] Intellectual Property, Class #1
Intellectual Property does not protect the idea
, but simply the form
it's expressed in.
I got all squeeful at every mention of "incentives." Clearly I have been at my place of employ too long ;P
But yeah, it's a challenge. My instinct is to say that people should be able to distribute information regardless of basically anything (insert caveat about respecting the safety of other persons, and an attentiveness to requests for confidentiality), but then of course I remember that if publishers/distributors don't make enough money then they're not going to be able to pay producers and thus people will choose to expend their energies on creating things they will get more benefit from. [And yes I know that benefit is not always monetary -- feedback is a major currency of fic and vid  and fanart! ... sorry /sin of omission [/edit]
segments of fandom, for example -- and I'm not saying unregulated free market is necessarily the way to go.]
At one point, a woman across the room said: So if someone can take your idea from an essay you wrote, and improve on it, because you don't own the idea just the essay, what about taking a story that someone wrote, "improving" it, changing some of the events that happen, maybe adjusting it for an adult audience, adding violence and sex?
Cate and I looked at each other, since I had responding to things the prof said with under-my-breath comments about how that would play into debates about fanworks. (With copyright being so much about "original authorship," I understand better the OTW's emphasis on defining fanworks as "transformative works.")
The prof's reply to this was: Come back on Wednesday.
I.1.8 "The Congress shall have Power ... To promote the progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."
This covers copyright and patent. Trivia: only section of the Constitution to explain why
Feist v. Rural Telephone (1992)
- degree of originality (the bar is low, but there is a bar)
- rejects "sweat of the brow" doctrine (how hard you worked creating something doesn't factor into copyright at all)
What are the implications for database owners?
Crediting the people you got your ideas from is important in academia, but copyright law doesn't care (remember, you can't copyright an idea).
Section 106 of the Copyright Act says "the owner of copyright has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize ... (2) to prepare derivative works based up on the copyrighted work."
Deriviate work = for example, adaptation of a work for another medium (like a screenplay of a novel), translation.
The prof mentioned Coming Through the Rye
(which I had already heard about ... because it was connected to Sonia Sotamayor, believe it or not
). I said to Cate, "We already did this with The Wind Done Gone
." Indeed, the prof then went on to mention The Wind Done Gone
, and he said that the author won by persuading the court that her work fell under "parody." I haven't read the book, but that's not how I would describe that book.
Class got out about 20 minutes early (3 hours is a long time -- apparently the shift to a common calendar crunches Summer School since the fall starts earlier than usual, so instead of 7 weeks of 2.5hr classes, it's 6 weeks of 3hr classes) and I waited with her until the 9:35pm #69 came. And then a Red Line to Alewife was approaching as I headed down to the Red Line, and I boarded with Esther and Galen and took the #96 back so as to keep talking. Because Esther and I know each other through mutual friends rather than through fandom per se, we tend to forget that the other is also involved in fandom :)
Facebook has (multiple times, I believe) recommended to me my Aunt Marian and my Uncle Miles. Tonight it recommended to me Beth from MML. That was kind of eerie. I actually like Beth a lot and would love to stay in touch -- but I am currently still harboring some bitterness and wariness toward MML as a whole.
***( joy sadhanaCollapse )