I decided to watch an often-forgotten 90’s police procedural because at one time, it had a massive, offbeat legion of slash fans. Here are my thoughts on the first five episodes.
Welcome to Unnecessary Reboots, a series in which I write a plot synopsis for a 2020 reboot of a film that doesn’t need one, because I’m a bad person.
Rebooting You’ve Got Mail, a quintessentially 1998 film, may seem insane, until you consider that it’s actually based on a Hungarian play from 1937, and also, that there’s no such thing as sanity or common decency here.
The latest fanfiction community scandal seemed to start with an app called Pocket Archive Library. Twitter and Tumblr users started sharing screenshots of the app a few weeks ago, claiming that it illegally copied fanfiction from AO3, and that it was tricking users into paying for fanfiction. It was later clarified that the app is simply a skin for the AO3 website–it doesn’t “steal” fanfiction per se, it’s just a very specialized browser for the site. but Pocket Archive Library does show ads, and ask users to tip the app maker or to subscribe to pro features, with the money going back to the app maker. There’s also a group called Woodsign j.d.o.o. that has produced a slew of fandom-specific fanfiction apps, that do seem to be copying and redistributing fanfiction from Archive of Our Own, and charge for access to these works.
The primary concern with these apps is copyright. Aside from the ethically-dubious act of monetizing something that’s actually available for free, fanwork creators don’t want their work being distributed without their permission, or for others to make money off of something they made. While a number of users on social media have made various legal claims, some of them less than accurate, the concern boils down to the fact that fans believe they own their fanfiction in some way. It’s not necessarily a controversial idea, or a new one, but it is one that has evolved over time, and isn’t black and white. So let’s talk about fanfiction and copyright.
8tracks is set to suspend its services permanently by the end of the day.. Neither the end-all nor the be-all of music streaming services, many people likely never used it, and I wonder how much it will actually be missed. But it was my favorite music streaming platform.
In an interesting development: I’ll be lecturing about the history of fanfiction at Leakycon Dallas! You can see the schedule for the whole convention here. I’ll be presenting at 10:15 AM on Saturday, August 10th. It’ll be fun, I promise–we’ll cover arguments people had in 1978 that changed how we organized fanfiction for decades, how the VHS tape helped fandom explode and anime reach America, and we will talk All. About. Zines.
I hope I see you there! And if you’re not already, follow me on Twitter so you can keep up with my con prep and what I get up to at the convention!