Information about a certain science fiction franchise that was going after fans for fan fiction and fan videos struck a cord with me.
As a poet and author of original concepts, characters, and works, I am concerned about overreaching fandom and even outright theft. As a fan of many speculative fiction, fantasy, and horror franchises, I must also weigh the good with the bad. What is and is not considered fandom?
Fandom that is good natured is not out to get corporate profits; it is out to make the franchise eternal. That is what corporations forget in their bid to take over the intellectual property rights of the entire world. The copyright laws here in the United States have been changed, changed, and changed again to accommodate the rights of large companies. In this manner, corporate greed instead of being a positive member of society has erased any type of creativity.
Many franchises would be dead or non-rebootable if it were not for the fandom. Then where would corporate profits be? Corporations are cutting off their nose despite their face.
Fandom must also realize that if corporations are so hell bent on locking down all creative ventures then why are we supporting that type of dishonesty?
Fandom needs to realize that independent authors and creators offer another avenue for creativity: actual originality. It may not be the old standbys: Star Trek, Star Wars, or whatever is en vogue at the time, but at least the smaller independents will appreciate fandom that is supportive.
As fans and creators, we must support one another financially as well as emotionally. We must also start a movement to change copyright laws to include everyone, not just corporate monopolies and profits. If we don't, what will be left in a few decades for us to create when all public domain is locked away?
I think the key is to stop patronizing with money and fandom those franchises that treat their fans like criminals.
Fandom may not be perfect, but we are not out to "thieve" anything if it is in the spirit of cooperation that is mutually beneficial to the life of a franchise.