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Fan fiction - stories and novels written by fans of existing characters, and shared mainly on the internet - has long been a nearly invisible form of outsider art, but over the past decade it has grown exponentially in volume and in legal importance.
Because of its nature, authorship, and underground status, fan fiction stands at an intersection of key issues regarding property, sexuality, and gender. This book examines the various types of fan-created content, most of which are to some extent derivative works, and asks whether and to what extent they can be protected as transformative uses.
Author Aaron Schwabach discusses disputes between authors and their fans over the latters' use of copyrighted characters, online publication of fiction resembling copyright work, and in the case of J.K. Rowling and a fansite webmaster, the compiling of a reference work detailing an author's fictional universe - a work that Rowling once praised and then succeeded, briefly, in suppressing.
Offering more thorough coverage of many such controversies than has ever been available elsewhere, and discussing fan works from the United States, Brazil, Russia, India, and China, Fan Fiction and Copyright advances the understanding of transformative use and points the way toward a "safe harbor" for fan fiction.