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Hey guys--

I'm writing a paper for one of my media classes looking at the various ideas/forms of ownership in media characters/plots and looking closely at ideas of ownership within fandom as part of it.

So, I just have a few questions I would really appreciate people giving me their thoughts on (with the right to quote you--anonymously/by handle not name) in my paper. If you could help me out, I'd greatly appreciate it

Please only answer these if you actively participate in fandom in some way--I don't want to start a "fanfiction is bad omg" war. You don't need to be a writer, but at least read fanfic and enjoy it. If you only have answers for one or two of the questions, that's cool, too--you don't have to answer all of them to participate!

Questions:

1) Why is taking characters/plots from writers/TV shows/movies/etc and writing fanfiction okay, to you? Beyond the disclaimers of "don't own these characters" is there a moral sense that it's okay, because you aren't hurting the owners of characters, or is there something else? Some deeper reason you feel this is a valid practice?

2) Are disclaimers such as "don't own anything, all owned by X" necessary? Appropriate? Why/why not?

3) Is it okay to take someone's fanfic that you loved, and write your own set within the world they created (i.e. someone taking my Post-apocalypse Heroes fic and continuing it (does Peter forgive Adam? Do Mohinder and Sylar work things out? Is Angela pissed Adam had Arthur killed?) or writing something spin-offy from it--what does the time traveler do once he's banished from Hawaii?)? Why? Why not?

4) For RPers: Is it appropriate/okay to RP someone else's OC somewhere they don't play them? Why? Why not? When does it become okay (i.e. when someone publishes them)? For instance--would it be okay if someone else RPed Melissa or Keelia somewhere I don't?

5) If you do not think #3 is okay--how is it different than #1? Why is it okay to write with professional author's characters and plots, but not other fanfic writers?

6) Same question for #4--why is it okay to RP/write fanfic about someone else's OC in a published work, but not a character created for RP or written in fic?

Thank you so so much!
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Adam Monroe

February 2014

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