My Thanks to the Fanfic Hordes

My “do not write fanfic in my worlds” notice has created an angry backlash from fanfic writers. My response, first posted at Lee Goldberg’s blog, and making reference to fanfic writers who posted there, NOT here, follows:

Ten years ago, I was, if not wildly supportive of the idea of fanfic, at least tolerant of it. A few fans asked if they could write fanfic using my characters, I told them they could as long as they understood that they could not publish it and that I owned all rights to the characters, and that under no circumstances would I be willing to read what they’d written.

Times changed, associates started having to take legal action against people who were writing in their worlds without permission, and I asked my fans to please discontinue writing fanfiction in my worlds. Which they did.

There were some fanfic writers posting in these threads who said they would respect the wishes of authors who stated clearly that they didn’t want fanfic written around their characters or worlds.

So obviously there are still some decent people like my fans who are writing fanfic, and I feel badly about having to post a harsh notice informing all fanfic writers that under no circumstances will I condone any fanfic set in my worlds, and that any such writing that IS done will be treated as derivative work and prosecuted.

Looking at the quality of people posting here, however — people who are actively hostile toward the creators of the original work, who hold the rights of the original creators in complete disregard, and who state that they don’t care whether the original creators want them writing in their worlds or not — that they intend to do what they want until someone forces them to stop — I’m confident that the posting of my notice is necessary.

As for taking heat from the people who have chosen to use my statements as an opportunity to vilify me — ah, well. They’ve also done a pretty good job of disseminating my wishes across a number of sites and boards, thus decreasing the chances that someone writing fanfic in one of my worlds could claim ignorance of my clearly worded hands-off post.

So, to all of you who have been spreading the word for me, my deepest thanks.

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