Novelist Lorraine Bartlett writes on her blog about her early experiences in fanfic.
I’ve never been ashamed of my writing roots. I started out writing
classic Star Trek stories when I was a teenager. These days fanfic has
a seedy reputation and, sad to say, rightly so. […] Back in my day, distribution of these stories was small. A big
print run was 200 copies. Now millions of people worldwide can peek at
badly written fan stories from franchises that are still hot. I can’t
say I blame the writers/producers for objecting.
It was while she was a fanficcer that she discovered what it feels like to have your work stolen though, ironically, her work was also copyright infringement.
A "fannish" person removed the names of the authors
from the stories in one of my zines (and my story as well) and sold
hundreds, possibly a thousand copies of that fanzine at professionally
run SF/Fantasy conferences.
That was my first taste of what copyright infringement feels like.
I complained to the conference organizers, but since our stories were
quite blatantly copyright infringement themselves, we didn’t have a leg
to stand on. Still, I hated the fact my work was stolen.