What is the Link Between Trekkies and Pedophilia?

The LA Times reported on the ground-breaking efforts by Toronto police to track Internet kiddie porn, arrest the pedophiles and rescue the children being victimized. There was a startling fact buried in the article:  All but one of the hundreds of sex offenders they’ve arrested in the last four years has been a die-hard Trekkie.

Det.
Constable Warren Bulmer slips on a Klingon sash and shield they confiscated in a
recent raid. "It has something to do with a fantasy world where mutants and
monsters have power and where the usual rules don’t apply," Bulmer reflects.
"But beyond that, I can’t really explain it."

91 thoughts on “What is the Link Between Trekkies and Pedophilia?”

    • Heck no it isn’t. Anime fans who ‘re into Bleach, Naruto, and Akira are being looked at Pedos too now……..All Sci Fi Fans are lumped together. Just as all Comic Geeks and. Anime Fans are. Too.

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  1. About a year ago I had the misfortune of being booked at a hotel where one of those fan conventions aka “CONS” was occuring. This news tidbit doesn’t surpise me at all.

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    • The Hotel Industry and local eateries makes a lot of money off “Those Cons” San Diego was literally saved from the Ugliness of the Recession by. Comic Con International……. Capitalism is with us Geeks and all money spends the same. I think Harvard Business School might teach that!

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  2. Umm I work with one of those people and truer words have never been spoken.
    I was offered a job, a promotion, to work with this person and I turned it down telling management I didn’t feel safe in a room alone with this person.
    Not only is the person a Trekkie fan, they are unmarried, never been married, never going to get married.
    Oh and they take their Trekkie dolls with them on business trips.
    BUT, the conventions are a lot of fun. I’m not a Trekkie fanatic, but I did go to a Sci Fi convention for the writing seminars, and the people watching is a blast. Good dance music too.
    M

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  3. My first impression is, for lack of a better description:
    GAAAH!
    But then I wonder, is it JUST Trekkies, or sci-fi in general? If the reason behind it is some kind of escapism-run-rampant, would pedophiles also have a tendency to be fantasy buffs?
    Interesting…

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    • I wrote a WW II Fan fiction with Naruto as a Japanese American Nisei Sergeant in the 442nd from Central Cal violently killing Warren SS Men in the Vosges Mountains of France… As a way to teach kids the unpleasant history of the Japanese American Internment, Racism, and Injustices of WW II……..So I don’t think We’re all Pedo’s………..

      Next you’ll say John Steinbeck, William Sarroyan, and Mark Twain’s description of sex should get their novels classified as Pedophilia.

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  4. You’re not the first to mention the corollary, Mr. Montgomery. A month ago a group of parents tried hard to understand the fanfiction phenomenon. They took a lot of abuse from ficcers. A number of trolls had no issues with making posts that nobody had a right to post. The result is that the parents took what they learned very seriously. A original blog is gone, but some of it has been carried on here:
    shakingheads.blogspot.com
    Enjoy the essay, it’s written by a mom who is or was, at least, very involved in fanfiction. Below it is a song that caused quite a stir. I’m hoping the Shaking Heads will put up the other two they wrote, but maybe not. I think the plan is that occasional essays will go up, but they are safest working in anonymity.

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  5. Pedophilia and fanfiction in general? Hardly. Around half, if not the majority of fanfiction is written by children.
    Pedophilia and fanfiction concerning pedophilia? I wouldn’t doubt it. I don’t like THAT stuff any more than you do and applaud authors like JK Rowling who go after it.
    Like I’ve said, the fringe element of ANY group of people, whether it’s lunatic sports fans or sci-fi fans or environmentalists or abortion opponents, doesn’t merit condemning the entire group.
    Plenty of original fiction involves pedophilia too, and it’s just as creepy and just as likely to be connected to the real thing.

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  6. Hardly fringe and JKR doesn’t go after it. Half of it is written by children? That’s the concern of the essayist, that this stuff is magnets for children and for pedophiles alike. Prime hunting grounds, so to speak and it flies under the radar.
    Pedophilia and fanfiction concerning pedophilia? I wouldn’t doubt it.
    You’re one of the very few fanfiction person I’ve talked to about this, and I’ve talked to many, who admit this connection. Yet, a google of ‘chanslash’ reveals there’s plenty of it – that’s only the correctly labeled stuff. One of the moms over on the Shaking Heads blog said to google ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘child pornography’ together. I about fell over, but I suppose it’s inevitable that other people will make the connection. That porn purveyors have seen the obvious connection between ‘de kids and de nasty fic’ shouldn’t surprise. NAMBLA mentions Harry Potter as a lead article on its front page. What’s surprising is the apparent disinterest, tolerance, ignorance of the subject among fanfiction people.
    Chronicles of Narnia is a cool one to check out, also, Jocelyn, if you have the stomach for it.

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  7. Pardon me, I wasn’t clear: the majority of OVERALL fanfiction, in all fandoms ranging from anime to Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings etc, is probably the under-18 crowd. Depends on the fandom.
    The majority of the freaky chanslash, graphic incest/pornfics, and all the other really nasty stuff is most definitely written by adults, though what age group/decade of adulthood they fall in, I don’t know. (And have no real desire to do the kind of investigation it would take to find out–shudder!)
    I’m not afraid to admit there is serious nastiness in the fanfic world, just as there is in the Internet at large.
    That’s the concern of the essayist, that this stuff is magnets for children and for pedophiles alike. Prime hunting grounds, so to speak and it flies under the radar.
    That would be true, except for one apparent saving grace. I have read a few of the reports (though not the Shaking Heads one–got a link?) about Harry Potter fandom and pedophilia, and while there’s no doubt that pedophiles do lurk in the fandom, they don’t appear to be (for the most part) the same TYPE of pedophiles who lure kids into running away and so forth.
    No, that didn’t make sense to me either at first, I assure you. This is just what I’ve read: apparently, the sickos who WRITE and READ pedophile fanfic are not the same sickos who patronize the chatrooms. They get their…fix?…from the fanfic and the virtual porn. This is either because children (for the most part) don’t wind up on the sick-fic websites and therefor aren’t there to be preyed on (and for some inexplicable reason, this crowd of nuts doesn’t pursue them on other non-porn Harry Potter sites) or because they do their preying somewhere else.
    Generally, the “hunter” Internet pedophiles frequent the same places they always have–the teen chat rooms and so forth. Perhaps it’s because there is a lot more monitoring of Harry Potter sites with chat rooms due to the danger people have recognized, I dunno.
    I know, it seems weird to me too. But there you have it.
    Chronicles of Narnia is a cool one to check out, also, Jocelyn, if you have the stomach for it.
    Is this another Shaking Heads essay or another report? I’m not following.

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  8. The majority of the freaky chanslash, graphic incest/pornfics, and all the other really nasty stuff is most definitely written by adults, though what age group/decade of adulthood they fall in, I don’t know. (And have no real desire to do the kind of investigation it would take to find out–shudder!)
    Quite different from what the ficcers conversing with the Fanfic Savvy Parents were trying to state. They insisted that kids wrote that stuff. Kids who were exploring their sexuality and not adults (what’s it matter what decade they are in?) Kids writing that stuff is disturbing on a different level and I agree, the majority is written by adults.
    The link to the current Shaking Heads blog is in the above post. Some of the last threads of the Fanfic Savvy blog are still available on Fandom Wank. The wankers had no issues with hosting those comments on their personal sites, and without seeking permission first to do so. (No surprises there). Unfortunately, those threads don’t hold the meat of the discussion. The real gold was in the earlier threads and the real nastiness in the firestorm of posts that precipitated deletion of all those opening threads. Those posts were a real piece of work.
    If I’m reading you right, you agree there are pedophiles in fanfiction, but don’t think they are the same kind of pedophile who lure kids away in chatroom? You consider them benign pedophiles. A higher order than the malignant pedophile? And children don’t wind up on the sick web-sites because…why…exactly? Because they are so well protected, like all those LJ communities that are locked down and all the private blogs where people don’t mind proudly displaying their credentials along with their underage sex fics?
    That’s a relief. For a minute there I thought the stuff was as easy to find as it was for me and others to find. It’s a relief to know that you really have to dig, like click an early link on google, to get to it.
    If you’re truly ignorant of these issues, Jocelyn, perhaps it’s time you learn. If you’re playing at ignorance, your reasons for doing so likely support the premise.

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  9. If I’m reading you right, you agree there are pedophiles in fanfiction, but don’t think they are the same kind of pedophile who lure kids away in chatroom? You consider them benign pedophiles.
    GAWD, no! There’s no such thing! I think people who write stories glorifying pedophilia ought to be subjected to some suitably-gruesome-and-probably-unconstitutional-but-I-honestly-don’t-effing-care punishment that the chat room pedophiles are.
    I’m just saying that for some as-yet-unknown reason, the pedophile Internet writers (fanfiction OR original fiction) do not appear to be the same group of weirdos as the pedophile chatroom hunters.
    Like I said, I don’t quite understand it myself, this is just what I’ve learned. We spend a lot of time on pornography issues in my constitutional law classes, (and each time I confuse the hell out of everyone by going from liberal to hang-’em-all conservative in eleven seconds after the subject of child porn comes up.)
    And children don’t wind up on the sick web-sites because…why…exactly?
    I never said they don’t. I’ve no doubt some do. I’d love nothing more than to see the sickos kicked off the Internet–not to mention out of the human race.
    My point was that there are different kinds of sickos lurking about the web, and banning fanfiction won’t stop Internet child pornography or Internet predators.
    Hell, it wouldn’t even slow it down! Fanfic sites are relatively new to the Internet–the pornos and the predators were already entrenched on the Internet before half the cyberspace users even knew what fanfic was!
    I wish I had answers on how to stop them. I don’t.

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  10. Well, I’m going to leave fanfic out of this, but according to some of John Douglas profiling books, people who sexually assault children or the elderly are generally incapable of dealing sexually with those of their own age group. They usually have low self-esteem, and poor social skills.
    Having started from there, I’m going to take a wild-ass guess and say that fandom fills some needs that people with low self-esteem have. Not only does it provide an idealized fantasy world where you get to be the hero, but it provides a social context for dealing with other people – a sort of support group for geeks (I don’t mean that to be disparaging – I’m a geek myself).
    On the other hand, while many pedophiles are hardcore fans, I wouldn’t go so far as to say the reverse is true.

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  11. On the other hand, while many pedophiles are hardcore fans, I wouldn’t go so far as to say the reverse is true.
    I’d agree with you, Graham. In fact, I’d agree with the rest of your post. Fellow Geek here also. The problem in the world of fandom is the tolerance or perceived tolerance for the seamy underbelly. Any group that fails to moderate itself, leaves itself open for outside moderation, especially if the product pimped is perceived as harmful to others.
    That aside. Jocelyn — somewhere in these threads somebody mentioned that fanfiction between friends in private forums isn’t the issue. It’s the wholesale disregard for the rights of the original artist that are the concern. Frankly, it’s hard enough for an artist of any type to make any money at their craft. Most of their time is spent in a vacuum, working alone without accolades. Isn’t it the ultimate insult, if the artist does publish a work to make the presumption that work belongs to the world for them now to do with as they please? You can say that an author has to reach a certain level of fame for the wholesale thievery to occur and you’re likely correct. The presumption then, is that the artist has the wherewithal to find legal remedies for the problems. Given that scenario, the question is begged: Why should an artist be in position to have to find those legal remedies? Why should those who claim to like the work so much and to be fellow artists themselves have so little disregard for the artist’s right to control his/her own work?
    Anne Rice is the poster child for fanfiction writers for ‘mean person who won’t let us play in the sandbox.’ Whatever I or anybody else thinks about her or her work, she is an author who has chosen to protect her characters and her works with a fierceness many find admirable. Whatever goofy things she says otherwise is outside the scope. Yet, her stance has earned the undying enmity of the fanfiction world.
    Whatever.
    Sometime I’ll dig out the link, but a petition circulated in literary circles a while back concerning proposed legislation to move work into the public domain if it appeared enough places without credit to the original artist. I think that’s what the premise was. The petition was to protest the legislation and struck fear in the heart of artists who, given the global and instantaneous nature of the internet could not possibly know where or how their work was being copied, exploited or uncredited.

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  12. I once read that the strongest correlations for sexual abuse of children is, first, drug and alcohol abuse, and second, membership in a ‘traditional’ church which emphasizes obedience to the father. Anyone know if this is true?
    In any case, I know almost nothing about fan fiction, having never actually read any, but perhaps the Canadians caught all these Trekkie pedophiles because the method by which the they tracked the pedophiles online somehow centered around some specific message board or email list or whatever to which Trekkies are drawn?

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  13. I should emphasize that my post above is one-third other people’s facts, one-third informed opinion, and one-third talking straight out of my, er, hat.
    OTOH, I suspect that David Montgomery was talking 100% out of his hat. I believe that his statement is legal under the “parody” exception of fair use laws.

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  14. Graham:
    Having started from there, I’m going to take a wild-ass guess and say that fandom fills some needs that people with low self-esteem have.
    Good point. I wonder if maybe that is the case, since I did think the statistics about where the various types of pedophiles did their thing were strange.
    Claire:
    The problem in the world of fandom is the tolerance or perceived tolerance for the seamy underbelly. Any group that fails to moderate itself, leaves itself open for outside moderation, especially if the product pimped is perceived as harmful to others.
    But is there a RESPONSIBILITY in every group to control the fringe element? By that notion, would you say that novelists are responsible for controlling the porn novelists?
    I would like to see that link about the legislation–and for the record, I think such legislation would be silly and pretty much defeat the purpose of copyright.
    My position (whether or not it’s correct and whether or not you agree with it) is that fanfiction is acceptable because it does not prevent authors from exercising their rights under copyright law. To move a work into public domain based entirely on the level of popularity would.

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  15. I would like to see that link about the legislation–and for the record, I think such legislation would be silly and pretty much defeat the purpose of copyright.
    Start with this Jocelyn:
    http://www.illustratorspartnership.org/00_home/newsFeedArchive/newsItem.php?newsID=05022840406
    After that, just google ‘orphan works’ and ‘free culture’. Unfortunately, plenty of lawyers are hopping on the bandwagon to separate artists from their copyrights. Before you’re so quick to take over somebody else’s work as your own, stamp it ‘derivative’ and go your merry way, please take the time to consider the sweat, toil and creativity of the original artist.
    Your insistence that rampant sexualization of children’s literature is ‘fringe’ is ingenuous at best. Many of those fringe types have lots of pretty credentials to go with their squick. Please knock if off. If you’re going to be a lawyer, act like somebody deserving of the designation.

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  16. Is this another Shaking Heads essay or another report? I’m not following
    Did we or did we not see you at the Fanfic Savvy Blog, Jocelyn? Why feign lack of knowledge?
    Claire: I think we’ve met. My wife remembers you, anyway. Interesting last link you provided there. I’m looking forward to any comments on it. A few of my friends pointed me to that controversy a while ago. The concept boggled my mind. Made no sense. Since the Fanfic Savvys hit the scene, it fell into place. Wonder if that ‘Free Culture’ thing has anything to do with the ‘Post-Literate World’ thing?

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  17. by “trekkies” do you mean fans of the original series, the animated series, the kirk-era movies, TNG the tv series, the TNG movies, DS9, voyager or enterprise?

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  18. also, am i alone in finding it creepy that the cop actually slips on the klingon sash and shield during the interview? what if the cops who got ed gein indulged in such behavior?
    just saying.

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  19. No, Lincoln, you did not see me at the Fanfic Savvy blog.
    At least I don’t think you did. I’m a regular at Fandom_Wank, GAFF, PPC, and pop into Lee’s blog from time to time to see what he’s up to, but I don’t recall Fanfic Savvy. You’ve probably got the wrong Jocelyn, so I’m not feigning knowledge.

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  20. Ah. Light dawns. I was confused also. That blog was lousy with lawyers, looked like a convention.
    Lincoln, we have met and I remember your wife. Lovely lady. We dodged one of the sessions and snagged some coffee. There was somebody on the Fanfic Savvy blog who announced they were a third-year law student who sounded a lot like Jocelyn. There was a JD from Yale. A couple of others with terminal degrees. That might explain the confusion. The Savvys had some interesting email from people with interesting credentials, I think. You might know better.
    May I send you some information associated with the above link? Feel free to send it along. Are the Shaking Heads really going to keep their songs to themselves? They were priceless.

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  21. Send away, Claire. This email is fine so far. Couldn’t hear ourselves think for the sound of emails crashing when the blogs went sour.
    Re: the Heads. I dunno. You’re not the first to make the request, I don’t think. Everybody is reading these threads with great interest, so maybe they’ll cave. There’s talk of starting a community on LJ, or elsewhere, bringing together the divergent elements that met as a result of the FF Savvy blog.
    Yeah, ‘interesting’ would be one way to put some of those emails. That whole thing was like riding a roller coaster without the safety bar.
    PPC? Protectors of the Plot Continuum? Never been there, somebody just passed me the acronym. Found some interesting things on GAFF. I’ll hold my opinion to myself but will tug this thread back to its original post and go on record regarding the pedophilic Trekkies and say…nothing about fandom surprises me.

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  22. Nope. That’s why we haven’t messed with it yet. Some of the others are better versed, though. Been to GAFF. Interesting place. Regarding the Pedophilic Trekkies (there should be a wikipedia reference for that) everything still surprises me.

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  23. (Patpat) There, there, Chuck, it’s actually because I’m trying to do my reading for class tomorrow, read “Lost” recaps, and argue with you lot at the same time. πŸ˜‰ I haven’t had a chance to follow the link.
    GAFF is an interesting place, a good collective effort to engage in the kind of self-policing that Claire advocates. I post “Harry Potter Horror Night” under the “New Releases” thread every now and then, and we’ve succeeded in flaming quite a few of the serious perverts off the web.

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  24. We’ve succeeded in reporting some of the serious perverts. Are you always this insufferable? Or is it because you like me so much?

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  25. I’m operating on the ‘doesn’t know how to answer the link’ theory. I could be wrong, however, I often am. She’s not the 3rd year law student from the FFsavvy blog. So many JD’s from Yale. Maybe they’re all in the same sorority?
    Back to work. Chuck, stop baiting her.

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  26. Everytime I turn around, I seem to have acquired another doppleganger. I’m neither a JD, nor at Yale. (And Yale Law doesn’t have sororities.)
    Insufferable, Chuck? Why? Claire suggested in an earlier post that its fanwriters’ responsibility to stamp out pedophilia on their own.

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  27. Claire? She has something to do with the exchange between you and me? Nope, you’re not the JD from Yale. Lincoln’s referring to somebody else and I’m going to take his advice and stop baiting you. Been a long week. As is obvious, neither he nor I went to Yale and we know nothing from sororities. We have all the wrong body parts.
    A pleasure to meet you, ma’am, even if this is the first time.

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  28. Lincoln, Chuck, you both owe me five bucks. Twice. I’ll set up a pay pal account. I’m buying an iPod.
    Regarding the above link. I won’t hold my breath. If they haven’t seen it before they just aren’t trying. That Tushnet thing is getting major airtime all over the place in the last day. Is it her birthday? Sorry for taking up so much space Mr. Goldberg. The link is real. I’m sure you’ve seen it already. Thanks for the article on the Trekkies. I wish I could say I was gobsmacked about it, but I’m not. Bill Gates went up a notch in our estimation.

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  29. That Tushnet thing is getting major airtime all over the place in the last day. Is it her birthday?
    (Laugh) No, she’s just one of the first legal scholars to deal with fanfiction. There still isn’t a lot of major legal analysis of the subject, and if there are “experts” in the legal field on it, she’s it.
    A couple new legal articles have just come out, I heard, but I haven’t found them in linkable form yet.

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  30. Methinks you are baiting me again, though it took a couple minutes of mulling over “what the hell do personality disorders have to do with this” to realize that.

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  31. Okay, Claire, Nazi…or Uncle, or whatever that rule is that we were supposed to know. Agreed on the Trekkie article. It’s already passed on.

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  32. Can we just keep it perfectly clear, for the record, that the pedophile trekkies arrested are not women, and are not the ones writing slash and chan?

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  33. Of course, one thing to take into account is that an awful lot of people are trekkies of one degree or another.
    Oh, yes. Graham said this:
    …fandom fills some needs that people with low self-esteem have. Not only does it provide an idealized fantasy world where you get to be the hero, but it provides a social context for dealing with other people – a sort of support group for geeks (I don’t mean that to be disparaging – I’m a geek myself).
    Yes. It’s true. When you meet people via fandoms, you know you have at least one thing in common – love of whatever the fandom is. When you meet them via fanfiction, it’s two things – the fandom, and writing. When you meet them via the PPC, or other such groups, you can add being generally insane in a fun way to that list. It also gives you — us, rather — an opportunity to be part of a truly global community, which is rare offline. (Yes, I wrote that article). True, we could do the same without involving fanfiction – but I wouldn’t have been an active member of the fandom without it. I’ve made a lot of good friends from the stuff.
    But yes, I, personally, have very little self-esteem. Fandom, and especially fanfiction, gives me a chance to do what I’m good at with a high chance of appreciation… even if sometimes I don’t deserve it. The link is to my longest fanfic, and one of my first. It involves Legolas. And pancakes. For fifty chapters. It shows how weird fanfic can be without even a hint of slash. But, it was fun to write, until the last few chapters, and it did get a /lot/ of praise, which helped, considering how screwed up I was then.
    [Shrugs] We shall see how it all turns out. Oh, and Art — not all that sort of thing is written by women. I wish it weren’t written at all, but it is, and I’m sure some of it is by men.

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  34. Hey, I am one of those “chatters” and “ficcers” as you so call us. I have written this “dirty” fanfic, but I do keep mine amongst the concenting adults. I do not write children into any of my stories, save maybe a couple of teenagers and they have no real purpose except to take up space. However, I have friends who write the Harry Potter stories that involve children. Of the 6 people I know, only one is over 18, and that one is 18 exactly. Most of these stories are harmless, but stories written for a fic-list challenge that says something like “Incorporate Harry, Snape, and the Nimbus 2000” then depending on how “dirty” their mind are, the stories can get rather risque. Sometimes kids just write stuff to be dirty, or funny, or on a dare. I know I did my share of X-Files and JAG fic when I was younger. I have yet to meet anyone who would be considered a pedophile in my online experience. I have met some far out fans, but everyone, even the ones who seem completely crazy, have their limits. Some limits are further than mine, some less. To sum this up, I think that you should not make assumptions on an entire group based on the actions of a few.

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  35. I’ve rarely read such a collection of ill-informed twaddle about fans, fandom or fanfiction than that produced by Jocelyn, Chuck and, most especially, Claire.

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  36. I’m not sure if I’m understanding at all how you’re all connecting fan fiction with pedophilia. Granted, there are some fandoms where the characters people are writing about — sometimes in sexual situations, sometimes not — are underage. For the most part, however, I think you’ll find that people aren’t writing NC-17 fiction about “Malcolm in the Middle.” They’re ficcing Enterprise, Due South, Stargate… shows where the characters are adults. Fan fiction is no more a corrupting influence than any form of literature, and it spans the same genres you’ll see in a visit to your local bookstore. There are adventure stories, scifi stories, dramas and romances, and yes, a lot of them have sex in them. We as a species are kind of hung up on the subject, so it only makes sense. We don’t blame MGM and Blockbuster for the existence of child video porn, so how can “fan fiction” as a concept be blamed for the existence of sexual fic with underage characters?
    Pedophiles are pedophiles whether they like Star Trek or not.

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  37. I feel the need to comment, as I am fanfic reader, occasional writer and general fandom-lover. I have been a Trekkie since the age of 10 (and proud of it) and have since gotten into the fandoms of Star Wars, Buffy and Harry Potter, as well as a few anime fandoms. I have been reading fanfic since I was eleven, but I have to say, due to my parents’ thoughtful yet protective control over my internet usage, as well as their common-sense internet advice, I have grown into a well-adjusted human being who DOES NOT have low self-esteem (in fact, my self-esteem might be a little too high). I have many friends both online and offline who are wonderful people and share my interests, and I should mention now that not one of them is a pedophile, most are barely out of their teens, like myself. My point? Parents do not even have to understand or delve into the world of fandom to protect their children from the dangers of the internet (which definitely exist, but I feel that’s it’s unfair to point to fandom to find them) as long as they educate their children properly about them.
    As for the tolerance fandom has for its “seemy underbelly” – writing, in this country, has never been and shall never be a crime. I think it might be more productive to concentrate on getting those sickos who take obscene pictures of REAL children and post them on the internet and the ones who target children online and use the internet as a tool to lure kids to them. They are actually engaging in illegal activities, and should therefore be stopped. Most fanfic readers only read things that appeal to them, whether it is regular fanfiction, shipper fic, slash, threesomes or the like, and you have no right to pass judgment on those tastes when they are not hurting anyone.

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  38. Hi jedi_penguin. That’s not the type of community that the folks are talking about. Different sort of animal. Actually, from the FF Savvy parent’s viewpoint, you guys seem to be sincere, but you’re approaching the problem backwards, so whatever you come up with will look pretty on the surface, but be essentially worthless.
    In other words, your interest is still in salving the archive owners egos and requiring everybody else in the world to jump through hoops rather than taking the simpler solutions and having the archive owners take responsibility for what they purvey.
    This isn’t meant to insult. It’s to say, that it doesn’t seem that from within fandom they can really grasp what the problem is, nor how to approach it.

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  39. By the way, did ANYBODY answer that link I put up previously to the petition signed by many many real-life writers and illustrators regarding orphan works and free culture?
    I don’t see it, but I’m reading fast.
    Just wondered. I mean, that Tushnet thingie gets trotted out every five minutes, might be nice to get some commentary on what strikes fear in the hearts of people who do the actual creating.
    No more bets riding on this one. I’m just wondering why none of the ficfolk are taking a look at it.

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  40. Claire: If it’s the link you recommended to me at illustratedpartnership.org, it’s not going through. I keep getting that the page isn’t found. Is it possible the text was cut off? If not, it may be my Internet burping–is there another way to get to the article?

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  41. Claire: I have to laugh at your insistence that fans and fanfic writers=pedophiles. I have been attending media and sf conventions for 20+ years, and at most of them children are a small fraction of the attendees. In fact most of my fannish friends are childfree, though rather evenly split as to single/married. We just don’t have the patience.
    People who do bring ill-mannered children to cons generally end up being told to control them at some point. I like well-behaved children myself, but only in small doses.
    I guess that means we’ll mostly be crazy cat ladies as we get older. (Or rat and horse ladies, in my case). Oh well, I never see any of them being accused as pedophiles.

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  42. Claire wrote: your interest is still in salving the archive owners egos and requiring everybody else in the world to jump through hoops rather than taking the simpler solutions and having the archive owners take responsibility for what they purvey.
    When you did your cursory inspection of the helpinghands journal, I take it you didn’t get down far enough to read about “fides” research, then? Because if you had, you’d have discovered that she’s trying to find a way of doing exactly what you’re asking for.

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  43. That’s not entirely true. Read the whole post at http://www.corante.com:

    Nevertheless, Detective Lamond does claim that a majority of those arrested show “at least a passing interest in Star Trek, if not a strong interest.”
    They’ve arrested well over one hundred people over the past four years and Det. Lamond claims they can gauge this interest in Star Trek by the arrestees’ “paraphenalia, books, videotapes and DVDs.” I asked if this wasn’t simply a general interest in science fiction and fantasy, such as Star Wars or Harry Potter or similar. Paraphrasing his answer, he said, while there was sometimes other science fiction and fantasy paraphenalia, Star Trek was the most consistent and when he referred to a majority of the arrestees being Star Trek fans, it was Star Trek specific.

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  44. Having Star Trek material in your house does not equal being a “hard core fan.”
    To see if there is a correlational link between pedophilia and Star Trek we’d need to know the rate of ownership of Star Trek material amoung the general population with similar demographics.
    That is, if the majority of the pedophiles arrested are white males in their 30’s who are college educated and own computers, then we’d need to compare their rate of ownership of Star Trek materials to the rate of ownership of Star Trek materials amoung the general population of white males in their 30’s who are college educated and own a computer. (I just made this profile up for an example. I don’t know the characteristics of the pedophiles arrested.)
    Correlation does not equal causation. In fact, this article doesn’t even show if Star Trek and pedophilia are correlated at all.

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  45. Not sure about the link to Star Trek, but I recently read a study that reported a confirmed link between fanfiction and pedophilia. The researchers (I think they’re at Harvard) reported results that indicated some 90% of “die hard” fanfiction readers and writers were also known child predators. As a result, public policy advocates are currently drafting a bill to outlaw fanfiction and make distributing it a crime punishable by 1 year in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
    I’ll see if I can find the URL.

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  46. David, Please do find the link. That is one study I am definitely interested in reading. Unfortunately, I am headed out of town for several days so I’ll have to catch back up next week.

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  47. David: funny how you chose not to mention this study that you “recently read” (translation: made up) until now.
    If 90% of the fanfiction writers/readers are pedophiles, then about 50% of the world’s children would be missing. If such a “study” does exist, it was “researched” by a bunch of kooks, but more than likely, I’m sorry to confess, methinks thou art lying through thy teeth.
    Nice try, my lad, nice try.

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  48. Dave, Dave, Dave–I am die-hard. Most of the fanwriters I know are die-hard. There aren’t many fanwriters who aren’t die-hard.
    Wowee, I didn’t know I knew so many pedophiles!
    You either made that “report” up, or those kooks who “researched” it made the “statistic” up.

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  49. Lee Goldberg quoted: Lamond claims they can gauge this interest in Star Trek by the arrestees’ “paraphenalia, books, videotapes and DVDs.” I asked if this wasn’t simply a general interest in science fiction and fantasy, such as Star Wars or Harry Potter or similar. Paraphrasing his answer, he said, while there was sometimes other science fiction and fantasy paraphenalia, Star Trek was the most consistent and when he referred to a majority of the arrestees being Star Trek fans, it was Star Trek specific.
    As anyone with even a passing knowledge of statistics or social science could tell you, this proves nothing. It proves nothing because (a) it’s anecdotal and (b) it’s being approached from the wrong angle.
    To show even a correlation between paedophilia and Star Trek (or any other fandom for that matter) you’d have to:
    (1) agree on a definition of “fan” or (in this case) “hardcore fan” which would presumably be a stricter definition;
    (2) investigate sufficient “hardcore fans” for involvement in paedophilia to either demonstrate or (more likely) not demonstrate a correlation;
    (3) demonstrate that they had this more in common than other identifying factors.
    And this is to show correlation. Causation is a completely different ball game. (And this, children, is why it’s so difficult to demonstrate claims like ‘the MMR vaccine causes autism’ or ‘watching TV causes violence’.)
    That a discrete group of convicted felons own a number videos or DVDs of a freely available and instantly recognisable franchise isn’t that much of a surprise, I suspect a very large number of the general population who neither identify themselves (or would be identified by an outsider) as ‘fans’ also own copies of those videos.
    In short, without a properly conducted study, reapating this toss is akin to saying that “of the paedophiles we studied 99.83% of them ate bread” or “of the paedophiles we studied 97.23% of them drove a vehicle” – the reasonable and logical response is ‘Er…yeah, so what?’ If they had something in common that was unusual in the general population, then that would be more interesting, but still proof of not a lot.
    David Montgomery: I recently read a study that reported a confirmed link between fanfiction and pedophilia. The researchers (I think they’re at Harvard) reported results that indicated some 90% of “die hard” fanfiction readers and writers were also known child predators.
    Until you produce some actual evidence, I think I’ll assume this claim is bollocks.

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  50. The article completely falls apart when you look at what was actually said. I’ll bet 100% of them owned TV’s, so we should all give up our TV’s and shoot all TV writers to end the spread of pedophilia.
    No, that comment was not to be taken seriously at all, but it does show that they are approaching this from completely the wrong angle.
    I have a couple Star Trek videos in my condo along with lots of Babylon 5 stuff. Yet I greatly prefer mysteries then sci-fi of any variety. If someone were conducting a survey of people in LA county with sci-fi stuff, I’d fall into that catagory even though it’s not my favorite genre.

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  51. I can tell you with absolute certainty that the vast majority of “slash” both adult and “chan” is written by teenage heterosexual females who have no interest in children. There are real pedophiles and creeps out there, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they wrote some rather squicky stuff, but most of it is just idiot teens who don’t know their ass from their elbow and are basically still trying to make sense of human sexuality in general.

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  52. Whenever you have a group of people that encompasses millions of people you will inevitably get bad apples in the bunch. Even an organization like the Catholic Church and the UN have large reports of pedophilia and they are(or should be anyways) more stringently regulated than any fandom or fandoms in general. To claim simply because some pedophiles happened to be trekkies all trekkies are pedophiles is ludicrous. There are millions of pedophiles in the world and when combined fandoms span millions and millions of people it would stand that some would exist in fandoms and more would exist in the larger ones. The trekkies I have ever known have been some of the nicest people I have ever met. Trekkies for decades have done pretty much nothing besides preaching tolerance of beliefs and helping those less fortunate. Most local groups hold annual charity drives and while the people there are sometimes creepy most are completely harmless. The vast majority of trekkies would turn in someone they found to be a pedophile regardless of whether or not they were a fellow fan.

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  53. the vast majority of “slash” both adult and “chan” is written by teenage heterosexual females who have no interest in children.
    I agree that few slash writers that I’ve met have any interest in children, either as BSO’s or for any other reason. But most of the ones I’ve met – I don’t claim to have encountered a representative cross sample – have been women between 25 and 45. There have been the odd teenager (and the odd pensioner) but, in my experience, they’re unusual.

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  54. The simple fact that fanfic writers, especially slashers, are to 99% women, whereas pedophiles are to 99% men should tell you that there can’t be much convergence.
    kete

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  55. Not quite, David. I wouldn’t say it’s 99% women, but it is true that the vast majority of fanfiction writers and readers are female. I’d guestimate it’s somewhere around 75%, maybe even higher.
    Close to half, if not a majority, are also under 18. The vast majority are definitely under 25.
    The vast majority of slashers are certainly female, although I don’t know as much about the age group since I seldom read slash.
    And I think we all know the vast majority of pedophiles are males over the age of thirty, so although kete might have gotten her numbers a little high, she’s not as far off as you think.
    You learn a few things after thirteen years in fandom! πŸ˜‰

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  56. If I weren’t in court, I wouldn’t make that statement, love. And considering you invented a whole dang Harvard study that criminalized 90% of fanwriters, my name is Kettle, and it’s lovely to meet you, Pot!
    πŸ˜‰

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  57. David, no, she’s not making up the number. It’s a pretty fair estimate from what I’ve seen after being involved in fandom & ficcing for the past six years. Yes, I do go to cons, and the majority of these people are women. And of the many people I’ve met at cons, somehow I doubt any of them were pedophiles. At the con I attended earlier in April, many people were talking about having so many guys attending – maybe as many as ten out of around two hundred.
    As for the people complaining about the legal aspects, I do know of at least two attorneys who write fanfic themselves, and have prepared legal arguments about fanfic. And fanfic has kept some fandoms alive. Star Trek owes a lot of its long life to the ficcers who wouldn’t give up on the series after NBC did. The most recent example is probably Battlestar Galactica, which just ended its first season on SciFi.

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  58. Here, give this a gander: s6.invisionfree.com/libraryofmoria/index.php?showtopic=671
    It’s not scientific, no, but it should give you a fair idea of what your demographics are among slashers. I left out the http because I wasn’t sure it would display links in this comment box, but you can cut and paste it easily enough.

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  59. BTW if anyone can’t get the link to work, it’s a poll set up on a lord of the rings slash message board asking the users whether they are male or female.
    current results are 91% female. being 61 females to 6 males.

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  60. That’s the beauty of the internet… no matter how preposterous the claims you make are, some people will believe them and treat them seriously.
    No matter how fancily you phrase it, once you’ve resorted to “But I was just kidding! Can’t you take a joke?”, you’ve pretty much destroyed your credibility. It makes just about anybody sound like the schoolyard bully who just got busted by the recess lady and is trying to worm his way out of trouble.
    Cries of “you too, you too!” don’t exactly contradict that image, either.

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  61. I wasn’t aware that I had any credibility on this topic to begin with, but I wasn’t concerned about it, since nobody else on here does either. Is anyone really supposed to take seriously a conversation in the comments section of Lee Goldberg’s blog, on the topic of the link between pedophilia and fanfiction? Do you have even a tenuous grip on reality?

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  62. The numbers from what I’ve read are about in concert with that survey across the board. I believe slash has about a 9:1 women to men ratio. In fics anyways, I see a lot more male artists for slash(at least for western slash) then I do women.

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  63. Is anyone really supposed to take seriously a conversation in the comments section of Lee Goldberg’s blog, on the topic of the link between pedophilia and fanfiction? Do you have even a tenuous grip on reality?

    Thank you, David, for the belly laugh!!

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  64. Mr. Montgomery, if you do have a link for those statistics you’re quoting, I’d be very interested, and not because I want sit around and argue with a bunch of fanfic people. It’s tough to get people who are in a position to help interested without hard numbers and we’re ferreting them all over.
    To whoever it was that asked me about Fides’ research. People did read her research and they read that board. The same people who found the FF Savvy blog so fascinating. People who are not stupid or naive or unknowledgeable and out of touch. People who really don’t give a rip if a bunch of teenagers want to cackle about them at a place called Fandom Wank.
    We understand what Fides wants to do. With all due respect to Fides…it’s very nice from a fanfiction point of view, doesn’t do squat to deal with the real issue and makes everybody else in the world jump through the hoops to achieve the results. It’s unworkable from a real world sensibility, but it appears that it will be wonderful to help fandom people find just the fic their little hearts desire.
    Honestly – I don’t think you folks hear how y’all sound on that board going on about the ratings and what’s okay for who and ages of consent in what country. The general feeling is that you are missing the point.
    And frankly, the fact that so many of the participants there hang out at Fandom Wank ain’t doing a thing to promote the attitude that the work should taken seriously. Do you think that people didn’t notice that you said one thing on the FF Savvy blog, then ran off to say the opposite on Fandom Wank. You’d be amazed how many of the people involved in the FF Savvy blog can read and write and understand english and everything.
    Jocelyn – That link is working just fine. I’ve listed it below in two parts. Possibly, it got cut off when it posted. Truthfully, since you stated Ms. Tushnet is your idol, it’s a stretch for me to believe that you could be so ignorant of the ‘Free Culture’ movement and the problems of orphan works and dilution of copyright laws.
    Approach the link with respect because THESE are the people you so glibly insult with your sophomoric arguments. Walk a mile in their moccasins, think hard about how you’d like to be told that you have to hand out your legal skills for free to whoever wants it whether you want to or not and see if you’d feel so carefree about the ‘free culture’ movement.
    http://www.illustratorspartnership.org/00_home/
    newsFeedArchive/newsItem.php?newsID=05022840406
    Mr. Goldberg, thank you for those quotes and the information. If you run across anything else and could post it, you might be doing an enormous mitzvah.
    Claire

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  65. Someone reading this discussion forwarded this email to me. I thought it merited posting here.
    Dear Artist,
    The U.S. Copyright Office is seeking to examine the issues raised by orphaned works, that is, copyrighted works whose owners are “difficult” or impossible to locate. The “Orphan Work” study was announced January 27th, requesting written comments by March 25 from all parties who would be affected by a change in the law. Since the rights of all artists are at stake, the Illustrators’ Partnership is submitting the following letter to the Copyright Office. We invite you to read it, consider it, and if you choose, join us in signing it.
    The Orphan Work study has been prompted in part by lawsuits filed by Lawrence Lessig, founder of Creative Commons and a vocal leader of the international “Free Culture” movement. It’s the contention of this well-funded movement that copyright protection for creative work restrains creativity and free speech. They’ve embarked on a many-faceted effort to limit or roll back copyrights throughout the world.
    The Complaints ask the Court for declaratory judgments that copyright restrictions on orphaned works violate the Constitution. A victory for the plaintiff would force works of art into the public domain even though their copyright has not expired if third parties wishing to exploit the work find it “difficult” to locate the copyright holder.
    The following letter is long because we’ve tried to address the specific issues raised by these Federal challenges, but we hope you’ll take the time to read it. If you wish to join us in signing, please reply by e-mail with your full name and country. You may also add your expertise: commercial or editorial illustrator, cartoonist, architectural illustrator, dimensional illustrator, medical illustrator, painter, artist’s representative, etc. You may also add any professional affiliation(s).
    Please forward this letter to any interested parties, and reply by e-mail no later than March 20 to info@illustratorspartnership.org.

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  66. Claire: got the link. Interesting concept, though I can’t say I like the idea the Creative Commons people are advancing.
    While I do think there are freedom of speech/expression rights involved in fanfiction, rolling back a copyright owner’s rights before they’ve expired is not the solution I would support. Rather, I think the answer (at least for fanwriter purposes) is in the interpretation of existing copyright statutes–the fair use laws that we’ve all been debating until we’re blue in the face and our fingers are numb from the keyboard.
    Rebecca Tushnet is my idol where IP law is concerned, but remember, this is merely a hobby (albeit a mildly obsessive one) while I’m in law school studying everything from alternative dispute resolution to corporate law, and most legal CLASSES focus heavily on interpretation of existing law, rather than many of the movements to change it. Although I quite agree–we ought to learn more about movements like Creative Commons. I’m hoping I will next year when I start on public policy.
    Speaking of glib insults, I’ll ignore your remark about sophomoric arguments. I came into this trying to have a civil debate between people in a reasonable disagreement and got called every name in the book.
    Reasonable people can disagree about the best way to interpret or apply the law–everyone from amateur writers to Supreme Court justices do. Nobody’s trying to insult the other side, we just disagree.

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  67. David Montgomery wrote: It sounds like Kete is making up a few stats of her own! πŸ™‚
    I don’t think so. I’d put the percentage higher.
    But much depends on the fandom. For example, the one time I went to a Dr Who convention, I was surprised to find that it was around 75% male fans. Big surprise for me, who was used to Star Trek conventions, which were around 75% female. Blake’s 7 conventions were around 80% female (and I know this for a fact because I ran ’em and therefore had the ratios on file). A recent Harry Potter convention I attended was around 95% female and most of the men there were partners of the women attending.
    Of all the slash conventions I’ve ever attended (currently around 10) only two have had even one man present, and on one of those occasions the man was the husband of a woman who suffered from agoraphobia and who never went anywhere alone. He wasn’t actually a fan – of anything, let alone a slash fan – and once she was settled with the group, he went off fly-fishing, which was his hobby of choice. In my experience of attending and running slash conventions I’d put the ratio of male slash fans to female at somewhere around 1:250.
    Claire: I don’t think you folks hear how y’all sound on that board going on about the ratings and what’s okay for who and ages of consent in what country. The general feeling is that you are missing the point.
    No, Claire, I think you are missing the point. General feeling among who, for a start? It’s clear to me that that board is in the settling down stage, during which everyone shares information – and the age of consent in different countries is relevant information.
    If you want “fandom” to take control of what your children can see or not see, it seems to me that your best hope – currently your only hope – is Fides’ work. And therefore I don’t think you read Fides intentions thoroughly enough – yes, she’s working to have it so that fans can find the stories they’re looking for – and she’s attempting, in the same research, to have it so that everyone who doesn’t want to find a particular type of fiction can avoid it. That specifically includes concerned parents like yourself.
    It further seems to me that it’s in your interests to support and help her, not sit about whinging that “fandom’s” not doing enough, particularly when, as is likely, it’s either that or nothing at all.
    You seem to think that fandom is in some way analogous to ‘government’ or ‘the actuarial profession’, as something that has a centre which can be lobbied or a governing body which can be approached.
    It’s not and it doesn’t.
    You will probably recall the butter-toast analogy someone came up with. That still holds good.
    Perhaps if I explain: fandom is not, and never has been a single entity over which anyone has control. As I said, there is no governing body, not of fandom, and not of any particular fandom.
    Like the internet, it’s a widely spread selection of small groups working in silos, who therefore know nothing or next to nothing about each other and do not have any control over each other. I reiterate: it is a mistake to believe that there is some massive entity known as ‘fandom’. There isn’t. Each fandom group has to be approached separately, as do groups within those groups. There is no governing body over fandom, over Harry Potter fandom or even among Harry/Hermione or Harry/Draco fans.
    Some fandoms try to self-police, however inefficiently. Harry Potter fandom is a case in point – after the “Theodore Goddard” letter most of the HP archives which publish adult stuff are listed with ICRA, Safe Surf or something similar, or demand a password or have a click through button to make it clear that if the reader goes on, that’s their intention and they must accept the risk that they will read something they (or their parents) don’t like (or don’t want them to read). Some of them do two out of the three. A few probably do none (I don’t know of any, but I’m open to that possibility) but those will probably be archives run by folks who know nothing about the wider HP fandom and have never heard of the Theodore Goddard letter. It’s not a perfect system, but unless and until Fides work produces results, and people can be persuaded to adopt it, it’s probably the best you’re going to get in this imperfect world.
    Other fandoms don’t have even that. But HP fandom, even if it had a governing body which it hasn’t, can’t storm over to (for example), Lord of the Rings fandom, Dr Who fandom or Due South fandom and tell them they must put the same system in place. This is partly because they do not have a governing body either, and partly because HP fans wouldn’t know who they were even if they did. If you want the different fandoms to do something similar, approaching them is your job. And I wish you the best of luck with it.
    The reason is simple: as a HP fan, what they do (or don’t) is no skin of my nose; I’m not going to be even looking for Dr Who or LOTR archives while there’s unread Harry Potter fanfiction.
    And if, as concerned parents, you want HP fandom to do something different to what they currently have in place, then, as concerned parents, its your job to approach each archive individually and ask what more they can do, braced for the possibility that they may tell you to get stuffed. And I wish you the best of luck with that, too.

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  68. Jocelyn and Mr.(Ms.?) Rommel:
    Words fail. They truly do.
    There are also a few people out there who owe me another five bucks. I’m getting a laptop next.

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  69. Never mind, Flash. All monetary bets are off. We’ll go to a point system. I’m starting to feel guilty.
    Besides, I already have an iPod and a laptop.

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  70. I wasn’t planning to pay you anyway. However, I do plan to collect from the ones who owe me. One more person mentions butter and toast while I’m drinking Dr. Pepper and I’m getting a plastic cover for the keyboard.

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  71. You don’t have an answer to the points I raised, so you belittle your opponent. Debating 101: you lose.

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