The first question is: isn’t it illegal?
Yes. There’s no
getting around that. I am using copyrighted characters, and using them
to write stories. The characters are owned by DC Comics, the copyrights
are current and valid….
And yet I wrote them anyway.
Don’t I have any sensibilities?
Any notion of right and wrong? Any inkling of what it is to own a
character? Why copyright infringement is a horrible thing to do?
The answer is: Yes. I do. Stealing ideas and claiming them as my own is the worst form of plagiarism.
don’t claim them as my own—I know exactly where the credit for their
creation lies. Did I write them? Yes. Do I own them? Nope. Anyone who
wants them can have them.
Does that little disclaimer at the
beginning of every fic that says "I don’t make any money from these"
absolve me of responsibility? No, I still violated copyrights.
So if she has so much respect for copyright, why did she do it? Because she simply couldn’t help herself.
Using someone else’s character and making that character behave in ways
the creator/copyright holder would never have condoned/conceived is
revolting. How dare I write about Batman and Wonder Woman becoming
romantically linked? How dare I write a slash fiction parody involving
Batman and Superman?
The answer is: I didn’t know what else to
do. I’m a writer—I may not be a very good one, but it is what I do.
When Batman and Wonder Woman grabbed a hold of me, they didn’t let go,
and I had to write it. There were stories in my head, and I told them
on paper like I do every other story in my head.
And because I’m a geek, and because I had no one else to talk to about this, I put it on the Internet.
I’ve heard a lot of inane justifications for writing fanfic, but this is the winner. She knows she’s using characters that aren’t her own, that she’s disrespecting the authors right to control their own creations, but none of that really matters… because she’s "a writer," so she had no other choice but to write the story and post it in the net. She had to do it. It was an undeniable compulsion.
Because she’s "a writer."
No, Meljean, you’re not. You don’t have the slightest inking of what it means to be a writer or any respect for other writers. A writer creates characters and stories and respects the creative rights of his colleagues. You are a plagiarist. A creative parasite. To call yourself "a writer" to justify your creative theft and Internet publication of your work disrespects every real writer you steal from.
Now I know what you’re going to say…"I used fanfic to learn my craft. I am a writer now. A professional writer. I have a novella coming out from Berkley and I’m working on a novel. So there!"
So why do you still proudly post all your fanfic on your site? A real writer would have more respect for her peers. A real writer — an adult — would know better.
Grow up already.