Several blogs have weighed in, pro and con and somewhere in-between, on my "Another Day in Fanfic" posting and the ensuing controversy. Here’s a sampling of excerpts:
Fanfic is not taking food out of your family’s mouths, and it’s not
plagiarism. To call it that is an insult to writers who have been
plagiarized, like Nora Roberts, who called her experience akin to mind
rape. And yes, she’s a real writer, and Janet Dailey cut-and-pasted
Nora’s words and claimed them as hers. That’s plagiarism and parasitism
Nora Roberts doesn’t approve of fanfiction based on her work, either. For all I know, she calls that "mind rape" and plagiarism, too.
From Banana Oil (a tiny excerpt from a long, long post):
The upshot here is that using others’ characters has a long
tradition among Real Writers, even without explicit consent. This is
not meant as a defense of fan fiction in toto, but rather as a suggestion that even Real Writers do it, so the act itself does not seem to be tainted from the outset.
I think what really bothers Lee are the people who want something for nothing, those who only
write fan fiction, taking other people’s characters and backgrounds,
playing with them like pieces on a chess board, and then proclaiming
“See? I’m a Writer now!” And hey, I’m with him, such people are
parasites and best ridiculed and dispensed with. However, I severely
doubt that each and every writer of fan fiction is such a remora (even
if many or most are), because were I to accept that premise, I must
dismiss a number of my favorite Real Writers as well, something I am
wholly unwilling to do.
From the Creative Guy:
Plagiarism is a very dangerous word to throw around. Certainly
it has its place, but does it really belong in a discussion (if that’s
the word) concerning fanfic? According to media tie-in author Lee Goldberg, the answer is yes.
It’s hard to know where to start with this rant, considering how wrong-headed the entire thing is. Having had some experience with plagiarism, I know there’s a vast gulf of difference between stealing someone else’s work and what fanfic authors do.
From Shannon Stacey:
As a reader, I don’t get it. Writing about the stuff you don’t get
to see—maybe Wonder Woman’s got a dirty old lady thing for the Boy
Wonder?—is not my cup of tea. Why? Because that has nothing to do with
the writer’s story. The actual writer who created those characters
has/had a vision for them, and that fanfic story ain’t it. For
example—the Star Wars movies. I’d have nothing to do with the three
prequels if they weren’t from George Lucas. I’m sure it’s entertaining
for many, it’s just not my cup of tea.
As a writer, I really don’t get it. It’s copyright violation. If you’re a writer, how is that not of huge
importance to you? If you write fanfic, and then get published with an
original work, how ironic would it be if you had to defend your
original work against copyright infringement?