Just encountered this article this afternoon.
You can guess my thoughts. However, do you think it is different if the work is in the public domain vs it being still under copyright? I’d love to have your opinions.
Is Fanfiction a Legitimate Genre?
June 19, 2012
Is fanfiction a legitimate genre? Copyright infringement? Or something altogether unique?
By Edward Nawotka, Editor-in-Chief
Fifty Shades of Grey started off as Twilight fanfiction, using the characters of Edward and Bella as a template and then added sex. Now that the books have sold over 12 million copies through their “legitimate” publisher, Vintage Books, the genre is getting some serious commercial credibility. But is fanfiction a legitimate genre? Copyright infringement? Or something altogether unique?
Hit up Fanfiction.net and you’ll find thousands of books, stories, and other forms of homage based on popular works of literature, film, etc…Fans are passionate and popular characters have inspired them to produce original storylines … that their original creators never envisioned (or quite possibly considered and rejected).
…The real question might be rather than “is fanfiction a legitimate genre” — when is so-called legitimate fiction actually a variation fanfiction?
One thing that’s certain: it’s impossible to ignore something so very popular. And if it inspires people to read and write more, then all the better.