|Title:||A Pilot Study of Fan Fiction Writer’s Legal Information Behavior|
|Citation:||Katz, R., (2019). A Pilot Study of Fan Fiction Writer’s Legal Information Behavior. Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship, 3(1), 1-29.https://doi.org/10.17161/jcel.v3i1.7697|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||Data were obtained from three interviews with fan fiction writers from Canada (2) and the U.S. (1). Findings from the interviews were arranged into four themes: |
• benefits and motivations to fan fiction;
• copyright knowledge and self-assessment;
• legal information behaviour;
• and overall perceptions of legal and ethical issues affecting fandom.
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
“Fan fiction, a genre using pre-existing and often copyrighted media as a springboard for new stories, raises several legal challenges. While fans may benefit from copyright limitations, their actual knowledge of and ability to exercise their legal rights is unclear, due to limited empirical work with fan writers on this subject. This is especially true of Canadian fans, who are underrepresented in the literature. This paper reports on a pilot study of Canadian and U.S. fan writers’ legal knowledge, information behavior, and overall perceptions of law. It addresses background, methods, preliminary results, and future directions.”
Main Results of the Study
[[Has plain-text proposition::• Fan fiction writers report social benefits to writing fan fiction, including making friends and having “fun”. Participants to the study also found an improvement in writing skills and valued feedback from the community.
• Two of the three participants indicated fairly low levels of copyright knowledge. The study also notes that much misinformation on copyright is present with e.g. conflation of IP regimes, character ownership and overemphasis on commerciality. The study suggests that this may influence, and is in turn influenced by legal information behaviour (detailed below.
• Legal information behaviour (e.g. how legal knowledge is acquired) was varied amongst participants, ranging from informal methods (e.g. fan discussions or peer observation) to more formal (e.g. consulting legal professionals, seminars, webinars).
• Overall, there is a belief that fan fiction “[may not be] legal, but it’s okay”, i.e. it is generally safe from the law. Fan fiction writers are not deterred by copyright fears, and broadly agree with its application with fair and reasonable caveats. Most feel they are safe from the law due to their non-commercial usage, whilst also citing ethical considerations.]]
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
The study does not offer any explicit policy recommendations.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Writers|
|Period of material under study:||October 2017|