Keith Snyder
Door always open.

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Following up on Marvin

I did some research about fair use before I sent MARVIN off to Good Girls Kill. My stance on fan fiction (not just writing it, but taking the step of publishing it) is pretty unambiguous: Violating copyright is unethical, and if all you're doing is publishing more adventures of someone else's characters, get your own damn ideas.

Although I didn't name them explicitly, these are someone else's characters.

The third criterion evaluates the degree of transformation accomplished by the new work, e.g., is the transformative purpose of the new work for comment, criticism, or parody of the copyrighted work. In other words, this criterion determines whether the new work merely supplants the original copyrighted work, or whether it adds something entirely new to the copyrighted work. Important factors include whether the new work has a different purpose or different character than that of the copyrighted work. The crucial factor is whether the new work alters the copyrighted work by adding new expression, meaning or message to the copyrighted work
MARVIN meets this criterion for fair use in the US. However, in some other countries (Canada, for example) there's no such doctrine, so if you're in Toronto, please don't read it.

I imagined running the entire piece again here, with little pop-up windows explaining the dozen or so references--and to be a true piece of academic rigor, the commentary would have to be longer than the original--but that's a lot of work. And it brings up an even thornier question than what constitutes fair usage, namely whether art should require explanation.

Instead of addressing this question (or its corollary, Should bloggers pontificate about their own blog posts?), I'm going out for a bike ride.

Marvin Suggs

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