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*sigh*

I just got a rather upsetting email. :( It turns out that one of the podfics I made for [community profile] help_haiti was made without the author's permission. I've taken it down now but I'm pretty pissed off at the person I made it for, since she specifically told me she had asked permission and received it.

Luckily the author in question has been really understanding and we've worked things out. Still, a bunch of people (the author, myself, [personal profile] podmod) were left upset and scambling because of this.

When the recipient said she had the ok, I felt a little weird since she didn't forward the email, or post a link to the ok (which I always do if I've asked permission on someone else's behalf) but it felt really paranoid and rude to ask for it. Now I wish I did. And I've also had to contact another author whose podfic I made for this person to make sure they're ok with it.


Which leads me to another, somewhat related question.

I have this thing where I record a podfic before I ask the author permission. I do this because I have a habit of starting things but not finishing and I hate to get author's hopes up that a podfic is coming and then never delivering. Hell, with Aesthetic Alchemy I got permission to record back on April 10th (when I had finished recording) and it took me till yesterday to finsih editing everything and finally get it posted, so even when I wait to ask, the author is still left waiting.

This, of course, means that I run the chance that the author will say no but it's a chance I'm willing to take.

Other than what happened today, I've never gotten a no, however I do have a completed AI podfic where I've asked the author and they haven't gotten back to me. I'm not taking that as a yes, obviously. My question is, how long should I wait to ask the author again? The author is updating her journal, so she's still around. And others are posting podfics of her fic. I'm not sure if she's avoiding me because she doesn't know how to say no, or if my question just got lost in her inbox (that stuff always happens to me and my inbox :S). I asked her over 2 months ago. Is it too soon to ask for an update?
*goes to poke around to see if the author has given blanket permission anywhere*

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
aurora_84
Jun. 9th, 2010 02:46 am (UTC)
Oh man, that totally sucks about your h_h recipient! :|

Is it too soon to ask for an update?
I think not. Ask away?
paraka
Jun. 9th, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it really does suck. I hate being in this kind of position. :(

I think I'll try sending that other author an email asking again. Last time I just left a comment, so maybe it got mixed up in her shuffle.
aurora_84
Jun. 9th, 2010 07:59 pm (UTC)
I can only imagine. I must be frustrating to have committed a misstep because of someone else's fuckup.

You do that! \o/
canuck_kat
Jun. 9th, 2010 06:16 am (UTC)
It's never too soon or too late to ask for an update.

*hugs* Try not to feel bad. It's not your fault that a podficcer didn't have permission. It's their responsibility, not yours, and since they filled your request, they should've known beforehand if they could or not. It's not like you begged them to make the podfic.
paraka
Jun. 9th, 2010 07:49 pm (UTC)
Cool, I think I'll try emailing that author tonight.

It's not your fault that a podficcer didn't have permission. It's their responsibility, not yours
Yeah, except in this case I was the podficer. The recipient told me that she had gotten permission on my behalf. I really should have double checked, or asked for proof before posting.
canuck_kat
Jun. 9th, 2010 09:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, blah. True. Brain fart.

And go give Jack a hug, he looks so worried in your icon! :P
paradise_city
Jun. 10th, 2010 07:41 pm (UTC)
Thirding the asking for an update. I hope it works out!
paraka
Jun. 10th, 2010 08:05 pm (UTC)
I sent the author an email this afternoon. Hopefully she'll reply to that. :S

But, while I have you here, I've been thinking a lot about the issues of podfic and permission and the reasons why author's wouldn't want their fics podficed. I know that you have a lot of privacy worries when it comes to your fic but I also know you like podfic. So if someone asked you to podfic one of your fics, would you be ok with that? If you're nervous about privacy, is there anything they could do to work with you so that your privacy in maintained but they can still podfic your fic?
paradise_city
Jun. 11th, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC)
That's a lovely icon, by the way. Adam, how are you so pretty?

On the podfic front, I'd let someone else record and retain control of the podfic if they wanted to. I'd probably unlock the entry with the text fic for a few weeks if anyone wanted to read and then lock it up again after that initial period. I have fewer privacy concerns with podfic since there's not quite the same direct link as there is with a textual LJ entry.

What makes me squirrely about podfic, though, is that I think it really brings out the weaknesses in an author's writing. I'm always embarrassed about my podfic where I don't really have that same embarrassment for textual fic.

Interesting question. I miss these little discussions. :)
paraka
Jun. 15th, 2010 02:10 am (UTC)
That's a lovely icon, by the way. Adam, how are you so pretty?
He really is pretty. *eyes Adam pics*

Re: Podficing your stuff
I find that really interesting. I've been trying to come up with reasons why author's wouldn't want people to podfic their works (I'm obviously working with some strong biases against the idea) and privacy/security is really one of the only things I can come up with. And you're the person I know who's most worried about that kind of stuff.

I do get being embarrassed by the weaknesses of your fic though. I just.. I know for me know I'm never satisfied with what I produce but even if you make something and think it's crap there are others out there that will still adore it. And if they want to enjoy it you may as well let them.

I've been thinking about this whole thing a lot since this has happened. And I'm finding it kind of baffling on some levels because when this happened to me I was reading through last month's Diana Gabaldon wank where pro author's started talking about immoral and disgusting fanfic is and how dare fans touch someone's creation without permission. Fandom was all over Diana, calling her an idiot and talking about how it's not about her and her permission is not required. But fandom has much different standards when it comes to our own, I'm pretty sure if I had acted differently in this situation fandom would have been much more heavily on the author's side than they would have been on mine had I decided to not remove this fic. Or hell, I've seen fanfic author's pitch fits when people write unauthorized fic sequels or within the same 'verse they created, when that's basically fanfic of fanfic. Double standards are not cool.
(Anonymous)
Jun. 18th, 2010 02:49 pm (UTC)
And if they want to enjoy it you may as well let them.

That's how I try to get over the embarrassment. There's definitely a strange power dynamic between authors and readers in that an author has the prerogative to lock up or delete fic they're unhappy with but I think that robs the readers of their agency to choose. It's a tangled issue for me, but one that's timely as I've noticed there seems to be a trend for locking fic when an author's moved on to a different fandom. But that's a different issue entirely.

But fandom has much different standards when it comes to our own... Double standards are not cool.

Agreed, and I'm not quite sure how this happens. Some of it is likely due to a more intimate environment since we're more closely connected to fandom authors than pro authors. (Although you could probably argue that with all the social networking going on, that's changing.) But it's a really frustrating standard. I think I want fandom to really own their biases on this issue because it feels to me like we're all colluding to create this double standard whether we intend to or not.

Awesome thinky thoughts. :)
paradise_city
Jun. 18th, 2010 02:49 pm (UTC)
That was me, sorry. Didn't realize I was logged out.
paraka
Jun. 22nd, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
Heh, I was really surprised to see an anonymous comment and was slightly worried that I'd been metafandomed.

There's definitely a strange power dynamic between authors and readers in that an author has the prerogative to lock up or delete fic they're unhappy with but I think that robs the readers of their agency to choose.
Yeah, it's definitely a different situation that the author has so much power in fandom. In the publishing world, it's really hard to make something disappear once it's been released.

And beyond that, I've rhapsodized elsewhere about how fandom is this living, evolving thing. It's an ongoing conversation, it's a culture, it's a gift economy. For author's to go back and remove their fic (or vidders their vids, podficers their podfics, etc.) is to interrupt a conversation, it's hiding our group's history, it's taking back a gift after it's been given.

This is a funny line for me to think about. On the one hand, I'm a pretty understanding person when it comes to personal issues and really do appreciate what author's do for fandom and I want them to be happy too. Also, making these kinds of demands make me feel like I need to control my entitlement issues.

However I also feel like, as consumers, the readers should have some rights. I've been examining consumer rights a lot while I wade through the copyright changes going on in Canada right now and I have the instinct to apply those same ideals to the fannish world. It's tricky because it's not a straightforward transaction of exchanging X for Y (money for product or something similar). There is a transaction going on (fanworks for comments, for further fanworks, for social status within our community, etc.) but it's not as straight forward.

And the matter is further muddied because while these transactions are going on, I don't think a lot of us realize they are or don't think of them in that way. How many of us actually admit "Oh, I totally made this fanwork for the comments" or "Oh, I'm just in fandom to become a BNF." You're far more likely to hear "I made this for fun" or "I do it because I love it." And I don't doubt the validity of the latter reasons however the former ones are also big players and people are far less likely to admit to those.

Not acknowledging these reasons though leads to uncomfortable situations. Ones where consumers want certain rights to what they're consuming but feel that they aren't actually allowed to ask for them. Or ones where producers get angry or tired because they aren't getting the responses they want but feel that they're being bitchy or actively get mocked if they express that they have needs too.

I don't know what the answer is here. There's no way to stop fan creator's from removing their works and I really don't see fandom stopping its mockery of people who demand comments or whatever before they continue producing.

Cont...

Edited at 2010-06-22 05:21 pm (UTC)
paraka
Jun. 22nd, 2010 05:20 pm (UTC)
But it's a really frustrating standard. I think I want fandom to really own their biases on this issue because it feels to me like we're all colluding to create this double standard whether we intend to or not.
*nods*
I really think the issues need to be addressed. I don't think enough people talk about it. People go by their gut feelings instead of approaching things logically and don't stop to question what they do.

The thing with Diana Gabaldon (I'm not sure if you read any of the wank), she came out saying that fanfic makes her want to barf. That's very obviously a gut reaction. And, you know what? Back when I first joined fandom people still would have been offended and they still would have tried to convince her that fanfic is fun and good and should be encouraged but you know what? If she stuck to her guns (as she did in this case) it probably would have killed most of the fic in that fandom.

A lot of author's would have taken down their fic and ff.net would add her to their list of fandoms they won't host. Fans would have been sad but very few would continue writing in the fandom (maybe if it was a bigger fandom more might but if there are C&Ds involved, that can kill a fandom).

Since the OTW though, more people have been educated on the legality of fanfic (with regards to American law at least). More people have chosen to believe that it's a transformative work and that the courts would support them in that belief. When Diana said "don't write fanfic of my characters anymore" a lot more of fandom responded with variations of "Fuck you!" That and they had a lot more reliable resources to point Diana to, to show that they aren't just making these rights up, that there's the legal ground work to support them (even if it's still a gray area until some sort of precedence is set in court or the law is made more clear).

These conversations are happening between fans and the "real world" I think we need to have them more within "our world." The problem is fandom is so sprawling that we can't get the info to everyone. It's a slow process. And really, so many people don't care about meta at all.

Getting back to the podfic community, over at [community profile] podficmeta so many issues are discussed, from permission and ownership to style. Those first two points really affect fandom as a whole but it's mostly just podficers taking part in the conversations there. So we're able to come up of lists of reasons why approaching things a certain way is right. And you know, we might be right, but we've definitely got biases and no one's really challenging those.

I've asked author friends for their opinions on some of those topics and their gut reaction goes against the conclusions the podficing community comes to.

I think the conversations need to happen and thing'll get better when we do but in the end it's all just politics and if people can't even be arsed to go out and vote in actual elections then I know we'll never get all of fandom to care. :(
paradise_city
Jun. 22nd, 2010 08:14 pm (UTC)
...is to interrupt a conversation, it's hiding our group's history, it's taking back a gift after it's been given.

It really does feel like a gift that's being taken back. That's a great way to describe it.

It's tricky because it's not a straightforward transaction of exchanging X for Y (money for product or something similar). There is a transaction going on (fanworks for comments, for further fanworks, for social status within our community, etc.) but it's not as straight forward.

You're absolutely right -- not acknowledging the existence and functioning of the fannish economy really complicates things. It's hard to get people to talk about what's going on under the surface when they don't even want to acknowledge such a place exists.

These conversations are happening between fans and the "real world" I think we need to have them more within "our world."

This. It feels like we're working backwards sometimes, focusing on legalities and ethics in the real world and applying those to the fannish community instead of looking what works within the fannish community and trying to extrapolate it. The inability to have conversations about the fannish economy really hinders our ability to have discourse within the real world.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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