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Welcome to the Blawgosphere: Entertainment & Media Law Signal


On May 4, 2010, Canadian law firm Heenan Blaikie launched an interesting new blog called, "Entertainment & Media Law Signal." The blog draws on the expertise of members of the firm's Entertainment Law Practice, which advises clients involved in all entertainment media including film, television, theater, video games, new media and music.

A interesting post on the blog last week dealt with the evolving world of "fan fiction," which is defined as "fan labor regarding stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator." These works are rarely authorized by the original work's owner/creator, and also almost never professionally published. How then, should copyright owners "respond to, tolerate or even encourage it," the E&MLS blog asks?

Citing several recent articles on the topic, E&MLS notes that while fan fiction is almost always "an infringement of the right of the copyright holder to prepare and license derivative works based on the original," many copyright holders tolerate fan art and even encourage it. E&MLS says that this may be because media companies conclude that "the promotional value of creatively engaged fans outweighs the risks of fan fiction."

If fans go so far as to distort or mutilated the original work to the point where there is "prejudice to the honour or reputation" of the author, however, then under Canadian law, at least, the holder may bring an action under his or her "moral rights."

Posted by Bruce Carton on May 19, 2010 at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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