Most so-called “fan fiction” we see today (writing inspired by characters of plot lines from books or films) attaches to hugely visible commercial properties. Examples include Harry Potter, Star Trek and Star Wars. Fan fiction almost by definition proceeds without permission of the “copied” rightsholder, usually involves a copyright or trademark infringement, and typically is “traded” on Web sites for free rather than sold. Some sites are active communities drawing in writers, readers, and reviewers. Other sites are known for an anything-goes laissez faire that can draw criticism of carrying less skillful writing. And many are irresistible to readers hungry to keep beloved characters exploring and active, “alive.” Examples of fan fiction sites include FanFiction.net, Archiveofourown.org, and HarryPotterFanFiction.com (of course).
Rightsholders usually decide that the intensity of the fan base and its usefulness for a wide range of commercial purposes more than offset the need and expense of seeking to block the uses.
Kindle World, Amazon’s recently announced site for fan fiction seeks to organize and monetize fan fiction. The righsholder grants permission (and gets copyright and trademark notices). The fan must comply with content ground rules. The titles are clearly marked to avoid confusion with works by the author. Rights grants are …read more

Via: Digital Book World