September 22, 2019 Feature

Into the Fandom-Verse: Fanworks and Fair Use

Heidi Howard Tandy

©2019. Published in Landslide, Vol. 12, No. 1, September/October 2019, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

Social media in 2019 remains vibrant, in large part, because of fans who are creating and sharing content.1 In the last decade, lawyers have examined fan- created content and follow-on works,2 and how they engage with copyrighted works and trademarks owned by third parties. The content includes numerous mediums and involves numerous social media platforms: fans record a favorite song during a concert and share it on Instagram; vidders turn a classic film into a musical and share it on YouTube; graphic designers or CGI artists create fanart and share it on Tumblr; a commentator makes a movie scene into the perfect meme to share on Twitter; video game fans stream playthroughs on Twitch; or someone develops unique creative material in an up-and-coming social media platform.

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