A Feud in Wolf-Kink Erotica Raises a Deep Legal Question

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News Media Commentary
Title: A Feud in Wolf-Kink Erotica Raises a Deep Legal Question
Commentator: Alexandra Alter
Date(s): May 23, 2020 (online)
Venue:
Fandom: Original Fiction, Multifandom
External Links: The New York Times
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A Feud in Wolf-Kink Erotica Raises a Deep Legal Question is a 2020 article written by Alexandra Alter and published in The New York Times about the Omegaverse Litigation, the Alpha/Beta/Omega trope, the romance/erotica industry, and legal questions around DMCA. The subheadings are "What do copyright and authorship mean in the crowdsourced realm known as the Omegaverse?" and "Omegaverse stories typically feature characters arranged into a wolfpack-like hierarchy of dominant Alphas, neutral Betas and submissive Omegas — plus lots of lupine sex."

It received many responses and mixed feelings about its contents and how it publicized fandom activities.

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Contents

Addison Cain and Zoey Ellis, the two authors at the center of the lawsuit, were both interviewed for the article. Both were revealed to have fandom and fanfiction backgrounds. Addison Cain was in the Nolanverse Batman fandom, where she wrote fic "featuring Batman’s nemesis Bane as a sexy antihero, and posted them for free online. She quickly developed a fan base, becoming something of a star in her sub-subgenre." Her first published novel, "Born to be Bound," was "an adaptation of her fanfic." Zoey Ellis "got into fan fiction in 2006. She read stories set in the Harry Potter universe at first, then moved on to other fandoms, including one for the BBC’s “Sherlock,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch, that introduced her to the Omegaverse."

Reception

Addison Cain published a blog post, A Win for the Author Community, on the 17th of August 2020, saying the article
...failed to site sources, failed to remain un-biased, and misquoted both myself and the facts.

Youtuber Lindsay Ellis published an hour long youtube video, Into The Omegaverse: How a Fanfic Trope Landed in Federal Court on 3 of September 2020 covering the same topic as Alter's article and replying to some of Cain's claims in her blog post. On September 4th 2020, Ellis shared a screenshot of an email from Cain's lawyer claiming Ellis had shared "defamatory and harmful" content about Cain.

The article and Ellis' video brought attention to the lawsuit that it hadn't previously had, leading to fanworks on the topic.

Fan Comments

References