Fandom Is My Fandom: Or, We All Live in a Coffeeshop AU
|Interviews by Fans|
|Title:||Fandom Is My Fandom: Or, We All Live in a Coffeeshop AU|
|Interviewee:||Amanda Brennan, Flourish Klink, Meredith Levine, Aron Levitz, Elizabeth Minkel, Betsy Rosenblatt, and Jules Wilkinson|
|Date(s):||July 9, 2015|
|External Links:||on YouTube|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Heidi Tandy: "At ComicCon in July of 2015, I hosted an amazing panel of insightful people to talk fandom. All of us agree that fandom isn't just one thing these days, and it never was - so we spent almost an hour discussing what fandom - and the platforms, sites and communities that host fandoms - are today." 
Panel members were: Betsy Rosenblatt (OTW Legal Chair), Heidi Tandy (OTW Legal), Amanda Brennan (Community and Content Tumblarian for Tumblr), Flourish Klink (Chaotic Good, Inc., Transmedia Producer for East Los High), Meredith Levine (Fanthropologist, ZEFR), Aron Levitz (Head of Business Development, WattPad), Elizabeth Minkel (Writer, New Statesman/The Millions), and Missyjack (aka Jules) (Founder, Supernatural Wiki).
There were at least 208 attendees.
Fandom isn't just one thing these days, and it never was. But now that fans and their creativity, content, and consumption are something for media companies to understand, PR people to focus on, social media to thrive on, and news organizations to report about, what happens to the "traditional" fan community and the fanboys and fangirls that create their culture and content? Are follow-on works like fanart, vids, and fanfic to be mocked, tracked, supported, and enjoyed within an organic community, or considered a stepping-stone to a creative career? What if the answer is "sometimes one, sometimes all, and sometimes something more?" The panel will look from deep inside popular fandoms, the media companies that work with them, and the sites that host them with Amanda Brennan (community and content associate tumblarian, tumblr), Flourish Klink (Chaotic Good, Inc., Transmedia producer for East Los High), Meredith Levine (Fanthropologist, ZEFR), Aron Levitz (head of business development, Wattpad), Elizabeth Minkel (writer, New Statesman, The Millions), Betsy Rosenblatt (legal committee chair, Organization for Transformative Works), and Jules Wilkinson (founder, SuperWiki) in a panel moderated by Heidi Tandy (founder/essayist, FYeahCopyright). 
At this year's San Diego Comic Con (SDCC), OTW Legal Chair Betsy Rosenblatt participated in the Fandom is My Fandom panel, moderated by Legal's Heidi Tandy.
Betsy and Heidi were joined by Amanda Brennan (Community and Content Tumblarian), Flourish Klink (Chaotic Good, Inc., Transmedia Producer for East Los High), Meredith Levine (Fanthropologist, ZEFR), Aron Levitz (Head of Business Development, WattPad), Elizabeth Minkel (Writer, New Statesman/The Millions), and Missyjack (aka Jules) (Founder, Supernatural Wiki).
A video of the panel is now available for public viewing.
The panel discussed how fandom has changed now that fanworks are in the spotlight on social media and mainstream news and are being acknowledged by the companies that create and distribute source material. The panelists reflected on how advances in technology and improved understanding in copyright law, particularly in the area of fair use, have increased fandom's public reach and placed fanworks into the public consciousness.
Panelists noted that fandom is even inspiring developments in law: in 2013, Holmesian scholar Leslie Klinger and author Laurie R. King received a "cease and desist" letter from the Conan Doyle Estate, ahead of the publication of their second anthology of stories inspired by the Sherlock Holmes canon. Klinger successfully sued the Estate, claiming the copyright had expired on all of the story elements included in the anthology. Because of Klinger, all but the last ten Holmes stories are now officially part of the public domain, allowing fanfiction authors to publish and even sell works based on the majority of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories and novels.
Many fanwork creators prefer to stay non-commercial, though, whether to be better able connect directly with their audience; to use fanworks as a "training ground" for skills that can be used professionally; to avoid legal risks; or simply because they prefer to participate in a gift and generosity based economy and community.
The panel pointed out that the companies behind commercial works are increasingly interested in fandom and fanworks, sometimes even offering fanwork contests. Because of this, many fanwork creators no longer feel the need to hide their work from "the powers that be" and can enjoy participating in these contests, provided that they are able choose what and when to share. Companies may use these contests both as a way to reward fans for their enthusiasm and as an additional source of metrics to gauge consumer engagement. The panel suggested that, while fans often appreciate nods to fanwork in their favourite source material (e.g. Supernatural meta episodes, characters referring to tumblr, etc.), they also want space to engage in fandoms without needing acknowledgement or approval from creators of source material.The increased visibility of fanwork has allowed mainstream creators to acknowledge their fannish pasts. As fanwork becomes better understood by people outside of the fandom community, we hope that stigma will decrease, and that the myriad forms of fannish engagement and creation will be met with the appreciation and respect they have always deserved. 
- Fansplaining: Why Wasn't I Consulted?! (two participants (Flourish Klink and Elizabeth Minkel) discuss the panel)
- Fansplaining: What's the Deal with Wattpad? (two participants (Flourish Klink and Elizabeth Minkel) discuss the panel with two of the other panelists)
- Show Notes