Here Today, Zined Forever

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Title: Here Today, Zined Forever
Creator: Teresa Kilmer
Date(s): January 23, 2001
Medium: online meta
Fandom: multimedia
Topic: deleting fanfiction
External Links: Here Today, Zined Forever/WebCite
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In 2001, Teresa Kilmer wrote a defense of writers removing their online fic.

It as part of a series at Fanfic Symposium.


I cannot understand [the] 'outrage' when stories are pulled from the Net [to be republished in] zines] [1]. The logic completely escapes me. First, [some argue] that netfic is free anyway. (This is a false statement. Not everyone is a grad student with their Net access chummily provided them by their university. Most adults I know pay about $20 per month for Net access. That's $240 a year- a long way from free and the equivalent to about ten zines.) Then [they complain] because something free (and therefore less valued) is gone.
This is a very simple problem to solve. Really, if you like the story that much, send a loc to the author and ask permission to save it to your hard drive or print it off. Given the transitory nature of the Net -- sites disappear, television shows issue 'cease and desist' orders, an ISP goes down, an archive mistress gets angry with an author and pulls her stories- it's irrational to complain about a medium that is, by its very nature, constantly in motion.
Bottom line- there are NO guarantees (nor should there be) that once a story appears or is started on the Net, that it will be there forever. Get over it- the Net is simply NOT permanent.
As a writer, at no point in time do I feel any sense of "obligation" to Net readers beyond writing the best story I can. I am certainly not obligated to provide Net readers with access to my stories and their sequels, etc in perpetuity- that's an absurd notion. Taking this logic to the extreme, that would mean I couldn't remove my stories from a particular archive (which I have done) because I didn't like the snuff stories there. As author, I choose which medium presents my stories; moderated archive, public archive, list or print zine....
Overall, I think it's the sense of entitlement .....that bothers me the most. Its very real possessiveness about others' fan fiction seems misplaced. The bottom line is- whether a work in progress, sequel to a story or part of a story series- you are simply Not Entitled to someone else's intellectual property.


  1. ^ A sort-of Filing Off The Serial Numbers...