Interview with Rose Mitchell

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Interview with Rose Mitchell
Interviewer: Susan P. Batho
Interviewee: Rose Mitchell
Date(s): April 22, 2003
Medium: online as PDF
Fandom(s): Star Trek
External Links: effect of commercialisation and direct intervention by the owners of intellectual copyright : a case study : the Australian Star Trek fan community by Susan Batho (2009)
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Rose Mitchell was interviewed at Swancon, Perth WA.

The interview was included in an academic paper by Susan P. Batho which addresses the effect of the Viacom Crackdown, TPTB, and Australian fandom.

Part of a Series

Excerpts

[I] attended conventions (pro type), mini cons (fan type), club meetings, socialised with other people I met at the club meetings, took on responsibilities related to running of club such as general committee member, newsletter editor and sub editor, wrote crappy articles for zines, surfed the internet downloading all sorts of crap about trek, took ezine subscriptions, bought mags with trek related articles published in them, watched bulletin boards and the usenet for news about trek, watched pirated copies of trek (sometimes from the internet, others as tapes of direct feeds to the affiliate tv stations in the US, obtained from US fans), sat around watching episodes analyzing and intellectualising about them. etc etc etc. Edited Captain's Log (AUSTREK clubzine), wrote pieces for it, albeit not fanfic, collected collectibles and other memorabilia, collected series, including movies, on tape and/or dvd but not special edition box sets (felt this to be a marketing ploy). Bought and read the Pocketbooks books, mainly TNG, but also some of the other series tie-ins, collected the coffee table reference books.
My activities were affected in that [in the mid 1990s] I was the editor of the Log and had to be mindful of copyright infringements. The clubzine was vetted by the club's solicitor (who was also a member of the committee) before it was permitted to go to press – an overkill but fans were "gunshy" at that time. Also I was involved in the design and implementation of AUSTREK's website and again had to tread softly softly in regards to intellectual property rights. SPOCK, the fanfic fanzine for AUSTREK, was closed down in case of lawsuits. Again in hindsight, and overreaction. By the end of the 90s, AUSTREK (lead by me as I was both president and editor) decided to test waters and published a small amount of fanfic and art. Nothing came of it. I was prone to declare to all and sundry, "let the fuckers sue us. What will they get, fuck all." The club had limited funds and I was broke. I realise that my defiant stance would not have really affected how the Viacom secret police would have defended the intellectual property rights of Viacom/Paramount, but it was a general thumb your nose at the hard nosed yanks. I also stopped attending pro conventions as I felt they were too expensive for what they served up and plus, well, they were downright boring and a tad overbearing. Preferred instead to attend mini cons, club meetings and general sf cons. My interests and fanac have now gravitated towards general sf activities. I never read Trek books any more, don't participate in Trek-centric fan clubs such as AUSTREK and ENTERPRISE as I now prefer the wider sf community.
My feelings are that the producers and the owners of the intellectual property known as Star Trek have milked it till it was dry, or for another cliched analogy, took the horse to the well too many times... So, in summary, I feel that the producers of Trek (or the owners of the ip) are exploiting me. I won’t be exploited and therefore decline to purchase or participate any more.