Is Fandom Slipping into McCarthyism?
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Is Fandom Slipping into McCarthyism? is a letter by Connie-Sue Hamilton.
It was printed in Tarriel Cell (a Blake's 7 newsletter) in February 1994. This letter was a general response to a series of events regarding print zines and photocopies. It was also a specific response to Zine Piracy Letter by Ann Wortham in Response to Candace Pulleine.
Some Background InformationMaking copies of zines that were still in print could be financially damaging to many zine editors and publishers. It was an issue that was first publicly discussed in media fandom in the eleventh issue of Probe in August 1977. The editor, Winston A. Howlett, wrote:
Have you heard of the Underground? The one in ST fandom... They Xerox things. Lots of things. Like parts of fanzines, or whole fanzines, or even whole sets of fanzines. All without permission of any kind from anyone who had anything to do with the fanzine's production. And I'm not talking about just a copy for 'personal entertainment,' but five, ten, forty copies... whatever number fits their 'small circle of friends.' Sometimes they sell them, sometimes they trade them for other fanzines (copies or originals), sometimes they give them away...to someone else who also has free access to a duplicating machine and another circle of friends. I first heard about the Underground when a fellow zine editor stumbled across a Xerox of her visual series (elaborate comic book if you will) in the hands of a neo-fan at a con. Said neo praised the artist/editor for her work and casually mentioned that 'XYZ in California' had Xeroxed about forty copies and spread them all over the country... People with free access to Xerox machines make me very nervous, if just for the built-in temptation that the devices [will be] be used irresponsibly. What good is all the extra effort and expense an editor goes through to acquire a special story or article for an issue, when somebody with the 'Start Print' Syndrome can wreck the whole process? In case you hadn't thought about it, zine editors don't just give their works that extra effort just for the sake of the art, but to acquire new readers. In short, friends, when your fellow Trekfan starts drooling over your latest zine purchase, try gently imploring them to buy their own copy, instead of running to Daddy's office . Xerox doesn't need the business, but we do.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, there were strong feelings in fandom about some fans who were making copies of zines still in print and were, from one point of view, "stealing" from zine publishers by copying in-print zines. There were also strong feelings about zine editors who kept zines in print forever, thus continuing to make sales while the story authors never received any additional compensation. This coincided with growing resentment among other groups of fans regarding rising zine prices, often for zines which they felt were not worth the higher prices.
Many of these tensions came to a head at, and after, RevelCon 1993.
A Series of Open Letters: by Zine Publishers/Con Organizers
In 1993 and 1994, a number of Open Letters circulated in fandom regarding the photocopying of in-print zines.
Note: Della Van Hise and Alexis Fegan Black are the same person.
- Zine Piracy Letter to Candace Pulleine by Bill Hupe (March 19, 1993)
- Zine Piracy Letter to Candace Pulleine by Leah Rosenthal (March 23, 1993)
- Follow-Up Zine Piracy Letter to Candace Pulleine by Bill Hupe (April 14, 1993)
- Open Letter to Fandom by Alexis Fegan Black Regarding Zine Pirating (May 1993)
- Candace Pulleine’s Open Letter To All Revelcon Members (May 12, 1993)
- Open Letter to Fanzine Readers, Contributors, and Publishers by Candace Pulleine (June 1993)
- Zine Piracy Letter by Ann Wortham in Response to Candace Pulleine (Autumn 1993)
- Is Fandom Slipping into McCarthyism?, by Connie-Sue Hamilton (February 1994)
- Ann Wortham's Response to Connie-Sue Hamilton (April 1994)
Some related earlier essays:
- "Have you heard of the Underground?" (1977)
- An Open Letter to Fandom by Della Van Hise (predates this letter series: late 1980s)
- Ethics and Etiquette: A Proposal for the Buying and Selling of Fanzines (1989)
Excerpts from "Is Fandom Slipping into McCarthyism?"
If you are wondering what [McCarthyism] has to do with fandom, not exclusively Blake's 7 fandom, it has to do with the issue of zine piracy and the accusations made about the fans who attended Revelcon, this past March. Zine piracy is a very real problem, only a fool would say that it doesn't exist at all. The term zine piracy or bootlegging refers to the copying of a zine usually for sale when you do not have the right to do so (i.e. reprinting the zine to sell with[out] the full permission of the original zine editor). The majority of fans do not engage in this activity, instead they buy zines on their own, or borrow a friend's to read and see if they like it before they invest the money in buying it. Some fans may make copies of certain stories they like from a friend's zine if they do not like the whole zine, but they do not do this at conventions. Fans have better things to do with their time.A few weeks after the convention, several of the dealers who attended Revelcon brought allegations of zine piracy to the attention of the Revelcon con committee. Unfortunately this matter did not remain private, to be dealt with by the con committee, and now this issue threatens to become as big a problem as the slash controversy of a few years ago. Nor did it remain only a few people who were being accused of the acts of piracy. Within a few weeks of the original accusations, people who did not attend Revelcon were accusing all the fans who attended the convention, either verbally, or on electronic bulletin boards, of being the biggest batch of pirates in fandom. The accusations of piracy have now been spread around to include all fans in Houston and then all fans in Texas, or who ever lived in Texas, or have connections in Texas. Based on the gossip, I have been hearing, we, the fans of Texas, are apparently responsible for all acts of zine piracy; past, present, and future, by a very small group of people.
One of the loudest accusing voices has been Ann Wortham's. In fact she has gone so far as to put a letter of accusation and condemnation in her latest zine. Southern Lights 6. Below are the main sections of concern in her editorial: "I do have a concern to express to you. Bootlegging of zines seems to be on the rise again and this time the problem is not really dealers who copy zines to resell, but folks who buy one copy of a zine and then make duplicates for their friends. This is not all right. This is stealing. But, I think the people doing it already know that and don't care.... There's another reason you should care about fans stealing zines. This is the last issue of Southern Lights. There won't be any more. The fans at Revelcon in Houston who ripped me off, ripped you off too."Miss Wortham's angry accusation is totally wrong. She wrote it and claimed the fans at Revelcon were photocopying copies of her zine because only a few sold there. The reason why only a few copies of Southern Lights 5 were sold at Revelcon is very easy to understand. Most of the people who attended Revelcon had already paid in advance for a copy of that zine by mail. Some of them have had their orders in and paid for for almost a year and a half.
In another letter that Ms. Wortham put on the Prodigy Bulletin Board, she claimed she had a letter from one of the kins attending the convention who told her that she was going to bootleg all of her zines and encourage all her friends to do the same. The funny thing is that Ms. Wortham has never named this person, or sent a copy of the letter to Candace Pulliene to back up her claim with proof. Ms. Wortham is not the only one making unsubstantiated accusations. Bill Hupe was one of the first He claimed that he heard people openly discussing zine piracy in front of his table. If that was the case, why did he not bring this to the attention of Candi, or one of the con red shirts at the time, so they could put a stop to it then and there.
Here are some facts for you to consider. The average number of pages in a zine is between 120 and 200 pages. Some have less. Some have more. 2) Most zines are bound with the plastic spiral GBC binders, though more zine editors are going for the book bound type (perfect binding) since it makes the zine look more professional. 3) The average price of a zine ranges from $15 to $30. 4) The copiers in copy places such as Kinko's and Office Max that an individual can use are of the single sheet lid or the single sheet feeder type. 5) The type of copiers listed above usually only do single-sided copies. It takes a great deal of or and trouble to do a double-sided copy on this type of machine. 6) The average time it takes to make one copy on a lid type, or sheet feeder type of copier is about 12 seconds per page.
The reason I have brought these items up, is because I wish to point out a few things. The original zine dealers who made their complaints to Candace Pulleine, told her that wholesale copying of the zines they had brought to sell was going on. In fact one dealer went so far as to say that a copier had been brought to the convention. This claim is without foundation, considering the logistics involved. A desktop copier is a single sheet lid type. What this means is that you can only copy one sheet at a time and you must lift the lid, remove the old sheet and replace it with the next. Using this type of copier on, say, a 200 page zine or story, would take the person making the copy approximately 6 hours to make one copy - single-sided. Trying to make a double-sided copy would take approximately 12 hours. I know this for a fact because I have copied 200 page stories from the Professionals Circuit Library before....At the Kinko's near the hotel, it would have taken about 4 hours to do a single-sided copy on their sheet feeder type of copier. I do not know if it would be possible to do a double-sided copy on this type of copier. I don't know about those editors, but when most fans are at a convention, they have better things to do than spend all their time at a copy place and that is precisely what they would have to do, if they were attempting to make that many copies. While Kinkos and Office Max have at least to machines that would make copies faster, and double-sided, if you wanted them that way, they also have a policy of not duplicating material that has a copyright anywhere within it. All the zines available for sale at Revelcon, or even through the post have the copyright listed right on the first page for all to see. This means a copy shop will not do it However, they can not stop you, if you choose to do so. Since Kinko's would not touch the copyrighted material, they could not be done on the high speed copiers. This means the copies had to be done on the single sheet copier. I played around with the numbers a little to see just how long it would take given differst sets of variables. Even given one copy every 12 seconds, there is no way that 125.000 copies could have been made over the Revelcon weekend. The lowest amount of time I was able to come up with was approximately 6 1/2 days to make that many copies and that would only work if approximately 40,000 copies were made. The length of time would come down to 3 days, but only if the copy store were open 24 hours a day and you spent every minute there....
Bill Hupe claimed in a letter to a fan, that the Kinko's near the hotel did over 125,000 copies during that weekend. He also claimed that the manager of his Kinko's spoke with the one in Houston and that he (the Manager of the Houston Kinko's near the hotel) said that that weekend was one of the biggest and busiest they'd had in a long time. Candi also spoke with the Manager of the Houston Kinko's and she, (yes, the Manager of the Kinko's near the hotel in Houston is a woman) and she has been the manager there for several years) said that business for that weekend came nowhere near to what Hupe claimed had been done.
Another detail to consider is that some of the zines that dealers, like Doyva Blacque, claim were copied were of the book bound type. What this means is that in order to get a decent copy of the zine, the person making the copy would have to literally take the zine apart. In other words they would have to destroy the zine before they could attempt to make a halfway decent copy.
I have one final point to be considered by you. Alayne Gelfland, an editor who did not attend Revelcon, but had her zines being sold by Bill Hupe, has blamed the fact that her new Miami Vice zine did not do all that well at Revelcon [due to] zine piracy. She did not make this accusation to Candi in a letter. Instead, she placed it on the Prodigy Network for all to see. Her new zine had premiered at the convention Escapade in February and apparently did very well there, at least according to her claim. What she has failed to allow for before making her accusations is that Revelcon is a small multi-media convention and those who attended it came looking for items that dealt with the fandoms they were interested in. Miami Vice in and of itself had a very small following at Revelcon. Those who probably would have bought her zine at Revelcon, had probably already purchased it at Escapade, or maybe they were planning on getting it later through the mail. Remember, Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations, or not everything will appeal to everybody.
You may have realized by now that I was one of the attendees at Revelcon this year and I feel it is time for our side of things to be heard. Ms. Wortham and her friend, Leah Rosenthal have made their opinion quite clear about anyone trying to defend themselves from the accusations. According to Ms. Wortham and Ms. Rosenthal, anyone who tries MUST be guilty of pirating at Revelcon. I find this attitude appalling. They can't seriously expect us to remain silent while they sling all this mud at us. I spent a great deal of time in the dealers room. I also went out and made some copies of items from the Pros Circuit Library. Nor did I see evidence of wholesale zine piracy, or any bootlegged copies of new zines being offered for sale on the orphan table, or anywhere else in the Hotel.
In closing, I would like to say that those who have made all the accusations and assigned all the blame to us, the attendees at Revelcon, have never provided concrete evidence to back up their claims. They all claim to have letters from people who attended Revelcon, admitting to participating in zine piracy, but they have never provided copies of that proof to Candi, so that she can keep an eye on them at the next Revelcon. Instead the editors who feel that they have been wronged are acting like the National Enquirer, making accusations based on hearsay, comments taken out of context or even partially heard conversations. Unless an editor has real proof that they are willing to provide to Candace Pulleine to back up their accusations, then they should keep their accusations to themselves. All they are doing is aggravating the situation, by slinging mud at those who attended Revelcon....To those editors who did not make unfounded accusations, I want to thank you. I also would like to say that we, the attendees of Revelcon, do not like being blamed as a group for things we did not do. Most of those who came to Revelcon did not come with bottomless wallets, so they were being very selective about what they bought at the convention. Nor did all of them come just to get fanzines. A number of the attendees came to meet others who liked the same fandoms that they did or maybe to find new fandoms to enjoy.
Reactions and Reviews
General Letters from Fans
The Term: To actually use the phrase "McCarthyism" in reference to this might be a trifle McCarthyist itself, but then, where do you end?
Annie Wortham. Considering The Great Paul Darrow Slash Controversy of a few years ago had Annie Wortham and Leah Rosenthal as two of its major figures, I should have hoped that people would know by now that these folk can run off at the mouth, so to speak, with an ability to turn any major disagreement into a war. I know from personal experience of that time that Annie Wortham has a short temper that is not well leashed, at least on paper. So I would probably take what Annie Wortham said with a grain of salt.
Bill Hupe. I do not know him. I know that he agents and reprints a great many zines. Is he reliable? Does he run off at the mouth? I don't know. Maybe some of you do. I do, however, know one of the zineds herein Australia that he agents for. I actually visited her at the end of my vacation, and heard something of what Bill told her happened. This, of course, is hearsay, since I can't be sure that I remember correctly what she told me, and she doubtless would not have been quoting verbatim what he wrote to her, when she told me. So why repeat it and confuse the issue? All I can say is that, inasmuch as I trust these people to tell me the truth, I believe there was pirating going on at Revelcon, but I could not be certain of its extent. Why didn't he bring it up at the time? I don't know, why don't you ask him? After all, if they were just discussing piracy, can you throw them out of a con for that? What was really going on? Hearsay, hearsay, hearsay!
Annie Wortham again. From what I have heard, she has been having financial troubles recently, been frantically busy, and thus not reliable with delivering sines as promised. Frankly, I reckon she's snowed under, and trying very hard to cope. One could therefore speculate two reasons for her accusations. The first is that not selling enough zines at Revelcon was the last straw, and she blew her top (see above). The second is that she wanted to blame someone else for her troubles, and decided to stir up trouble. Is she calculating enough for that? I don't know, and, frankly, I don't care. Raving on about people deliberately stirring up trouble just stirs up the trouble more, and obscures the real issues.
Gossip. Don't listen to it. Don't spread it. Is it your business? Can you ask the actual person about the issue? No? Then why listen to your friend's cousin's auntie about it? Or argue about what someone else said that Fred told Mary about what George said to Mabel? Particularly if it is negative.
Piracy. It is real. It goes on. It sends zineds to the wall.
Like to hear a horror story? In 1990, an Australian zine was nominated for the FanQ awards for best fanzine. These awards presumably require many votes just to get nominated - another Australian zine sold 250+ copies and was being lobbied for by its editor and her friends, and didn't get nominated. Guess how many actual genuine copies of the first zine had been sold in the States? Five. That's right, 5. F-I-V-E. How do I know this? The editor told me.
The difficulty in fighting bootlegging/piracy is that the poor fan-in-the-dealer's-room has no way of telling if the zine they just bought is a pirate copy, because they've never seen a genuine copy. Number the zines? Anyone can write numbers.
Warnings in the editorial? Leave out the editorial in the pirate copy. Special seals or embossing? These are usually mentioned in the editorial, so they just do as above - leave out the editorial. Not all zines have editorials, so how is one to know whether there was an editorial in this zine or not? If the pirate zine is only a partial copy of the original, they can leave out the table of contents. Not all zines have a table of contents, so one won't know that if s missing. Maybe one might become suspicious if the first story starts at page 7, but who really looks at the page numbers? And they could just renumber them anyway. And maybe the pirate copy is so good that someone who has seen a genuine copy can't tell the difference. Maybe it is an authorized reprint. How do you know? Give your agents authorizations? Anything can be faked, and most people wouldn't know to ask. And even if one did ask, the pirate would just lie through their teeth anyway. Practically no-one but the editor thermself would be able to tell for sure.
And even if you figure out that that zine was a pirate, the penny doesn't usually drop until after the con anyway, when you start putting one and one and one and one together, by which time it is too late. There may be enough circumstantial evidence to point pretty clearly to piracy (like in the example above), but no proof whatsoever. What can you do? If you had proof, the editor could take them to court at least in the US. But most of the time, you don't even know who "them" is, and there's nothing you can do - you just know people are being ripped off.I totally agree with the sentiment expressed by Annie Wortham in the quoted editorial whether or not fans at Revelcon were doing it — PIRATING IS STEALING, whether or not the piracy is for profit or convenience. Some people think that pirating is a victimless crime, but it isn't fanzines... The ultimate losers are the fans, because then there are simply less and less good zines around. Syndicated Images, RIP. Southern Lights, RIP. (does this mean Southern 7 too?) Enarrare, RIP. 
Tust a quick comment about piracy. I Unless a zine has been approved for sale by the actual copyright holder i.e. Paramount for Star Trek, the BBC for Doctor Who and the BBC and Terry Nation for Blake's 7), the zine itself is nothing more than a pirated work (which is why our organization docs not sell them).
It is actually rather amusing that someone who publishes a zine without approval from the copyright holders would become upset because someone copied their "pirated" work. Imagine how upset they would feel if they had actually expanded the creativity to originate the entire concept, characters, stroy guidelines, logos and everything els; that goes into making the property interesting, popular and marketable in the first place!
Most copyright holders look the other way when it comes to zines (i.e., they don't sue the publishers). However, zine publishers should face the fact that since the material they are publishmg is basically "pirated" to begin with, they really have no rights.This is not a condemnation of zines... just a quick reality check for those who think there is a difference between one type of piracy and another. 
I read Connie-Sue Hamilton's article; Is Fandom Slipping into McCarthyism? with interest and would like to add some comments of my own on the perspective of a zine editor/publisher. While no instances of piracy of any of my zines have come back to me, I would not be surprised in the least if there are some bootleg copies floating around....
As Connie suggested, however, people do make a copy or two of a given zine for penniless fan friends. What worries me more than that is wholesale bootlegging, done by people trying to make a profit off of the work of others, especially when the intent of the editor/publisher was to make little, if any profit. We know it goes on at cons, but it can be hard to spot. But to suggest it happened in the manner it did at Revelcon is, as Connie suggested, beyond belief. As someone who copies a lot of zines (my own copyrighted material, I assure you), I'd like to perhaps tweak Connie's figures just a bit. If you take the binding off of a zine, it's amazing how quickly you can make copies. I own my own copier, and know for a fact that I can copy four 120 page zines in around an hour. That is, if the phone isn't ringing off the wall and the paper hasn't gotten any moisture in it. Let's face it. Anyone who is going to be making copies of zines for profit would probably take the binding off. If they want a pristine copy to keep, they'll buy two. Comb-type bindings are also very easy to remove and replace.
My local Office Depot now also has a photocopier for customer use. Once you figure how to get the thing to work, you could drop a stack of originals in it and stand back and watch it duplicate and collate as many copies as you want. (And let me state something in defense of my local Office Depot. They can't go around checking every machine, but if you hand them something, they are very careful to check the copyright. They refused to print my first zine until I gave them proof that I was the copyright holder...
Even given that, I still can't believe that type of zine piracy was going on at Revelcon, or would happen on a wide scale at any con. The major reason is economics. Since most zines are put together on a shoestring budget, and legal considerations often require they not be sold at a profit, it's going to be very time-consuming to stand around copying $10-$15 zines, even if you do own your own copier or can have unlimited access to a high-speed machine. And that's just for the insides. Covers and bindings have to be
to be taken care of, too. A pirate isnt' going to have the time to do that and sell zines during a con, unless they pay someone or have a volunteer to do the job for them. This is not to say zine piracy isn't a problem or doesn't happen. Of course it does, especially with zines from overseas, which are difficult to get and can cost a fortune due to mailing expenses. Either way — making a copy for a friend or pirating one to sell — is not only a crime, but a crying shame.
Ann Wortham cited piracy — Revelcon in particular — as the reason she was folding Southern Lights. While I don't dispute that a popular zine like Ms. Wortham's would be more prone to wholesale bootlegging, I find it difficult to believe the piracy from a single convention of 200 people or so would be to blame. When you look at the percentage of attendees at a multimedia con who would a) be interested in Southern Lights; b) have the budget to purchase it right then; and c) not have already pre-ordered, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if pirated copies had been sold, the quantity would not have been very large. At a convention that small, I can't imagine piracy on such an immense scale; it's like branding everyone who attended as a criminal.
I've had zines for sale at the past three Revelcons, and have sold out every time, but I know my zine isn't everyone's cup of tea. In contrast, I have gone to much larger conventions and have been lucky to sell five copies. As Connie pointed out, not all zines sell well at any given convention. It depends on the focus of the convention and the timing of publication.
In order to keep this sort of fiasco from happening again (and to keep zine piracy at a minimum), I would like to suggest a minimum set of standards we as zine publishers and purchasers should follow:
Zine publishers should do what they can to make it easy to identify pirated copies. Many editors write a serial number of some sort in colored ink. I've also seen stamps and seals of various kinds. My zincs have full color covers, printed and signed individually. (I had a brief fling with color copies for AMOT2 covers, and those of you who have them know how disastrously it turned, so I went back to the time-consuming method.) Zine editors should also state on the title page how a leader may tell it's a genuine copy. And here's an idea I credit Candy Pulleine with — she asks each editor/publisher to send her a letter of authorization to sell their zines. Authorized reprints should have a statement of such bound within a zine. This protects buyer and seller alike, though it by any stretch of the imagination won't put a complete stop to piracy.
One more suggestion I'd like to make (do I hear a can of worms opening?) involves pricing. Media fanzines kind of tread a fine legal line. If the print run is small and those involved are obviously not making a profit, then the legal types at the studios usually have very little problem with it. Afterall, there's no money in going after someone who isn't making it in the first place. I do know of people who are making a profit from their media zines. If the studio has no problem with it, then I don't. On the other hand, I see some zines going for what seems to be a very high price. Now the quality may be excellent, the printing offset and the covers done with a multi-color process, but we editors need to realize that our customers do not have bottomless wallets. Don't get me wrong I'm willing to pay extra for a good, quality zine, if the stories and production values merit it But when you couple that with the recession and the trend toward 230+ page zines, some of these things are getting to be a bit pricey.
Given that, I'm willing to suggest that a certain amount of zine piracy is a backlash. "Jane" can't afford a 250 page zine at $30, so she photocopies "Dave's" issue for ten bucks. The unscrupulous pirate purchases a zine, makes copies, tries to pass them off as authorized reprints, and sells them for $20. Either way, we editors and publishers have lost sales — sales that help pay the costs of producing the zine. I don't pretend to have an easy solution, but we should bear in mind that if our product costs more than the public is willing to pay, then we'll lose sales. That's a simple fact of business.
I'm happy to say that I don't personally know any fans who would actually knowingly pay for a bootleg copy of a zine (if any of my friends do, I don't know it). Fans are a discriminating lot. They will pay good money for a grand piece of work, and will pass on paying good money for a piece of garbage. The problem arises when someone honestly believes he or she is putting out that good money for the genuine article. We have a local ad that says something to the effect that the best consumer is an educated consumer. We as editors and publishers need to educate our own consumers in this area. After ail, how does one spot a fake of anything without knowing how to spot the genuine article? We have to give our consumers the ammo. If you suspect a dealer at a con is trying to sell you a bootleg zine, don't be confrontational. Instead, ask a polite question such as, "Is this an authorized reprint?" That gives the dealer a chance to present satisfactory proof that he/she is an authorized agent selling proper copies. If you're still not satisfied, don't buy. Take a flyer or get the publisher's address from the inside of the zine and deal with him or her directly. If you honestly suspect piracy, take your concerns to the concom or someone in charge of the dealer's room. Be discreet, but let them handle it. Also voice your concerns to the editor and/or publisher of the zines involved. Above all, don't make a public issue of it unless you are totally certain of your facts. If you're wrong, not only will you find yourself with egg on your face, but you could find yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit if the dealer or agent thinks you've damaged his/her character enough to hurt business.
Having said all of this, I really don't know how out-of-hand piracy is. As Connie stated, some would believe that Texans have nothing better to do than pirate zines. We know that's a load of something I won't print in (or smear on) this publication. But I'm no fool. If something gets printed or recorded, someone will copy it (or parts) for a friend. There are always the lazy slugs who would profit from someone else's hard labor. Those are facts of life. But my question is, how rampant is piracy? It crossed my mind that maybe, as the injured parties, our perception of the issue has been clouded. On the other hand, when you see notes going out over national computer networks, and the comments they generate, it appears as though piracy may very well be a significant problem. There is no way we can ever get hard figures on this, obviously, but since more and more zines are taking bold anti-piracy measures, so there's something to this flap.
Since I wrote the above a new issue of Tarriel Cell has been published.... Kathryn Andersen had some very good comments on the issue of zine piracy. She's right. How can you go up against hearsay? I'm sure the tale of Revelcon has been embellished with every telling, though I would suspect Connie Hamilton, having spoken directly with Candy, would have a good grasp of the facts on the Texas end of the story. I have also spoken with Candy, and can confirm much of what Connie said.
[snipped]The really sad part of this is that we all lose. Those with the highest profile have the most to lose: Candy and Revelcon because while there appears to be no foundation to the tales of rampant piracy that supposedly took place, some people will believe them and boycott the am Ann Wortham and Southern Lights because it seems obvious that she's no longer able to recover her costs on the zine, for whatever reason. Zine editors and publishers lose because it takes more time and expense to implement piracy deterrents, not to mention worrying about even more about covering costs. And those who buy the zines lose because a popular publication has bit the dust, and also because honest people now have to play paranoid in order to keep from getting ripped off. All of fandom has lost big on this one. Another bit of trust, some of the sense of family we hold as fans, has been chipped away. That trust may never be restored. And that, my friends, is the biggest crime of all. 
A Specific Letter from Ann Wortham
A very specific response to Hamilton's letter was Ann Wortham's Response to Connie-Sue Hamilton.
- Winston Howlett uses "running to Daddy's office" to infantilize fic readers, something that Fegan Black does later with her use of the phrase "Suzy Cue trotting down to Kinko's" in May 1993's open letter Open Letter to Fandom by Alexis Fegan Black Regarding Zine Pirating.
- an LoC by Kathryn Andersen in Tarriel Cell v.7 n.2
- LoC by David Blaise, Friends of Doctor Who, printed in Tarriel Cell v.7 n.3
- LoC by Julie Barrett printed in Tarriel Cell v.7 n.3