Saturday, December 15, 2007

Future of Entertainment podcast on fan labor

Highly recommended (mp3) for covering some of the really difficult issues, including gender and class, surrounding attempts to monetize fan productions and attempts by fans to resist monetization. I don't want fanworks to keep us poor, but I also fear commercialization and I don't think that monetization would make very many of us very much money -- it doesn't make many professionals very much money.

The OTW is an attempt to carve out a noncommercial infrastructure for fanworks. Outside the OTW, there is room for indirect commercial benefit -- people who use fanworks as a talent showcase, the way some people get hired to work on video games on the strength of mods they've done for other games -- and for critical transformative works sold in the conventional market, like The Wind Done Gone. Our challenge is to recognize all this hybridity as the healthiest overall environment for creativity, acknowledging the value of professionals and of amateurs.

Other panels and video available at the conference website.

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