Homework: What Do Creators and Fans Owe Each Other?

Topic started by gia on March 9, 2009. Last post by DJTyrant 6 years ago.
Post by gia (3,032 posts) See mini bio Level 13
This is a very tricky question, but the short version, I think? Respect. Creators don't 'owe' fans anything in terms of content. If the readers don't like the content, they stop buying the creators' works, which is the most simple kind of contract there is. You don't like it, you don't buy it-- no one makes you pay for that manga, that DVD, that novel. But the creators need to respect their fans, and fans need to respect the creators of the works they love.

On the fan side of things: first off, I know I said "excluding payment," but compensation IS a major part of the implied creator/fan contract. That means you buy the anime, the manga, etc, even if you prefer to read it online in the long run. It's not difficult to find a way to pay for the materials...import the book from Japan (WAY easier with a manga than an anime, of course). lt's better to at least buy the merchandise than to buy nothing-- although that's not really adequate compensation for the materials themselves, either. So yes, fans owe creators the payments they require. If it costs more than you're willing to pay? Don't consume the materials. It's that simple. In the days of so much free LEGAL content online, you can find something else to do. You can also find ways to lobby for a better price (tell the anime companies that you want it, but that you want it cheaper! If they hear enough feedback saying the same thing, you bet they'll try to find a way to work it out-- but they have to know that enough people want it).

But there's more than just the financial compensation, which I could go on and on and on about (and, occasionally, have). Fans need to respect the works themselves. That means that if the creator explicitly states "no fanfiction" (as a very few have), or "no adult fanfiction," fans need to respect their wishes, even if they disagree with said wishes. It's rare that an author gets really upset about a fanfic or a doujinshi or fanart, but when it happens? It's the author's baby. Even if you don't agree with how they "raise" it, it's their right to do so. You don't get to re-write their series without implicit permission to do so.

Now, what do creators owe fans? The same thing: respect. Now, in my perfect idyllic world, that would mean that creators respect fan-made derivative works that are non-profit. J.K. Rowling has done a decent job of this by leaving alone sites that have adult material but have age-blockers in place; sites that have nothing but adult materials and poor or no age-blocking have received CODs.

Creators also need to respect fans in the very direct, personal sense. Actually, this doesn't go just for primary creators but also those involved in the creation, who sometimes go all diva-ish and treat their fans poorly. I shan't name any names here, but it can be pretty ridiculous. Creators need to keep their promises as best as they're able in terms of releasing things when they say they will, attending events they say they will, etc. They need to not treat their fans like idiots when interacting with them directly, or act like they themselves are gods among mortals. And it's better not to talk shit about fans on the Internet, either...we'll find out!

So, to sum it up again: fans and creators owe each other R-E-S-P-E-C-T. And I told you what it means to me!
Post by DJTyrant (118 posts) See mini bio Level 2
Great blog, this is pretty much how I have felt lately as far as supporting anime and why I have been buying so many DVDs lately :)
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