Fanfiction is a creative process where fans of an original work of fiction develop their own stories based on the characters in that original work. These stories are often shared on fanfiction websites, traditional publishing routes, or popular applications such Wattpad. Unfortunately, some authors of original works may have concerns about fanfiction. They may feel uneasy when fan-created stories gain popularity and recognition comparable to their own original works, as it involves fans benefitting financially or gaining fame from ideas that these fanfiction authors did not originally conceive of themselves. Consequently, authors sometimes resort to legal measures by filing copyright infringement lawsuits to address their concerns. Therefore, the question is, how can fanfiction authors avoid these copyright infringement claims? Essentially, fanfiction authors should take measures to ensure that their work can potentially be protected under the fair use doctrine in the event of a copyright infringement lawsuit.
This post was originally published on the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal website on October 31, 2023. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.
Fernandez, Gabriella, "A Brief Overview of the Fair Use Analysis in the Fanfiction Context" (2023). AELJ Blog. 366.