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Tony Grist

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Fandom [Aug. 4th, 2007|12:12 pm]
Tony Grist
Fandom- I don't get it.

Why would you want to mess with someone else's characters when you can create your own?

Does J.K. Rowling take pleasure in badly written stories about her characters having sex?  I doubt it.  Why- If you admire and enjoy her work - would you want to disrespect her so? 

Isn't "fan" a bit of a misnomer?

But lets move from the general to the specific. An artist just got banned by LJ because of an image she posted of Harry and Snape.

Only the banning seems ineffective because she's bounced back and the image is viewable. (I'm not giving links. I don't want to give her any more publicity than she's getting already).

I clicked. I was expecting an image of them kissing. Boy, was I in for a surprise.

The characters were clearly modelled on Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Rickman. Isn't this defamation of character or libel of something?

Even more to the point:  British comedian Chris Langham is about to go to prison for downloading images which (I assume ) are comparable to this. 

So- forget morality- LJ needs to guard itself against prosecution.

But I don't want to forget morality. You take characters from a beloved children's book and you produce an image of them that any paedophile would be proud to own (you can quibble over whether Harry looks underage or not if you want to be legalistic and miss the point) and  I can't think of any grounds on which I'd be prepared  to defend you.

A lot of fans are up in arms and banging on about censorship.  I just watched a video of a girl give a little self-righteous speech then attempt to burn her LJ shirt with a blow torch .  Fine. Off you trot to some less scrupulous site and good luck to you!  As it happens, I'm perfectly happy to see you go.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: cataptromancer
2007-08-04 04:49 pm (UTC)
Not sure where I stand -- as with any sane person, I detest child pornography, but I'm not quite sure how harry potter slash [which as various people have pointed out is just one niche of fandom] relates to it. I'm also always a little nervous about labeling other people's desires illegal just because they seem to resemble illegal ones (it's the kind of slippery slope logic that leads people to think BDSM enthusiasts are all rapists in training or something) -- and also nervous about labeling other people's writing reductive or pointless if it uses an author's material without respecting the author's wishes or intentions (it's an over the top example, I know, but Shakespeare took an awful lot from other people, and sometimes in ways they might not have liked).

But that is just my unformed reaction. More to the point, I wanted to see how you'd factor in the following: hasn't daniel radcliffe appeared nude, in sexually charged scenes, on stage?
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[User Picture]From: red_girl_42
2007-08-04 06:44 pm (UTC)
I'm also always a little nervous about labeling other people's desires illegal just because they seem to resemble illegal ones

Actually, there are no illegal desires. You can have any desires you want, you just don't get to act on all of them.

And that's where I draw the line. If material is fantasy, and it isn't violating anyone else's rights (i.e. having real children do obscene acts) then it shouldn't be illegal. You can hate it, you can be offended by it, and you can rail against it (as poliphilo does here). But you shouldn't put people in jail for it.
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2007-08-04 08:56 pm (UTC)
hasn't daniel radcliffe appeared nude, in sexually charged scenes, on stage?

In a production of Peter Shaffer's Equus (1973), which is neither fanfiction nor slash. Are you arguing that this puts his nudity in the public domain?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-08-05 10:21 am (UTC)
I think the legal status of this image is unclear. I'm pretty sure it would be illegal in Britain, maybe not illegal in the States- but I think LJ was wise to take it down before the matter could be tested in the courts.

It's been pointed out to me above (by mswyrr) that Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea and other respected literary works could be classified as fanfic so I'm modifying my views on that score. Hey, it's a learning process.

My objection to the picture is that it shows Harry Potter- a character from a children's book- in flagrante delicto. Equus, on the other hand, is a play for adults and Radcliffe- the actor- is of age. But I'm not sure that's a complete answer.



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[User Picture]From: cataptromancer
2007-08-05 05:46 pm (UTC)
I was just picking at your logic a bit. In other comments you've said that you're not interested in splitting hairs, but I'd actually say that the more loathsome the crime, the more serious is the accusation, and so he more hairs ought to get split. I was curious about the fact that you say that the picture (which I still haven't seen) is close enough to Daniel Radcliffe to be considered libel but ALSO "comparable" to the images Langham downloaded (which, as far as the news suggests, were without a doubt child pornography -- the photo-videographic record of sexual violence done to children). The more I progress with this argument, the more I think I've just caught you in a quibble when you were making a very heartfelt argument, but: if the image is close enough to DR to be understood to be DR, then there's a possibility it could be taken to be depicting an over-aged individual.

And yes, I do agree LJ was wise to do what they did. They're a business, ultimately, and need to keep them safe. I'm just a little wary about immediately lumping in the person who made that image with Langham.
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[User Picture]From: cataptromancer
2007-08-05 05:47 pm (UTC)
he more hairs = the more hairs

keep them safe = keep themselves safe
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-08-05 06:30 pm (UTC)
I only raised the question about libel. You'd need a legal brain- which I'm not- to pass judgement on that. Is it libellous to "abuse" the likeness of an actor? I don't know. Maybe it isn't.

But if I were Radcliffe or Rickman I think that image would make me cross.

Obviously I don't know what images Langham had on his hard drive. I only said comparable- meaning in the same general area. British law is pretty down on paedophile images right now and if I had that Potter image on my hard drive I'd be worrying about it.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-08-05 10:27 am (UTC)
The picture's legal status is unclear. I believe LJ was wise to take it down before it could be tested in the courts.

It's been pointed out (above by mswyyr) that Jean Rhys' Wide Sargasso Sea and other respected literary works could be viewed as fanfic so I'm modifying my views on that score. Hey, it's a learning process.

My objection to the picture is that it shows a character from a children's book in flagrante delicto. Equus, on the other hand is an adult play and Radcliffe, the actor, is of age. (I'm not sure this is a complete answer).
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