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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: 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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