Posts Tagged ‘britney spears’

Work for hire fan fiction contest? We need an organization to fight that!

February 20th, 2009

Have you heard about the Britney Spears fan fiction contest? I have. It is being run by Britney Spears‘s label. Should be massively awesome great fun! If you win, well you get the totally awesome prize of having your story turned into “official digital music video!”

Haven’t we heard about stuff like this before? Oh wait. We have. Only this Britney Spears contest makes them look angelic, showing corporations how to run things where fan fiction is concerned. Why? Because you retained the rights to your story when you uploaded content to their archive.

Take a look at the fun contest rules for the Britney Spears contest:

(ii) you agree that the Submission Materials shall be a “work made for hire,” with all rights therein, including, without limitation, the exclusive copyright, being the property of Sponsor. In the event the Submission Materials are considered not to be a “work made for hire,” you irrevocably assign to Sponsor all right, title, and interest in your entry (including, without limitation, the copyright) in any and all media whether now known or hereafter devised, in perpetuity, anywhere in the world, with the right to make any and all uses thereof, including, without limitation, for purposes of advertising or trade.

(c) You hereby hold Sponsor harmless from and against any third party claim arising from use of the Submission Materials. You waive any right to privacy. You waive any right to inspect or approve uses of the Submission Materials or to be compensated for any such uses. You hereby represent and warrant that you are at least 13 years of age and that you have read these Official Rules and are fully familiar with their contents.

When you know that other company was created with a Terms of Service that was a bit more benign? The “fandom” response included the beating of chests, and gnashing of teeth. Fans were angry! And they remained angry for months! They followed the news about the site. They blogged about it. They wrote academic papers! They were not going to allow people to colonize and commercialize their space and take advantage of fans who didn’t know better because they weren’t integrated into mainstream fandom. And out of that outrage, an organization was born. This organization’s purpose was to lobby for fan rights as they applied to fan fiction derivative works.

And so, twenty months after that event, with the organization well under way and having much support in the community? With the organization being aware of the Britney Spears fan fiction contest because information about it was posted to fanthropology, a LiveJournal community that many of the organization’s members follow actively follow having a post about it? You just know that the organization is on the case! They too are outraged about this! The bandom community that is represented by the organization is leading the charge! There is outrage because really, the Britney Spears contest makes that other organization look good! And rights of fans need to be protected! Especially those that don’t matter! And dude, they are trying to commercialize fan fiction while stealing the rights away from fan fiction writers! Woe! Unfair! Cruel! This must be stopped!

Wait. No. There isn’t outrage. I jest! They don’t care. This organization is not the least bit interested in Britney Spears. They aren’t interested in publicizing the rules that even I, some one who doesn’t have a problem with commercialism in fan fiction, consider unfair. The organization hasn’t had Britney Spears fan fiction contest days where they encourage their members to write meta about how this is unfair on their LiveJournals and to submit those stories to metafandom. They haven’t updated their wiki to include information about the unfair rules on the Britney contest. This topic hasn’t made fandom_wank because passionate fans, members of that organization, have gotten so passionate that they’ve hit the batshit phase of defending fan rights. I haven’t seen Henry Jenkins blogging about this like he did with that other company. The fan outrage hasn’t gotten to the point where the folks over at Making Light, a for profit press, have started to weigh in on the side of their fandom brethren to complain about how another corporation is unfairly taking advantage of their fannish brethren.

There isn’t any outrage and despite the so called lessons that the company taught us, nothing changes. The organization created to protect us does nothing. Why? Because really, who cares? This is Britney Spears. And that contest? It isn’t going to have any affect on fans like those that are involved with the organization. The Britney Spears contest isn’t going to challenge those fans perceived status in the fan community. They aren’t going to think that they are less than top dogs because of the Britney contest. So you see, the organization is going to sit quietly by while fans get screwed. Isn’t it lovely? That’s why we need them in fandom… to not document this, to not bring this to our attention, to not lobby for change that they could actually get done.

There is no outrage and there continues to be no organization, no group of people dedicated to protecting fan rights when corporations cross the line. And that makes me sad. :(

Fandoms and their musical tastes & trends

January 23rd, 2009

So, I have recently fallen in crazy love with Last.Fm. Not only is it a great service for discovering new music, but also tracking my own listening habits, and now, I see, for examining fandom trends and looking at what connections there may be between certain anime, media fandoms and bandoms. This is possible as Last.fm allows users to create “groups” of any kind, and statistics will show what are the weekly top artists for that group.

So what are some popular musical artists within certain large fandom groups right now?

Let’s first look at Twilight. There are currently over 1,200 members of the Last.Fm Twilight group, and their Top 10 artists currently are:

1. Paramore
2. Muse
3. Linkin Park
4. Carter Burwell
5. Katy Perry
6. Coldplay
7. Britney Spears
8. The Black Ghosts
9. Iron & Wine
10. Blue Foundation

Not surprisingly, 7 of those 10 artists have material on the Twilight soundtrack cd, explaining their popularity.

Looking next at Harry Potter, which has a Last.Fm group of over 1,500 members and a fanbase with some similarities in age and makeup to Twilight, we discover some close similarities in musical taste:

1. Coldplay
2. Muse
3. Paramore
4. The Killers
5. The Beatles
6. Britney Spears
7. Linkin Park
8. Katy Perry
9. Radiohead
10. Fall Out Boy

6 of the Harry Potter Top 10 are the same as for Twilight, including artists such as Britney Spears and Katy Perry, not on the Twilight soundtrack but popular performers within the teenage/20-something age group. How exactly The Beatles and Radiohead fit in I’m not sure, unless they reflect some of the wider age-range and fannish make-up of Harry Potter fandom? I’ll be curious to keep comparing the data on these two fan groups in future weeks.

Let’s also look at Naruto, a popular anime which also has a large (1,400+ members) Last.Fm group. Here’s their current Top 10:

1. Linkin Park
2. System of a Down
3. Metallica
4. Muse
5. Coldplay
6. Toshiro Masuda (Naruto soundtrack composer)
7. Red Hot Chili Peppers
8. The Killers
8. Rammstein
10. Nightwish

Again we see some familiar names, such as Linkin Park, Muse, Coldplay and The Killers, but there are also some more metal and hard rock acts such as Metallica, System of a Down and Rammstein. So is there a connection between Naruto and metal fandom? I’m curious to know! Has a lot of metal been used in Naruto songvids? Can anyone explain this more?

Finally, let’s look at the Top 10 artists this week for an older fandom: Star Trek. The Star Trek Last.Fm group is smaller than the others we’ve looked at so far–about 350 members, and the Top 10 artists are quite different from the other groups looked at so far:

1. The Beatles
2. Nine Inch Nails
3. U2
4. Pink Floyd
5. The Cure
6. Depeche Mode
7. Radiohead
8. Red Hot Chili Peppers
9. The Rolling Stones
10. David Bowie

The skew is certainly towards much older musical acts from the 60s & 70s (Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, David Bowie…), 80s & 90s (Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, U2, The Cure…) Musical tastes for the fandom match quite closely with the time periods when Star Trek itself was perhaps at its most popular. Though there are The Beatles and Radiohead again. Maybe they’re just popular all across fandom? Will the release of the upcoming Star Trek movie bring in a younger fanbase and skew the musical taste of the group more towards currently popular acts?

Anyway, such are the things I find interesting to look at on Last.Fm currently, and what it may or may not say about the connections between different fandom communities.

We have LiveJournal stats! So what fandoms are hot on LJ?

January 14th, 2009

I’ll get to the title line after first explaining what we’re talking about with LiveJournal stats. If you haven’t figured it out, we love stats at Fan History. We love them a lot. Stats can back up your gut feeling about what is going on in fandom. We’ve been tracking the size of fandom on FanFiction.Net, FanWorks.Org, FicWad, SkyHawke, FanFikion.De and Freedom of Speech for a couple of months and we’re addicted. It showed us that Twilight fandom had a small post movie release bump but it really took about two, three weeks for the fandom to explode. (And the numbers haven’t gone down since.)

Given this love, we wanted to get more stats. And we wanted our stats to come from LiveJournal and its clones because we’ve always been told that LiveJournal is a hub of fandom activity. How busy is the fandom? How active? What fandoms are more active than others? How do we measure the level of fandom activity on LiveJournal and its clones?

The method that was chose was to manually create a list of LJ comms based on fandoms. We chose manual because interests don’t really work. You could pick up icon communities dedicated to 100 fandoms where the fandom is unlikely to be represented regularly. We then built a list which we sorted by fandom, by language and by service. Our final list for LiveJournal included 3,092 fandoms. We couldn’t really make it much bigger because we needed to be able to update all these articles in a single day AND the bot would need to access each profile once a day to get the stats we were looking for. The stats pick up total posts, total comments, total members, total watchers and that information is put onto an article about the community in question. All the communities for a fandom are then added together and put on article which measures the total activity in a fandom based on our list for that fandom. Example: Harry Potter LiveJournal community size. After that’s done, those columns are then added together based on language for the community and we get a beautiful list like this list.

What’s interesting is that Twilight is hot on LiveJournal and it clones AND hot with various fan fiction archives. Harry Potter, second on fan fiction archives, is only 18th on LiveJournal. (This could be because our LiveJournal sample is missing the more active HP communities but I some how doubt it.) Naruto is third with fan fiction archives but 15th on LiveJournal. This could be because anime communities are much better represented elsewhere on sites like CrunchyRoll, AnimeNewsNetwork, anime specific blogging sites, etc.

When you get out of English, Twilight fandom is well, active but not always active. It was tops on our Finnish sample. It was 8th in our French sample. It was 7th in our Italian sample. It was tops in Spanish. For the other languages, we couldn’t find communities for Twilight to even be included. That’s the case for most fandoms: Non-English representation is tiny. The fandom language communities just aren’t there, even if the language is. (There are half a dozen Slovak communities but none are fandom specific.)

So that all out of the way, below are the top 100 fandoms on LiveJournal, based on our sample, for yesterday:

Fandom movers and shakers for LiveJournal on January 14, 2009
Rank   ? Fandom   ? Total Activity   ? Previous rank   ?
1 Twilight 6665 1
2 Meta 1232 2
3 WWE 1077 25
4 House M.D. 951 3
5 Katekyo Hitman Reborn! 833 7
6 Gossip Girls 735 9
7 Doctor Who 727 4
8 How I Met Your Mother 473 6
9 Merlin 381 5
10 Jonas Brothers 322 13
11 Bones 300 48
12 Top Gear 278 45
13 Darker than Black 221 31
14 As the World Turns 219 18
15 Naruto 184 16
16 30 Seconds to Mars 180 44
17 30 Rock 168 14
18 Harry Potter 167 10
19 Hanson 165 84
20 One Tree Hill 162 124
21 Slayers 150 47
22 My Chemical Romance 134 75
23 New Kids on the Block 130 156
24 David Tennant 130 19
25 NCIS 129 24
26 Laurell K. Hamilton 125 37
27 Britney Spears 124 34
28 Anita Blake 123 36
29 Life on Mars 118 26
30 High School Musical 118 12
31 Ugly Betty 115 33
32 Avatar: The Last Airbender 115 79
33 Neil Patrick Harris 113 8
34 Mystery Science Theater 3000 113 54
35 Bleach 112 15
36 Manchester United 111 11
37 Sports fan fiction 107 42
38 Soccer fan fiction 107 43
39 Sailor Moon 98 28
40 Transformers 94 40
41 The Office (US) 93 23
42 Grey’s Anatomy 87 50
43 Star Trek 83 21
44 Prince of Tennis 81 109
45 Torchwood 76 17
46 Stargate SG-1 76 29
47 An Cafe 76 20
48 Ben 10 74 108
49 Gackt 73 72
50 Pokemon 71 74
51 Alice Nine 67 128
52 Law and Order: SVU 65 71
53 America’s Next Top Model 62 22
54 Lost 57 68
55 24 56 112
56 West Wing 55 80
57 The Sentinel 52 46
58 Vancouver Islanders 51 52
59 The Big Bang Theory 51 117
60 The Mentalist 48 73
61 Saiyuki 48 39
62 Bob Dylan 48 253
63 Fullmetal Alchemist 47 69
64 Ewan McGregor 46 51
65 Ace Attorney 45 119
66 the GazettE 44 56
67 Veronica Mars 44 91
68 U2 44 162
69 The Young and the Restless 44 306
70 CSI: Miami 44 111
71 Atlanta Braves 44 228
72 One Piece 43 38
73 L Word 43 67
74 Dir en grey 43 30
75 Futurama 42 703
76 CSI 42 64
77 iCarly 40 27
78 Kingdom Hearts 40 107
79 Batman 40 78
80 Speed Racer 39 92
81 Beverly Hills 90210 39 127
82 X-Files 37 85
83 Drake & Josh 37 58
84 Phantom of the Opera 36 209
85 Mad Men 36 59
86 Lord of the Rings 36 101
87 Hellsing 34 187
88 Dancing with the Stars 34 131
89 Backstreet Boys 34 183
90 The Late Late Show 33 96
91 Craig Ferguson 33 99
92 Inuyasha 32 141
93 Boston Red Sox 29 104
94 Princess Tutu 27 65
95 David Bowie 27 110
96 Bandom 27 88
97 Sonic: The Hedgehog 25 208
98 Whose Line is it Anyway 24 95
99 Supernatural 24 60
100 Pushing Daises 24 32

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