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[personal profile] aearwen

As frustrating and down-right maddening as it is to see a fine archive like LOTRFF ruined in days by someone wanting to mine fanfiction for advertising dollars, I think there's a lesson here for all of us.

For the Keith Manders of the world (dubbed the Sala-Mander elsewhere, a very fitting moniker!) it is that not all of fandom is a bunch of starry-eyed, air-headed, nit-wit fangurls and/or unwashed social misfits who can be lured by "Oooo, Shiny!" There are a goodly number of us - and not just in the Tolkien fandom, although I admit to a significant level of bias here - who are highly intelligent, well-educated, SUCCESSFUL adults participating in what, in essence, is to us a hobby. We understand that we exist in a grey area of copyright laws. We are not amused by assumptions that we'd willingly let someone else rake in the dough from adverts posted all over OUR stories.

And for us fanfiction writers, the fate of LOTRFF should be a wake-up call. We enjoy the idea that we may post our little hearts out for free on these little archives set up and maintained by fellow fandom geeks, but we really don't get it that this is costing those nice folks significant green to keep them running. Some, like LOTRFF's Adora, evidently, run up loans simply to keep the lights on. And where are we?? Sitting back and kvetching when one goes dark or has a "glitch" as if it was a personal affront.

Been there, done that. It's not something I'm very proud of now.

Well, I don't know about you guys, but I'm gonna be donating on a far more regular basis to those archives that I read regularly and/or post my work to. I don't want another one sold to a predator like the Sala-Mander again - someone who ninjas ownership away from innocent (and ignorant) site owners who are vulnerable to fast-talking snake-oil salesmanship. I don't want to see HASA or SoA "monetized" - and possibly draw down the ire of the Tolkien Estate about all our ears.

I hit the button and gave money to HASA this morning. Sometime next month, I'll see if Nilmandra has a similar button somewhere at SoA. FFN has their damned banner ads, so they're already getting their funding. And that, dear friends, is the extent of my fanfic archive list. Well, OK. Maybe OSA - I used to post there and have a bit of my stuff there, so I should cough in their direction too, eventually. I'll do it gladly, tho.

The heart of the matter is that "you get what you pay for." We've enjoyed this blooming of fanfiction due to the hard work and investment of time and money of others - but if we don't shoulder at least a little bit of the load, we'll end up with exactly what we've paid for: NOTHING.

Time to pony up, folks.


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