jesse_the_k: My head on foam mat under pine trees (expectant)
Jesse the K ([personal profile] jesse_the_k) wrote in [community profile] podficmeta2010-01-22 02:02 pm

Should readers get permission to make podfic?

While I just argued that the act of podficcing adds "fannish value" to a work, I'm unsure that readers must obtain an OK from the writer to make a recording.

Since I'm a newbie, I did some research. While I don't think it's possible for a podfic to fundamentally change a source in the same way, I started with remixes, since there's the same "permission" issue there. It seems most remix challenges are based on a mutual remix: by participating in writing, each fan also permits their work to be remixed (with one "safe" work held inviolate).

The Fanlore Wiki told me:
 begin quote 
Though remixing in both fanfiction and vidding has become enormously popular, not all fans embrace the concept. [... snip ...] Though some fans feel any story is fair game for remixing, others believe that permission should be gained from the author first before using their work as a jumping-off point. Many fans feel it's hypocritical to reuse the original creations of the copyright holders in the canon while protesting that anyone should be allowed to remake their fanworks.
 quote ends 

Current metadata don't state whether the podfic's reader has the writer's permission. Would the absence, permission or refusal of writer's OK change how you'd choose or read podfics?
zvi: self-portrait: short, fat, black dyke in bunny slippers (Default)

[personal profile] zvi 2010-01-22 08:51 pm (UTC)(link)
The writer's permission wouldn't affect whether or not I'd download/read a work. And I don't think it should be necessary to have it write sequels, or remixes or whatever.

I guess the one way in which a podfic is different from a remix or sequel is that it's a complete capture of the original. One might consider it analogous to archiving, and there's a very real (and I think) reasonable taboo against re-archiving. I suspect this is part of why I'm more sympathetic to the "podfic is an independent artistic creation" theory than "podfic is an accessible version" theory.

I think maybe the question we should ask ourselves is what sort of fannish work do we not envision requiring permission. I suspect most people would say it's fine to post art without asking the permission of the writer. And I'm not sure what the difference is there, except that they're different media.

(frozen comment)

(Anonymous) 2010-01-24 07:50 am (UTC)(link)
I'd like to think a reader wouldn't just merrily go ahead and podfic something that's posted under f-lock. Particularly if it's RPF.
If a writer is posting under f-lock I'm thinking zie is presuming some reasonable expectation of privacy for the work?
Further, the writer might also be attempting to limit the exposure of the RPF *subjects* by posting under f-lock in the first place. Podficcing that particular work kind of intrudes on that. IMO.
zvi: self-portrait: short, fat, black dyke in bunny slippers (Default)

(frozen comment)

[personal profile] zvi 2010-01-24 07:59 am (UTC)(link)
Unsigned anonymous comments are frozen without reply. You may repost if you add some sort of identifier; it does not have to be your most well-known fannish pseudonym. I just don't want all anons to look the same.
anatsuno: a little red horned demon holds up a sign reading Where are my PANTS (confused)

[personal profile] anatsuno 2010-01-22 09:15 pm (UTC)(link)
As a podficcer I tend to demand writer's permission before recording, OR (mostly) to stick to writers who have given clear blanket permission. The REASON I am doing this is not to be rude, and not to risk the wrath of people with opinions different from mine, which is that...

...I don't think podficcing should requires permission (but I DO think it is only polite to ask for it, and I DO think it would be really rude not to TELL an author that you've podficced their fic - it's the difference between what would want to see inscribed in law if there were laws about this, and the customs I like to respect in my community, you know?).

So to answer your question directly: as a listener, whether the recorder asked the author's permission or not is irrelevant to me, and would not change my relationship to the podfic. At least I don't think so!
nny: (Default)

[personal profile] nny 2010-01-22 09:21 pm (UTC)(link)
Generally the reason I ask permission is that the current thinking seems to be that once someone has 'claimed' a fic for podficcing purposes, that's the only version of podfic there'll be. What're other perspectives on that?
zvi: self-portrait: short, fat, black dyke in bunny slippers (Default)

[personal profile] zvi 2010-01-22 09:33 pm (UTC)(link)
This would make an excellent top level post. Iamjustsayin'.
nny: (Default)

[personal profile] nny 2010-01-22 10:08 pm (UTC)(link)
I would if DW would allow me to post to the comm!

*faintly bemused*

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anatsuno: a women reads, skeptically (drawing by Kate Beaton) (Default)

[personal profile] anatsuno 2010-01-22 09:51 pm (UTC)(link)
I personally encourage EVERYBODY, as much as I can to stop thinking about podfic that way. I mean, I worked alongside Jinjur on a version of a Beautiful Lifetime Event so we could release both our versions at the same time (the poor woman had to wait for me; she was done much sooner), and we plotted this as a purposeful, 'spectacular' way to advertise our opinion that several podfics of the same story is a great, positive thing.

The idea that some people dismiss recording stories they would love to record because 'it's already been done' give me fear-and-loathing-induced shivers (not that I think you believe that, or that I react to PEOPLE who think like that with disgust. It's the IDEA. *g*). EEK NOES!
juice: (Default)

[personal profile] juice 2010-02-03 02:52 am (UTC)(link)
I'm a little late to the party, but I haven't ever recorded something that's already been done because there is so much fic out there to record, I don't really see the point in redoing the same story over and over. I've heard others say they enjoy hearing multiple versions, but I have limited recording time and an ever-growing list of stories I'd love to record so it seems like a waste of time, frankly.

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anatsuno: a women reads, skeptically (drawing by Kate Beaton) (Default)

[personal profile] anatsuno 2010-01-22 09:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Sorry, to answer a little more on topic: I do see that asking permission is also something that brings along, sometimes, as response of 'Oh, so and so is already doing it', which can allow a potential recorder to avoid 'stealing the thunder' of the person who asked permission first!

And I totes understand the thunder stealing and avoidance thereof thingy.

But I'm also of the pov that we need to promote the idea of multiples readings in sych a way there there is less thunder to steal, you know? Because the idea of thunder itself derives from an underlying assumption that the first one = the definitive one. So I do things these things are linked with our unquestioned assumptions, you know? :)

nny: (Default)

[personal profile] nny 2010-01-22 09:59 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm gonna post this topic up as a separate post on the comm, I think, but I'd love to snag you for discussion there!

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fish_echo: betta fish (Default)

[personal profile] fish_echo 2010-01-23 05:09 am (UTC)(link)
I actually really like hearing the same podfic read by more than one person (I don't mean a multi-voice podfic, I mean two readers [or groups of readers] who have each read the story). I like that each reader brings their own interpretation to the story and I like hearing more of them. Related to that, there's occasionally been a story where the reader's interpretation was different enough from mine that I can't/don't listen to that podfic-- and I would love to have someone else read it who's interpretation is more similar to mine so that I can listen to those.
inalasahl: (hp)

[personal profile] inalasahl 2010-01-22 09:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Having or not having permission wouldn't change anything for me, as far as listening.

But there's so much stuff out there yet unrecorded, it seems unnecessary to record something that the author has asked not be.
zvi: self-portrait: short, fat, black dyke in bunny slippers (Default)

[personal profile] zvi 2010-01-22 09:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Are there vast swathes of fic where the author has said, "Please do not make a podfic of this story."? My impression is that the state of most fanfiction is that the author is silent on the issue, with a much smaller number of other authors giving blanket permission.

Since most authors are silent, do you think that should be understood as tacit permission?
unovis: (Default)

[personal profile] unovis 2010-01-23 04:39 pm (UTC)(link)
I've refused permission for some stories -- that is, I've both stated publicly and replied when asked that I prefer that certain stories not be podficced. As with most things fannish, the effectiveness of the author's preferences is moot.

I think it's polite to ask for permission, or at least, to let the author know a recording is being made. I think that a podfic version of a story is a transformation of the original work into a different medium and not the equivalent of text-to-speech.
Edited 2010-01-23 16:40 (UTC)

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darkemeralds: Photo of a microphone with caption Read Me a Story. (Podfic)

[personal profile] darkemeralds 2010-01-22 11:08 pm (UTC)(link)
As someone with a small presence in all three overlapping spheres here--writer, reader and listener--I can say that

a) I wouldn't mind someone podficcing my work with or without permission, though I imagine it would be nice to be asked

b)permission isn't a criterion I use in choosing which fic to listen to

c) I do ask and get author permission before recording something because I think it's a nice thing to do and I like the somewhat collaborative feeling of being able to consult with the author about (for instance) musical element.
zvi: self-portrait: short, fat, black dyke in bunny slippers (Default)

[personal profile] zvi 2010-01-23 05:39 pm (UTC)(link)
If you would be okay with people podficcing your written stories, have you made a note to that effect wherever you are archiving your stories?

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niko: (Default)

[personal profile] niko 2010-01-22 11:27 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm new-ish, too, so take this for what it's worth... From the "reader" side of things, even if community standards evolved to say it wasn't expected, I don't think I'd ever be comfortable just grabbing a story and recording it without speaking to the author first. I actually feel a little awkward when I find myself eyeing a story that has blanket permission, because I still have that "ask first" impulse clashing with the permission already existing.

That being said, one complication is the issue of an author having drifted away, changed addresses, or just not being around to ask permission of. Since my main fandom is 10+ years old, I'm foreseeing having that problem at some point - getting attached to a particular story and not being able to track down the author. That would definitely be a test on my "ask first" resolve.
fish_echo: betta fish (Default)

[personal profile] fish_echo 2010-01-23 05:50 am (UTC)(link)
There are a couple of aspects to my answer:

1. I acknowledge that it is currently considered best practice for the reader to have the author's permission. I do not know what my opinion is on whither that *should* be the community best practice. For me personally, I have a blanket transformative works policy, so clearly I support the idea of communal fannish sandboxes (but I respect that I cannot force this opinion on everyone else).

2. Given point 1, whenever I see a podfic, I assume that author permission has been obtained (either through explicit asking or via the author's transformative works policy) unless it is otherwise stated. I actually strongly dislike the idea that the reader is obligated to state that authorial permission was obtained because somehow requiring to state that seems very... ummm, rule-happy? and like it is indicitive of a culture of lack of trust. I don't know, I'm not sure my emotional response is actually rational on this one, but it is how I feel.

3. Despite what I said in point 1, in the case of freely accessible orphaned work**, I have no ethical problem with podfic being created even though the author cannot be contacted for permission. This is because even though the author is no longer in fandom/associated with the work and thus cannot give explicit permission, I feel that the act of leaving the work there for reading grants something which feels like implicit permission to me.***

**here defined as something which is by a writer who is either no longer in fandom or has removed the author name and is: (a) still up on a webpage somewhere and I can get to it without using a cache, or (b) was up on a webpage abandoned and sometimes after it was abandoned the site went down and thus it is only accessible via a cache (a good example here is GeoCities-- if the 'last updated' list on a fanworks page was several years before GeoCities came down then I assume that the reason that the story isn't accessible anymore isn't so much to do with the fact that the author doesn't want the story read as it is that the author didn't care/notice that the webhost was going under), or (c) the stories have been pulled from the web but the author has given permission that any copies of the stories which were saved to hard drives can continue to be circulated, or (d) I can't right now think of anything else, but it's possible that there are more things that fit into this category. However, if the author intentionally pulled the stories from the web (even if they may still be accessible via caches), it seems like a violation of point 1 to record them. (However, this does not address whither or not point 1 ought to be true. And if the fannish custom changes on that point, then my opinion on this case would change.) I will say that if the fic was intentionally removed from all sites and the author expressed explicit preference for electronic copies to not be circulated then I feel that it is proper to obtain explicit permission for recording the podfic.

***After all, the work is still available online for those fannish folk who wish to read it. Which means, in my opinion, that the transformative aspect of reading it aloud and recording it does not substantially change the work that idea and thus I assume that the author would be fine with it.

Wow, this is longer and more complicated than it seemed in my head. I hope I succeeded in translating these thoughts to paper properly.
zvi: self-portrait: short, fat, black dyke in bunny slippers (Default)

[personal profile] zvi 2010-01-24 08:05 am (UTC)(link)
I just wanted to let you know that this sort of interesting and well-thought comment is exactly the sort of thinky stuff I was hoping this community would produce. I just didn't have a response to it, and I was giving other people a chance to respond. But as no one has, I just wanted to reassure you that you were heard.
jazzypom: (Default)

well, if not permission, at least a heads up

[personal profile] jazzypom 2010-01-24 08:09 am (UTC)(link)
Like, I pretty much write fanfic as a gift to fandom. It's my way of sharing the squee and thanking people for allowing me to be a part of the online community, etc. If I get fanart or podfic, I'm ridiculously pleased, because it's flattering and humbling that they were inspired enough by my fic to go there. I've also given permission for someone to archive a spanking fic I wrote (she was tickled, so) and I was pleased and proud that it made her want it enough to archive it.

However, its only fair to give the writer a heads up, if its just even for them to gauge how much of their work they want out there. Some authors are distinctly against their work being archived, because they want to control their own experience or they think that they might be found out and it can be costly to them.

So yeah, as long as the writer knows, and is able to decide how much of her fandom self she wants out there - because nothing gets lost online- go on with your bad self.

[personal profile] pekover 2010-01-24 11:26 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm surprised by how many people think an author's permission isn't needed. I wonder if the response would be the same at a community centred around writers rather than podfics?

For me, I post my stories under f-lock. I want to control who has access to them. I'd be more than a little upset if someone took one of my stories out of f-lock and posted it openly as a podfic. I know I'm fooling myself, thinking that I have any sort of real expectation of privacy on the internet, but I would still be upset if anyone deliberately circumvented what meager control I have tried to find.

I don't really know how I feel about podfic of stories that aren't under f-lock to begin with...

(Anonymous) 2010-01-25 12:58 am (UTC)(link)
"I wonder if the response would be the same at a community centred around writers rather than podfics?"

There are f-locked communities to which I belong where a reposting outside the community of the original (arguably transformative) author's work, without the original author's permission, is grounds for a ban from that community.

I guess that might not matter to a podficcer who's not a member of that community.

But I also guess I'm wondering what's so sufficiently compelling about the act of podficcing that a potential podficcer wouldn't at least consider a request for permission – particularly in cases, as you say, where deliberate attempts have been made to limit works' exposure.