maryaminx: nancy with a halo/yellow background (angel)
masha ([personal profile] maryaminx) wrote in [community profile] podficmeta2013-08-25 12:04 am

Blanket Statement Troubleshooting

So, permission statements and/or transformative works policies. Extraordinarily handy things, cause of so much confusion and controversy. Here’s a guide for what to do if your stance on podfic and permission statements are anything less than “yes, please, everything!” written by me, [personal profile] maryaminx, and everything here is the opinion of me and me alone.

I’ve been recording podfic since around the inception of the term, where I would have to explain what I was doing, that they would be credited, and link to a sample of my work. Fortunately the fanwork is more widespread now, but permission statements are still pretty niche, so asking is still the status quo. I realized recently that despite being pro-BPM I hadn’t written one myself, so here it is:

podfic, art, and vids are 100% a-ok, for anything, just please drop me a line when it's posted so I can stalk you forever. I prefer not to have my works translated with a few exceptions. If you have a specific question about something I haven't covered, I can be reached at twitter, tumblr, lj, dw (etc) all under the username maryaminx.


1. Why Should *I* Care about Podfic?

Congratulations, you don’t have to! Fandom is sufficiently large and the podficcing community comparatively small that odds are, Generic You will never be approached for podfic! However, if you are very invested in control of your work, you should be interested in permission statements, and not just for podfic’s sake. Permission statements and transformative works policies are living wills for your fic, and if you never want your works reproduced, transformed, or rearchived in the case of your leaving fandom or even death, they’re useful to have because they state your wishes once and for all.

2. It’s Okay to Want to be Contacted.

While permission statements can take a load of anxiety off the podficcer, ultimately they are about the author and what the author prefers. Even saying “I prefer to be contacted and give permission on a case-by-case basis” lets the author know that they don’t have to write a paragraph in their message explaining what podficcing is, and that you may be open to it.

3. It’s Okay to be Picky.

I would never record podfic for an author who required editorial control of the recording, but it’s okay to want it. I saw a podfic recently where the author wanted the reader to do the accents. It’s okay to want control of where the podfic is hosted, in case you ever want to salt and burn your fanfic from the internet. I would not feel comfortable with any of these things, but it is absolutely okay to want them. Be upfront with what you expect, and podficcers with rare exception will follow your guidelines.

4. It’s a Scary Internet Out There.

Maybe someone recorded your fic without permission or without even asking. I’ve seen some stuff on tumblr where they’ve reinvented the wheel, usually without the author’s consent. You can absolutely say something. The vast majority of podficcers prefer authorial consent in every case, and depending on the archive you should be able to have the work taken down. “Rogue podficcers” are rarer than yetis.

There have been other posts that go in-depth on how you should word your statement, but I personally don’t find it necessary. The number one rule is be upfront with exactly what you expect and require for podfic, or if you don’t want it at all. If you require contact, make sure you’re available to respond. Finally, realize that podficcers are members of fandom too, and operate under the same fandom norms, even if you don’t recognize them because they appear in a different context.

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