Poll Results: Should IP Owners Allow Fan Projects

We have the results from last week's poll "Should IP owners allow fan projects like the My Little Pony fighting game?" – if you didn't happen to catch them on this week's episode of the Super Podcast Action Committee.

This week 584 votes were cast on this subject – thanks to everyone who took the time to participate.

The majority of voters said that rights holders should allow fan-made projects to use IP to create games and other media that pay homage to the IP they are based on. Approximately 77 percent of the votes (451 votes) chose option #2: Yes, with restrictions (Examples: not for profit, clearly labeled as unofficial, etc.). Only 12 percent (69 votes) voted "No, Use your own damn characters," and only 11 percent (64 votes) believe that fan-made projects should be allowed with absolutely no restrictions at all – in other words, anything can be made and it can be used to generate some sort of profit…

Again we'd like to thank everyone who voted last week – look for a brand new poll soon!


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  1. 0
    Seth Schmitz says:

    Technically we're both right. 


    1. Used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone's actions: "he should have been careful".
    2. Indicating a desirable or expected state: "by now students should be able to read".

    But that's all semantics. Sadly I voted before people commented on the original post asking for a clarification. 

  2. 0
    Seth Schmitz says:

    Stating that you've been researching your stance on an ethical issue for X amount of time doesn't make it a fact. You can't prove it as a fact no matter how hard you argue. I'm not saying that copyright laws are infallible, but I do believe that a content creator should be allowed to protect the integrity of their own works. I don't agree with HOW copyright laws work entirely, but sadly living in a capitalist society content creators have to find some way to protect themselves.

    In a perfect world we wouldn't need anything like copyright laws, and I do admit that (especially in regards to the tech industry )the copyrights and patents deserve a more modern look. And with that, I'm going to leave my end of the conversation here. Your tone reeks of trolling, even though you do raise some commendable points. 

  3. 0
    greevar says:

    The opinion portion is in the third paragraph, the rest is the truth and reality of the issue. Don't think you can defeat an argument by purporting it to be mere opinion. That's a poor way to argue and reflects poorly on you. I've been studying the effects, policy, and history behind copyright for longer than you've been a "fledgling content creator". Your desire to have copyright work in your favor does not make it valid to twist it to meet that end. Copyright isn't a property right (as the term IP falsely implies), it's a grant of exclusivity for a limited time to encourage you to create, not for you to hoard and "own" every expression you publish. That is a fact, not opinion.

  4. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:

    Yes, it should law that they are allowed to. Just ensure whatever profit it generates that 60% of goes tot he IP owner and that the project can be resold by the IP owner as long as credit is given to the team and or site and or individuals involved.

  5. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Actually, that is how I interpreted the middle option…. that IP owners 'should' since it enriches the community on the whole and is often (but not always) a good business decision, but they maintain the rights to decide which fan projects are ok and which are not.

    I see 'should' not as an obligation or requirement, but as a favorable or baseline option.

  6. 0
    greevar says:

    The law wasn't meant to apply as a property law. It supposed to provide temporary exclusivity to new works and it goes against the primary function if used as a "right to decide" what other people can create. The goal is to encourage more works, not prevent them from being made. People who lean on IP laws are too quick to fall back on colloquial attitudes pertaining to property rights, which is wrong when you realize that everything you create is recycled from what came before. It's unethical to claim you "own" something that you made from cultural context that previously belonged to everyone else. Creative works aren't discreet units of property, they're expressions of ideas and they overlap with other expressions, sometimes heavily. To claim ownership of one expression is to lay claim to everything else it was built on. That's like building a house on a public park and renting it out.

    Fair use must be considered as well. Copyright suspends the rights of everyone else to copy and distribute works, but reserves certain rights for the public good in the form of fair use. So it's not simply "up to the IP owner", they've been granted privilege to exploit works for a period of time which they must give up at the end of the term. Except, that term has been stretched so far as to make it effectively perpetual.

    Copyright holders should not have carte blanc power to veto any works that are at all derivative of their works. Anything that adds meaning and worth to the original works should be permitted with or without the say-so of the original author. Inspiring new works is what copyright is trying to accomplish and it's disappointing that people would wield it as a weapon to to do the opposite.

  7. 0
    Seth Schmitz says:

    I voted no, mostly because as a fledgling content creator I think that it should be completely up to the IP owner. The way the question was phrased implied (to me at least) that this is a blanket answer for all cases. It should be up to the content creator to decide what they want done. Marvel has a history of shooting down fan projects, DC has stated publicly that they're fine with not for profit fan projects. Honestly, they're both in the right in my opinion. If the rights owners don't want you using their universe/characters/etc then you're in the wrong if you try to use them/etc. 


    I'm sleep deprived and trying to finish some script coverage for a deadline. Hope that made sense though.

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