Lots of folks have jumped on the announcement that Amazon is setting up a system by which content owners can license what they have to allow officially-sanctioned fanfiction. I don't see this so much as a triumph of fanfic as I see it as Amazon, and maybe the content owners as well, sensing an emergent market ... and perhaps also trying to keep the next Fifty Shades of Gray from getting produced (or at least prevent it from not returning them any money to them in the process).
What's most striking to me is not the fanfic side of it per se but the process being put in place. In essence, this isn't a "fan fiction mill"; it's a streamlining of the pitch process for tie-ins and spin-offs -- things the creators usually set up on their own and then hire in people from the outside to write for them. But if they have a veritable army of people willing to do the job, why not let them have at it? (Assuming that doesn't tick off the established professionals who worked hard to write for such a thing, only to be displaced by a bunch of upstarts, etc.)
And what more, it's not the content creators that seem to have been the trigger for this process. Rather, it's the pipeline -- Amazon -- sensing a market that has yet to be created, and doing what it can to bring it into being. Shrewd work on their part. From here, they could go any number of places -- e.g., partnering with musicians to allow tracks to be remixed or sampled (and further monetized by all three parties). Just as long as the original content holders have the last word ....
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