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'I almost got sued for knitting a Firefly hat': The legal risks of pop-culture fan art

Leah Yamshon | July 22, 2013
How intellectual-property squabbles over fan-made crafts are alienating fan communities.

In a utopian fan world, artists and copyright holders would work together to support fan bases through art.

"I fail to see how Fox doesn't understand the great potential here. [Fox] could sell the licensing to individuals who make the hat or other items with their trademarks for a special 'mom and pop' fee," says Lucas.

She believes that this approach would solve a few problems: The hat is supposed to be handmade, and Fox needs them to be mass-produced to keep up with demand. But more important, this arrangement would change the dynamic, so that it's no longer a classic little-guy-versus-The-Man, David-versus-Goliath story.

"The fans won't be pissed off," she says. "They'll be happier than ever to buy the hat to support independent artists, and Fox can still make their money."

 

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