zellieh: Text: ENGLISH lurks in dark alleys, beats up other languages & rifles their pockets for spare vocabulary (writing: english steals vocabulary)
[personal profile] zellieh posting in [community profile] life_wo_fanlib

Story Wars (http://www.storywars.net) Story Wars Blog (http://storywarsblog.net/)


"Read a story. Write the next chapter. Vote on your favorite chapter."

So. lots of round-robin fics written by strangers... who earn points, based on votes left by other readers and writers? ...Okay? I like Tumblr's shared universes and fandom's shared tropes and habit of co-authoring stuff, so I took a look at this. There doesn't seem to be much concrit or conversation, just a straight-up popularity contest. Honestly, I think it's a terrible idea. Adding point-scoring and competitiveness to a fic-writing, fic-sharing site seems like a disaster waiting to happen.

The part of me that's seen shit go down in the internet is just wailing, Cassandra-like: "This will end in wank! Mark my words: there will be wank, and accusations of favouritism and hackers and sabotage and wailing about cliques, BNFs and bullying, and the mods will end up rending their clothes and rubbing ashes in their hair forthwith, yea verily forsooth!"

Basically, if you find counting kudos and hit-counts stressful, don't want strangers in your personal universes, and find popularity contests anxiety-inducing, this is probably not for you (or me). Oh, and also? HERE BE DRAGONS! There are NO content indicators, maturity ratings, or warnings OF ANY KIND. All you get is title and the author's name, not even a line of text from the story. I'd call the while thing a choose-not-to-warn, NSFW site!

Also, this part of the blurb reminded me of FanLib's attempt to profit off of fanworks (emphasis added is mine):

"Who owns all the stories that are written? -- All user-created content on Story Wars is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
What does that mean? -- That anyone can share or adapt your writing as long as they attribute you." [To be fair to Story Wars, this permission is required for a shared-fic-writing site, but it leaves the door open for 'anyone' to be, say, an individual or company selling authors' works commercially and for profit -- without asking permission, paying the authors, or sharing the profits.]

"Why did we choose to share it? -- In a far far away future, we hope to be able to create real books of your stories. Think about it, a physical book that you could show your friends!" [Think about it: Do authors get paid when these books are sold?]

I think the real question here, neatly elided in the blurb, is: Who has the right to sell and profit off of your stories, your ideas? EL James was only able to file the serial numbers off of her fanfic and sell it as 50 Shades of Grey because she owned the rights to her story. If authors co-write a popular, potentially-profitable blockbuster story on Story Wars, will they be able to sell it? Would they be able to stop someone else from selling it? I have some concerns...

(Excerpted 'Story Wars' section from a longer public post on my own personal journal. Cross-posted to the LJ Life W/O FanLib comm.)

Going back to the main Story Wars site, I couldn't find a TOS page at all. Maybe you get that when you sign up to become a member, but I find it hard to trust a site that won't tell me what I'm signing up for until after I've signed up. Also, the more I look at the way this idea's being implemented, the more I feel like I'm watching the internet equivalent of a horror movie set-up: "I've got a great idea! Let's create a site on the internet! What could possibly go wrong?!" *Jaws music*
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