[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
Gotta love those public records. The tale of the FanLib trademark tells us bunches.

http://tarr.uspto.gov/servlet/tarr?regser=serial&entry=76521061

It seems Disney began acquiring FanLib in May, 2008, and completed the process in June, two months before FanLib announced it was "closing."

I base this on the trademark records "Attorney Revoked And/Or Appointed" dated 5/28/2008, and "Automatic Update Of Assignment Of Ownership" on 6/11/2008. The first rumor of the buyout appeared June 3, 2008 -- a rumor FanLib denied right through its "closure" in August, 2008.

Disney now owns the FanLib trademark, which means it could resurrect it at some point; the FanLib software and servers presently support the Disney property Take180.com.

The FanLib trademark, classed as "Goods and/or Services," covers "providing temporary use of on-line non-downloadable software to facilitate the creation, conceptualization, and editing of a variety of movies, television shows, novels, plays, videogames, and other content or media, through user suggestions, concepts, ideas, collaboration, and voting."
[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
From paidcontent.org:

Less than 18 months after acquiring Ideal Bite for $20 million, the Walt Disney Co. is folding the green-living tips company into the Disney Interactive Media Group. Disney spokeswoman Michelle Bergman said it's not being shut down, that DIMG is "evaluating the situation" and has made no staffing decisions yet. But it may not be that simple. A source familiar with the situation tells paidContent that staff members were told Friday in a conference call that they were being laid off effective Dec. 9. Cofounders Heather Stephenson and Jennifer Boulden, who started the company in 2005, signed three-year contracts in 2008. They have not yet returned voice messages; Leigh Zarelli, a Disney VP working with emerging business acquisitions, referred questions to Bergman. A staffer who did return my call said I may have gotten some misinformation but couldn't talk about it.

Ideal Bite, which was supposed to be Disney's answer to DailyCandy, offers seven newsletters and a site that links to ABC.com, ABCFamily.com and other ABC sites. It's one of a number of "emerging" businesses Disney acquired over the past couple of years, including Digisynd, picked up for $15 million, and FanLib, now known as Take180.com. Bergman says moving Ideal Bite into the Interactive group was always the plan. Technically, the emerging business group is part of DIMG but have been reporting to the corporate strategy group.


Emphasis added.
[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
From SoCalTech.com, dated March 31, 2009:

Burbank-based Take180.com announced Tuesday that the firm has officially launched a web site which looks to create original web series based on audience participation. The site--which is owned by The Walt Disney Company--said it has created three web series called "My Date," "I <3 Vampires" and "Electric Spoofaloo" all derived from user videos, stories, photos, and artwork. The new site is headed by Chris M. Williams, and has been in beta since the fall of last year; the site is built on top of Los Angeles-based FanLib, which was also headed by Williams and acquired by Disney last year.
[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
The continuing saga of the worst kept secret ever:

ABCFamily.com has picked up short-form Web series, My Alibi, from Disney-owned Take 180, a teen-targeted portal that creates short-form Web series and then integrates viewer ideas and submissions into those series.

Take 180 is run by Chris Williams, who used to run a site called Fan Lib. That site did something similar – it got fans engaged in shows and tried to incorporate their views into storylines. FanLib worked on engaging fans with existing shows, such as Showtime’s The L Word. Take 180 goes a step further: it offers lots of opportunities for fans to get involved with online shows that it’s producing.


Rest of the article at broadcastingcable.com. Chris Williams was CEO of FanLib before the company "closed" on August 4, 2008. Disney's Take180, built on top of FanLib's servers and with its software, opened around August 29, 2008.

[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
When Disney bought FanLib, what did it get, and what did it do with it?

The short answer: Disney got the servers and the software — everything but content — and launched Take180 the same month FanLib closed (August, 2008). But to understand the full story, such as why FanLib erased its fanfiction archive, you need background.

FanLib did not begin as a fanfiction archive. It was incorporated in 2003, when its founders developed proprietary crowdwriting software. They could have done all sorts of things with it; they elected to lease it for web-based marketing.

Between 2003-2007, FanLib was paid for conducting dozens of marketing campaigns, usually in the form of writing contests, which were hosted on FanLib's servers and used FanLib's software. IPs (intellectual property owners) could pay for a sub-domain, such as lword.fanlib.com, with FanLib doing the heavy lifting.

FanLib's proprietary software allowed fans to submit content, vote on content, and talk about it. Content solicited from fans was extremely limited in scope, fill in the blank type stuff, hence the name FanLib, as in Mad Libs; it's a common misconception that lib stood for library, and referred to the fanfiction archive.

Read more... )

[identity profile] stewardess.livejournal.com
Another news article 1 about FanLib partner Craig Singer's newest venture casually mentions FanLib has become Disney's Take180.

This is the second article 2 confirming Disney bought FanLib; I assume the information appears in a Disney financial report. Any Disney stockholders out there? The financial report may state the price paid for FanLib.

Take180 is visually ugly, and laden with "challenges" and prizes. It looks exactly the way you would expect FanLib to look after a quick re-do to serve Disney's interests. It is also riddled with the celebrity brown-nosing rampant at FanLib. The pitch (Be part of a creative community. Get in the spotlight. Prizes happen.) is nearly indistinguishable from Chris Williams's promotion of FanLib in July, 2007. 3

The men who owned FanLib (brothers Chris and David Williams) did not have the balls 4 to tell the 25,000 members of the sell-out. They have said nothing publicly on the subject (according to my daily news webcrawl since June, 2008). At the time of the closure, I speculated the only confirmation might be a FanLib-like product from Disney. 5 Now we have it. FanLib closed on August 4, 2008. 6 Take180 opened around August 29, 2008. 7

I had the lowest possible expectations of the Williams brothers, but even I didn't expect them to lie about matters of importance — not when the lies would inevitably be exposed. Apparently they thought lying was the better trade-off: better to lie and cowardly escape the reaction of fandom, even though they would be exposed later as liars.

Perhaps the FanLib founders feared their members would join Take180 and make a wreck of its forums, sullying its Disney purity. Perhaps they feared FanLib's failure 8 would foul Take180 before it was out of the dock. Or perhaps Disney publicists, reviewing the Williams brothers' track record 9 in communicating with fans, ordered them to be silent.

Five months have gone by since FanLib closed. Its members are scattered; articles about FanLib have dwindled. If nothing else, the lies bought time.

There's more. Craig Singer's current venture, the film Perkins' 14, came about this way:

"A year and a half ago, Singer was sorting through hundreds of one-paragraph ideas submitted through his Web site, FanLib [...]. The 10 fan finalists were then asked to create a 'video pitch' for their idea. It was a fan in North Carolina who came up with the premise of 'Perkins 14' [sic]— about a town that has suffered 14 child abductions, and the obsessed cop [...] who finds that the kids have been turned into zombified killing machines." 10

Craig Singer used a FanLib member's original idea to launch his new career? 11 I need a stronger stomach. Edit: Jeremy Donaldson's idea was submitted through massify.com in association with FanLib. 12

Another thing: numerous people in fandom (and outside of it) distrusted the Disney buyout rumor because it was farfetched Disney would believe a fanfiction website could be profitable (especially after FanLib's example). But Disney had no such foolish belief. Fanfiction appears at Take180 only as an interest in member profiles.

Take180 is built from FanLib's corpse, using a single limb added in October, 2007, vid hosting. 13 (Edit: Turns out this is literally true. Take180 URLs indicate it lives on FanLib's former servers.) Instead of the female dominated world of fanfiction, Take180 goes after amateur film makers — a fandom YouTube; you can imagine the corporate orgasm the concept would induce — presumably to gain the young male demographic FanLib slavered after. 14

Just one more thing. Confirmation of the Disney buyout means we must reconsider FanLib.

As a fanfiction archive and as a fandom community, FanLib was a disaster. 15 But as a money-making venture for a small group of wealthy white businessmen, it was a success: with $100 million 16 to spend on acquisitions, Disney probably paid quite a bit more for FanLib than its initial investment of $3 million in venture capital. 17

This is bad news for fandom; it will encourage future greedy and destructive corporate interference with fan creations.

Sources )

Profile

life_wo_fanlib: (Default)
Life Without FanLib

January 2015

S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
181920212223 24
25262728293031

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated May. 27th, 2017 09:53 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios