Benefits of quantitative and doctrinal methodological approaches to fan studies research

  • Ruth Flaherty University of East Anglia
Keywords: Doctrinal studies, Ethical considerations, Law, Legal methodologies, Philosophical worldview, UK copyright law

Abstract

This discussion of the main practices of both legal research and fan studies research explores their key differences and similarities to demonstrate that there are important conclusions that can be drawn from the discourse between the two. The methodology of this research into copyright and fan fiction will be used as a case study to demonstrate how well these fields intersect. This research investigates whether transformative works of fan fiction should be covered by the new fair-dealing exception for pastiche within UK copyright law (Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988), similar to parody. To discuss this, my research investigates whether it can be said empirically and doctrinally that fan fiction could be classified as a special case that does not adversely affect the rights holders' interests, as required by Article 13 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and Article 9 of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. By adding doctrinal and empirical research methods to fan studies, the argument can be made that fan fiction is not harmful to the underlying work and does not interfere with the copyright holders' normal exploitation of that work, and as such should be permitted as fair dealing.

Author Biography

Ruth Flaherty, University of East Anglia
ESRC SeNSS PhD Candidate & Associate Tutor, UEA Law School
Published
2020-06-15