Let's Talk About Texts, Baby: Proposing a New Model for Copyright in a Transtext World

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date



Anyone who has ever written Sherlock fan fiction, baked cookies in the shape of the Star Trek Voyager, or cosplayed Black Widow at a local comic con knows two things: these are amazing outlets for creativity, and they could be sued for copyright infringement. But why are these two simple truths so antithetical? Why does creativity based on popular culture come at such a high price? Most importantly, how can we design a legal system that benefits everyone who contributes to the creative incubator we call culture?

To begin answering these very large question, this chapter will (1) address the current state of copyright law related to fan works, (2) explain how a new copyright system must model fundamental aspects of transtexts themselves, (3) propose a new model for copyright in an age of expansive fan creation, (4) show how that model would replace current legal headaches, (5) explain possible resistance to the model by creators, corporations, and even fans, and finally (6) explain why, despite the many concerns, a new scheme of intellectual property for transtexts is still a good idea.


Benjamin W. L. Derhy Kurtz, Mélanie Bourdaa




New York



Publication Information

The Rise of Transtexts: Challenges and Opportunities

This document is currently not available here.