Wow. That all got a bit mad didn't it?

The fallout of Morangate continued today with a robust exchange on Twitter....

On the one side we had the argument that the writers and lovers of fan fiction were being hypocritical in complaining about how fan fiction was used by Ms Moran in her Q&A when they were, arguably, misusing the Sherlock universe in their fan output. On the other side we had, predictably, many denials of this.

It's an interesting argument and one that it is possible to see the logic of. I'm no expert on such things so I cannot hope to work it out.

I will however put my cards on the table and say that I've read some fan fiction and I've not yet read anything that I thought any good. However all that means is that it, as a genre, is not to my personal taste. I can say much the same about mushrooms yet I do recognise that others enjoy them and I would not seek to ban them in any way. Yes it's a tenuous analogy but those are the ones I do best.

Yes there is a legal side to all this. Is fan fiction that is clearly based on BBC Sherlock illegal? I have no idea and I guess it could vary across the world. I'm sure that a sizeable chunk of fan fiction could be walking on the wrong side of the legal/illegal divide. But, as I've said, I'm no expert and I don't personally concern myself with it. If it's legal let them get on with it, if not then Hartswood/BBC can elect to pursue it through the courts. The ball, if there is one, is in their court and it's up to them and no one else if they want to kick (or hit) it.

Written by Alistair Duncan
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  1. I think that fanfic is fair use and free advertising to boot, so showrunners would be mad to go against it. They could not stop it anyway, it would just go underground again.

    I also think CM didn't do anything illegal by using some fanfic without author permission (also fair use, imo) - but it was very, very insensitive to all concerned.

    Everyone on stage looked highly uncomfortable and why bring it up at such a time at all? Here you have part of the cast and crew at a press screening to ask all sorts of interesting questions about the new series and you do *that*?!

    I'm beyond embarrassed. This should be a time of joy and anticipation and istead we have a shit storm thanks to her.


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