io9 has an interesting article up about Amazon's new plan to allow authors to write and sell fan fiction from selected tv shows and books (Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girls). Is this a good idea or not?
I think it has the possibility to be really great, but some content requirements are questionable. If you go to the Kindle Words site, it says that Amazon keeps your rights, and they don't allow pornography or overly violent material. I don't really know their definition of porn or violence but it could be really restrictive for all I know. I am aware that there are plenty of publishers that don't allow porn/violence so it may be pretty normal. And the whole keeping all the rights is really scary to me.
That being said, I don't think the content restrictions will have too much effect on writers. I checked Archive of our Own and the whole fanfiction = smut/violence argument is apparently not true. Harry Potter and Marvel fandoms have almost 40,ooo rated entries each. Harry Potter has 23,248 General or Teen entries and 15,141 Explicit or Mature entries. Marvel has 25,708 General/Teen and 13,494 Explicit/Mature (yes I did the quick math, good as of ten minutes ago and calculated without the unrated ones). So the bulk of those would be okay for Words in theory. I wonder if authors would prefer to hold onto their rights in case they could get a 50 Shades type of deal, one that would be impossible once you sell to Amazon. Any writers out there with an opinion?