Music as Legal Metaphor (via io9)

Over at, Ria Misra hosted Georgetown law professor Rebecca Tushnet in an excellent discussion about the future of transformative works, notably fan fiction and mashups. The site's readers posted questions to Tushnet, which she responded to in depth — this was no rapid-fire Reddit AMA. Given io9's focus on science fiction, it's no surprise that enterprises like Kindle Worlds, which is an interesting attempt to monetize fan fiction, got a lot of of attention. Music comes up in the conversation is as legal model or metaphor. One reader asked, for example, if music sampling might provide a "licensing scheme" for fictional characters (i.e., can I pay a set amount to write Wolverine into my novel?) — Tushnet is not convinced the idea will work. More on her work at the Organization for Transformative Works (

Ask a Law Professor Your Questions about Fan Fiction and Mash-ups

Rebecca Tushnet is a law professor at Georgetown and one of the founders of the Organization for Transformative Works, a nonprofit that promotes and supports fanworks. She's here today to answer your questions today about fair use, fanworks, and the internet.

Tushnet's currently working on a project looking at the benefits and legal issues of noncommercial fanworks (available here). Besides teaching, she has also practiced intellectual property law and clerked for Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court.


She's joining us from 11:00 - 12:00 p.m. (PST), so start asking her now whatever you want about the issues surrounding the writing of fan fiction, making mash-ups, and the thorny legal landscape in which they live.

Image: X-Muppets by Rahzzah.