|R.I.P., fake Tony Noland. Exit laughing, pal.|
I'm pleased to report that FAKE Tony Noland has been taken down. Taken DOWN, I say, by the mighty forces of justice and truth. One of the first things I did on learning of the existence of FAKE Tony Noland was to shake my head in disbelief. Then it was a simple matter of a) getting a screen capture for the record, and b) filing a complaint with Twitter.
So, goodbye, FAKE Tony Noland. From here on out, I won't have to worry about spoof accounts, or having my name be used in unexpected ways. That's the end of that.
Or is it?
Now would be a perfect time for me to segue into long, drawn out ruminations on the nature and burdens of fame, even the cheap, thin-brass kind of fame that led to FAKE Tony Noland. Even as we speak, is there someone out there writing potentially awesome Tony Noland fanfic? Or icky Tony Noland slashfic starring me and Jon Stewart and/or Glenn Beck? If so... so what?
What's a good response to this? Clearly, I'm jumping the gun at this point in considering how best to manage fame and name recognition, but I don't always expect to toil in obscurity, y'know. I expect to be a goddamn superstar, one of the major centers of gravity in the literary universe. Besides, it's easier to respond to events when you have a policy in place ahead of time, than it is to play it by ear as the shit hits the fan.
Like the saying goes, if you don't stand for something, you'll stand for anything. So, what do I stand for?
Obviously, I'm not going to tolerate plagiarism or people saying that they are me, or claiming that they represent me when they don't. That's just prudent professionalism, a responsible management of my name and reputation. Beyond that, though?
I wrote some Neil Gaiman fanfic not long ago, and he was really gracious about it. I'm going to take that approach. By writing that story, I didn't pretend to BE Neil Gaiman, or to lead others into thinking I was somehow affiliated with him. In my imagination, I put him in a loopy situation, and watched what he did. I've never met the man, and doubt I ever will, so there's no claim to veracity. If I'd been trying to jump a copyright of his, or had been trying to use some of his characters to make a buck, I'm guessing the response would have been a little different.
It is, I think, in the nature of being a public figure that the public will think about you, talk about you and imagine things about you that may have no connection to reality. On this subject of fanfic, slashfic, etc., John Scalzi said something like, so long as this sort of thing doesn't take money out of my pocket or bread out of the mouths of my family, then, y'know, like, whatever.
What do I stand for? I stand for humor, fair play, respect, tolerance, freedom of speech, the rights of an author to control his works and the rights of fans of that author to get all kinds of happy squiggly, alone and in mutually supportive company.
Right, that's the policy. And now, I sense a great disturbance in the force...
===== Feel free to comment on this or any other post.