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Fan art or fanart is artwork created by fans of a work of fiction and derived from a series character or other aspect of that work. They are usually done by amateur artists, semi-professionals or professionals. As fan labor, fan art refers to artworks that are neither created nor (normally) commissioned or endorsed by the creators of the work from which the fan art derives.
A different, older meaning of the term is used in science fiction fandom, where fan art traditionally describes original (rather than derivative) artwork related to science fiction or fantasy, created by fan artists, and appearing in low- or non-paying publications such as semiprozines or fanzines, and in the art shows of science fiction conventions. The Hugo Award for Best Fan Artist has been given each year since 1967 for artists who create such works. Like the term fan fiction (although to a lesser extent), this traditional meaning is now sometimes confused with the more recent usage described above.
Fan art can take many forms. In addition to traditional paintings and drawings and digital art, fan artists may also create conceptual, sculpture, video art, livestreams, web banners, avatars, collages, graphic designs or web-based animations, as well as photo collages, posters, artistic representations of quotes from a work or artistic representations of characters in new contexts or in contexts that are in keeping with the original series.
The broad availability of digital image processing and the Internet, as well as text-to-image generators, has greatly increased the scope and potential reach of fan art. American TV producer Bryan Konietzko wrote in 2013:
Rule 34, the idea that everything is represented in internet pornography, commonly takes the form of erotic fan art. 
Fan art can also serve as cultural commentary or criticism, presenting established characters in new situations or contexts which would never appear in canon. This allows fans and artists to explore deeper or alternate meanings, as well as fan theories, about their favorite media. 
The examples and perspective in this section deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject.(December 2010)
The legal status of derivative fan made art in America may be tricky due to the vagaries of the United States Copyright Act. Generally, the right to reproduce and display pieces of artwork is controlled by the original author or artist under 17 U.S.C. § 106. Fan art using settings and characters from a previously created work could be considered a derivative work, which would place control of the copyright with the owner of that original work. Display and distribution of fan art that would be considered a derivative work would be unlawful.
However, American copyright law allows for the production, display and distribution of derivative works if they fall under a fair use exemption, 17 U.S.C. § 107. A court would look at all relevant facts and circumstances to determine whether a particular use qualifies as fair use; a multi-pronged rubric for this decision involves evaluating the amount and substantiality of the original appropriated, the transformative nature of the derivative work, whether the derivative work was done for educational or noncommercial use, and the economic effect that the derivative work imposes on the copyright holder's ability to make and exploit their own derivative works. None of these factors is alone dispositive.
American courts also typically grant broad protection to parody, and some fan art may fall into this category. This has not explicitly been adjudicated with respect to fan art, however. Moreover, while parody is typically afforded protection under § 107, a court must engage in a fact-intensive, case-specific inquiry for each work.
A fictional universe, or fictional world, is a self-consistent setting with events, and often other elements, that differ from the real world. It may also be called an imagined, constructed, or fictional realm. Fictional universes may appear in novels, comics, films, television shows, video games, and other creative works.
A remix is a piece of media which has been altered or contorted from its original state by adding, removing, or changing pieces of the item. A song, piece of artwork, book, video, poem, or photograph can all be remixes. The only characteristic of a remix is that it appropriates and changes other materials to create something new.
Remix culture, sometimes read-write culture, is a term describing a society that allows and encourages derivative works by combining or editing existing materials to produce a new creative work or product. A remix culture would be, by default, permissive of efforts to improve upon, change, integrate, or otherwise remix the work of copyright holders without their permission. While combining elements has always been a common practice of artists of all domains throughout human history, the growth of exclusive copyright restrictions in the last several decades limits this practice more and more by the legal chilling effect. In reaction, Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, who considers remixing a desirable concept for human creativity, has worked since the early 2000s on a transfer of the remixing concept into the digital age. Lessig founded the Creative Commons in 2001, which released Licenses as tools to enable remix culture again, as remixing is legally prevented by the default exclusive copyright regime applied currently on intellectual property. The remix culture for cultural works is related to and inspired by the earlier Free and open-source software for software movement, which encourages the reuse and remixing of software works.
A work of art, artwork, art piece, piece of art or art object is an artistic creation of aesthetic value. Except for "work of art", which may be used of any work regarded as art in its widest sense, including works from literature and music, these terms apply principally to tangible, physical forms of visual art:
Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., 510 U.S. 569 (1994), was a United States Supreme Court copyright law case that established that a commercial parody can qualify as fair use. This case established that the fact that money is made by a work does not make it impossible for fair use to apply; it is merely one of the components of a fair use analysis.
Bryan Konietzko is an American animator, writer, producer and musician. He is best known, together with Michael Dante DiMartino, as the co-creator and executive producer of the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra.
Fanfiction has encountered problems with intellectual property law due to usage of copyrighted characters without the original creator or copyright owner's consent.
In United States copyright law, transformative use or transformation is a type of fair use that builds on a copyrighted work in a different manner or for a different purpose from the original, and thus does not infringe its holder's copyright. Transformation is an important issue in deciding whether a use meets the first factor of the fair-use test, and is generally critical for determining whether a use is in fact fair, although no one factor is dispositive.
A video mashup combines multiple pre-existing video sources with no discernible relation with each other into a unified video. These are derivative works as defined by the United States Copyright Act 17 U.S.C. § 101, and as such, may find protection from copyright claims under the doctrine of fair use. Examples of mashup videos include movie trailer remixes, vids, YouTube Poop, and supercuts.
Fan labor also called Fanworks are the creative activities engaged in by fans, primarily those of various media properties or musical groups. These activities can include creation of written works, visual or computer-assisted art, films and videos, animations, games, music, or applied arts and costuming.
Lauren Eve Montgomery is an American storyboard artist, television director, film director, character designer, film producer, television producer, and television writer.
Appropriation in art is the use of pre-existing objects or images with little or no transformation applied to them. The use of appropriation has played a significant role in the history of the arts. In the visual arts, to appropriate means to properly adopt, borrow, recycle or sample aspects of human-made visual culture. Notable in this respect are the Readymades of Marcel Duchamp.
In copyright law, a derivative work is an expressive creation that includes major copyrightable elements of an original, previously created first work. The derivative work becomes a second, separate work independent in form from the first. The transformation, modification or adaptation of the work must be substantial and bear its author's personality sufficiently to be original and thus protected by copyright. Translations, cinematic adaptations and musical arrangements are common types of derivative works.
Collage is a technique of art creation, primarily used in the visual arts, but in music too, by which art results from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole.
Fan fiction or fanfiction is fictional writing written in an amateur capacity by fans, unauthorized by, but based on an existing work of fiction. The author uses copyrighted characters, settings, or other intellectual properties from the original creator(s) as a basis for their writing. Fan fiction ranges from a couple of sentences to an entire novel, and fans can retain the creator's characters and settings and/or add their own. It is a form of fan labor. Fan fiction can be based on any fictional subject. Common bases for fan fiction include novels, movies, musical groups, cartoons, anime, manga, and video games.
A parody, also called a spoof, a satire, a send-up, a take-off, a lampoon, a play on (something), or a caricature, is a creative work designed to imitate, comment on, and/or mock its subject by means of satiric or ironic imitation. Often its subject is an original work or some aspect of it, but a parody can also be about a real-life person, event, or movement. Literary scholar Professor Simon Dentith defines parody as "any cultural practice which provides a relatively polemical allusive imitation of another cultural production or practice". The literary theorist Linda Hutcheon said "parody ... is imitation, not always at the expense of the parodied text." Parody may be found in art or culture, including literature, music, theater, television and film, animation, and gaming. Some parody is practiced in theater.
DeviantArt is an American online art community that features artwork, videography and photography, launched on August 7, 2000 by Angelo Sotira, Scott Jarkoff, and Matthew Stephens among others.
Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa is one of the most recognizable and famous works of art in the world, and also one of the most replicated and reinterpreted. Mona Lisa replicas were already being painted during Leonardo's lifetime by his own students and contemporaries. Some are claimed to be the work of Leonardo himself, and remain disputed by scholars. Prominent 20th-century artists such as Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dalí have also produced derivative works, manipulating Mona Lisa's image to suit their own aesthetic. Replicating Renaissance masterpieces continues to be a way for aspiring artists to perfect their painting techniques and prove their skills.
Doujinshi (同人誌), also romanized as dōjinshi, is the Japanese term for self-published print works, such as magazines, manga, and novels. Part of a wider category of doujin (self-published) works, doujinshi are often derivative of existing works and created by amateurs, though some professional artists participate in order to publish material outside the regular industry.
Blizzard Entertainment's 2016 video game Overwatch inspired a notable amount of fan-made pornography. The game's distinct and colorful character designs drew the attention of many online content creators, resulting in sexually explicit fanart. Character models were ripped from the beta versions of the game and subsequently spread, edited, and animated on the Internet.