Fan art or fanart is artwork that is based on a character, costume, collage, item, or story that was created by someone other than the artist, such as a fan, from which the word is derived from. The term, while it can apply to art done by fans of characters from books, is usually used to refer to art derived from visual media such as comics, movies or video games. In addition to traditional paintings and drawings, fan artists may also create web banners, avatars, or web-based animations, as well as photo collages, posters, and artistic representation of movie/show/book quotes. Usually, it refers to fan labor artworks by amateur artists, or artists who are unpaid for their fan creations_so that, for example, professional comic adaptations of the Star Wars films would not be considered fanart while a version done by an unaffiliated fan would be. The distinctions here cannot always be finely drawn and the actual status of particular works can often fall into a gray area. The legal status of 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.
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