We Make Zines

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What is the consensus on photocopying a zine you really loved for a friend?

I've occasionally wanted to do this but have stopped short every time.
The conditions I envisage are that:

(a) the zine is sold out;
(b) the zine is out of print;
(c) the zine maker's contact details net no response when you contact them re availability or for permission;
(d) it's a zine you don't want to give away because it's so good;
(e) a zine you're nervous about lending out in case it doesn't make it back to you (which can happen for a whole host of reasons; your friend is not greedy or sly!);
(f) you do not charge your friend (or anyone) for copying it for them.

What's your stance on the topic? Are there variables I've omitted that make any difference? Does copyright come into it? Is there an unspoken consensus on this that I've never unearthed in 20+ years of reading zines?!

I'm really curious to hear what people think about this.

- lofipi -

Tags: consensus, contact, copy, copyright, details, friends, maker, of, out, permission, More…photocopy, print, sold, zine, zines

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ciaraxierra said: people ARE assigng value judgments as to which distribution method is best when they say, "i thought trading was a good thing! don't you want more readers? if you don't want me re-selling your zine, i assume you yourself don't take trades & are opposed to zine libraries. if you don't want people doing X, Y, & Z with your zines, you better have no faith in the zine community at all & foresee all possibilities people could seize to disrespect your work & then dedicate a page in each zine to specifically telling them not to." basically, comments like these say, "if someone violates the trust you had in the zine community, it's your own fault for being so fucking stupid to trust us. your distribution methods are stupid. if your zine is about very personal & intimate subjects...no one wants to read that shit anyway. keep it to yourself." am i really the only one who sees this as really fucking disrespectful?

dear ciaraxierra, there are two possibilities here: 1) I didn't express myself well (in which case I can always say that English is not my mother tongue :-) or 2) you have been carried away by your emotions and your personal experiences, and misunderstood what I wrote.
First of all, I want to point out I'm not here to judge anyone. Secondly, I'm here to learn, not only to share my opinions. My questions didn't hide any judgement. I was genuinely trying to understand a part of the zine community I'm not a part of. If I sounded disrespectful, I apologise.
For example, when I mentioned zine libraries, I was reasoning that as the zines you are talking about are very personal, people probably only hand out copies to close friends and people they trust. In other words, they don't want total strangers to read them. This was supposed to be a question, actually, not a judgement. I was asking: Is this the case? Now, you tell me that such zines are often printed in very few copies, and I understand.

This said, if you are so sick of arguing, my advice is to quit arguing. That's what I'm going to do, anyway. We Make Zines has the potential to become a wonderful tool for the zine community, but arguing, like zine-making, has its rules. If I want to look at people scream and punch each other and "fuck this" and "fuck that" I can always watch bad reality TV.
*Jerry! Jerry!* :P

I have to say Gianni I'm glad, firey though this discussion has been, that you and Ciara have been having it. i'm new to zines, but not new to being a member of a subculture, it's so easy to accidentally offend people (although I think in this case C. is just miffed with the zine world in general). I have so many questions about zines that I want to ask, but given that people seem to have such strong opinions on things, I'm kind of reticent to go there.

On the subject of personal zines though, I was at a cataloging session at a zine library in my home town where all sorts of zines are mixed in together. The thing is in a complete shambles, has never really been sorted into any kind of order. We started to talk about how we would organise them, when someone suggested scanning them into a computer so that we had an electronic record... but then a couple of the people got rather upset about that so we left the topic for later. I can completely understand why someone who has written a really personal zine would take issue with it being a part of this project. The thought of contacting each and every zine maker to see if they would have an issue with it being included is staggering though, there are about 20,000 zines there... possibly more.

I guess the only solution is for zines to be labelled if people don't want them archived, passed on, etc, I know that the question has been discussed a thousand times before... but I'm going to be a part of the project, so I am trying to find out as many viewpoints as I can.




Gianni Simone said:
ciaraxierra said: people ARE assigng value judgments as to which distribution method
lofipi - I am a very different person than I was when I began writing zines, and much of what I wrote in the past is now completely irrelevent to me, and no longer something I wish to share. The thought of someone copying my zines doesn't sit well with me because I don't want those past zines out there as a representation of who I am when I am no longer that girl. They were a moment in time, and now it's over.
Gianni Simone - As long as it's not MY zines you're copying, that's dandy. I don't write my zines to be "read by as many people as possible."

My sister writes several zines, and with one of them, Fight Boredom, she also gives flats to people who are interested in copying and distributing them around the world. I think that's really awesome, but it's not something I myself would do with my perzine.
Oh, and for all those who think copyright should be stated in zines if we do not want others copying them: ALL my zines are copyrighted.
And to clarify, Fight Boredom is a comp zine that IS meant to be read by as many people as possible, but my perzine is not.

Maranda Elizabeth said:
Gianni Simone - As long as it's not MY zines you're copying, that's dandy. I don't write my zines to be "read by as many people as possible."

My sister writes several zines, and with one of them, Fight Boredom, she also gives flats to people who are interested in copying and distributing them around the world. I think that's really awesome, but it's not something I myself would do with my perzine.
That is one of my least favourite parts of interacting with people in general - having to explain myself ten million times and being expected to justify myself over and over again for thoughts that are MINE.

Thank you for being sensible.

ciaraxyerra said:
i mean, maranda was asked in this thread to basically justify the reasons why she wouldn't want her zines distributed once she has stopped distributing them. i think it's disrespectful to ask her to justify that position. she's entitled to feel how she feels & want what she wants. if "all you have to do" is say what you want, you shouldn't also have to justify it eight ways from sunday & engage in arguments with people who use the "preservation" defense, like that's so new & original &mind-expanding
Alex Wrekk said:
This is a really interesting discussion. I have kicked around the idea of copying some really old Utah zines that I feel deserve to be in the zine Library in Salt lake but I have never done it. I thought about sending my own copies but I can't seem to let myself part with them so I guess I'm at an impasse.

In this case, you should certainly donate the originals. Donating photocopies would do the original zinemaker a disservice because you're making "unauthorized" copies of their work, as well as the library because you're not donating original materials.
Gianni Simone said:
In my opinion, if the zine maker feels so strongly against his or her zine being photocopied, given away, etc. he/she should clearly write it in the zine. I've always thought that zines were copyleft, but if a zine maker prefers to extend the copyright laws to his/her publications, I need to know.

I wouldn't assume anything's copyleft unless it's explicitly identified as such.
Definitely Heath. I would think it's safe to say DONT COPY unless it says YOU CAN.... instead of the other way around.

Heath Row said:
Gianni Simone said:
In my opinion, if the zine maker feels so strongly against his or her zine being photocopied, given away, etc. he/she should clearly write it in the zine. I've always thought that zines were copyleft, but if a zine maker prefers to extend the copyright laws to his/her publications, I need to know.

I wouldn't assume anything's copyleft unless it's explicitly identified as such.
Hey, Maranda - thanks for elucidating. I really appreciate that. I totally understand why you'd want finite cessation of a no-longer-relevant zine. I've often said "you've gotta know when to leave" (usually about gigs where the dregs linger, too drunk to care - or about parties that have died in the arse, admittedly...) and it stands me in good stead when wrapping things up and moving on. Acting according to your own instincts is key in so many aspects of life - not just re zinemaking - whether you feel like explaining yourself or not. I hope you didn't feel like you had to 'justify' your take on it to me. I just want to understand the various opinions people have rather than assume everyone's the same as me, that's all. I'm slightly surprised no one's commented on my (kinda tongue-in-cheek) subject header for this discussion: as if there could ever really be 'consensus' with such a large, diverse group of people, never mind the outer periphery of the 'group' who don't want any part in 'groupdom'.... Ah, I could crap on and on but I won't. Thanks again.

Maranda Elizabeth said:
lofipi - I am a very different person than I was when I began writing zines, and much of what I wrote in the past is now completely irrelevent to me, and no longer something I wish to share. The thought of someone copying my zines doesn't sit well with me because I don't want those past zines out there as a representation of who I am when I am no longer that girl. They were a moment in time, and now it's over.
Oh my good gracious. WHOOSH!

Toodles, poodles.

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