Fanvids, or music videos constructed of recombined clips from movies or TV, have a 30-year history within a predominantly female subculture, and often make feminist and/or queer statements about their mass media source texts. Today, YouTube and its ilk render them more accessible and visible than ever before. The maturation of internet video sharing has enabled a riot of cross-pollination among moving image mashups, but this "mainstreaming" also carries the risk of detaching nuanced artworks from their interpretive context and diluting their vital underground community. Meanwhile, the media industry is becoming increasingly attuned to such fan production, both as lucrative promotional labor (when harnessed as "user-generated content") and as a target of takedown notices (when conducted outside proprietary control). Is profit the only axis of legitimacy for popular appropriations, and can queer viewing be monetized? Why is it that you've seen more Brokeback Mountain parodies than fanvids? Why does this material so often get TOSsed from YouTube, and what can you do about it? Finally, what can fanvids teach us about grassroots queer media, and about how to nurture it for the 21st century?
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