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Fan-Work Ban

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"Reactions of character creators to fanfiction have been varied, from polite acknowledgement to legal threats to having their character discuss out loud how disturbing and weird some types of fanfiction are. Fans reacted to all of these things by writing 9,000,000 new fanfics."

Some creators don't like Fan Works and actively discourage — if not outright prevent — fans from creating, posting, or publishing their fan work. Although such a ban encompasses all Fan Work, it seems to happen most often to Fan Fiction; hence, most creators who try to enact a fanwork ban tend to be writers.

The reasons for such a ban vary, but it's usually one of these:

  • The most obvious reason is to protect the author's copyright. After all, fanfic is (arguably) copyright infringement, and authors don't like fans potentially eating into their profit margin, especially where they want fans to buy The Merch or other officially sanctioned material. A related concern is that an author could accidentally (or not) write a story that uses some of the same elements as an existing fanwork, allowing the fan to turn the tables and sue the author for copyright infringement. Although most fanwork authors don't make any money from the work themselves, it's increasingly common for them to publicize their fanwork to draw attention to unrelated projects they do make money from, and the line between good faith and bad faith isn't always clear.
  • Many authors don't like seeing sexually explicit fanworks. While not all fanwork is sexually explicit, an alarming percentage of it is — after all, Rule 34 says that if it exists, there's porn of it. And fanfic authors take a particular delight in adding sexual elements to otherwise non-sexual works (sometimes through a Demographic-Dissonant Crossover). Some authors just have an emotional attachment to their work and characters and don't like seeing them in explicit situations. Others might be concerned that younger fans could stumble upon the explicit stuff. And still others, especially big content producers like Disney, are really protective of their intellectual property and its image. While some authors are okay with fanwork as long as it's not explicit, others might just not be up to selectively banning fanwork and will block all of it outright.
  • Some authors don't like the concept of fanwork. In some cases, they might ban Fan Fiction but not Fan Art, the idea being that creating your own characters and universe is a vital part of writing. In other cases, they don't like the implication that fans can create work in the author's universe just as well as the author can (some detractors might counter that the whole purpose is to prove that this is true). And still other authors find fanfic disrespectful because it needs to be as good as the author's work to preserve the Original Flavour and the integrity of the setting and characters; such authors might set rules as to what can and can't happen in a fanwork or where it can be set (e.g. only allowing Elsewhere Fic, enforcing Doomed by Canon and/or Saved by Canon etc).
  • Some authors might be protective of the nature of their ongoing work. For instance, they might ban works about a certain character's origin story because they're planning on doing it themselves later.
  • Some works are subject to Creator Backlash, and creators might discourage or ban fanworks of these works because they don't want to draw attention to them.

In general, a fanwork ban is not a good thing to happen to a fanbase. While it may (but probably won't) accomplish one of the above-stated goals, a fanwork community is one of the most powerful ways to consolidate the fanbase and generate enthusiasm around the work. In extreme cases, it can drastically diminish a fanbase by discouraging them from talking about the work at all on the Internet, meaning that people who discover the work can't connect with other fans of the work (or run into massive Flame Wars about the fanwork ban).

The parent organization of Archive of Our Own, the Organization of Transformative Works, was founded to fight against fanwork bans and argue that fanworks are a type of "transformative work", protected under copyright rules.

Contrast with Approval of God and Staff-Created Fan Work. Compare and contrast Oh, Crap, There Are Fanfics of Us! (which is when the characters react with alarm to the existence of fan content). Compare Restricted Expanded Universe, when the authors and executives do this to licensed derivative media. See also Rule 34 – Creator Reactions. This is often tongue-in-cheek, and rarely done by creators who aren't actually fine with it.

Examples of authors who have imposed fanwork bans/restrictions:

    open/close all folders 

  • Videos featuring Dr. Rabbit typically resulted in legal trouble with Colgate. One user in particular, Nicholas Wahlstrom (a.k.a. Walrusguy), ended up butting heads with the company repeatedly after continuing to use the character in YouTube Poop. Eventually, Colgate just gave up and stopped bothering to stop the Poop.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In general, Japan has a much more permissive attitude to Fan Work than many western countries do, even if there are strict rules, but this varies from franchise to franchise. Part of this is the long-standing Doujin tradition, which keeps fanworks isolated within their respective communities and makes it a lot harder to accidentally stumble upon the nasty stuff. That attitude is not universal, and more and more creators are imposing fanwork bans. But the doujinshi community is so big that there would be massive resistance to any wholesale change on this front. For instance, anime fans worked themselves into a frenzy in opposition to a supposed proposed law in Japan that would give manga publishers equal ownership rights to the author, allowing them to crack down on communities that even the author approves of (this turned out to have arisen from a few offhand comments from mangaka Ken Akamatsu, who has an axe to grind with his publishers, and has no real basis in reality). Most creators are OK about doujinshi as long as they cannot be confused as/resemble official materials. In fact, not mentioning or censoring the franchise's name is an unspoken rule among doujinshi creators and fanartists, especially when creating Rule 34 fanworks (e.g, 刀〇乱舞/Touk*n R**bu, or simply portmanteaus such as TouKen and TouRan).
  • Toei Animation is well known for being rather aggressive about their Dragon Ball license with regards to fanworks. Team Four Star, creators of Dragon Ball Z Abridged, had to fight tooth and nail to get the series finished with frequent periods where massive chunks of the series were pulled down by Toei's usage of the copyright claim systems on YouTube. After finishing the Cell saga, they decided to call it quits even after initially announcing the Buu saga because they were tired of fighting Toei to produce episodes, and most of them were declared effective Persona Non Grata from working with Toei in any official capacity (after Christopher Sabat himself tried to get the major voice actors a Cameo in Kai, which Toei got angry about), something many of them weren't happy with because many of their VAs want to break into professional voice acting, and Toei blacklisting them from working with Funimation sunk a great deal of their opportunities.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has an odd example, as the fanwork in question, a Fan Film called Fullmetal Fantasy, was created by the official U.S. dub cast, headed by Vic Mignogna. Mignogna showed it at a couple of fan conventions and wanted to work through the proper channels to get permission for a DVD release, but the legal people said no. After a couple of years, he was told that although there was no way there would be an official release, he could start running it at conventions again — if and only if it never showed up online. So whenever he shows it at a convention, he relates this story beforehand and makes the fans promise not to videotape and upload it. The film was eventually leaked online in 2020, after Vic fell from grace after multiple sexual harrasement accusations.
  • Neither Masashi Kishimoto nor Viz Media have ever taken action to shut down Naruto fan works, and Shonen Jump publishes Fan Art of all its regulars, Naruto included. However, even though they have a section on the official website for fanfics and fan art, it is against the rules of the forum to publish a fan work using trademarked characters. They must be serious about avoiding cross-pollination between fan ideas and official material.
  • Akimoto is supposedly very protective of his AKB48 label and the fanwork ban may be restrictive towards AKB0048.
  • Due to the amounts of Ho Yay in The Heroic Legend of Arslan, author Yoshiki Tanaka banned Yaoi Genre fanworks based on the series, but changed the rule into a ban of Rule 34 fanworks after backlash.
  • In-Universe example: in Genshiken, protagonist Sasahara brings up his experience producing a doujinshi in a job interview at an official manga production company. The interviewer asks him how he would feel about being put into a position where he might be called upon to quash such efforts by fans. Sasahara tries to weasel around the question with a bunch of hemming and hawing and non-committal doublespeak. He doesn't get the job.
  • The fate of SSSS.GRIDMAN’s fanwork community does not look good due to Tsuburaya subtlely yet effectively imposing this in a FAQ on its website.
  • On December 28, 2020, Studio Khara imposed new guidelines on Neon Genesis Evangelion fanmade content. According to said guidelines, fans are not allowed to use the franchise for political and religious reasons, and any pornographic and extreme violent/gory content is strictly forbidden. However, some questioned this sudden imposition because Evangelion has been around since 1995 and it has already had tons of lewd fan content for the past few decades, not to mention the strong violence, risqué content, and unavoidably prevalent religious imagery within the series itself.

    Asian Animation 

  • Archie, concerned about the proliferation of Rule 34 fanfics, has banned all fan fiction of Archie Comics in general. That hasn't stopped people from putting up fan fiction and fan art on the Internet anyway, although more "official" venues still have to respect the ban; FanFiction.Net, for instance, took down its Archie section (but not its Josie and the Pussycats section), but Archive of Our Own still has one. The main exception is Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), since all Sonic characters are owned by Sega, which is Japanese and doesn't mind nearly as much. (Ken Penders, though, insists that any fan art of his characters include a copyright crediting him.)
  • Pat Mills has forbidden fanwork based on Nemesis the Warlock, apparently to avoid diluting the original story. However, his other comics, including ABC Warriors and Sláine, are fair game, although 2000 AD's official website won't accept new stories based on any of Mills' work.
  • CrossGen enacted a fanwork ban after finding Rule 34 works. Fans consider this decision to have contributed to their eventual bankruptcy and acquisition by Disney.
  • Jack Chick would legally attack any parody of his tracts, claiming "It's only fair use if you draw everything yourself." The relevant copyright laws say otherwise.
  • Marvel Comics has been known to come down on video game modders who made custom characters based on their comic book characters. Their efforts during the heyday of The Sims led to a near-disappearance of Marvel character skins on the Internet. Most infamously, they once sued to stop City of Heroes players from making Marvel characters with the character creator, only for the judge to discover that the examples Marvel's lawyers provided were created by Marvel themselves and dismiss the case.
  • The owners of the Tintin copyright are known to aggressively go after fanfiction and fanart, including works not used for profit. This originates from Hergé requesting that no more albums be published after his death. This has led to several lawsuits and many Tintin forums and fansites having to ban fanworks and discussion of fanworks entirely to stay online. (A few memes and parodies do survive, though, most notably the Captain Haddock "HA HA HA, OH WOW" meme.)
    • The Hergé Foundation came down hard on Tintin in Thailand, an adult-oriented parody of the series. More than just being explicit, its author Baudouin de Duve (under the pseudonym Bud E. Weyser) attempted to pass it off as a previously-unreleased genuine Tintin comic; Belgian police took the whole thing very seriously and arrested him in a sting operation.
    • Moulinsart sued to take down a political cartoon portraying former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd as Tintin — artist Bill Leak was able to convince Moulinsart to back down after promising not to profit from his work.
  • Due to Bill Watterson's great disdain for licensing, he forbid Calvin and Hobbes from having any sort of merchandising or adaptations whatsoever. This includes fan works (or at least those being used for profit), which Watterson and his newspaper syndicates have made attempts to crackdown on. Unfortunately, the crackdowns have been difficult to outright ineffective since, with no official merchandise, there would be no financial gain on the ends of Watterson and the syndicates.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • With the exception of a few RPGs, Anne McCaffrey banned fanfiction being posted publicly for years. Fans could still write and share it with each other, but it had to be via private e-mails or mailing lists. She later relaxed the ban but imposed rules on would-be writers: no writing about existing Pern characters, no boys can Impress gold dragons, no girls can Impress bronzes, and no dragons of any other colour except for the five standard colours — Ruth is the exclusive exception. No one cared about these rules, given the proliferation of exotic characters. The ban was lifted entirely in 2004, but it's still quite a small fandom. One effect of this was that the Angband Roguelike variant Pernband (which, despite its comparatively obscure focus, had become one of the most heavily-developed roguelikes of its day) was forced to excise all Pern material and change its name. It eventually became Tales of Middle-Earth and, even later, Tales of Maj'Eyal.
  • Anne Rice famously banned all fanworks, a stance that got even stricter when she found Jesus and cited the commandment "Thou shalt not steal" to justify her stance. It remains to see if her estate will uphold her stance from 2022 onward.
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe made his opinion on the alternate ending story Friedrich Nicolai created of his The Sorrows of Young Werther abundantly clear by writing the poem titled "Nicolai on Werther's grave", wherein a nameless passerby literally shits on the character Werther's grave.
  • Robin Hobb famously wrote an article in which she explains her fanwork ban note  as coming from her personal attachment to her characters, claiming they are like family to her, and it is thus uncomfortable for her to see them in weird and perverted situations. She also claims that changing aspects of canon the fanfic author dislikes, or even just expanding on canon, is insulting to the original author, who may have worked long and hard on their story, only to be "rewarded" with multiple attempts to tell them how things should have gone. It reads almost like a Public Service Announcement against fan fiction. The article includes a "how to" on writing original fiction, though some of her suggestions look suspiciously like Serial Numbers Filed Off.
  • Charlaine Harris does not approve of fanfic.
  • Terry Goodkind has a general fanwork ban, although it's unclear whether it applies to Legend of the Seeker.
  • John Norman is known to be hostile to Gor fanfics.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire author George R. R. Martin disapproves of fan fiction, but he's okay with fan art. His main objections are copyright concerns (often citing the Marion Zimmer Bradley incident mentioned below) and a belief that fan fiction is bad practice for an aspiring writer since creating and developing one's own characters and setting are an integral part of writing. He likens fan fic to an artist learning to draw by doing paint-by-numbers. Fan art, on the other hand, still requires genuine skill, so it doesn't bother him as much.
  • Larry Niven approves of fan fiction, as long as such stories are strictly set within the Man-Kzin War period of his Known Space universe. He wrote that he specifically designated this period as a "playground" for his fans, hoping to divert fan attention away from other things. He still doesn't like Rule 34 fics, though:
    "We said the magic word and frightened him away: Lawsuit."
  • Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling doesn't mind fans writing fanfic and doing other fannish things, recognizing that this helps consolidate the fan community. She does, however, dislike sexually explicit fanfics. Part of it is to avoid younger fans accidentally stumbling upon them. She has also been known to stop fans from publishing things she was planning to do herself: for instance, the Harry Potter Lexicon, a popular online Harry Potter encyclopedia, existed just fine on the Internet but couldn't be published in book format for a long time because Rowling was thinking of publishing a Harry Potter encyclopedia of her own (it didn't happen, and a heavily modified version of the Lexicon did eventually see print).
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley enacted a fanwork ban in response to a Darkover fanfic writer claiming that she had used some of his story elements in a later Darkover novel, which wound up never being published. The story is a rather complicated one with backers on both sides; a reasonably dispassionate summary can be found here.
  • Strongly influenced by Bradley's experiences, Mercedes Lackey actively banned fan fiction in her universes (except under certain draconian conditions) for over two decades. However, as of late 2009, she has altered her stance to allow fanfic licensed under the Creative Commons license:
    "As you folks already know, my agent, Russel Galen, has in the past been opposed to fanfiction. However, he is also Cory Doctorow's agent now, and Cory is a persuasive little gnome."
  • Terry Pratchett mentioned in a 2007 lecture that he had developed a balanced compromise on Discworld fan fiction that seems to work: Fans were free to have as much good-natured fun as they wished (non-commercially), on two (later three) conditions:
    • First, fans must automatically surrender all their creative rights to their derived works back to Pratchett. That way, he said, if a potential licensee asked, for instance, if anyone else had made a video adaptation of Jingo, he could simply say "Yes, but I own all the rights to it," which didn't seem to bother them at all.
    • Second, fan fic shouldn't happen where he could see it. This would prevent anyone from claiming that he used any of their ideas in a later Discworld book. He was more worried about reputational damage than legal repercussions; it would have been easy to prove that he didn't steal ideas, but mud sticks.
    • The third came in the late 1990s, when am-dram companies started doing Discworld amateur theatrics without even bothering to seek Pratchett's permission. He was willing to give it, but they had to ask first. So to enforce this, he would grant permission in exchange for a small donation to the Orang-Utan Foundation, hopefully discouraging people from shortchanging a charity.
  • This list of publishers who do not allow fanfiction also includes Raymond E. Feist, PN Elrod, Nora Roberts, and a few others, although it doesn't state their reasons for doing so.
  • Diana Gabaldon bans fanfiction and has compared the practice to, among other things, people breaking into her house or selling her children into slavery. This despite the fact that she has acknowledged that Jamie Fraser, the hero of her Outlander series, is directly based on Jamie McCrimmon from Doctor Who.

    Live-Action TV 
  • There was an official fanfiction ban during the original broadcast run of Babylon 5. This was instituted after the creator, J. Michael Straczynski, was forced by Warner Bros. lawyers to prove that he had planned the main plot of the episode "Passing Through Gethsemane" before a fan on Usenet had independently suggested that such a story would be cool.
  • The American cop show scriptwriter and prominent blogger Lee Goldberg (not to be confused with the New York meteorologist) has become notorious for being vehemently against fanfic and denouncing anybody who writes it as a plagiarist and thief.
  • Any fan remake of a game show owned by Fremantle Media will be quickly hit with a cease-and-desist order.
  • In the aftermath of a legal quagmire regarding the Star Trek Fan Film Prelude to Axanar and its sequel Axanar, Paramount Pictures (who are the legal holders of the franchise) didn't explicitly ban Star Trek Fan Films from being made, but they did impose some pretty severe limitations to their creation. They included a 30-minute maximum time limit on "feature-length" films, killing "original series" by preventing any fan's original characters from appearing in any other works, preventing anything they defined as "profit-making" (including raising or crowdsourcing money), and requiring official Trek gear to be used (and if you made your own, you couldn't sell it in any fashion). This has largely killed, or at least culled most interest in anything other than Fanfic due to the restrictions, and a massive amount of Fan Backlash for the company itself because of Paramount's behavior. While fans still love Trek, Paramount's reputation with fans has yet to fully recover.
  • Back when Barney & Friends was at the height of its popularity, The Lyons Group would try and stop unauthorized appearances of Barney lookalike costumes at public events. They also sued the creators of a plush doll called Dino Buddy that resembled Barney.
  • NHK is notorious for taking down any videos of its' children's series such as Okaasan to Issho, Inai Inai Baa!, Eigo De Asobou and Miitsuketa!, which is why it is rare to find full episodes of them online. This even applies to their older series such as Hitori de Dekiru Mon! and older episodes of the aformentioned series. For some reason, foreign dubs of their series seem to be exempt from this, such as the Spanish dub of Inai Inai Baa! and the Chinese dub of Okaasan to Issho segment Doremifa Donuts.

  • Sony is rather notorious in certain video creation circles for issuing DMCA takedown notices on any video with Sony-owned music in it. It's gotten to the point where some such circles forbid the inclusion of Sony-owned music in any video for fear of Sony hitting them where it hurts.
    • Sony would go as far as issuing DMCA takedowns on stuff they don't own (such as Sintel, an open-source movie).
  • Avex is another notorious offender in this regard; many Animutations featuring music from their artists have had YouTube videos taken down by their cease-and-desist orders.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Kevin Siembieda of Palladium Books is extremely hostile to people posting conversions of his games anywhere where he can find them and is notorious for making legal threats. His official reason is that he doesn't want to take any flak from other companies for someone using his material to infringe on their copyrights, but the general consensus of the fandom (backed up by several statements he's made "off the record") is that it's his Small Name, Big Ego at work and he doesn't want anyone playing in his settings without using his rules. As you might expect, the fans ignore him, buy his books for the setting material, and swap out the mechanics. It took him twenty years to allow Rifts to be printed in another system (Savage Worlds), and even then there are multiple timeline details (such as the Siege of Tolkeen) that require the purchase of the Palladium books to get the whole picture.
  • The rulebook for Mobile Frame Zero urges you, when creating your own faction, to avoid portraying authoritarianism or anarcho-capitalism positively, and specifically forbids basing anything on the Nazis or naming your frames in reference to them.
  • Games Workshop, the makers of the enormously popular Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 lines, get really tetchy when someone makes anything that even looks like their material. They've taken down such things as fan-made player aids and even scenarios, and don't even try to make a fangame or fanvid if you don't want their lawyers coming down on you like a ton of bricks. Even fan modelling projects have been knocked down, despite modelling being one of the core draws of the hobby.
    • It reached a new level where they have announced a zero-tolerance policy on fan animations and other fan works while also announcing their new Warhammer+ subscription service, which has greatly affected the community and even forced the creator of If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device to go on a indefinite hiatus in fear of their lawyers going after him and his team if they continue to work on the series which has caused quite the controversy in the fandom. Even before that the animator behind Astartes and the SFM animator SODAZ were acquired but then were also forced to delete or unlist every single Warhammer 40k related video on their channels. This got even more problematic when SODAZ was reportedly screwed over by GW and left dissatisfied, but due to the nature of the contract he is no longer allowed to make Warhammer 40k animations.
  • The fan-made system PokéRole, a Pokémon based tabletop, has a lengthy history with this trope. The PokéRole devs have an absolute blood oath against people making Fakemon for the system thanks to a former dev having a complete public meltdown over the devs refusing to allow him to insert his Fakemon into the actual system. It's a downplayed example, however, as they only really have a problem with people posting it to the official Discord, and have begrudgingly admitted they can't stop people from making Fakemon for their own games. They have even made the formula for how they converted Pokémon to the system public.

  • LEGO sent cease-and-desist notices to video game fan art site VGBoxArt over copyright infringement concerns, leading to a rule that explicitly forbade any LEGO-related video game covers on the site, although a number of them still slip through the cracks.
  • Mattel, the parent company of American Girl, has a strict stance on their intellectual property. Although they're fine with stop-motion videos and such, they come down hard on unauthorized uses of the "American Girl" name, such as conventions. They once threatened to sue a fan site which was planning to publish an unofficial collector's guide for the dolls. Most famously, Mattel sued Danish-Norwegian pop group Aquanote  over their song "Barbie Girl", claiming it portrayed their product in a negative light; they relented when they realized they could modify the lyrics and use the song to promote their product.
  • While Hasbro seems to have no problem with non-toy Transformers fanworks, they are notoriously opposed to third-party Transformer toys that are created to bear a resemblance to any character in the franchise, and unlike with My Little Pony, have shown zero interest in partnering with third-party companies. They even ban the mere possession of such toys at BotCon and will confiscate any that they find. Amusingly many of these third-party companies are based in China, although the quality of bootleg/third-party Transformers range from Shoddy Knockoff Products to somehow being better than official Hasbro and Takara-Tomy products.

    Video Games 
  • Microsoft has a set of guidelines for fans to follow when modding their games, including the Halo franchise. Fans must include a notice acknowledging Microsoft's rules and promise not to do anything objectionable. (Ironic, considering that Halo gave us the "teabagging" trend, which the guidelines call objectionable but seems to get a free pass.)
  • Ultima Online zig-zags with the trope with its "free shards", reverse-engineered copies of the MMO, which provides fans with highly moddable versions of the game. Even Game Moderators and Event Managers own and create these shards, and some of the coolest ones are even used as the basis for new expansions and patches. But the terms of service explicitly say that playing on a free shard will get your account permanently banned; thankfully, this term is not really enforced.
  • Galaxy in Turmoil was going to be a fan made Star Wars game based on the canceled Battlefront III. After receiving a cease and desist, the game was redesigned and released on Steam with non-Star Wars graphics.
  • Kingdom Hearts fans in Japan present a weird case; Japan doesn't like fanwork bans, but Kingdom Hearts uses Disney characters, and Disney is famous worldwide for its aggressive cease-and-desist orders. Fans keep their fanwork sites as secret as possible, hiding them under passwords and the like, and they're remarkably restrained with Rule 34 works (much more so than the Western fandom, which is used to the underlying threat). They even put Censor Boxes over Disney characters' eyes to "hide" their identities. But the fear only extends to the Disney characters; other characters like Sora and the Organization XIII are okay.
  • Blizzard Entertainment/Activision Blizzard:
    • Nostalrius was a fan run World of Warcraft "Vanilla" server that attempted to recreate the original game experience and ran for over a year before being shut down due to a cease and desist. This came as Blizzard was preparing World of Warcraft: Classic to cash in on the nostalgia potential of re-releasing the original game.
    • Warcraft III: Reforged angered the fandom for multiple reasons, one of them being that any custom made map made by players is the "sole and exclusive property of Blizzard"). Many other big publishers like Bethesda or CD Projekt don't claim ownership over mods, they just claim the right to license or use them. It's widely seen as Blizzard overcompensating for famously missing out on DOTA because they'd rejected the creator of the original Defense of the Ancients's offer of a partnership, which Valve was all too happy to do.
    • Blizzard will seek and destroy any porn using assets from Overwatch. But if you use fan-made assets, they'll leave you alone.
  • Capcom requested that development of Invader Games' fan remake of Resident Evil 2, titled Resident Evil 2 Reborn, be halted only to invite them to work on the official remake. This is somewhat unusual for the company, who doesn't otherwise issue takedown notices to fan games unless they're pornographic or sold for money.
    • Sadly, Capcom in The New '20s (or possibly earlier) has become stricter regarding Game Mods, considering them as cheating or offensive to public order and morals. This came after an incident where a Street Fighter 6 tournament player streamed the game with a nudity mod enabled. This is to the point where in early 2024 Capcom stealthily updated their existing PC releases, but the patch is a trojan to apply the very questionable Enigma Protector DRM, breaking all fan mods good or bad. They did not get away scot-free, at least not entirely, as they ended up rolling back the update for Resident Evil: Revelations, but others are still affected.
  • Idea Factory strictly forbids production of any kinds of fan merchandise, both Doujinshi and fanmade goodies of their IPs. This also extends to IPs they co-produced such as Diabolik Lovers (co-developed with Rejet) and non-game IPs such as Hypnosis Mic: Division Rap Battle (where IF owns the characters and setting). These rules once led a Hakuouki doujin event into huge trouble. There is also an ongoing rumor that Otomate, in addition to IF's fanwork ban, quietly forbids Slash Fics/depictions of their male characters, since their IPs are strictly for the otome crowd.
    • However, they later averted the ban on Hypnosis Mic fanwork, and later changed the ban into a regulation similar to nitro+'s regulations, see the entry for nitro+ for that.
    • Fellow developer Broccoli also impose same rules.
  • Square Enix hates Fan Remakes. Or rather, fan remakes that are due to release the same month as their own Updated Re-release, which happens fairly frequently. They were particularly quick with a fan-made 3D remake of Chrono Trigger called Chrono Resurrection, which was barely in development when it got hit with a C&D (although it did manage to give the fandom an awesome rendition of "Corridors of Time").
    • Chrono Trigger: Crimson Echoes was a Chrono Trigger fan game with over 35 hours of gameplay and eleven endings that was cancelled due to a(n alleged) cease and desist.note 
    • Dragon Quest VII was going to receive a fan translation on the Nintendo 3DS, but the project was cancelled due to a cease and desist. Later, Square Enix decided to allow Nintendo to localize the game officially on the Nintendo 3DS, albeit with the orchestral soundtrack replaced with a MIDI one.
    • A fan translation of Final Fantasy Type-0 on the PSP was around 75% complete before being issued a cease and desist. The Mobile Phone Game Final Fantasy Agito was also to receive a fan translation, but was cancelled due to a cease and desist, though the game was ultimately not localized in North America and Europe.
  • Sega has been known to do this to its properties:
    • Sega sent a cease-and-desist order to the makers of a Streets of Rage remake. Frustratingly, the fans told Sega about the project themselves hoping to hold off any problems; Sega did nothing until the game was finished. Even more frustratingly, Sega never made their own remake or port of any Streets of Rage game. The fan game was eventually released on the Internet and can still be found if you know where to look. This was slightly mitigated years later, when SEGA announced that they licensed DotEmu to make a new game for the franchise, which can make you think that SEGA may be using the fan-remake to spread the word that the franchise still lives, but issued the cease-and-desist once they have enough idea on what to put in their own game after observing how the remake did it; several elements of the remake did make it to the actual Streets of Rage 4 (including retro versions of the previous installments' characters).
    • Sega made the unusual decision to ban all YouTube videos with footage from the Shining Series, regardless of context. The theory was that they weren't even worried about copyright; rather, they were trying to increase the profile of the then-upcoming Shining Ark. After being called on it, Sega eventually reversed the decision with a half-hearted apology.
    • Inverted with fan works based on Sonic the Hedgehog as they seem to embrace fangames based on their mascot. However, some fans believe that they are doing this because they are aware of how mediocre the in-house Sonic games were in the 2010s, especially when comparing Sonic Mania, an official game developed by Promoted Fanboys which received critical acclaim when compared to Sonic Team's own Sonic Forces which received mixed reviews, to a point that some fans want Takashi Izuka and the rest of Sonic Team fired for their incompetence and have Mania lead developer Christian Whitehead the new head of the Sonic franchise.
    • A month after Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega Mix+ came out on Steam. Sega would release a patch that according to them, was meant to fix some bugs. However, as modders quickly found out, this patch actually disables the mod loader that had been created for the game, leading many fans to speculate that Sega made the patch specifically to impose this and prevent users from adding fan-made mods to the game. Sega's attempt to circumvent modding would end up failing however, as modders quickly got around this only days after the patch came out.
  • nitro+, Happy Elements, and Hypnosis Mic does allow for-profit fanworks of their games/IP, as long as they don't violate their licensing rules (no selling more than 200 pieces or the profit must not be over 100,000 yen without express permission). They will sue anyone who breaks the rules for copyright infringement. Overall, this is a common regulation among Japanese developers.
  • Konami can never seem to make its mind up about fanmade games. It initially greenlit several remakes of their Metal Gear series (including some that actually featured original voice actors David Hayter and Paul Eiding reprising their roles as Solid Snake and Colonel Campbell, respectively), only to withdraw permission later on.
    • Shadow Moses Project was going to be a fan-made HD remake of Metal Gear Solid in Unreal Engine 4. After hopes that the project would be officially supported, the project was cancelled in 2016 due to a cease and desist.
    • Konami sent a cease and desist to dejawolf, the creator of a Castlevania remake in Unreal Engine, stopping further development of the project.
  • Chris Hülsbeck has kindly asked not to have his video game tunes remixed, which is why there is a standing ban on derivative works at the Videogame Music Archive and only four remixes on OverClocked ReMix — although there are also two pages worth of arrangements of his work on RKO, dating back as far as 2001, as well as a 2008 remix of "Shades" by Austrian group, so he may have relaxed his stance a bit.
  • Tomonobu Itagaki, creator of the Dead or Alive series, sued a modding community that was making nude mods of the series' female characters. On top of the legal complaints, he claimed that the characters were like "his daughters" and that the mods were akin to violating them. That comment, though, doesn't gel with the sheer amount of Fanservice involving the characters in the series itself, or with the massive amounts of Hentai Doujinshi featuring them that he and Tecmo consistently ignored. Scuttlebutt suggested that he sued the community because it was American and not Japanese.
    • Another reason for the last point might be that Hentai Doujinshi in general are counted as "parodies" that are 100% separate from the franchise that they're depicting, therefore cannot be confused as "official material", and most Hentai fanworks don't directly tamper with official game resources. Most Hentai Doujinshi in general are not even allowed to mention the names of the franchise on their titles. See first entry on Anime/Manga folder.
  • Epic Games, makers of Gears of War, sent a cease-and-desist notice to a fan who posted a picture on his DeviantArt page of his custom Super Sculpey-made Gears of War action figure — not because of the figure itself, but because of the also custom-made blister box he put it in, which the lawyers claimed was "too realistic".
  • The MUSH Multiverse Crisis MUSH acknowledges this phenomenon in its banned characters list, which includes characters from creators who are known to issue legal threats over fan work. However, Captain Ersatz versions of banned characters are fine- a number of "original" settings based heavily on banned works have been included over the years (mainly Disney).
  • 3D Realms, and by extension, Gearbox Software, have essentially disallowed any fan-made Duke Nukem projects in any game that isn't Duke Nukem 3D, unless they get money out of it. Said ban indirectly extends to Duke Nukem Forever, as the modding tools that supposedly existed were never released.
  • Tetris:
    • The Tetris Company is hugely protective of the Tetris brand. If you dare to use the name Tetris® or even so much as create a game that involves falling tetriminos, without paying the proper license fees and royalties, prepare for a cease-and-desist letter. They have sent DMCA takedown notices to YouTube for videos just featuring unofficial Tetris clones. They have even gone as far as threatening legal action against fans who pointedly use only elements that cannot legally be copyrighted,note  using meritless legal claims for intimidation (in a strategy known as a SLAPP). Their stance causes particular headaches to fans of Tetris: The Grand Master, which wasn't released outside Japannote . Ironically enough, Tetris was created in the Soviet Union by a government employee and was thus originally in the public domain.
    • Arika heavily frowns upon clones/simulators of Tetris: The Grand Master such as NullpoMino and Texmaster although they have not taken any large-scale action to shut those games down and prevent further distribution. However, on YouTube effective January 1, 2019, videos of those clones (as well as other violations of their TGM video guidelines) will be met with copyright strikes.
  • The makers of Mount & Blade, fearing retribution of this sort, prohibited the official Taleworlds discussion board from granting subforums to mods based on novels or movies subject to fanwork bans.
  • In 2015, Konami shut down the fan-operated online service Programmed World, which was the only way to play BEMANI arcade games outside countries served by the eAMUSEMENT network, by sending cease-and-desist notices to arcades running PW-connected cabinets.
  • While not an outright ban, Toby Fox, creator of Undertale, has said that while he is totally fine with fan work of all types, he would prefer that Rule 34 work be given the #undertail tag to keep it separate from the main body of work, because "It's a family friendly show!"
  • Subverted by Hideki Kamiya, creator of Bayonetta, who was upset with early Rule 34 art of the title character that he found — because most of it showed her being dominated, something out of character for her. When the artists caught on and started showing Bayonetta in a typically dominant role as she is in the game, Hideki fully approved it.
  • Rockstar Games of Grand Theft Auto fame, is known to be rather ambivalent about Game Mods; they seem not to mind them in principle, but ever since the "Hot Coffee" scandal in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (which they initially tried to blame on modders before it was revealed it was in the console releases as well), they've been a lot more wary of the Moral Guardians. Their games' EULAs explicitly forbid reverse-engineering, although the only time theynote  enforced that clause was when they sent a cease-and-desist to Yuriy "Good-NTS" Krivoruchko, author of the OpenIV utility for modding RAGE Engine-powered Rockstar titles; the cease-and-desist order was met with so much backlash that Rockstar themselves stepped in and chastised their parent company for what was seen as a draconian move for Take-Two to further push their oft-criticised "Shark Cards" into GTA Online. They also sued the makers of FiveM, an unofficial multiplayer replacement for GTA Online, and permanently banned them from using Rockstar's services and developing GTA-related mods.
  • HBO apparently keeps a razor-sharp eye on Paradox Interactive, and specifically the Crusader Kings II: Game of Thrones Mod. Nobody wants to crack down on someone's fan mod and risk that kind of bad publicity, but the network execs appear to be legitimately worried that Paradox might start monetizing the extremely-popular Total Conversion.
  • Zig-zagged with The Silver Lining. After dealing with a cease and desist from both Vivendi and Activision, Activision has granted Phoenix Online Publishing the right to distribute the game, but chapter 5 remains vaporware.
  • ZUN, creator of Touhou Project, is generally very supportive of fanworks, but had a set of official usage guidelines which (among other things) didn't allow to sell fanworks online, or crowdfund them, however distributing through Steam and similar platforms wasn't allowed until 2017, as after Touhou Tenkuushou ~ Hidden Star in Four Seasons was released on that platform (being the very first official Touhou game to be released worldwide), that apparently wasn't a problem for him anymore. After that, several fangames such as The Disappearing of Gensokyo got a Steam release. Less formally, he also asks creators to include an I Do Not Own disclaimer and to avoid names which could lead to their project being confused for an official work.
  • The Spyro the Dragon fan-game Spyro: Myths Awaken was cancelled due to a cease-and-desist. It was turned into Zera: Myths Awaken, which stars a new protagonist.
  • The Knights of the Old Republic Unreal Engine 4 fan remake "Apeiron" was given a cease-and-desist.
  • While Bethesda is well-known for being on good terms with the modding communities for their games, they're particularly strict about any assets from their games being used and recirculated in mods, even mods for their own properties. This has lead to unique roadblocks and challenges for fan communities looking to remake older games in more updated engines.
    • Upcoming projects Skywind and Skyblivion, which seek to remake Morrowind and Oblivion respectively in the Skyrim engine, have circumvented this by remaking all of the required assets by hand, including the daunting task of rerecording every voice line, which explains why the projects have been multiple years in the making.
    • Conversely, Tale of Two Wastelands, which allows Fallout 3 to be played in the slightly more up-to-date Fallout: New Vegas engine, circumvented this by pulling the assets directly from the player's installed copy of Fallout 3, which avoids circulating the assets of the game altogether.
  • Technically averted for any game that comes with a Level Editor, modding tools, or the like, as if they didn't want players to make their own content, they wouldn't have put such things in the game.
  • Nicalis issued a DMCA takedown of two fan-made ports for the freeware version of Cave Story, resulting in downloads of said ports as well as their source code and forks being taken down from Github and throwing a wrench in the game's modding scene and improving compatibility of the freeware version.
  • While Scott Cawthon of Five Nights at Freddy's has never had any problem with fan fics, twice he forced fan games to stop masquerading as official sequels. When the first The Return to Freddy's game was released as Five Nights At Freddy's 3 fans contacted Scott who demanded the game to be renamed. The same happened with Fazbear 4 which was originally Five Nights At Freddy's 4.
  • Uma Musume famously forbids Rule 34 fanworks of the characters, as they are based on real-life race horses. It is famously alleged that the Yakuza is involved to enforce the rule (this has neither been confirmed nor denied). Other titles by Cygames with completely fictional characters do not have this rule, and if any pornographic art of it exists, it's very under the radar and likely from outside of Japan.
  • In-Universe, the very first mission in Hypnospace Outlaw is to seek and remove any images of the fictional character "Gumshoe Gooper", as enforced by the estate of its creator. This can potentially include pencil drawings by first-grade children that their teacher uploaded to her page... which snowballs into a counter-movement claiming that the ban is a Communist scheme.
  • In-Universe example in The Hex. Lionel Snill hates the mods created for Waste World enough to use legal action to deal with them. However, that doesn't stop him from stealing the alien designs bandito7 made to use for Vicious Galaxy 2.
  • Team Fortress 2 Classic and Open Fortress are substantial Game Mods that were subject to a bizarre, inconsistent case of this. Both released in 2020 as separate reimaginings of Team Fortress 2 via trimming the excess features of the current game for return a hassle-free return to basics of its 2007-2009 era, they were taken down from download in November 2021 after Valve stepped in due to the mods being built from reverse-engineering TF2's source code (which was leaked in 2008), violating their terms of service. However, their removal request was also tied to an offer to allow for fully-fledged releases of the mods on Steam, a practice with fan content that's been in Valve's wheelhouse for over a decade, but once the respective developers accepted the offer, Valve went completely silent. After months of being unable to get a response from Valve on how to proceed, they each sent an ultimatum in March 2022 informing Valve of their intentions to reopen the mods, presenting an opportunity to object and reaffirm their offers, which still prompted no reaction whatsoever from Valve. Both mods were reinstated for download on June 2022 until further notice.
  • Aurora (4X)'s developer Steve Walmsley is very protective of his game and initially banned all modding altogether at the threat of shelving the entire project, although he eventually relented and allowed mods personally approved by him. The reason given was "to avoid false bug reports and competing versions".
  • Arcaea has a derivative works policy that bans, among other things (which is part of the official Discord server's infamous Rule #4, or "R4" for short):
    • Works with in-game assets like character portraits. This extends to memes as well, and in the official Discord server, posting memes with obviously-ripped graphical assets or audio assets (such as music) will be met with moderator intervention (however, if the meme is using a screenshot, it is okay). Fanart, fan remixes, and similar are fine, so long as they aren't tracing the aforementioned assets or just extra sounds over the existing audio.
    • Fan-made charts of songs produced for the game, whether for use in "custom song" games like osu! or StepMania or in Arcaea simulators, which themselves are banned as well.
    • The mods of the official Discord server are especially harsh on mashups of Arcaea songs with CupcakKe songs (a popular meme that has been done with much of the game's soundtrack), due to not only violating the "don't use in-game assets" policy but also because the latter's songs are extremely NSFW, and NSFW content is a violation of another server rule. This isn't met with just an "R4" citation, often times it will result in "we do not tolerate this content."

    Web Animation 
  • While Rooster Teeth doesn't have a problem with RWBY fan-works per-se and have even worked with fan-artists on various projects (such as the RWBY: Official Manga Anthology), unofficial fan-made merchandise is considered to be a no-go, and many conventions in the US have banned artists from selling their own fanart of the show.

  • Fred Gallagher once stated that if anyone ever made Rule 34 fanworks of Megatokyo, he would immediately quit making the comic. It turned out to be kind of an empty threat; handing people who don't like you an easy way to make you quit probably isn't such a brilliant idea.
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del:
    • Author Tim Buckley issued a pretty derisive and considerably assholish cease-and-desist letter to an unsuspecting fan who dared to make a fan video about his comic. It was later discovered that Buckley was planning on making an animated series himself and sell it online at a considerably high price. Tim was able to get it off the series off the ground, eventually. And then it crashed and burned, but that's another story.
    • Buckley also allegedly threatened to cancel the comic if he saw anyone make Rule 34 of the characters. Much like Fred Gallagher and Megatokyo, Buckley backed down when he realized he was basically giving the comic's massive hatedom a powerful weapon against him.
  • Bill Holbrook has discouraged fanart and fanfiction of Kevin & Kell, feeling that it weakens his copyright protection. He now has a DeviantArt community for fanart, but fanfic is still a no-go.
  • Mike Russell seems to heavily discourage any kind of fanfiction (but not fanart) of The World of Vicki Fox unless it strictly takes place in a similar setting as the original.
  • Andrew Hussie (or rather, his girlfriend and business manager Rachel) bans all for-profit fanwork of Homestuck except for one-time commissions of graphic art. Non-commercial fanwork is still okay. Unfortunately, Hussie's more zealous fans go much further and threaten to "report" Homestuck fan artists to Hussie so he can sue them, regardless of whether the work is for-profit or a one-time commission. This leads some conventions to maintain a blanket ban on Homestuck-related art and artists refusing to draw Homestuck commissions, just to avoid these annoying fans. Ironically, T-shirts with Homestuck fanart (as selected from contests) were later sold at Hot Topic, and the post-canon Homestuck writing team is dominated by former fans who often incorporate fanon into the new canon anyway.
  • Eric W. Schwartz allows Sabrina Online fanworks of all types, with one hard and fast exception: No adult works featuring Sabrina herself. This seems to be a case of "I don't do it, so neither will you", since he doesn't publish any art harder than "cheesecake-y pinups" of Sabrina.
  • Michelle Czajkowski, author of Ava's Demon has explicitly disapproved of crossovers with their characters or concepts, which led to a fair amount of drama after a Homestuck crossover.
  • The FAQ for Darths & Droids discourages fans from creating any Audio Adaptations of the comic, as the Comic Irregulars want to be able to make one themselves after the comic is completed.
  • KC Green, author of Gunshow, has previously attempted to erase fan edits of his comics from the Internet, for all the good that does. "Feminist Robot" and "Ghost Blowjob" are some of the most famous, to the point where the latter certainly overshadows the original strip entirely.
  • Jeph Jacques of Questionable Content once stated that while he's "okay" with other people making images of his characters in sexual situations, he draws the line at such drawings of underage characters (specifically Samantha Bean, the daughter of the owner of "The Secret Bakery"). He went on to wish that those who drew Sam naked would "die in a car fire".

    Web Original 
  • FanFiction.Net's content guidelines contain a list of IPs and authors for which the site does not accept fics, including: Anne Rice, Archie Comics (the only IP on the list so far), Dennis L. McKiernan, Irene Radford, J.R Ward, Laurell K Hamilton, Nora Roberts, P.N. Elrod, Raymond E. Feist, Robin Hobb, Robin McKinley and Terry Goodkind.
  • Ghost of True Capitalist has implied such a ban on his radio show, owing to his displeasure of people compromising the integrity of his "serious" online political talk show by splicing his voice together to make remixes and make him say things he never said. He has a "Shit List" of people he's caught doing this (including the makers of "Melting Pot of Alcohol"). But to his credit, he hasn't tried to force YouTube to take the videos down.
  • Neopets contains many original submissions which have their own rules which fans must follow if they want to make fanworks (mostly of the No Hugging, No Kissing variety). However, they also explicitly allow Fair Use derivative works or content covered by the Nickelodeon terms of service (which covers Neopets, Petpet Park, Nicktropolis, and Monkey Quest).
  • The fan community for Channel Awesome likes writing explicit fanfic about the characters. The site's personalities are split on the subject. Some hosts don't mind it at all (Doug Walker actively ships his own character with his brother, sometimes in livestreams with his wife right behind him). Others don't want to be in explicit fics — Nash Bozard asks that he only appear in fics rated "General" or lower). JesuOtaku lashed out at fan artists and got the community to put a complete ban on fanworks involving him. And there's an overarching (yet unofficial) rule that fanfic shouldn't feature two producers if they previously dated and the breakup wasn't pretty (e.g. Iron Liz wants no fanart with her and her ex-boyfriend Linkara).
  • The Protectors of the Plot Continuum keeps a list of "quarantined" continua – canons whose authors have banned fics – for which missions are not allowed out of respect for the authors. The community itself also only allows fic writers with express permission from its moderators to write stories set in its universe in order to avoid hypocrisy, given its premise.
  • The Yogscast have outright said that they like fan art and fan fiction, but ask that the latter is not put in the main tag on Tumblr and kept in the separate #yogfic tag (which caused a small ruckus when the Yogs read some on a livestream, without consulting the author). Hannah Rutherford has a very negative reaction to shipping in particular, although this is mostly due to some rather disturbing stories written about her. William Strife has nothing against fanart, but has noted that he's not a fan of being shipped with Parv. Then Tumblr changed their search function so that it no longer recognizes tags, which makes it harder to sequester fanfics.
  • In early 2015, a "bootleg" reimagining of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers (made as a Darker and Edgier reboot that starred Katee Sackhoff and James Van Der Beek) was temporarily pulled offline due to a copyright claim from Saban Brands, who claimed that the work was infringing upon their brand. This was alongside claims from fans that the short (which skyrocketed in popularity) was showing up its creators and proved the potential for the series. After Saban suffered from a wave of negative publicity against their hamfisted response, they rescinded the claim and allowed the short to be put back online, this time with a disclaimer stating it had no affiliation with their brand.
  • Welcome to Night Vale actively encourages fan art, fiction, and other projects. However, they have a ban on doing any fan projects for profit, since selling merch is the primary way the creators support the podcast, and as a small indie operation, they can't compete with fan art the way bigger companies can. Night Vale Presents has also sent cease-and-desist notices to creators of fake podcasts based on the show, ostensibly to avoid confusion with the real thing (it's estimated that the fanbase has created over three times as many fake episodes than there are real episodes).
  • While Michael Rosen initially took umbrage at YouTube Poop remixes of his poems, he did relent when it was pointed out that it's the parent's responsibility to control what their own children are exposed to on the internet (and also when he realized people weren't going to stop no matter what he did), though he nevertheless disabled comments on his artificedesign videos to prevent mature comments, eventually having them re-enabled, albeit with moderators keeping watch to redact any inappropriate content. Rosen's legion of YTP fans are for the most part rather respectful towards the channel's policy, and the YTP community has viewed him with such high regard that they elected not to sentence-mix the video where he talks about his son's death, as doing so would be crossing Dude, Not Funny! territory and thus would be a disservice to the man they respect despite being the subject of morbidly comedic parodies.
  • WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.: While TapeWorm is very appreciative of fanwork, she has set some limits as to what fans can create, mainly not allowing stuff that people will mistake as canon to her series.

    Western Animation 
  • Disney and porn have a long-standing relationship, and Disney's lawyers are already legendary in the business, so it's no surprise that they go after fanworks very aggressively — particularly explicit fanworks. In fact, quite a few authors have a problem with Rule 34 in general even if they don't mind the rest of the madness. Among their targets have been:
    • Harlan Ellison, who famously got fired hours into his tenure as a Disney employee for joking about a hypothetical "Disney porn flick".
    • The Air Pirates, a group of underground comic creators in the early 1970s.
    • Anime North, which expressly prohibits the sale of any fanworks of anything owned by Disney, including their acquisitions The Muppet Show, Marvel Comics and Star Wars (plus Homestuck for the reasons described below and ReBoot).
    • One notable bit of history with this is the idea of Disney animator's "porn protests". Disney's non-compete clause for their animators makes any original idea an animator makes while working with Disney belong to the company itself, this effectively makes an animator wanting to fly solo with their original property one day impossible for as long as they're with them. In protest of this, former animators have heavily implied but never outright confirmed (likely for fear of being sued for breaking NDA) they'll anonymously draw porn of Disney's beloved characters as a protest and leave it at the studio, and because of Disney's own rules, this rule 34 of their characters is technically owned and condoned by Disney itself. And while Disney would probably rather destroy and delete said Rule 34 when they realize it's in their possession, ever since this was talked about, there's been a persistent joke about a "porn section" in the Disney Vault.
  • Butch Hartman (The Fairly OddParents!, Danny Phantom and T.U.F.F. Puppy) is okay with Fan Fic so long as it's not Slash Fic and isn't too violent.
  • Warner Bros., the makers of Tiny Toon Adventures, has had a tumultuous relationship with fanwork creators going back to the mid-1990s (when their lawyers still believed they could get rid of Slash Fic by lawsuits).
    • One episode, "Buster and Babs Go Hawaiian", was in fact written by three eighth-grade fans of the show, who were lucky enough not only for Steven Spielberg to approve it, but also for TMS Entertainment to animate it. But the makers were very wary of possibly opening the door for all manner of bad fanfic writers to flood them with material, so they made it very clear that they would not make any more fan-created episodes in the episode's Credits Gag:
      Please mail your unsolicited manuscripts along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Some other show!
    • This is part of the reason why Elmyra was given more screen time than Fifi La Fume, as the writers felt that this was their only way of getting the point across that they hated fan fiction.
  • There was a time when Fox would crack down hard on The Simpsons porn. In the early 2000s, they were able to successfully shut down several Simpsons fansites (lampshaded in "The Computer Wore Menace Shoes", when Lisa tells Homer his website is just full of copyrighted material from other websites). But the sites keep popping up, and Fox has since given up.
  • Hasbro, in regards of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, usually allows non-profit fanworks of the show. There are some exceptions, though:
    • Hasbro's lawyers originally didn't get the memo and started sending out cease-and-desist letters to fanwork creators. Hasbro responded by apologizing to the fans, calling it a "bully move", and firing the lawyers.
    • The fangame My Little Pony: Fighting Is Magic was so popular that it was entered into EVO, a tournament so big that Hasbro couldn't ignore the threat to its IP and was forced to shut it down. The developers went on to make an original game a lot like it, called Them's Fightin' Herds, with Lauren Faust herself as the character designer. (And there's a Fighting Is Magic: Tribute Edition, if you still want the original ponies, but don't ask too loudly.)
    • A fan animator named Jan produced several near-show-quality shorts that met with critical reception and praise, including Lauren Faust herself and others who worked on the show. He was even asked to do some of the animated segments of Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony. But the shoe dropped when he started making Button's Adventures, a spin-off series based on a background colt. That was too far for Hasbro, who sent cease-and-desist orders to take down all his videos (including what he made for the Brony documentary) and to agree never to make any more pony animations; since then, only very few of them have been cleared by the Hasbro legal team to go back up.
  • While fanfiction tends to get off lightly, Fresh TV doesn't take kindly to other kinds of fan projects based on Total Drama and has taken down several particularly high-profile ones:
    • FusionFall Legacy, a fanmade continuation of the now-defunct FusionFall was originally planned to have Total Drama characters, with Chris McLean being shown off as an NPC before a claim from Fresh TV requested that he and the TD universe be removed.
    • Fresh TV has taken action against several Roblox servers based on the show, forcing those servers to either be taken down or change the character names to legal-friendly substitutes.
    • Infamously, the non-profit Web Animation Total Drama Reunion was taken down by Fresh TV a mere day after the first episode went up, with Christian Potenza himself going on record as calling the web show "plagiarism".
  • As of July 2021, Mattel has been cracking down on Roblox fangames based on Thomas & Friends.
  • Paramount Global is notorious for their ferocious protection of SpongeBob SquarePants and their seemingly utter distaste for any unofficial and fan created works featuring the cartoon sponge, to the point where they (back when they were Viacom) outright sued YouTube in 2008 due to copyright infringement, which ended up backfiring. Even after the lawsuit backfired however, Paramount continues to frequently and quickly crack down on fanmade works featuring SpongeBob to this very day and chances are, if you upload anything SpongeBob related onto the internet, especially on YouTube, it's gonna get copyright striked and/or taken down by Paramount. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in many fan projects getting taken down, if not become lost entirely and for Paramount to quickly become hated by many fans, especially content creators.
    • One particularly egregious example is their takedown of "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie Rehydrated", a Multi-Animator Project of The Spongebob Squarepants Movie that took 2 years to make (using nothing straight from the actual film, as the dialogue and soundtrack were recreated from scratch), and was taken down by Paramount within 30 minutes during its live premiere on YouTube, not even allowing it to fully air before doing so. The backlash to the takedown was swift and instantaneous and grew to the point that the hashtag, #justiceforspongebob became a trending topic on Twitter not long after the takedown. Paramount would later walk back on it, allowing the video to be uploaded. Then it got taken down again only to be restored with the "Try YouTube Kids" restriction (which automatically disables comments and limits its recommendations to other users).
    • Not even real-life establishments are safe from this, as Viacom sued a bar themed around SpongeBob and caused it to close down.
  • Many fan videos of PBS Kids shows suffer from takedowns from PBS Distribution, specifically those based on Arthur and shows by Fred Rogers Productions, with the latter happening ever since the company was named Family Communications.

  • Ferrari is a complex case when it comes to people modifying their vehicles. Most of the time they do allow certain user modifications to their vehicles; otherwise, the Italian sportscar maker has been known for putting heavy hammers on modifications that diminish their brands, or even replicas of their cars. Due to certain modifications that violate Ferrari's policies, some famed owners have been banned from getting special-edition Ace Custom Ferraris.
    • Speaking about replicas, Ferrari had blown a lawsuit on Miami Vice producers after a fake Ferrari Daytona got famous. The company settled by giving the producers two free genuine Testarossas in exchange for destroying the Daytona in an episode.
    • Surprisingly, their zealous stance towards unauthorised modifications and depictions of their vehicles hasn't yet extended to video game mods, e.g. in Grand Theft Auto, where said Ferraris would most likely face way too much torture than what the Prancing Horse could even imagine.
    • OutRun 2 includes modified Ferraris (many of them based off historical racing models) as unlockable vehicles, most likely as a Grandfather Clause; the original game famously features a topless Testarossa, which has never been officially mass-produced in real life.
    • This is also why the Forza games have stopped labelling the names of engine swaps since Forza Motorsport 5; Ferrari's dislike of modifications extends to gamers putting virtual Ferrari engines in virtual non-Ferrari cars, as this game was the first in the series to allow cross-manufacturer engine swaps , so the developers went for generic descriptor names as a loophole.