Narile, I am an amateur writer, and I have have worked hard on some of my creations. I’ve spent hours and hours on certain pieces.
Would I like someone taking my characters and writing them as child molesters? No. But if he’s not making money from the work, and not deceiving anybody into thinking I wrote it, then I’d live with it.
Dislike of something is not an adequate reason to make it illegal. There’s buttloads of stuff I don’t like that isn’t illegal, and shouldn’t be illegal.
And I can’t see how your example of defamation applies. I don’t give fictional people the same rights as real people.
Mike, do you really think a fan of Batman will stop buying DC’s Batman over Joe Shmoe’s free amateur Batman? How much revenue could DC lose over this? Joe Shmoe isn’t going to be spending his own money to make a lot of copies of his Batman, so even if it were better, it would have a much, much limited fan exposure. If Joe Shmoe started charging for it, then of course that would be wrong. But if he’s giving away a few copies, I seriously doubt that would effect DC in any way, except maybe favorably.
Can anybody seriously say that free fan fiction has caused or can cause enough of a loss of revenue to warrant it being illegal?