There’s not only fan fiction, there’s fan merchandise as well, and Etsy is testing a way to allow its sellers to participate in an approved manner. Etsy Director of Business Development Morgan Blake said the marketplace has been developing the pilot program with Lionsgate since late last year. The test will run for six months.
Blake works on partnerships and new business opportunities to support and grow the Etsy community. He said the pilot program helps sellers create and sell officially authorized and licensed items for The Divergent Series: Insurgent. Eleven sellers are participating in the pilot in conjunction with the home entertainment release of the movie later this month.
“The Etsy community is full of creative artists, designers, and makers, and brands recognize that. We are committed to helping our sellers grow into new and diverse channels, especially when gaining access to those channels can be difficult for a very small business. Brand licenses for official merchandise may be difficult or impossible to obtain independently, and we are helping to facilitate connections between sellers and brands like Lionsgate to explore new partnerships.”
There was a mixed reaction from sellers on the forums, such as this thread. “As someone who enjoys making fanart and has no room in her house – this makes me happy.” But others were worried about the implications of such a program.