What do I think about the recently announced Kindle Worlds development?
I think it’s a really bad idea, from the point of view of just about everybody but Amazon.
John Scalzi, unsurprisingly, lays out why it’s a bad idea considered from the viewpoint of professional writers in general. (Short version: Alloy Entertainment and Amazon between them take all rights, and there’s no up-front advance to sweeten the grab.)
The blog Letters from Titan covers some of the troubling issues raised from the fanfic community’s point of view. (Short version: Conflict with the community’s traditional gift economy; potential for attempts at corporate control; restricted subject matter by comparison with the anything-goes world of unauthorized fanfic.)
My own opinion? Kindle Worlds isn’t going to give the world more high-quality fanfic; it’s going to give the world more lousy media tie-ins. And I say this as someone who has in her time written original fiction, tie-in fiction, licensed-property fiction (I was one-half of Victor Appleton not once, but twice!), and, yes, fanfiction.