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  1. #21
    Defender nivao's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fan Fiction/Derived Work legality

    I've done a bit of digging in the past. Also remember that different countries have different kinds of copyright laws.

    What I understand is that fanwork is protected for the most part under "fair use". It's a very gray and vague area, but it comes down to staying true to the original work, not earning anything for it (either money or something else) and appropriately crediting who does own it. There's a lot more to it, so I suggest looking it up yourself.

    What I do know is that there have been a number of court cases from big copyright owners against fan authors, with the authors winning because they fall under "fair use". But because it's such a vague area of the law doesn't mean anyone can get away with it.

    I agree that it's better safe than sorry and ask permission, especially if it's a bigger project. Star Trek fans went too far with their professionally produced fan films/series and now Paramount/CBS has changed their views on fanwork. But staying true to the original work and keeping it at amateur level is in my opinion already a big step. And appropriately crediting MGM as much as possible so there is no confusion.

    As a reminder, I'm not a lawyer, but just someone who did some digging a while back for just this reason.

  2. #22
    Coach Falcon Horus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fan Fiction/Derived Work legality

    I worked with Disney for a while on copyright infringement of their property, and they are sharks. So, if you do fanworks or replica props or even replica costumes, you better not be popular with them cause they'll come after you. Or use them for your own gain (especially this).
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  3. #23
    Attacking Midfielder Az'ryel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fan Fiction/Derived Work legality

    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon Horus View Post
    I worked with Disney for a while on copyright infringement of their property, and they are sharks. So, if you do fanworks or replica props or even replica costumes, you better not be popular with them cause they'll come after you. Or use them for your own gain (especially this).
    I heard that about Disney and such companies are why I think it is best to only do fan-works of things you know the owners do not mind. That at least is what I do because I just do not have the means to pay any money if someone should think my work is copyright violation

    Also I guess it is safe to say to it is safest to let yourself be inspired by things you like and create something that is your own, so no one can get angry at you and you do not have to fear someone comes after you, though of course I know, it is said that you cannot do anything, artwork and fiction wise that has not been done by someone before in one or the other way. It is the differences and your own style that makes things unique

  4. #24
    Goalkeeper WraithTech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fan Fiction/Derived Work legality

    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon Horus View Post
    However, there are authors who expressed quite clearly they don't tolerate any fanfiction or fanart derived from their work (but unless it's pointed out to them, they have no way of knowing it's out there).
    Fanfiction.net keeps a list of such known authors and thankfully it is small.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon Horus View Post
    Same with replica props -- there are a lot of replicas sold on a daily basis. If you keep them under the radar, you can get away with making some good money, until you get a cease and desist of course.
    These are not free, though. It makes me sad that people are feeling afraid to post free Stargate fanart and fanfics. That diminishes the Stargate fandom.

  5. #25
    Coach Falcon Horus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fan Fiction/Derived Work legality

    Quote Originally Posted by WraithTech View Post
    These are not free, though. It makes me sad that people are feeling afraid to post free Stargate fanart and fanfics. That diminishes the Stargate fandom.
    I share plenty...

    And my replica skills are no way close to what PharaohHamenthotep does, so I'll stick to fanfic/art for now.
    The Tale of Heightmeyer's Lemming by Falcon Horus
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  6. #26
    Attacking Midfielder Az'ryel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fan Fiction/Derived Work legality

    Quote Originally Posted by WraithTech View Post
    These are not free, though. It makes me sad that people are feeling afraid to post free Stargate fanart and fanfics. That diminishes the Stargate fandom.
    It's understandable though because a lot of people I guess do not like the thought of doing a thing which is not welcome, even though Stargate fan art in general is encouraged and wanted by some SG related sites as here, but in the worst case if you do a wrong thing, they can sue you over it and that may get very expensive.
    And because of the copyright and fan arts matter is so complicated to untangle, I would guess that keeps some people from posting

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Fan Fiction/Derived Work legality

    Quote Originally Posted by WraithTech View Post
    I don't see anything specifically about the perceived popularity of free fanworks though.
    I said nothing about perceived popularity. I said that if more people were reading your work. There is a difference. This has to do with the fact that copyright is all about profiting from your original work.

    Fair use only goes so far, and if you impinge on the profitability of the original (I'm trying to keep this simple, so I won't discuss the issue of original characters and author control), courts are going to look at the fair use issue differently. I think most fandoms could care less about fan fiction. Others positively encourage it (the 1632verse, for example) while others would ban it if they could (Vorkosigan).

    All of this, of course, is irrelevant to the OP, who was asking how to get fan fiction legally published (presumably in a form that would make money). The only way to do that, if you're using someone else's characters or world, is to get permission.

    ETA: One of the reasons Disney is so adamant about protecting its copyrights is because copyrights are all they have (well, and trademarks). Or so I've heard. It may also be a lingering after effect of the loss of Oswald the Rabbit all those years ago.

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  8. #28
    Goalkeeper WraithTech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fan Fiction/Derived Work legality

    Quote Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
    I said nothing about perceived popularity. I said that if more people were reading your work. There is a difference. This has to do with the fact that copyright is all about profiting from your original work.
    Your original post said, "If more people are reading your free stuff than the officially sanctioned stuff, you're in violation."

    So, again, I ask, do you have a valid citation for this claim about the number of people reading free stuff?

    Addition: GateWorld, Fanfiction.net, dA, and AO3 do not impose reading limits for free fanworks. Until these sites do, or until I see proof otherwise of such laws (and the necessary legal equations for how to calculate such ratios of readership), I am not going to let an unproven statement worry me from sharing free fanworks.
    Last edited by WraithTech; April 6th, 2018 at 08:41 AM.

  9. #29
    Defender nivao's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fan Fiction/Derived Work legality

    The only truly legal way of publishing commercial fan fiction is through Amazon Kindle Worlds, and only if the particular franchise has a deal with Amazon. The 100, GI Joe, and a number of other known and lesser-known franchises are available. Then the writer receives royalties and the rest goes to Amazon and the copyright owner (don't know the specifics, but it's obviously in the best interest of the latter two).

    What if MGM could make a similar deal to open up Stargate for legal fan fiction?

  10. #30
    Attacking Midfielder Az'ryel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fan Fiction/Derived Work legality

    Quote Originally Posted by WraithTech View Post
    Your original post said, "If more people are reading your free stuff than the officially sanctioned stuff, you're in violation."

    So, again, I ask, do you have a valid citation for this claim about the number of people reading free stuff?

    Addition: GateWorld, Fanfiction.net, dA, and AO3 do not impose reading limits for free fanworks. Until these sites do, or until I see proof otherwise of such laws (and the necessary legal equations for how to calculate such ratios of readership), I am not going to let an unproven statement worry me from sharing free fanworks.
    I looked around a bit myself and as well could not find anything like that. My guess for that would be either that there is nothing like that or that no one actually thinks a fan fiction could get more popular than an original work
    Last edited by Az'ryel; April 6th, 2018 at 09:18 AM.

  11. #31
    Coach Falcon Horus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fan Fiction/Derived Work legality

    Quote Originally Posted by nivao View Post
    What if MGM could make a similar deal to open up Stargate for legal fan fiction?
    Fandemonium does exactly that. Legal fanfiction.
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  12. #32
    Goalkeeper WraithTech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fan Fiction/Derived Work legality

    Quote Originally Posted by Az'ryel View Post
    I looked around a bit myself and as well could not find anything like that. My guess for that would be either that there is nothing like that or that no one actually thinks a fan fiction could get more popular than an original work
    Tracking down the inputs for such an equation would be almost impossible given the spread of the source material internationally, in various media outlets digital and physical, with multiple episodes, and also subtracting page views on both the source material and the fanworks, from bots, repeat visitors having to reload pages for each new chapter, page views by repeat visitors for responding to comments, and page views from the authors themselves. In chapter-by-chapter fanfics, if there are 30 chapters, that could be 30 visits from 1 reader. Not to mention some digital visitors have tracker blocking software and can't be accounted for.

    Quote Originally Posted by nivao View Post
    Excellent idea! I hope more franchises get on board with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon Horus View Post
    Fandemonium does exactly that. Legal fanfiction.
    Yes. And, only available as an option for a very small set of already established writers.

    Addendum: Not legal everywhere or forever either. Licenses are for limited areas and for limited times.
    Last edited by WraithTech; April 9th, 2018 at 06:20 AM.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Fan Fiction/Derived Work legality

    If what you want me to prove that exactly what I said "more people reading" is true, I can't give you that. I can--if you pay me to take the time--find you a legal opinion judging fair use according to the derivative work's impact on the sale of the original, in which the "fair use" was deemed to not be fair. Doing legal research is how I make my living.

    But, frankly, unless you're willing to pay me, it's not worth my time to do the research for a free bulletin board full of people who have a vested interest in arguing that fan fiction is fair use.

    You should never take legal advice from a non-lawyer (including me), and free legal advice is always worth exactly what you pay for it. Not all fan fiction is fair use. There is no automatic formula for avoiding infringement (such as "if you change ten things"). Copyright holders who go after amateurs are not being nasty; they're protecting their property, as they have every right to do.

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  14. #34
    Goalkeeper WraithTech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fan Fiction/Derived Work legality

    Quote Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
    If what you want me to prove that exactly what I said "more people reading" is true, I can't give you that.
    OK.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
    I can--if you pay me to take the time--find you a legal opinion judging fair use according to the derivative work's impact on the sale of the original, in which the "fair use" was deemed to not be fair.
    I can find some of these for myself, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
    You should never take legal advice from a non-lawyer (including me), and free legal advice is always worth exactly what you pay for it.
    Agree, especially from faceless strangers on the internet, who all come from different places with different laws and/or may be using non-current information.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
    Copyright holders who go after amateurs are not being nasty;
    Whoever said that wasn't me, so I will let that person respond.
    Last edited by WraithTech; April 9th, 2018 at 11:21 AM.

  15. #35
    Coach Falcon Horus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fan Fiction/Derived Work legality

    Quote Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
    Copyright holders who go after amateurs are not being nasty; they're protecting their property, as they have every right to do.
    As Disney does.
    The one receiving the notice might think otherwise, but ultimately it's not their property to do with as they please.
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  16. #36
    Goalkeeper WraithTech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fan Fiction/Derived Work legality

    Especially because the OP mentioned extensive world-building, another thing to consider about offering free fanfics vs. having a licensed publisher sell them is that there could be a cost in the long run-- not a monetary cost, but one of sovereignty.

    Licenses do not last forever. How would you share your work after the publisher can no longer legally sell it either? Remember ROC?

    What happens if you want to publish a sequel and the publisher is no longer licensed or denies the sequel?

    Before printing, would you be OK with scenes being cut and restraints made on content, such as pairing discrimination, by either the book publisher editor or by MGM’s editors?

    How about a book cover you do not get to design?

    After your story is printed, would you be OK with other authors with the same publisher using your original characters and/or world-building in their published works? What about using them in ways not true to how you designed them, in ways you might find ethically objectionable, or even degrading (misgendering, calling their stuff slimy, and whatnot), confusing or even alienating your fans?

    How about bundling your subsequent works in with other works, such that fans of your work don’t know to look for them and/or don’t want to pay for the whole bundle?

    Would you be able to tell the editor, who is the gatekeeper of your future sequels and also and your paycheck distributor, “No” to any of these things?

    If I had a story with as much world-building and little interaction with the original material, as the OP seemed to indicate, I would scrap the Stargate parts, make up some other form of space travel for my original characters to get around, and publish an original work.
    Last edited by WraithTech; April 15th, 2018 at 03:53 PM.

  17. #37
    Goalkeeper WraithTech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fan Fiction/Derived Work legality

    Isn't it ironic that fanfiction.net, AO3, Wattpad, etc. can be legally accessed in more places in the world than the licensed material and even Origins? Especially Origins.

  18. #38
    Coach Falcon Horus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fan Fiction/Derived Work legality

    Quote Originally Posted by WraithTech View Post
    Isn't it ironic that fanfiction.net, AO3, Wattpad, etc. can be legally accessed in more places in the world than the licensed material and even Origins? Especially Origins.
    LOL!! Irony at its finest, I guess.
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