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Ebonyswanne Ebonyswanne is a Female
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I know the debate is often out there and the tension between some published authors and fanfiction authors can be real.

BUT, when a published author, admits to writing fanfiction of Narnia, and wants it published as part of an existing classics series... wonder how that one rolls? If he did have it published would that open doors in that fandom for more paid published works? He referred to it as "Playing with someone elses toys."

Its not like our Gatch/BOTP is likely to be in a position to make actual $$ from it. But... its one of those elephant in the room questions. (I'm not looking to do that ever.)

So many thoughts unspoken it appears around that topic. Mmmm Thinking

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Katblu42 Katblu42 is a Female
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I wonder about Star Wars novels - how are they not fanfiction?

I can't say I've ever read any that weren't tied to the movies - except for "From a Certain Point of View", which is a collection of short stories by various authors who I think were invited to write for this book? - so I don't know how their works become included as Star Wars branded entities.

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Becky Rock Becky Rock is a Female
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The problem is who owns the copyrights and if that person is willing to allow someone else to delve into their world.

George Lucas owned the rights to Star Wars and allowed Alan Dean Foster to write 'A Splinter of the Mind's Eye'. Sales were good and eventually he allowed other 'established' writers to continue his story. The key here is 'established.' I wrote a Star Wars book that took place right after Return of the Jedi and sent it to the publisher he was using. I got a quick letter back they would not consider it because I was not 'established'. I still have the book in longhand and have been typing it in for my own pleasure.

Amazon has its Other Worlds fanfic site where authors have agreed to let others write fanfics about their characters and make money selling them. I'm sure, when you get into the thick of it, there's something in the agreement stating the author still owns the characters and gets a cut of all of the earnings on the fanfics. I haven't been in there for a while but they had some series that I'd never heard of and a few that I had. One of the available series was G.I.Joe (Mattel owns) and a few teen related series.

But there is a big difference between an established author allowing another established author to borrow their characters. They know the other author has a following who might be willing to buy the fanfic book.

I've often thought some of our group's fanfics are excellent works of fiction and I'd love to see them published. Would Tatsunuko (I hope I'm spelling that right) allow it? I don't think anyone has ever asked them. Maybe Jason would have some insights on that since he has contacts with them.

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Becky Rock Becky Rock is a Female
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Forgot something.

It's my understanding literature copyrights last for 97 years (guess they picked that number out of a hat). Hence the crazy books like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as soon as the copyright expired. The author has to will the copyright to someone or the copywrite reverts to the publisher. So Amazon may end up owning millions of books that were published through their CreateSpace or Kindle because those authors didn't know about that little tidbit.

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Julieann
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quote:
Originally posted by Becky Rock
Forgot something.

It's my understanding literature copyrights last for 97 years (guess they picked that number out of a hat). Hence the crazy books like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as soon as the copyright expired. The author has to will the copyright to someone or the copyright reverts to the publisher. So Amazon may end up owning millions of books that were published through their CreateSpace or Kindle because those authors didn't know about that little tidbit.


This will be long. Sorry, but this is something I do know a lot about as I am a professionally published writer and own and run a small press. I also have a lot of full-time published writer friends, part of several professional writing organizations, personally know an intellectual property lawyer, go to workshops and conventions for writers, and so on.

So, here we go.

Copyright length depends on the country. Which is why a work can be in the public domain in another country, but not in another. In the US it is life of the creator plus 70 years (If the work was a "work for hire", then copyright persists for 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication, whichever is shorter.). In the US, when a work is created, the creator automatically owns the intellectual property. They don't have to do anything, or register it anywhere for this to apply. Once that 70 years after death the work enters the public domain automatically (with few exceptions).

As for who owns it after death, it is automatically a part of the creator's estate. There is a legal issue working its way through the court systems right now on how to value intellectual property for the purpose of death taxes, matters of probate, and how it relates to the distribution of assets to any heirs. As a published author I and many of my published friends are watching this. It could be a mess, or there could be precedents to make it simple. It's just too early to know yet.

Unless there is a contract in place with a publisher including a clause that tries to claim a part of the copyright, then the publisher has no right to the copyright during the creator's lifetime or after. This is a problem right now, including with agents, as the big corporations and individuals who are business savvy know the financial benefit of having the value of intellectual property listed on the accounting bottom line. If you are ever offered a publishing contract, or an agent/agency contract, then have a book publishing specific intellectual property lawyer check out the contracts before signing! If you need a recommendation, let me know.

But, basically, the copyright is in fact handed down to the creator's heirs.

Createspace (which is now going away, as it has been merged with KDP Amazon) and Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and other book distributors and sellers, do not own a part of the copyright. Nothing automatically goes to them. There are several TOS terms with those companies that are clear on this. Unless one signs a bad contract clause with the publishing entity that is a part of Amazon (and they have several imprints now), they will never come to own a book. Instead, they will have to continue to pay royalties on sales, but who those royalties go to depends on the terms of the Will of the creator.

NOW, there is the something known as 'filing off the serial numbers' of fanfic and publishing. This happens all the time. In fact, I know of a professional writer who has written a ton of media tie-in novels who is about to get a bunch of them back because of a neat little clause in the US copyright law that a creator can apply to get rights back 35 years after first publication if they jump through the right hoops. A bunch of artists, musicians, writers, and other creative types are currently using this legal clause to do just that, as this law allows those who were given dreadful contracts a way to get out of them. The author I'm speaking of plans to 'file off the serial numbers' (which include Star Trek, Star Wars, Men in Black, and others) and then publish the results.

It really is happening.

And yes, I have a new original series inspired by Battle of the Planets where I'm doing that. It has a lot of details from my other original series, such as Salmon Run and The String Weavers, which will give it a lot of original elements, but yeah. So inspired by G-Force. If you know the details of how copyright law works in your country you can do it.

And I am, and wow, has it got me all fired up on the writing. Did 9000 words on it just last week. (Which also got me fired up on the fanfic, too, after years away from it. In which I'm bringing this inspired-by world in, plus the other series I mentioned. Because, um, the characters told me to. Yeah, that's the ticket.)

I could go on and on about this, but I'll stop for now.

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Becky Rock Becky Rock is a Female
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Hi Julieann!

Thank you for all of that info. Its valuable information for those of us thinking about trying to get a traditional publishing gig and ended up self-published out of frustration.

I'm a little confused abut your original series. Is it from the BotP world or just something similar? Will you be publishing it vice it being a fanfic?

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Sorry for the confusion on that last part.

I have several series already published. They are not inspired by the fandom and they are not fanfic.

I'm working on a new series now that IS based on the BotP fandom/fanfic, my BotP fanfic AU ideas, mixed with original elements from some of my published (and unpublished) series thrown in. But the core group of people have a few familiar traits along with familiar overall elements from the fandom/fanfic.

Unlike some have claimed, you do not have to change fanfic so much that someone from the fandom would NOT recognize it. Seriously. You don't have to go that far. And I can give an example if you want on what I mean, using another franchise that is different than the one I mention below.

Copyright does NOT protect ideas. It protects the specific expression of that specific idea that have been fixed in a tangible medium. Ideas are fair game for everyone to express in their own words.

Which means you can have a story about a tragically orphaned kid who is somehow special who ends up going to a wizarding school without infringing on J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books. Books with that premise were published before her, and after her.

There is nothing new under the sun. So many works are derived from ideas sparked from what has come before (the old myths and legends. Greek/Roman mythology. Shakespeare, and so on have been used for inspiration for hundreds of years). For those of us inspired by the fandom/fanfic, it is the same. The show is a tangible medium that is fixed. Using the exact unique names of people and places? Unless you are talking about a place name like New York or something like that, then you can't do that. Doing an episode plot-point to plot-point? Probably not, not without a bunch of changes.

The ideas behind it? Going our own way with it? That is fair game.

(If you want, we can discuss specifics. Winging this at the moment as I'm in the middle of packing for Anaheim.)

quote:
Will you be publishing it vice it being a fanfic?


I'm not sure what word "vice" was supposed to be, so I'm not sure how to answer.

Hope that helps!

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Becky Rock Becky Rock is a Female
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Julieann,

Rather than use the word 'vice', I should have said 'instead of'.

Some of what you've described I've already been doing. I took one of the books I wrote a long time ago and turned it into a BotP/Anita Blake Vampire Hunter crossover, Blood Line. Then I rewrote it again, going back towards the original idea and tried to get a traditional publishing contract. After two years I gave up and self-published it as Daywalker.


I looked up all your books - you are prolific! and realized I'd recently purchased one of them, Night of the Aurora, and didn't realize you were the author. I haven't gotten to it yet as I've accumulated 72 books waiting for me. I won't be making many book purchases during the next year.

Again, thank you so much for all of that information.

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Oh, nice to hear about your book and publishing it! Congrats! What is your publishing name?

I WAS prolific, before life exploded. I'm working hard to get back into it. I'm addicted to writing and storytelling, and it's felt horrible that I haven't been able to do is as much as I want. Part of the issue is that I have had to rebuild my ability to focus. The grief from Mother Hen passing was so bad that I could hardly read a book. The brain just couldn't focus that much. I'm doing Camp Nano this April to help me with that. I have writing to do!

Back to the other question, hehe, complicated. I have the original series I'm writing on that is very much inspired by BotP, and yes, that series will be published to the big wide world in both ebooks and print books. But I have one character from this new series (possibly more than that) that will also appear in some BotP fanfic I'm working on. So, in essence, I'm doing fanfic crossovers with my own work!

And it's been a blast. Tongue

So, in the works is the original series AND a fanfic series. Both are being written at the same time, as my creative brain keeps bouncing back and forth between them.

Some of the Arcadia Paradox crew will be making an appearance in yet ANOTHER series that I hope to write in the next few years, specifically Erica's team. Arcadia Paradox will remain up as fanfic. I will not be taking it down. There simply isn't any reason to do that. Most characters are original, and those that aren't will simply have some 'serial numbers filed off'. (So want to complete that series, but honestly, the original writing takes priority. From the planning I've done so far I figured out how to have some closure to the storyline when the other group of original main characters actually visit the Arcadia Space Station).

Yeah, complicated. But oh-so fun.

(And I'm now in Anaheim, all checked in, picked up my con badge, and now rarin to go meet other fans and just plain have fun at Wondercon!)

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Becky Rock Becky Rock is a Female
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I published in true name, Rebecca Rock.

Is your String Weavers series the one that's BotP based? The descriptions sound very interesting. As soon as I get some of the other books read, I'll be digging into it.

I'm sorry to hear about your mother's passing. I believe I had heard somewhere she had been ill.

I read Arcadia Paradox years ago and loved it. I need to read it again.

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Julieann
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Thanks for the name! Will look it up. Smile

None of the currently published books are inspired by BotP. That particular series, tentatively named "Dragon Paladins" (because I needed a placeholder in my writing files), is currently being written. I'll let you know when it starts to be published but I don't expect publication until this fall at the earliest. I want the first 3 books written before the first goes live.

However, the String Weavers? A Weaver will be showing up in some of my BotP fanfic. And a character from the Paladins will also be showing up in the fanfic. And then, some of the team from Arcadia Paradox will be showing up in at least two books of another String Weaver series that I haven't started writing yet.

I hope you like the String Weavers series. Mother Hen loved it.

Confused yet? LOL

So much writing to do. So little time...

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Ebonyswanne Ebonyswanne is a Female
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I've been published about 15 years ago, but its not in stories. It was a few editions of known international artisan magazine in instructions and profiled.

But that's in my real name which I'm not giving here. I still had to state what I owned of the works and what I didn't. The paper patterns for example were my work and designs.

In that area if you didn't do the sculpting, but reproduced it. Then it had to marked as a reproduction. Simliar to fanfic but you can earn income off reproductions.

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