Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Writing FanFic

There have been some rather lively discussions about Fan Fic.

Is it blatant copyright infringement? Is it the ultimate compliment to the original creator of the characters/universe? If, as in the example above, the author actually sells copies of the book, should they owe monies to the people they tried so hard to emulate?

Let’s face it, Fan Fic has been around as long as…well, as long as there have been fans swept away enough by a story to want to be a part of it. Even if this instance, leads to litigation, people aren’t going to stop writing Fan Fic. Having said that, they may be a little more careful about how they go about sharing their vision.

Personally, at this point,I think they should take it as flattery and move on. Convince me otherwise. She self-published the poorly written work and handled all the details herself. It’s not like this poorly written story is going to be a break out bestseller, deterring funds from the franchise and if it did…surely, there’s something that could be worked out between them. Hell, maybe even a book deal could come of such a phenomenon. I don’t think there’s any worry of that happening here, but I’m just saying.

What’s your take on the situation? Should there be such a fuss over what Lori Jareo did? Should there be action taken? If this thing does wind up in court, should Amazon share the responsibility for what happened?


At 5:36 AM, Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

Whether or not Amazon shares in the responsibility comes down to any legal waivers signed, I think. They don't read each book that goes on the shelf - you pay a fee and you're up on Amazon. To change the regulations would be cost prohibitive, I think.

I think Lucas should sue her ass off. Why? We have so many cases now about plagiarism and it's starting to sound like the figure skating judging scandal. There need to be some guidelines that make it clear what is and is not acceptable.

Bottom line - fan fiction is one thing. I may not like it, but I don't have to read it. BUT to take it and publish it as a book and profit from it IS against the law because it is copyright infringement and I know how I'd feel if it was my characters.

I mean, maybe if I need some money I should just go write a Harry Potter book... Saying this is okay could potentially flood the bookselling market with thousands of efforts from fanfic writers - you don't even have to invest more than a couple hundred bucks to get set up on Lulu and have your book on amazon.

And that's not what I want to see filling their listings, personally. Make an example of her and end it here.

At 6:21 AM, Blogger James Goodman said...

How's this for talking out both sides of my mouth? I'd be quite irked if it happened with my characters, but then I've never commissioned or okay'd anyone else to write anything to do with my characters, or in this case, Lucas's universe.

Does it make it right? No, it's still illegal, but has he not set a certain amount of precedent by letting other people write books based on his characters?

The difference being he gave them the nod and I'm sure they paid him some money.

At 6:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Her website has been pulled but you can still read some of it by looking in the
Google caches. Here's a link to her interviewing herself. (I often interview
myself while on the toilet.)

"Q: Having set Another Hope in an already existing universe, I find myself
wondering if there was any concern on your part regarding copyrights?

No, because I wrote this book for myself. This is a self-published story and
is not a commercial book. Yes, it is for sale on Amazon, but only my family,
friends and acquaintances know it's there.

Q: I also wonder how far a writer is allowed to write in a world and to use
characters introduced by another author?

If it's not a commercial project, I don't see any problem. George Lucas'
Star Wars universe is fertile territory for so-names "infinities," or alternate
storyline material. Thousands of people write them, and they are posted on
hundreds of unofficial Star Wars-themed web sites on the Internet. Lucas himself
said that as long as no one is making a profit, he thought such tributes were

Yeah, If I create something for my friends and family the best way to distribute
that work is of course to put it up for SALE on Amazon, where they can easily
obtain it and also pay for shipping and handling. If you make money off of
someone else's liscense you better have an attorney.


At 8:21 AM, Blogger Bernita said...

C'mon, James, those weasley excuses for her don't wash, in my opinion.

At 9:43 AM, Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

The difference is the licensing. You have to get approval to write a knock-off CSI or Star Wars or X Files book, and the creator does make money, which is as it should be. It's no different than someone writing a book and someone else saying, "I'm going to make a movie based off of that" and not buying the rights or paying them. Allegations of creative theft are serious stuff, and there've been too many of them this year already!

At 10:47 AM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Oh, Bernita. Now, if I had come out swinging and said what she did was absolutely wrong, what would be the chances that we could be able to have a discussion about it? It would just be another opportunity for everyone to agree and wew may miss an opportunity to get into the "why" of it all.

Sandra,that's true and what she did was illegal,

I have another thought on the matter, maybe she didn't even write the crappy story as fanfic. Maybe she did it for the publicity. Would any of us ever heard of her if she hadn't pulled this stunt? If they take her to court, it will be even more publicity. Hell, she probably saw all the press coverage of the other literary scandals and said, "Oh, yeah...I've got to get me some of that."

If they take her to court and win, how much money do you think she will have to pay?

For every ten people out there that cluck their tongues and know what she did was wrong, there's bound to be one that admires her for what she did and will follow her to see what she comes up with next.

I'm guessing this number could be quite a bit larger than she could recieve if she played by the rules.

Or, I could just be full of it and she is nothing more than a hack that pulled a stunt she should have known better than to even attempt and has destroyed her credibility and thus, any hope she had for a future in the industry.

At 12:10 PM, Blogger Bernita said...

So you're saying it's a choice between stupid - in Nielsen Hayden's famous line "Now I have stupid all over me" - and a cheap method of garnering publicity?
~clucking away~

At 2:57 PM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Lol, since it's late in the day...I'll cluck along with you now.

At 4:23 PM, Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

I don't know James, you might be right. But I will say this - I'm the kind of person who avoids people who are scandalous, even if they are decent, legitimate artists.

I guess...I like people with more subtance than just stunts contrived to drum up attention.

At 4:51 PM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Oh, yeah. i hate drama in my real life. That is a quick way to end a friendship with me. I like my personal life to be...smooth. No scandal, just good times and the occaisional lively debate, but nothing worthy of being spread through the blogoshpere.

You know...except for that time that I got caught on camera stripping in a bar. Other than that, I and those I hang around fly the straight and narrow. :D

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