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Old Jul 12 2014, 09:03 PM   #1
D. M. Domini
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Default Dragonquest Fan Art by MMHudson

This is also amazing. Wow. But the story in it re: threatened legal action is dismaying. I really hate the history of legal threatening in this fandom. I mean, I get "where" it came from, it seems most authors were sue-happy in the 1990s and earlier due to Reasons, but in 2007? By 2007 you have 7 years' worth of Harry Potter fandom to look at for an example. Ridiculous.

http://mmhudson.deviantart.com/galle...-Quest-fan-art
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Old Jul 13 2014, 08:30 AM   #2
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Default Re: Dragonquest Fan Art by MMHudson

Sorry but I totally understand the McCaffrey's.

So many people made money over the back of Anne. This is high quality work and sure it was made only for fun, for fans etc. But still the quality is thus that it would also be a viable commercial project. In fact is is very, very good. The position the McCaffrey's still had at that time was severe and strict, true. And they had to act according to what they said, set and preached.
Yes, they became a lot more lenient later and yes, that was under the influence of Harry Potter rules and how JK Rowling set up her business and rules. But they were not ready for that in 2007, not by a long shot.

Anne was a very gracious lady and a very generous one too, socially but also financially. She supported many and didn't stint on hospitality and support. Trust me she spend A LOT of money on family, friends and other good causes. But that money did have to be earned somehow and she had years and years of bad experiences. Hence the severe lawyer letters from Mr. Katz or family members (I was a little surprised that said lady got a letter from Todd, because he wasn't involved at the time; but that is not important). Of course that most often went the wrong way with fans, who thought they weren't doing anything wrong, they did it for love of Anne's work, and they bought all her books and... most of them got mad and bitter.

I've had the priviledge of getting to know Anne and let me tell you: writing is a JOB, a business. She was enormously famous and when she was, there were thousands who expected things from here, in all kinds of ways. As I said she was generous to a fault, I experienced that myself. She once casually gifted me a book that would have easily fetched $600 on eBay. I stayed at Dragonhold, ate from her table, could avail me of anything in Dragonhold (her own words). She took us out for dinner etc. THAT was the kind of lady she was, but to be able to be that lady she really needed to guard her income (especially in later years, when new books were few). As I said, Anne made me see that writing is a business and you can't be too careful in the world then, and even - maybe even more - in the world of today, with copyright and intellectual rights.

Things change and there are still different camps in the world of rights. One thing more, some of the Pern rights are probably not firmly in the hands of the McCaffrey family anymore. That means they themselves could get sued if they give people too much slack. And nobody woul dsurely want that? Maybe when it is certain sure that there will never me a movie, maybe then it'll be easier.

Maybe the letter in question could have been phrased nicer, it probabyl could. But while I feel for the fan I can very well understand the frustration the McCaffrey's must have.
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Old Jul 13 2014, 12:11 PM   #3
D. M. Domini
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Default Re: Dragonquest Fan Art by MMHudson

I fully understand that writing is a business. If I have my way, someday I will support myself on my own writing. I also understand that it hurts to be taken advantage of. I have been taken advantage of, by many people, including people who were supposed to be my own family.

But it just seems, even if AMC was a wonderful person in person, there's this harsh impersonal handling of such things for other fans who weren't lucky enough to have that relationship with her, over and over throughout decades. This isn't a one-time deal as far as I'm aware. It happened multiple times. Maybe I'm not active enough in other fandoms, but other than Marion Zimmer Bradley (and wow has there been revelations THERE recently regarding pedophilia) and a fan/author incident which purportedly prevented the author from publishing something (this many decades later, details are fuzzy, I think Jim Hines researching didn't entirely uncover what was true and what was not), I'm not immediately aware of many threatening letters going to fans in other fandoms. (Maybe I need to dig more...)

I watch other businesses, too. Game development businesses. I've worked for small indie startup businesses in IT. I recently just signed a contract with a company where I specifically had wording inserted to protect my own original fiction because their default text could have been extended to cover my personal projects that I worked on on my personal time. So I UNDERSTAND that, I do.

But the way you deal with customers--which in this case is the same as fans--is just so huge, and so, so important. And it just dismays me when the history I'm aware of is so often, "Fans did something to show their love; got scary letter from lawyers for behavior that has always been normal in fandom, and will continue to be normal in fandom, and which doesn't seem to be harming other authors who are ALSO running businesses based on their own intellectual property."

I mean, I literally do not know of any author case studies where failing to threaten fans for things like this resulted in actual harm to their business. Does anyone know of an example? I'd (truthfully, honestly) be interested in studying it, for my own education.

Edit:

Ok, here's one I remember. J. K. Rowling. Her lawyers sent a nasty letter to the folks who ran an online Harry Potter encyclopedia. It was all over The Leaky Cauldron news site. But, at that time, the person who ran that website was actually trying to publish said encyclopedia if I remember right. So the displaying of info on the web had already long since occurred, and there was an amiable relationship. It wasn't until money started potentially being involved that lawyers also got involved. And I think that's a reasonable place to draw the line.

Edit Two:
I did take a closer look at the art. The text seems taken exactly from the book. Ok, I didn't realize that before. I'll give that as being a bit too far, as it involves direct quotes.

But it still irks me that stuff like this still goes down as recently as 2007.

Edit Three: I've been mulling WHY I'm so irked, and I just realized it's this. (And this example is later than 2007 so I understand it wouldn't have have had any impact on this particular case above)

John Scalzi wrote a fanfic. It was a modernization/rewrite of H. Beam Piper's work. He didn't intend it to be anything but a fun personal project, but his agent and the H. Beam Piper estate was open-minded and allowed it to be published I guess (I'm assuming for some nice % of profits). It's called Fuzzy Nation. It's like the exact opposite of what happened here with this comic. Skilled creative person is really into something and gets the go-ahead, instead of the nastygram, and there's benefits all around.

Another good example of an old series being revitalized is the Wizard of Oz. That's had three rationalizations: First, the movie we all know and love. Then Gregory Maguire's unusual take on it hit big. Then the musical based on his take became huge. This only happened because the Wizard of Oz is out of copyright now.

There are opportunities for old universes and worlds to be revitalized. And in general, in this modern world, I tend to see those as giving the original business some sort of boost. What's amazed me on YouTube is how many young musicians do AWESOME covers. I don't know how the legality of it works, but clearly there's either enough legal wiggle room, or specific groups of artists not being sue-happy, that this whole community of transformation can flourish, and it's really quite awesome.

Pentatonix is a great example of music that arose from covers and remixes. (Which are basically the music version of fanfic.)
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Last edited by D. M. Domini; Jul 13 2014 at 12:47 PM.
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Old Mar 16 2015, 10:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dragonquest Fan Art by MMHudson

Nice fan art! But it's too bad she lifted actual text from the book.
(I came across this post on the forum today because of a couple of copyright discussions today over on FB.)

As it becomes easier to do reverse look-ups of art and text, it will be that much more difficult for a fan artist or fan-fic writer to attempt to sell derivatives of copyrighted works to the public or to use copyrighted text as part of their "work" without facing legal issues. Even offering it for free could still be a problem as Hans mentioned, if the original property has projects in development and the work was licensed to others who would have expectations of exclusivity because of their legal contracts with the original copyright holder.

Quote:
...I've been mulling WHY I'm so irked, and I just realized it's this. (And this example is later than 2007 so I understand it wouldn't have have had any impact on this particular case above)

John Scalzi wrote a fanfic. It was a modernization/rewrite of H. Beam Piper's work. He didn't intend it to be anything but a fun personal project, but his agent and the H. Beam Piper estate was open-minded and allowed it to be published I guess (I'm assuming for some nice % of profits). It's called Fuzzy Nation. It's like the exact opposite of what happened here with this comic. Skilled creative person is really into something and gets the go-ahead, instead of the nastygram, and there's benefits all around.
Not true:

From Scalzi's blog, Whatever -- "Little Fuzzy itself is in the public domain, but its sequels are still under copyright. While it might have been technically possible to write Fuzzy Nation without the permission of the Piper estate, because of the status of the sequels there were enough (forgive the pun) fuzzy legal areas that I didn’t want to have to deal with them.
So, after I wrote Fuzzy Nation, my super-invaluable and incredibly awesome agent Ethan Ellenberg approached the rights holders to the Piper estate and started talking to them about it. The discussions took, well, a long time. But we reached agreement on it, and I’m happy to say Fuzzy Nation is an authorized work."

Via http://whatever.scalzi.com/2010/04/0...-fuzzy-nation/


BTW, there's a good post about the legalities of fan art by artist Chris Oatley, a character designer w/Disney: http://chrisoatley.com/fan-art/
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Old Apr 26 2015, 12:51 PM   #5
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Just got to see the AMAZING *webcomic* artwork of *MMHudson*...it is too bad that this project couldn't be finished...BUT...I can see many of the problems that we're involved...sad but true.

It's good that *MMHudson* is still working on other artistic projects...she's a WONDERFUL artist...who should do very...VERY..well during her career.

Hans...I whole heartedly applaud you dear friend for your INCREDIBLE...WONDERFUL and HEARTFELT defense of Anne and her works...IMO...There's no one BETTER for the job...her Dutch Knight in shinning armor...she would be smiling at you...I'm sure... if we could still see her lovely face.
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Old Apr 26 2015, 04:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Dragonquest Fan Art by MMHudson

Wow, just looked at her more recent posts - the full sequence of Prideth v Wirenth, and Jaxom's impression (which seems to be a work in progress). Some lovely fanart there - I hadn't appreciated that she was still adding to it.
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