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Hypocrisy, PitBulls, and Authors

So, Misty "high and mighty" Lackey doesn't want people to publish fan fiction on the web. What a hypocrite!

Turns out that her agent is the same small minded jerk who was Marion Bradley's agent, and who barely tolerates fan-fic period, holding his nose, and looking down from his lofty, arrogant perch (and then only if it's put out in expensive, money losing, paper 'zines that only a few people even buy or read). This parasite of the publishing world is thus willing to go after the "hoipolloi" who publish fanfic on the web like a rabid pit bull on steroids. All because some demented nut essentially scuttled an MZB book by threatening to sue over an "idea" she said was hers (MZB and he had no spine, or a shitty lawyer).

Problem is, this makes her a disgusting, sniveling hypocrite. Misty got her start as a fan writer, and I know damn well she engaged in playing with shared universes, including Trek, IIRC. Rodenberry never had any luck stomping on fan fic - he tried and failed! If the net had been around then, she would have published there too!

Very few people even bother with print fanzines any more - it's all on the web. So saying "only hard copy fanzines" is saying "you can write in my universe, but only if it costs you lots of money for a piss poor product with no circulation".

The fact is that fanfic is a derivative work, and thus the originating "name" author has a small interest in it *BUT* the fan writer does not gain an interest in the "name" author's universe.

So sorry, Misty, your agent's bucket of pit bull urine doesn't hold water. He, and you, will have to enter the 21st century, or risk turning your fans into enemies. If you want to play Disney, you will be as reviled by real fans as they are.

The reasonable alternative would be to require a disclaimer from net published stories, like this:
This story is a work of fiction, based in part on the characters and universe created by {author}. I wrote this story for the enjoyment of others, and do not expect to make any money from it (web publishing costs money, and makes none). The characters and universe created by {author} are still {author}'s intellectual property. This story only borrows them, and examines what might happen to them while interacting with my characters. If any plot elements from this story turn up in a published book not by me, but by {author}, I will consider it pure syncronicity that I came up with a logical extension of the plot. This publication is not made with {author}'s permission, nor do I expect that {author} would even read it. If {author} does happen to read it, and incorporate some features into the official canon, I would be flattered, but not expect any remuneration for what is essentially a permutation of {author}'s original premise. I grant any rights that are not {author}s to the public domain.

The real irony is that I hadn't planned on writing any Lackey based fan fic. Now I might, or even develop my own universe based on legends, everyday reality, and magic. After all, if Misty dear can write about events that actually happened in the SF Bay Area (with the names barely filed off) without even asking the real people's permission, I can surely write about her fictional people without asking their permission.

Again, Misty is a hypocrite. I'll still buy her stuff, but I won't bother to beg her leave to write in her playground.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
bayushi
Jun. 30th, 2003 06:47 pm (UTC)
Hear, hear! Hell, the crap she's publishing these days reads like she isn't even going back to check the first draft, just chucking the first draft at the publisher!
jemyl
Jul. 1st, 2003 12:38 am (UTC)
Misty pissty! You can write better than 90 percent of the current writers anyway, Ravan. You have always been more creative and able to keep the rules of the created universe(s) and the continuity of the spells and such believable and logical. You do so as if you have been doing it all of your life. Hmmmmnnn, maybe that is because I believe you have done it all of your life.

Why waste your time with Fanfic when you are the real McCoy? Okay, so I'm a bit prejudiced toward your abilities. Still, I think you can do it whenever your choose it and have the time.

What do others think? Is it true that Ravan can out-write most current Sci-Fi and Fantasy fiction writers and keep the created universes and story magic rules more consistent than they ever thought to do?
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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