Fanfiction and OCs

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Fanfiction and OCs

Post by FearTheLASERFACE on Sat 24 Aug 2013 - 10:13

I have been looking into a lot of the legal implications of fanfiction, especially the "Pull to Publish" thing that has been going on. This got me wondering. I have my own answers to the following hypothetical scenarios, but I want to know what you think.

Hypothetical scenario 1:

An aspiring writer writes a fanfiction, and it gets very popular. The protagonists of said fanfiction are his/her own Original Characters. 

Now that s/he has writing experience, they have this irresistible idea for an original fiction they want to get to writing on the pronto. However, the story revolves around, you guessed it, the same OCs they used in their popular fanfiction.

The fanfic's fandom finds out about the original fic, and, because the same OCs are involved, despite the story having a completely new premise, they are eager to buy the book once it comes out.

The original author of the universe the fanfiction was based on decides s/he feels like having some more money, and threatens to sue, based on the idea that the new writer became popular because of writing fanfiction, and the new book is popular because of the original characters previously used in that fanfiction, and therefore it would not be fair to other authors who start with nothing.

Has this fanfiction writer crossed an ethical line?


Hypothetical Scenario 2:

The fanfiction author became popular writing fanfiction. Now he/she has a new idea with no connection at all to any of his/her fanfics.

Despite that, he/she managed to gain a loyal fandom of their own during their fanfiction years, and the day the new original fiction is released, these fans buy it and leave excellent reviews (not simply because they like the author, because it is a genuinely great book), prompting more people to take a look, etc. 
Even the media eventually comes in, talking about this new up and coming writer, and holding him/her up as a great example of an author getting their start in fanficition.

Some other random authors take to their blogs and fume, alleging that this new author gained their fandom much too easily by writing fanfiction, while many authors started off as nobodies in literature, and maybe still are nobodies compared to this new author.

So how does this writer fare in ethics?
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Re: Fanfiction and OCs

Post by tremec6speed on Sat 24 Aug 2013 - 13:55

I've thought about the first scenario. When I introduced my OC character Ayden, she was plucked from an (I hope) original story I wrote which was in turn, inspired by GSG. Eventually, I'd like to publish the adventure. Smile
The second scenario seems pretty safe ethically to me, but I'm no expert.
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Re: Fanfiction and OCs

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 24 Aug 2013 - 15:52

@FearTheLASERFACE wrote:
Hypothetical Scenario 1:…(t)he original author of the universe the fanfiction was based on decides s/he feels like having some more money, and threatens to sue, based on the idea that the new writer became popular because of writing fanfiction, and the new book is popular because of the original characters previously used in that fanfiction, and therefore it would not be fair to other authors who start with nothing.

Has this fanfiction writer crossed an ethical line?
They have crossed neither an ethical nor a legal line.

On the legal front, as the Fanfic Author's new work has no references to the work of the Original Author, the Original Author has no legal standing to contest the Fanfic Author's new work.

And on the ethical front, we need only look at Yu Aida. Gunslinger Girl clearly shows the influences of his work on the video game Bittersweet Fools, drawing direct inspiration from the characters, setting and plot of that video game. But it is still an original work with sufficient changes to make it unique in both an ethical sense and a legal sense (as Studio Minori did not sue him for copyright infringement).



@FearTheLASERFACE wrote:
Hypothetical Scenario 2:

The fanfiction author became popular writing fanfiction. Now he/she has a new idea with no connection at all to any of his/her fanfics.

Despite that, he/she managed to gain a loyal fandom of their own during their fanfiction years, and the day the new original fiction is released, these fans buy it and leave excellent reviews (not simply because they like the author, because it is a genuinely great book), prompting more people to take a look, etc.  Even the media eventually comes in, talking about this new up and coming writer, and holding him/her up as a great example of an author getting their start in fanficition.

Some other random authors take to their blogs and fume, alleging that this new author gained their fandom much too easily by writing fanfiction, while many authors started off as nobodies in literature, and maybe still are nobodies compared to this new author.

So how does this writer fare in ethics?
I imagine few, if any, of the great authors in history put ink to page (or fingers to keyboard) for the first time and wrote the seminal work they are now known for. People have to start somewhere to learn their craft and then hone it. And no doubt a significant number of them have done so if by not writing what one would classify today as "fan fiction", it no doubt drew inspiration from and paid homage to certain works and authors.

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Re: Fanfiction and OCs

Post by boomer_gonz on Sun 25 Aug 2013 - 2:18

Three words...

Fifty Shades trilogy

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Re: Fanfiction and OCs

Post by Triela on Sun 25 Aug 2013 - 23:07

@boomer_gonz wrote:Three words...

Fifty Shades trilogy
Came here to say that!! XD

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Re: Fanfiction and OCs

Post by ElfenMagix on Sun 25 Aug 2013 - 23:45

Boomer, I agree!

Us older members of the community wrote to Yu Aida, stating that we would be creating fan fiction. He never answered any one of us. But that did not stop us in doing our fan fictions, and he is aware of them for we notified him. He could have stopped us, but he has not. Thus permission is implied.

But to publish for profit a fan fiction is legally wrong. And even if you are drawing enough to cover your expenses, it is still legally wrong. The problem is all those Gunslinger Girl Doushins that are about by other artists, and yet has the seal of approval from "JewelBox" says that such printed works are fine but only if Yu Aida approves it; for "JewelBox" is Yu Aida.

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Re: Fanfiction and OCs

Post by Nachtsider on Mon 26 Aug 2013 - 5:09

The lawsuit in Scenario 1 will be thrown out of court.

As for Scenario 2, the former fanfic writer should face his detractors, slip on a pair of cool shades, flash them a cheeky grin and say: "Deal with it."

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Re: Fanfiction and OCs

Post by Nachtsider on Mon 26 Aug 2013 - 5:10

@ElfenMagix wrote:Us older members of the community wrote to Yu Aida, stating that we would be creating fan fiction. He never answered any one of us. But that did not stop us in doing our fan fictions, and he is aware of them for we notified him. He could have stopped us, but he has not. Thus permission is implied.
Eh, for all we know, the only reason he never stopped us is because he can't read a word of English, and had no bloody clue what our e-mails said.

Then again... this happened:


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There may be no peace for the wicked, but the righteous can damn well get a piece whenever they feel like it.
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Re: Fanfiction and OCs

Post by tremec6speed on Mon 26 Aug 2013 - 18:43

@Nachtsider wrote:
@ElfenMagix wrote:Us older members of the community wrote to Yu Aida, stating that we would be creating fan fiction. He never answered any one of us. But that did not stop us in doing our fan fictions, and he is aware of them for we notified him. He could have stopped us, but he has not. Thus permission is implied.
Eh, for all we know, the only reason he never stopped us is because he can't read a word of English, and had no bloody clue what our e-mails said.

Then again... this happened:


I'll go with Nacht on this one, plus since V is thee man, I agree in all totality  head bang
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Re: Fanfiction and OCs

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