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Friday, March 22, 2024

Find out how to Take care of Fanfiction? by Kelley Manner · Author’s Enjoyable Zone

How to Deal with Fanfiction? by Kelley WayLet’s welcome again month-to-month columnist Kelley Manner as she shares with us “Find out how to Take care of Fanfiction?” Get pleasure from!


I used to be offered with an attention-grabbing query awhile again. A author was profitable sufficient to have a fanbase, who would typically ship her fanfiction they wrote primarily based on her novels.

At one level, a fan despatched her some fanfiction that aligned very intently with the plot of her upcoming novel. That made her involved that, if she printed the novel with the present plotline, the fan would possibly sue her for copyright infringement.

What ought to she do?

What’s fanfiction?

Earlier than I dive into that query, I need to backtrack and discuss fanfiction basically.

For individuals who aren’t aware of the time period, fanfiction is when followers write tales that happen within the writer’s fictional universe.

For instance, one of many earliest common fanfiction tales came about within the Star Trek universe, the place the fan created a brand new crewmember of the Starship Enterprise and wrote tales about this new character.

Fanfiction will be fairly entertaining, however it creates an issue for the writer of the unique collection.

On the one hand, these tales written by followers technically infringe on the writer’s copyrights, particularly the fitting to create by-product works primarily based on the unique.

However, the infringers are followers, normally devoted hard-core followers, and cracking down on them may probably alienate the writer’s fan base.

Most authors select to permit fanfiction, so long as it’s clear that it’s fanfiction and never an official a part of the canon.

When the fan tries to cross it off as an official work, and/or tries to monetize their fanfiction, then the writer will step in and implement their rights.

When Fanfiction Is A Downside

However what about the issue I opened with, the place somebody’s fanfiction is eerily much like the writer’s work in progress?

Technically, for the reason that writer wrote the manuscript earlier than seeing the fanfiction, there is no such thing as a infringement, for the reason that writer didn’t copy something.

Nevertheless, proving that in court docket is one thing else completely.

If the writer can’t show that the manuscript was written earlier than she ever noticed the fanfiction, then she may very effectively lose the case.

If she documented when she acquired the fanfiction, the standing of her manuscript on the time, et cetera, then she would seemingly be fantastic, however that wouldn’t keep away from the go to to the courtroom.

On this occasion, she selected to easily re-write the manuscript to keep away from the issue.

One other technique that might stop this situation could be to have a coverage of by no means studying your individual fanfiction; in the event you by no means learn it, you’ll be able to’t have copied it.

That is definitely much less enjoyable, however it’s most likely the most secure route total.

These sorts of questions are all the time tough, as a result of they circle much less across the regulation and extra on the connection you need to have together with your fanbase. If you want some assist navigating these murky waters, be happy to achieve out to me at kaway@kawaylaw.com.


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Kelley Way

Kelley Manner was born and raised in Walnut Creek, California. She graduated from UC Davis with a B.A. in English, adopted by a Juris Doctorate. Kelley is a member of the California Bar, and an aspiring author of younger grownup fantasy novels. Extra info at kawaylaw.com.

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