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FanLib Archive FYI

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  • DawnFelagund@comcast.net
    Hi, all, It has come to the attention of some moderator-types around the Tolkien community that a fan fiction archive called FanLib has been soliciting
    Message 1 of 8 , May 1 8:54 AM
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      Hi, all,
      It has come to the attention of some moderator-types around the Tolkien community that a fan fiction archive called "FanLib" has been soliciting members from other Tolkien sites. This is not itself particularly problematic, but there is a portion of their Terms of Service (TOS) that has raised eyebrows among a few of us.

      From their TOS (http://www.fanlib.com/termsOfUse.do):

      You retain all of Your ownership rights in Your Submissions. However, by submitting the Submissions to FanLib, You hereby grant FanLib a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Submissions in connection with the Website. (V.1)

      I am not a lawyer, but having published fiction before and being familiar with how publication rights are handled, this sounds a little heavy-handed to me for a fanfic archive. Personally, I don't hand over all rights to my work without good reason, and I've never seen a fanfic site include such a caveat in their TOS before.

      Of course, I'm not telling you not to use the site. It is up to each author to decide what s/he is comfortable with in terms of rights to and use of his/her fiction. :) But FanLib has a looong TOS full of legal mumbo-jumbo, and the consensus among most group mods is that people are sharing their work there without necessarily being aware of the sorts of rights that they are granting the archive in doing so. If I was signing up for the site, I probably would have missed the line above as well and assumed full control over my stories on that site. And especially since the archive is approaching and soliciting members of the Tolkien community, we felt that you should be aware of this to make an informed decision about posting work there.

      Thanks to Alassante for the heads up on this.

      Best regards,
      Dawn

      --
      ~oOo~
      Dawn Felagund
      Read my stories or visit me online at http://www.livejournal.com/userinfo.bml?user=dawn_felagund

      Are you a relentless First-Ager?
      Check out the Silmarillion Writers' Guild at www.silmarillionwritersguild.org
      ~oOo~
    • Alassante7
      I joined and thankfully Gandalf s Apprentice warned me. I never read TOS if its longer than a page lol DawnFelagund@comcast.net wrote:
      Message 2 of 8 , May 1 5:10 PM
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         I joined and thankfully Gandalf's Apprentice warned me. I never read TOS if its longer than a page lol

        DawnFelagund@... wrote:
        Hi, all,
        It has come to the attention of some moderator-types around the Tolkien community that a fan fiction archive called "FanLib" has been soliciting members from other Tolkien sites. This is not itself particularly problematic, but there is a portion of their Terms of Service (TOS) that has raised eyebrows among a few of us.

        From their TOS (http://www.fanlib. com/termsOfUse. do):

        You retain all of Your ownership rights in Your Submissions. However, by submitting the Submissions to FanLib, You hereby grant FanLib a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of, display, and perform the Submissions in connection with the Website. (V.1)

        I am not a lawyer, but having published fiction before and being familiar with how publication rights are handled, this sounds a little heavy-handed to me for a fanfic archive. Personally, I don't hand over all rights to my work without good reason, and I've never seen a fanfic site include such a caveat in their TOS before.

        Of course, I'm not telling you not to use the site. It is up to each author to decide what s/he is comfortable with in terms of rights to and use of his/her fiction. :) But FanLib has a looong TOS full of legal mumbo-jumbo, and the consensus among most group mods is that people are sharing their work there without necessarily being aware of the sorts of rights that they are granting the archive in doing so. If I was signing up for the site, I probably would have missed the line above as well and assumed full control over my stories on that site. And especially since the archive is approaching and soliciting members of the Tolkien community, we felt that you should be aware of this to make an informed decision about posting work there.

        Thanks to Alassante for the heads up on this.

        Best regards,
        Dawn

        --
        ~oOo~
        Dawn Felagund
        Read my stories or visit me online at http://www.livejour nal.com/userinfo .bml?user= dawn_felagund

        Are you a relentless First-Ager?
        Check out the Silmarillion Writers' Guild at www.silmarillionwri tersguild. org
        ~oOo~



        You're so clueless that if you dressed in a clue skin, doused yourself in clue musk, and did the clue dance in the middle of a field of horny clues at the height of clue mating season, you still wouldn't have a clue. (Rhaps let me steal this quote cause she's cool like that )


        Ahhh...imagining that irresistible "new car" smell?
        Check out new cars at Yahoo! Autos.

      • rhapsody_the_bard
        ... Yeah, I know this was discussed a while back on an Aragorn group, one of the LOTRFF mods gave us a warning and we observed it from afar because we
        Message 3 of 8 , May 2 4:21 AM
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          --- In SilmarillionWritersGuild@yahoogroups.com, DawnFelagund@... wrote:
          >
          > Hi, all,
          > It has come to the attention of some moderator-types around the
          > Tolkien community that a fan fiction archive called "FanLib" has been
          > soliciting members from other Tolkien sites. This is not itself
          > particularly problematic, but there is a portion of their Terms of
          > Service (TOS) that has raised eyebrows among a few of us.

          Yeah, I know this was discussed a while back on an Aragorn group, one
          of the LOTRFF mods gave us a warning and we observed it from afar
          because we concluded it looked a bit fishy. I do know that when I
          became a member of FanLib, that bit wasn't in the TOS at that moment,
          so it's always a good idea to keep track of a TOS for archives and
          services you sign up for. I've been ill and still am, so I was only
          able to delete my material two days back... It was kinda silent in the
          Silmarillion section there btw ;)

          Rhapsody
        • pandemonium_213/Doc Bushwell
          ... the Submissions to FanLib, You hereby grant FanLib a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty- free and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute,
          Message 4 of 8 , May 2 5:53 AM
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            --- In SilmarillionWritersGuild@yahoogroups.com, DawnFelagund@... wrote:

            >
            > "You retain all of Your ownership rights in Your Submissions. However, by submitting
            the Submissions to FanLib, You hereby grant FanLib a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-
            free and transferable license to use, reproduce, distribute, prepare derivative works of,
            display, and perform the Submissions in connection with the Website. (V.1)"
            >
            > I am not a lawyer, but having published fiction before and being familiar with how
            publication rights are handled, this sounds a little heavy-handed to me for a fanfic
            archive. Personally, I don't hand over all rights to my work without good reason, and I've
            never seen a fanfic site include such a caveat in their TOS before.

            Likewise, I'm in no position to offer a legal opinion, but that won't stop me from
            yammering. :^) I agree that this is a bizarre TOS.

            I signed a contract with SEED which gives them exclusive first publication rights,* and
            non-exclusive rights for various other stuff. In turn, they pay me a token, I assure them
            that my work is _original_, and promise not to defame anyone - OK, so I skirt the edges
            there. Why would FanLib set up such a TOS for work that by its very nature cannot be
            copyrighted? The "non-exclusive" clause softens it a little, but the "prepare derivative
            works of" clause is especially weird. What the heck does that mean? FanLib can grab a
            fanfic and morph it to something else?

            *They allow me to "cross-post" for a maximum of 4 times a week, thus allowing a nice bit
            of flexibility.
          • DawnFelagund@comcast.net
            From: pandemonium_213/Doc Bushwell ... *snerk* This must be why we get along so well ... :^D ... I found the derivative work clause
            Message 5 of 8 , May 2 7:22 AM
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              From: "pandemonium_213/Doc Bushwell" <docbushwell@...>
              > Likewise, I'm in no position to offer a legal opinion, but that won't stop me
              > from yammering. :^)

              *snerk* This must be why we get along so well ... :^D

              > there. Why would FanLib set up such a TOS for work that by its very nature
              > cannot be
              > copyrighted? The "non-exclusive" clause softens it a little, but the "prepare
              > derivative
              > works of" clause is especially weird. What the heck does that mean? FanLib can
              > grab a
              > fanfic and morph it to something else?

              I found the "derivative work" clause odd as well. Perhaps they intend to illustrate certain fanfics? That's the only "derivative work" that I can think of that makes any sense for a fanfic archive.

              The "transferable license" also bugged me. Transferable to whom? Other websites that may want to buy the use of my work? No, I'll gladly control that decision myself, thank you.

              The funny thing is that I've always been very liberal about letting people use my work. People who want to do illustrations or write stories based off of details in my stories ... I always grant permission. But the fact that the permissions remain _mine_ to give is comforting. And I am so liberal because its only other fans using it; no one's making money off of my efforts. Call me paranoid, but I have this image of this site using its most popular stories to draw in more visitors, to get more advertising dollars or paid memberships (if they eventually offer those) or site donations. It seems like it's going to be a big site, so likely, someone is hoping to make some dough off of it. (It's not like smaller archives where the owner _loses_ money in hosting fees every year, for example.) And the idea of giving someone rights to my work without compensation so that that person can make money ... nah, that doesn't sit right with me.

              You mentioned SEED's policy ... that's pretty much what I've seen in small literary markets. Most buy a version of first rights or one-time rights; I've only once seen a literary magazine that sought ALL rights (and I dropped that one like a hot potato!) The most recent magazine I worked for sought one-time and anthology rights; we didn't pay either. :^D The understanding seems to be that if you're not going to pay an author, then you'd better not go asking for rights that let you make a profit off of their work.

              The good thing is that it seems that by removing work from the site, the site loses its rights to the work. The section after the one I quoted seems to me to say that (though I do get hopelessly tangled in legalese ...)

              All the best,
              Dawn

              --
              ~oOo~
              Dawn Felagund
              Read my stories or visit me online at http://dawn-felagund.livejournal.com/profile

              Are you a relentless First-Ager?
              Check out the Silmarillion Writers' Guild at www.silmarillionwritersguild.org
              ~oOo~
            • heartofoshun@aol.com
              In a message dated 5/2/2007 8:08:30 AM Eastern Standard Time, docbushwell@gmail.com writes: but the prepare derivative works of clause is especially weird.
              Message 6 of 8 , May 2 8:19 AM
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                In a message dated 5/2/2007 8:08:30 AM Eastern Standard Time, docbushwell@... writes:
                but the "prepare derivative
                works of" clause is especially weird. What the heck does that mean? FanLib can grab a
                fanfic and morph it to something else?
                That was the "hey, wait a minute!" Clause for me for sure. I think you mailed it. That is THE one thing that I might be able to do with my fanfics someday, re-write them as an original story using characters, dialogue or description that I have developed. No way am I ready to give that possibility away.




                See what's free at AOL.com.
              • heartofoshun@aol.com
                For example: on the derivative stuff, and I admit I know next to nothing about rights, the Tolkien estate still holds the film rights to the Silmarillion.
                Message 7 of 8 , May 2 8:28 AM
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                  For example: on the derivative stuff, and I admit I know next to nothing about rights, the Tolkien estate still holds the film rights to the Silmarillion. Suppose they decide to sell them and that person decides to do a film of Feanor's years before the creation of the Silmarili--IMHO "Another Man's Cage" would make a delightful film. But, you would want control over not just the money to be made, but how they could take your plot and characters and muck around with them. (I would!) Oh, well, there is the whole element of making money off of one's work and no sharing it.




                  See what's free at AOL.com.
                • pandemonium_213/Doc Bushwell
                  - Suppose they decide to sell them and that person decides to do a film of ... Heh. Yeah, I asked Dawn some time ago if she had written the screenplay.
                  Message 8 of 8 , May 2 4:20 PM
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                    - Suppose they decide to sell them and that person decides to do a film of
                    > Feanor's years before the creation of the Silmarili--IMHO "Another Man's Cage"
                    > would make a delightful film.

                    Heh. Yeah, I asked Dawn some time ago if she had written the screenplay. Personally, I
                    think the "FĂ«anorian Chronicles" might play well Off-Off-Broadway. :^D
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