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RE: [mythsoc] Copyright Loremasters?

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  • Croft, Janet B.
    But haven’t you ever been inspired to, say, wonder what The Odyssey might look like if your main character wandered through the Depression-era southern
    Message 1 of 49 , May 5, 2011
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      But haven’t you ever been inspired to, say, wonder what The Odyssey might look like if your main character wandered through the Depression-era southern states? Or wonder what Hamlet’s story looked like from the viewpoint of two relatively minor characters? Both would be considered derivative works by the standards applied to such things as _The Wind Done Gone,_ a retelling of _Gone With the Wind_ that went through the courts a few years ago.

       

      Janet

       

      From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jason Fisher
      Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2011 9:12 AM
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Copyright Loremasters?

       

       

      Why anyone should want to do this in the first place -- i.e., create derivative works based on the creative efforts of others -- is something I don't quite grasp. I don't grok fanfic and never have. I suppose new, authorized novels set in the Star Trek and Star Wars universes are a bit more understandable -- and lord, there are a lot of them!* -- but personally, I don't have any interest in those either. Just me?

      Jase

       

      * Does anybody here read them? I have maybe a dozen Star Wars books for review by now! Nobody has ever asked for one, and they are about to become bantha poodoo if no one does.

       

       


      From: "Croft, Janet B." <jbcroft@...>
      To: "mythsoc@yahoogroups.com" <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thu, May 5, 2011 8:35:41 AM
      Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Copyright Loremasters?

       

      Carl’s right – the author retains the right to create derivative works as long as the original is under copyright. Which is why fan fiction is such a grey area, and probably the only way you could release a story about Giles Tumulty would be for free on a fanfic site (and even then you might be subject to a take-down notice). This is one of the reasons why the continued extension of copyright terms is so contentious; when the public domain (the stuff anyone can use for free – ancient myths, the works of Twain and Dickens, etc.) gets smaller and older, it stifles creativity centered around recent works. By the time the work enters the public domain, no one may be interested in using it as a basis for further creativity anymore.  (Google Kim Stanley Robinson’s short story “Melancholy Elephants” for an eloquent discussion of this problem.)

       

      Janet Brennan Croft

      Associate Professor
      Head of Access Services
      University of Oklahoma Libraries
      http://ou.academia.edu/JanetCroft/CurriculumVitae
      Editor of Mythlore http://www.mythsoc.org/mythlore.html

      "Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the rising ape meets the falling angel." -Terry Pratchett

       

      From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Carl F. Hostetter
      Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2011 9:54 PM
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Copyright Loremasters?

       

       

      Copyright in written works pertains not just to the words of a work itself, but also to derivative works, including the use of characters, settings, situations, and other original elements created by the author.

      So yes, a work that uses characters from Charles Williams novels (which are still in copyright), being derivative works, would violate copyright if published without permission.

      Carl

      On May 4, 2011, at 10:44 PM, dale nelson wrote:

      >
      > We have some librarians here. I have a question. It is for curiosity's sake; the prequel idea I"m about to mention just occurred to me this moment.
      >
      > Giles Tumulty is a character in two Charles Williams novels, War in Heaven (1930) and Many Dimensions (1931). Suppose I wanted to write a prequel about Tumulty's ill behavior prior to these books, or -- for that matter -- about his activities between them. (He dies in Many Dimensions, so no sequel!) And -- why not? -- suppose I wanted to include Lord Arglay too.
      >
      > Would there be any plausible legal problems with this -- in the US, or in the UK?
      >
      > Suppose, further, that my publisher blazoned "Based on the Characters Created by Charles Williams" across the dustjacket.
      >
      > Legal problems?
      >
      > I'm curious. These questions are prompted by the postings just now about the Tolkien-exploiting books.
      >
      > Dale Nelson

    • John Rateliff
      Yes, as David says, it s a great story. The closing sentence is particularly memorable -- but there s no way to share it with anyone without spoiling the
      Message 49 of 49 , May 10, 2011
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        Yes, as David says, it's a great story. The closing sentence is particularly memorable -- but there's no way to share it with anyone without spoiling the story. It's not that often I call something a masterpiece, but "The Ugly Chickens" is one.
           --John R.



        On May 9, 2011, at 8:23 AM, Mem Morman wrote:
        I found the Walpole story on the web and read it this morning.  It made my day.  You go read it too.
        mem



        -- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Bratman <dbratman@...> wrote:
        > His most ingenious story ever was called "The Ugly Chickens". It starts with an ornithologist idly leafing through a book of extinct birds while riding a bus, and the old lady sitting next to him stops him when he gets to the dodo and says, "I haven't seen any of those ugly chickens in a long time." But the dodo has been extinct for centuries; how could she possibly ever have seen any? Well, it turns out that the dodo hadn't gone extinct; it has a hidden history that he spends the story uncovering, and it turns out that ... oh, read it. Great story.


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