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Re: [mythsoc] Re: Copyright Loremasters?

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  • WendellWag@aol.com
    No, Farmer didn t use any characters (except in brief mentions) that were under copyright except when he had permission from the author. In the case of the
    Message 1 of 49 , May 6, 2011
      No, Farmer didn't use any characters (except in brief mentions) that were under copyright except when he had permission from the author.  In the case of the previously mentioned Venus on the Half Shell on the other hand, he had permission from Vonnegut.  Here's the Wikipedia article on the Wold Newton family:
      It appears to me that Farmer didn't feel that he needed to get permission for a character under copyright when that character was only briefly mentioned.  If a character merely appeared in a family tree for instance, he apparently decided that didn't constitute sufficient use to violate copyright restrictions.  However, this is only my guess, and you would have to speak to the Farmer estate to ask what permissions he got and to an intellectual property lawyer to ask about rulings in this matter.
      Wendell Wagner
      In a message dated 5/6/2011 10:05:35 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, extollager2006@... writes:

      I haven't read any of these: but didn't Philip Jose Farmer and some other authors write a whole series of books -- without permission of authors' heirs/publishers -- featuring popular characters such as Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, Doc Savage, James Bond (?), and others?  I think in some cases the names were changed but who was meant was made clear to the reader by cover art and story details.  The idea of these "Wold Newton" books is that all of these characters were affected by rays emanating from a meteorite (or something like that), giving them their powers.

      Here the motive for writing seems to be tongue-in-cheek fun (and to make money).  I could see someone, though, to use my hypothetical Inklings example, wanting to attempt a novel in the Charles Williams vein, trying to write a thriller that had serious elements, as in Williams's middle novels.  Such a writer might decide that having Giles Tumulty in the story could be a way to signal his or her intention to do just that.

      Can anyone name examples of fiction of this type that can make a higher claim than "provides harmless fun"?  One commenter mentioned Verlyn Flieger's "Green Hill Country" (which I haven't read but expect to read soon) in such a way as to seem to me to suggest that it is something more than just a clever entertainment.  (I was intrigued by the title immediately, since that three-word name from LOTR has attracted me for many years.)


      From: Westermeyer GS11 Paul W <paul.westermeyer@...>
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Fri, May 6, 2011 7:28:57 AM
      Subject: [mythsoc] Re: Copyright Loremasters?


      The Flashman novels by George MacDonald Fraser are based on a character from Thomas Hughes' 'Tom Brown's School Days' and Fraser's novels, IMO, far surpass the progenitor in literary quality. Most 'classic' literature is derivative work, if it was good enough for Homer it really should be good enough for us, IMO.

      Originality is laudable, but we should not demean the creative genius required to take someone else's character into new directions.

    • 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
        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.

        -- 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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