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Old Dec 04, 2009, 03:12 AM   #21
ShowTunes
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Thanks! Well, boy, he didn't want to talk about the issue at all, did he. He didn't address a single one of your points. (I doubt he could. He seems rather on the... uneducated side.) And "Public personals"... mmm-hm. Yeah, he's a GOOD editor, isn't he?

He's also totally 100% dead wrong about public figures being completely protected. Actually, it's the other way around. Public figures, by dint of being public, have given up certain legal protections regarding their depiction, whereas private figures have considerably more right not to be slandered/depicted and often win court cases along those lines. And Mr. Editor's assertion that "How would you like it if someone depicted you" is incredibly childish and not the point at all.

And I still find it hilarious that he thinks it's perfectly legal to use someone else's copyrighted characters. Um, then why do they have a big list of things people can't use?

I wonder if he considers A Hard Day's Night, Help!, and Yellow Submarine to be fan fiction? Or I Wanna Hold Your Hand? Or Nowhere Boy? Heck, even tribute bands can be considered fan fiction. But just try to formally publish a story about, say, Dragon Ball without sanction and see how fast the lawyers come down on your head.
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Old Dec 04, 2009, 08:31 AM   #22
Maggie Mae
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That's what I mean. I knew it was pointless once he brought that up, but I continued to try. In my research I did prior to emailing him, I encountered a story about a Harry Potter fan fiction (kind of) that was initially published in Russia or Ukraine, I think, but which was stopped because J.K. Rowling and her publishers knew it would hurt their book sales. And Rowling is apparently a fan of fan fiction -- so long as it doesn't get published and make the author any money! The very fact that you can publish your fan fiction and make money off of it without having former Beatles and their lawyers kicking down your door is telling, don't you think? (Because don't think the lads weren't or aren't aware of Beatles fan fiction!!! They may have even read your book!!!)

And you're right, there have been quite a few real person fan fiction pieces written which have seen the light of day -- on the Beatles side, there was "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", "Two Of Us", "Backbeat", or even the Beatles cartoon. I understand that the remaining Beatles gave their consent to many of the film adaptations made about them in this vein, with a few, minor objections to characterization in some films. Elsewhere, there are the cases I mentioned in my emails -- the Lord of the Rings fan fiction that some of the actors rather enjoyed when it was being written, or Shakespeare's history plays. And does anyone remember a little Oscar-winning film called "Shakespeare in Love"???

Granted, Shakespeare is a little dead to be suing for copyright infringement. But if he were alive today, I'm sure there would be very little he could do. It's true that Rev. Falwell tried to sue Hustler, and that Glenn Beck tried to sue a cartoonist, both of whom made fun of these men's celebrity personalities, and in both cases, legal precedent sided with the fiction creator, likely for the reasons you stated -- public personalities relinquish certain rights when they become public. So long as a fictional piece of work does not cause serious harm to anyone (you know, no stalking your subject and calling it "research"... that kind of thing! )... where's the problem??

The editor's legal arguments were just plain uneducated, and it shows.
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Old Dec 04, 2009, 05:57 PM   #23
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Well, the Beck/Falwell stuff was a reaction to parody, which is DEFINITELY protected by the First Amendment. Most RPF isn't parody (though we might wish it was). The thing is, though, that as far as I know there's never been a court case about RPF, so there is no legal precedent... yet. I'm half convinced I'll be that precedent, as I have (inadvertently but genuinely) set several precedents in my life (including being cited as a source for the Library of Congress to use the term "graphic novels" as a subject heading. Ain't no money in it, but it's cool).

But realistically I won't, because I'm WAY too small potatoes for them to bother with. They know quite well that if they sue me, the publicity I'd get would benefit me far more than it would benefit them. I mean, I've only sold 56 copies; how is that "making money"? Now, if by some miracle I started selling thousands of copies, I'm sure I'd hear from someone. But that's a problem I'd like to have! Believe me, I would be more than happy to cut a deal with them.

Now, Strings has been online in one form or another since 1997. Their people HAVE to know it exists, but I haven't heard a whisper from them in all that time... and there are many far nastier things out there that, if I were them, I'd go after first. (Paul in Pain, anyone?) If they claimed I was damaging their reputations, I'd love to know exactly how.

BTW, someone once told me that James McCartney was reading Strings, which I have no way to verify, of course, but if he was, then clearly he didn't run screaming to Dad. Dhani's the type to know about it as well, though I have no idea about him either. And it is my deepest fantasy that Paul and Ringo have at least heard of Strings... I doubt they'd have the time or inclination to read it, though.
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Old Dec 05, 2009, 03:44 AM   #24
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??? Star Wars/Beatles crossovers???
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Old Dec 05, 2009, 04:37 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by george<3 View Post
??? Star Wars/Beatles crossovers???
I dunno, but the first Beatle fic I ever wrote was a Star Trek/Beatles crossover. Actually, to be technical, it was a Star Trek/Beatles/Dungeons & Dragons crossover, which was exactly as weird as it sounds.
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