Home « Forum « Author Hangout

Forum: Author Hangout

Parody and copyright

dreadmervinroberts

Stories Online has a pretty strict policy about copyright issues, as they should. I started out enjoying writing a parody series using copy-written characters, but I've moved on to writing entirely original works, so now it's more important to me that I don't fall astray of the copyright policy.

Should I have the admins remove my older parody story before it gets me banned/deleted?

Ernest Bywater

@dreadmervinroberts

certain types of parody is a legal use under most copyright. You can ask the web master direct via the link on the home page to review it and take appropriate action. Otherwise, I'd leave it now.

Switch Blayde

@dreadmervinroberts

Fanfic violates copyrights, but I don't believe that's what SOL is talking about. They don't want you stealing stories.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Switch Blayde

They don't want you stealing stories.


If I were Lazeez, I would be concerned about that also. But, I would also be concerned about hosting a story that violates a copyrighted book, movie, character, etc.

Crumbly Writer

Fan-fiction is an interesting case. While you wouldn't want to try to use Disney characters in art (Disney is notorious for suing artists using perfectly valid uses of their images, which even the best artists have little resource but to simply give in), fanfic typically not only allows copyright violations, but actively encourages it (as a way of promoting the original works). Thus you've got a LOT more leeway than you would elsewhere.

It's kind of like how many authors post their works (for free) to torrent trading sites in order to get broader exposure, and hopefully build sales overall.

Dominions Son

CW is correct, with the exception of Disney, the book and film industries largely tolerate fan fiction unless you are trying to make money off of it.

You may have heard about a recent case where a group trying to make a feature length Star Trek fan film got stomped on.

Here's the thing. They were crowd funding the film, and unknown to most of the investors/donors they were using the money for the fan film project to build a commercial film studio. That's what got them stomped on.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Ross at Play

@dreadmervinroberts

Have you considered asking the owners of the copyright for permission?
Have they publish any policy they have to fan fiction?
I doubt you would face any legal problems if you approach them stating you want to correct anything you may have done wrong in the past.

Replies:   dreadmervinroberts
Capt. Zapp

@Dominions Son

Here's the thing. They were crowd funding the film, and unknown to most of the investors/donors they were using the money for the fan film project to build a commercial film studio.


Fascinating. It was my understanding they were building a commercial grade studio in order to make better films, not for making commercial films.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Capt. Zapp

Fascinating. It was my understanding they were building a commercial grade studio in order to make better films, not for making commercial films.


Nope, there was also a fraud complaint from a number of the crowd funding donors because the Paramount suit made public emails between the principles behind the Star Trek fan film stating that they intended to grow the studio into a commercial indi film studio using the fan film's funding.

dreadmervinroberts

@Ross at Play

A fair Q, but, ironically given the choice of examples, it involves Disney characters. 100% guarantee to get a "oh hell no", if asked.

Ross at Play
Updated:

@dreadmervinroberts

A fair Q, but, ironically given the choice of examples, it involves Disney characters. 100% guarantee to get a "oh hell no", if asked.

Maybe not? Disney may decide to start with the subpoena.
My advice is delete those stories, ASAP.

EDIT TO ADD:
I would go with what @DS suggests below.
Just remember, Disney is different. Be careful!

Dominions Son
Updated:

@dreadmervinroberts


A fair Q, but, ironically given the choice of examples, it involves Disney characters. 100% guarantee to get a "oh hell no", if asked.


And here is a good distinction to make for Disney and why they are particularly so hard on protecting the artwork.

Most of the older Disney feature films, they don't actually own the copyright for the stories or characters, they only hold copyright on the actual artwork, the visual images, because those films are all based on much older stories that are public domain.

Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and the rest of the fairy tail movies are stories that are centuries old and in the public domain.

Alice and Wonderland is an 1895 book that is long off copyright, the story and characters were never owned by Disney, all they own is the artwork for their animated film version.

The Lion King was their first truly original animated feature film to which they own the full rights.

So it matters very much which Disney characters/stories you used.

Crumbly Writer

@dreadmervinroberts

A fair Q, but, ironically given the choice of examples, it involves Disney characters. 100% guarantee to get a "oh hell no", if asked.

If you ask an author (or more likely a publishing house, who controls the rights), they're virtually guaranteed to say "No!", even if they allow fanfic to florish. That's because, if they say yes, if you publish something they don't want you to, they could claim in court that you gave them explicit permission beforehand.

For Fanfic, the golden rule is, you can get away with it, but if anyone complains, you'll have to yank the story.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

If you ask an author (or more likely a publishing house, who controls the rights), they're virtually guaranteed to say "No!"


There is one way to get them to say yes. Offer to pay them money for the rights to do your spin off.

Of course I doubt any fan fiction authors could afford that.

Ernest Bywater

@dreadmervinroberts

it involves Disney characters.


Keep in minds that Disney may own the visual images for their characters, there is a huge number of characters they have where the courts have already said they do not own the name because the original story or name was in the public domain from prior art.

That's why they lost a court case when someone else made a movie with the same name as they had, but a different image. The court held the story and name were public domain. Thus you need to consider the originating story.

dreadmervinroberts

I think I might go ahead and ask Lazeez to kill it, as much fun as it was to write. Neither he nor I would enjoy any letter from the mega-empire Disney has become.

Back to Top