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Old 09-17-2012, 04:44 AM   #1
lazyhobo
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Copyright and the like.

Okay so, I am not sure where exactly I should have asked this, but Meh, here we go.

I'm just basically wondering, when it comes to writing free fiction (Fan-Fiction) on a website like this, what exactly are the rules when writing? Are there some things we cant touch? or since its free and for no gain are we able to write whatever we want?

We could write about Angelina Jolie, but could we perhaps write about Lara Croft? The Lara Croft story universe? Could we write stories set in the storyline of a game? or even use characters from games?
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:14 AM   #2
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If you go to a story in the celebrity section, there is a big explanation/disclaimer at the top. I'm not sure there are official rules anywhere, but you should go look at the FAQs, as that's where they'd likely be.

I am pretty sure that Lit won't accept fan fiction for things like Pokemon, for example, where all/most of the characters are underage.

As always, if you can't find the answer, you should send a PM (private message) to Laurel. Use the "Private Messages" link at the upper right of this page, or find Laurel's name on a thread or post and click on it. You will get an option, either from a list or on her page, to send a private message.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:35 AM   #3
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As I understand, Lit permits erotic fan-fiction under the umbrella of the parody cited in the Jerry Falwell case. Just like a writer was cleared of copyright infringement for publishing a take on 'Gone with the Wind' from the slaves' POV as 'Wind with the Gone'.

These days, copyright is not the issue. Most fictional and real celebs are protected by trademarks which are more stringent.

Why does fan-fiction (misnomer for much writing) not attract action from the rich and famous? Well, they can't see the point in spending bundles of legal dollars pursuing people of straw who publish to a miniscule audience.

Feel free to post. If Lit has a problem they will reject your submission but, if they accept, they are saying they will take the very slight risk.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:51 PM   #4
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The lines of acceptance here are up to the editor, Laurel. And I doubt they are hard and fast. Reading what has passed, as Penn Lady suggests, is probably your best bet in seeing where Laurel's edges of acceptance are.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PennLady View Post
I am pretty sure that Lit won't accept fan fiction for things like Pokemon, for example, where all/most of the characters are underage.
Meh, but thats more to do with the Underage rule then it is anything else.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazyhobo View Post
Meh, but thats more to do with the Underage rule then it is anything else.
True, but best to cover all the bases, I figure. I mean, someone could write Pokemon fan fiction and make the characters older, but I'm still not sure it would pass here.
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PennLady View Post
True, but best to cover all the bases, I figure. I mean, someone could write Pokemon fan fiction and make the characters older, but I'm still not sure it would pass here.
To be honest, Pokemon started with Ash turning 10, each new companion is one who has just turned ten, over the course of 8+ seasons, not a single character has gotten any older by the looks of it. So I can't really comment.

I could probably use older characters if It was a pokemon fanfiction, but I dunno, probably wouldn't go down that road.

The main purpose of the question, and how I worded it, was to see the Upper Limit, that way I know anything below it is acceptable.
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazyhobo View Post
The main purpose of the question, and how I worded it, was to see the Upper Limit, that way I know anything below it is acceptable.
And I responded that that probably is unknowable. It all hinges on hazy FAQs, at best, and the judgment of a single person who is the sole editor and an owner of this site. By reading in on the section, you can see what was passed before; you can't see what was rejected. And even what was passed is based on whatever scrutiny and editor who sees about 100 stories a day saw in a scan.
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:12 PM   #9
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Free-fiction is illegal whether you use Pokemon or geriatrics. Yes, for some reason the site accepts blatant infringements of copyright and trademark which they would usually pursue on their writers' behalf.

Simply, Pokemon is trademarked, irrespective of age, and any unauthorized use is illegal - forget the caveat on the celebs' cat. We're not talking parody here.
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfin_odalisque View Post
Free-fiction is illegal whether you use Pokemon or geriatrics
[citation needed]
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:19 PM   #11
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Yes, I'm lost. What's the contextual meaning here of "free-fiction," what makes it illegal as opposed to unfree-fiction, and why the heck is it hyphenated?
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:20 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
Yes, I'm lost. What's the contextual meaning here of "free-fiction," what makes it illegal as opposed to unfree-fiction, and why the heck is it hyphenated?
Simply the use of any trademarked or copyrighted people or characters. This is always illegal and owners don't usually prosecute because the cost is greater than the reward.

It is still an offence that lit, and apparently, sr tolerates. Parody doesn't cover this.

The expression 'free-fiction' is a creation of people who are not prepared to accept the laws of copyright, trademark and ownership.

'free-fiction' is not my invention but those who use others copyright.
sr, you are a hypocrite if you support this theft of ownersip of intellectual proerty.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:45 PM   #13
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And you are as crazy as ever, Elfin.

1. The title of the Gone with the Wind parody is the Wind Done Gone, not as you provided.

2. Most characters and celebrities' names are NOT trademarked. Very few such names actually are trademarked.

3. You can't copyright people or characters. (You can trademark characters if you can show commercial vaule in the character alone. Few do so with their characters, however. You can't either copyright or trademark people--if their name is Elfin, you can kick them in the butt, though. )

4. No one other than you uses the "free-fiction" term (prove otherwise--cite some sources on this). "Free-fiction" (hyphenated) isn't even a word.

5. People who "use others' copyrights" can only do so with permission. They can steal others' copyrighted material, but this isn't "using others' copyrights."

6. Your reference to me "tolerating" anything on Lit. is hilarious. I'm not in a position to not tolerate anything on Lit.--and I don't know what the hell you were talking about on that charge anyway.

7. I'm probably the last person posting to Literotica who supports the stealing of anyone intellectual property, and you are stupid for not knowing that. But then you don't know what the hell you're talking about on this issue anyway.

8. You continue to be one class A dingaling.
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Old 09-26-2012, 03:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfin_odalisque View Post
Simply the use of any trademarked or copyrighted people or characters. This is always illegal and owners don't usually prosecute because the cost is greater than the reward.

It is still an offence that lit, and apparently, sr tolerates. Parody doesn't cover this.

The expression 'free-fiction' is a creation of people who are not prepared to accept the laws of copyright, trademark and ownership.

'free-fiction' is not my invention but those who use others copyright.
sr, you are a hypocrite if you support this theft of ownersip of intellectual proerty.
"Free-fiction" is a term I've never heard before, and I googled it. All that showed up for the first two pages was various places to find free fiction books. So I'm thinking it is in fact your invention. If it's not, please cite a source -- with link if possible. However, since I've asked direct questions like this before and received no answer, I figure I'll get no answer this time.

And as far as I know, you are wrong. Using established characters is not illegal. If it was, we wouldn't have parody or satire. The Wind Done Gone was a parody, and despite the efforts of Mitchell's estate to shut it down (as I recall), it was deemed legal and was published.
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PennLady View Post
"Free-fiction" is a term I've never heard before, and I googled it. All that showed up for the first two pages was various places to find free fiction books. So I'm thinking it is in fact your invention. If it's not, please cite a source -- with link if possible.
FWIW, lazyhobo started this thread with mention of "free fiction (Fan-Fiction)". This could be interpreted either as "fiction that is both free AND fan-fiction" or "free fiction as another word for fan-fiction".

I'd guess lazyhobo intended it as the former, and Elfin misread it as the latter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PennLady View Post
However, since I've asked direct questions like this before and received no answer, I figure I'll get no answer this time.

And as far as I know, you are wrong. Using established characters is not illegal. If it was, we wouldn't have parody or satire. The Wind Done Gone was a parody, and despite the efforts of Mitchell's estate to shut it down (as I recall), it was deemed legal and was published.
Yep. It doesn't even have to be parody; I cited Anno-Dracula previously as an example of something that invokes a wide range of established characters. Using other people's characters certainly CAN be illegal (cf Neil Gaiman's successful lawsuit against Todd McFarlane) but it depends very much on how you use them; it goes back to the four prongs of 'fair use' law.

Sad to say, I've reached the point where I mentally prefix the words "I'm not a lawyer and this is just my unresearched guess..." to anything Elfin says about IP or defamation law.
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:05 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by PennLady View Post
fact your invention. If it's not, please cite a source -- with link if possible. However, since I've asked direct questions like this before and received no answer, I figure I'll get no answer this time.
Yep, that's the usual upshot with Elfin. It won't stop her from repeating her manufactured "facts," though.
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Old 09-27-2012, 06:56 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfin_odalisque View Post
Free-fiction is illegal whether you use Pokemon or geriatrics. Yes, for some reason the site accepts blatant infringements of copyright and trademark which they would usually pursue on their writers' behalf.

Simply, Pokemon is trademarked, irrespective of age, and any unauthorized use is illegal - forget the caveat on the celebs' cat. We're not talking parody here.
Do you mean criminally illegal or subject to a civil damages action?

I see frequent use of copyright material but one might debate 'fair use' with respect to much of it perhaps. I don't see so much theft or infringement of trademark rights.

I guess Laurel has to make judgement calls from time to time, and in view of the fact that most complainants demand retraction, removal or acknowledgement prior to considering legal action, she probably has room, time, and opportunity to rectify circumstances that might otherwise become problems.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PennLady View Post
"Free-fiction" is a term I've never heard before, and I googled it. All that showed up for the first two pages was various places to find free fiction books. So I'm thinking it is in fact your invention. If it's not, please cite a source -- with link if possible. However, since I've asked direct questions like this before and received no answer, I figure I'll get no answer this time.

And as far as I know, you are wrong. Using established characters is not illegal. If it was, we wouldn't have parody or satire. The Wind Done Gone was a parody, and despite the efforts of Mitchell's estate to shut it down (as I recall), it was deemed legal and was published.
Free-fiction was the expression the OP used. I hadn't heard of it before either.

Sorry, using established characters/personalities/series who are trademarked, real or imaginary, is simply illegal. The parody defence is not applicable. Parody or satire is a narrow channel that doesn't allow breach of trademark though copyright breach is allowable, given parody or satire.

The confusion here is between trademark and copyright.
If I own the trademark of a person or a character, no-one can use that person/character legally without permission Any unsanctioned use of Pokemons is strictly illegal. Forget parody..

The reason fan fiction survives is because trademark/copyright owners can't be bothered to pay/pursue men of straw. If the use is damaging to the marque they might seek an injunction.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:16 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by ishtat View Post
Do you mean criminally illegal or subject to a civil damages action?

I see frequent use of copyright material but one might debate 'fair use' with respect to much of it perhaps. I don't see so much theft or infringement of trademark rights.

I guess Laurel has to make judgement calls from time to time, and in view of the fact that most complainants demand retraction, removal or acknowledgement prior to considering legal action, she probably has room, time, and opportunity to rectify circumstances that might otherwise become problems.
Civil damages and prohibition.

The definition of 'fair use' is limited to how much you can quote from someone else's writing. Nothing to do do with stealing someone else's creation.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:42 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfin_odalisque View Post
Civil damages and prohibition.

The definition of 'fair use' is limited to how much you can quote from someone else's writing. Nothing to do do with stealing someone else's creation.
As I suspected, no direct answers to my questions, and no sources cited.

You are wrong. This is the U.S. Copyright Office's page on fair use. It states, in part:

Quote:
The distinction between what is fair use and what is infringement in a particular case will not always be clear or easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.
(bold emphasis mine)

ETA: Removed a paragraph. Sorry, got my threads confused.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elfin_odalisque View Post
Sorry, using established characters/personalities/series who are trademarked, real or imaginary, is simply illegal. The parody defence is not applicable. Parody or satire is a narrow channel that doesn't allow breach of trademark though copyright breach is allowable, given parody or satire.
Wrong again. See this page at Wikipedia (for starters) on The Wind Done Gone. Check the "Legal Controversy" section. The US Court of Appeals lifted an injunction against publishing the book, and the book itself carried the claim "The Unauthorized Parody." I'm sure there's more about it, but the court sided with the publishers of the parody in this one.

And I think you are using "trademarked" incorrectly, although I need to check that. You seem to be using it almost interchangeably with "copyright," and that's incorrect.

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Old 09-27-2012, 02:59 PM   #21
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The definition of 'fair use' is limited to how much you can quote from someone else's writing. Nothing to do do with stealing someone else's creation.
As I noted on another thread, the Fair Use doctrine doesn’t even apply to the writing of fiction. Here’s the identification of what Fair Use applies to in American copyright law, straight off the U.S. Copyright Office Web site:

http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

“Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair.”
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:05 PM   #22
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Free-fiction was the expression the OP used. I hadn't heard of it before either.
A. Will you please stop hyphenating that? It isn't a word. (And the OP didn't hyphenate it--this is all your invention.)

B. And you most certaintly did claim to have heard of the term before. You even "defined" it for us: "The expression 'free-fiction' is a creation of people who are not prepared to accept the laws of copyright, trademark and ownership. 'free-fiction' is not my invention but those who use others copyright."

Yours is a bogus definition anyway. Anyone who gives their own work away for free (like posting it here to Literotica) is dealing with free fiction too. And this has nothing to do with your definition.

Rather a weak attempt at backpeddling on this, Elfin. But then . . .
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:15 PM   #23
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Thanks, sr.

Seems as usual we've gone far afield from the original question, and should back up.

Elfin was due a partial apology, because it was indeed the OP who used the term "free-fiction," which he then defined in parentheses as "fan fiction." But she did then go on to define it in a way I can't find anywhere else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazyhobo
I'm just basically wondering, when it comes to writing free fiction (Fan-Fiction) on a website like this, what exactly are the rules when writing? Are there some things we cant touch? or since its free and for no gain are we able to write whatever we want?

We could write about Angelina Jolie, but could we perhaps write about Lara Croft? The Lara Croft story universe? Could we write stories set in the storyline of a game? or even use characters from games?
This is the category description: Celebrities - Parodies & erotic fan fiction about famous people.

I have seen taglines for stories that use both celebrities under their real names, such as Angelina Jolie, and character names. It would seem to me that the main thing to look out for, as always, is to make sure all characters are over 18.

This is Lit's disclaimer in the Celebrity category:

Quote:
DISCLAIMER:

The stories in the "Celebrity" section of Literotica are all fictional parodies - none are true, nor are they approved of by the celebrities named in the stories. Authors write these fictitious stories about famous people for the same reason that Larry Flynt made fun of Jerry Falwell, because they can. The Supreme Court of the United States, the country where this site is located, has ruled that parodies involving famous people are perfectly and totally legal under the United States Constitution. The specific case law on this was decided in the case of "Hustler Magazine, Inc. et al. v. Jerry Falwell" in 1988. No harm is intended toward the celebrities featured in these stories, but they are public figures and in being so, they must accept that they are fair target for parodies by the public. We believe in the first amendment, and more broadly, in the basic principle of free speech and this section may push the boundaries of that principle, but the United States Supreme Court has approved of this type of material. We believe that the Supreme Court was correct in their decision.
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Old 09-27-2012, 04:08 PM   #24
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Elfin was due a partial apology, because it was indeed the OP who used the term "free-fiction," which he then defined in parentheses as "fan fiction
Ummm, no. The OP didn't put a hyphen in "free fiction": "free fiction (Fan-Fiction)." There's no such hyphenated word (and the OP isn't the one who hyphenated it).
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:16 PM   #25
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Ummm, no. The OP didn't put a hyphen in "free fiction": "free fiction (Fan-Fiction)." There's no such hyphenated word (and the OP isn't the one who hyphenated it).
Guess I'm in a generous mood; I figured she just transposed it. I might have. Still, "free-fiction" as such doesn't seem to exist.
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