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Old Yesterday, 11:47 PM   #1
Bramblethorn
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Author sells self-pub fanfic of her own work

An odd twist: author fired from the series she created, now continuing her version of the series as fanfic. http://m.asia.wsj.com/articles/SB100...98358?mobile=y
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Old Today, 02:49 AM   #2
slyc_willie
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Given that I don't know anything about The Vampire Diaries aside from the fact that I've seen them displayed on end-caps at my local supermarket, based on the article I would have to applaud an author for recapturing her characters and continuing to publish stories about them. Good for her.

But a thought occurred to me as I read through the rather lengthy analysis concerning the popularity of fan fiction, especially with the gratuitous mention of *groan* Fifty Shades Of Grey.

Obviously, it seems the public is not so much interested in reading anything original so much as desiring to gobble up anything that erotically perverts another person's work. I mean, come on, if any of us want to make money selling erotica, why waste the time inventing our own original characters, situations, and themes, when all we really need to do is latch onto whatever is currently popular and make it sexually explicit?

Seriously, let's consider this. Why not take The Hobbit, which is currently a big hit in theaters, and make Bilbo get it on with everyone he meets? We could start with a little hobbit-humping in the shire, then move onto the revelation that Thorin and his fellow dwarves are seriously into man-on-man action. After that, Bilbo could get it on with a bunch of horny wood elf maidens (Hey, they aren't called "wood" elves for nothing; but for good measure, let's include a lot of girl-girl action, too) in the Mirkwood, after fucking the spider queen into submission, of course. Insert a randy scene for Bard in Rivendell, in which a comely, angelic "thrush" sent by Beorn first fucks him, then tells him the secret for slaying Smaug. And finally, we have a climactic orgy with dwarves, men, goblins and worgs that leaves everyone satisfied and unable to fight the War of the Five Armies.

But no sex for Gandalf. That would just be sacrilegious.

*sniff, sniff* I think I smell a best-seller here.

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Old Today, 04:11 AM   #3
Bramblethorn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slyc_willie View Post
Obviously, it seems the public is not so much interested in reading anything original so much as desiring to gobble up anything that erotically perverts another person's work. I mean, come on, if any of us want to make money selling erotica, why waste the time inventing our own original characters, situations, and themes, when all we really need to do is latch onto whatever is currently popular and make it sexually explicit?
Reminds me of the old 'Tijuana Bibles'.

Quote:
Seriously, let's consider this. Why not take The Hobbit, which is currently a big hit in theaters, and make Bilbo get it on with everyone he meets? We could start with a little hobbit-humping in the shire, then move onto the revelation that Thorin and his fellow dwarves are seriously into man-on-man action. After that, Bilbo could get it on with a bunch of horny wood elf maidens (Hey, they aren't called "wood" elves for nothing; but for good measure, let's include a lot of girl-girl action, too) in the Mirkwood, after fucking the spider queen into submission, of course. Insert a randy scene for Bard in Rivendell, in which a comely, angelic "thrush" sent by Beorn first fucks him, then tells him the secret for slaying Smaug.
...which is "death by snoo-snoo".

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And finally, we have a climactic orgy with dwarves, men, goblins and worgs that leaves everyone satisfied and unable to fight the War of the Five Armies.
I used to frequent one of the LotR adult fanfic sites purely so I could gather material to horrify others. It was hard to pic between Nazgul Nine-Way and the Merry/Pippin/Treebeard threesome.
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Old Today, 06:22 AM   #4
StrangeLife
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bramblethorn View Post
It was hard to pic between Nazgul Nine-Way and the Merry/Pippin/Treebeard threesome.
At least they got wood
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Old Today, 06:27 AM   #5
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This is what EL James did. 50 Shades was a rework of her Twilight fan fiction

And the point made above is a good one. People seem as if they would rather have the same meal every day for the rest of their lives than eat something different

the 2000's is certainly the age of the lemming
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Old Today, 06:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovecraft68 View Post
This is what EL James did. 50 Shades was a rework of her Twilight fan fiction

And the point made above is a good one. People seem as if they would rather have the same meal every day for the rest of their lives than eat something different

the 2000's is certainly the age of the lemming
And whats wrong with same-o same-o?

Anything is good when the appetite is there.

LC youre a spoiled brat.
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Old Today, 07:05 AM   #7
StrangeLife
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovecraft68 View Post
This is what EL James did. 50 Shades was a rework of her Twilight fan fiction

And the point made above is a good one. People seem as if they would rather have the same meal every day for the rest of their lives than eat something different

the 2000's is certainly the age of the lemming
Even for those claiming to be of "the adventurous type" it's a human trait to crave familiarity and resist change. Maybe it's in our genes - y'know like seeking the safety of our tribal cave. I see myself as a thrill seeker, but I was still among the whiners when Tom Cruise was picked for the part of Jack Reacher, because "he was not like Reacher."

As far as the OP goes, I must admit that I dislike the notion of some third party being able ban the original author from working with her own characters. It's a tricky subject because it sounds like she created Vampire Chronicles to order and was paid accordingly. But still. It's like MS without Bill Gates (which totally could happen) or Apple without Steve Jobs (which did happen).

I've never read one of her books, nor do I intend to, but somehow I love the idea of her continuing the series behind the IP owners back .
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Old Today, 08:45 AM   #8
Bramblethorn
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Originally Posted by StrangeLife View Post
At least they got wood
I think the plot summary was simply "menage au tree".
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Old Today, 09:42 AM   #9
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Whoa. According to how that article starts, those never were her characters. It says the company fired her. That meant, if the article is true, she was an employee on a company project. The characters always were the company's (according to how that article starts). She was working on a work-for-hire basis, on a salary, and she wasn't the only one making that project a success. According to what I read, these aren't her characters. Nobody twisted her arm to sign a work-for-hire contract and let someone else take all the risk of making money from the project.
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Old Today, 10:21 AM   #10
lovecraft68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrangeLife View Post
Even for those claiming to be of "the adventurous type" it's a human trait to crave familiarity and resist change. Maybe it's in our genes - y'know like seeking the safety of our tribal cave. I see myself as a thrill seeker, but I was still among the whiners when Tom Cruise was picked for the part of Jack Reacher, because "he was not like Reacher."

As far as the OP goes, I must admit that I dislike the notion of some third party being able ban the original author from working with her own characters. It's a tricky subject because it sounds like she created Vampire Chronicles to order and was paid accordingly. But still. It's like MS without Bill Gates (which totally could happen) or Apple without Steve Jobs (which did happen).

I've never read one of her books, nor do I intend to, but somehow I love the idea of her continuing the series behind the IP owners back .
But we, re not talking all out lifestyle changes. We are talking about reading something different. Its books not changing religion or ecen a job. Its about broadening the mind a little and its sad that is such a rare trait these days.
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Old Today, 01:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
Whoa. According to how that article starts, those never were her characters. It says the company fired her. That meant, if the article is true, she was an employee on a company project. The characters always were the company's (according to how that article starts). She was working on a work-for-hire basis, on a salary, and she wasn't the only one making that project a success. According to what I read, these aren't her characters. Nobody twisted her arm to sign a work-for-hire contract and let someone else take all the risk of making money from the project.
Well, the characters were originally hers, but she signed them away to the publisher. This is more a case of an author not understanding the contractual obligation she agreed to. Technically, the characters are not her intellectual property anymore, but she still created them. That's more of a point for fans, and not so much of one for the publisher.
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Old Today, 02:13 PM   #12
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Interesting article.

Quote:
Ms. Smith says that when she began publishing her Vampire Diaries fan fiction on Amazon this past January, she wasn't aware that she was giving up the copyright to those stories, too. Nor did she realize she'd be giving Alloy a cut of earnings from the new stories. But had she known, it wouldn't have deterred her, she says. "It wouldn't have stopped me," she says. "I didn't do these books for money. They're entirely a labor of love."
She REALLY needs to sit down with a good lawyer in the future. Jeez...
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Old Today, 02:25 PM   #13
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Ignorance to what you signed (in this case so that someone else would take the risk of profitability) doesn't toss out the obligations you signed for.

There's also the question of who raised this property to profitability. The writer or the publisher? I'm sure writers won't like the likely answer to that one.

The company could have trademarked the characters (she couldn't on the basis of the contracts she would have signed) and then she'd be up the creek even on fan fiction.

This is one of those "I'll let someone else do the work and go to the expense of making my writing profitable while they pay me a salary and then I'll try to pull the rug out from under them" situations. She may not be so dumb afterall.
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Old Today, 04:00 PM   #14
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Chicken and the egg. Publishers push the authors work and get it sold.

But.....

with no writers what would they publish?

right now her writing "fan fic" is not illegal. The selling of it most likely is, but that will be settled in court and not in a chat room of erotica authors and certainly not by one who thinks they know the whole story, the details of the contracts and everything about the law in general

Perhaps there is a loophole, perhaps not.

In things like this I always lean in favor of the creator, be it writing, painting, music etc.... Not the talentless paper assholes who sit behind a desk and are basically the middle man.
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Old Today, 04:06 PM   #15
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That last paragraph says it all about the know-nothing writer attitude about how book projects are successfully put together. It's all about the writer, of course; everyone else is a leeching hack. So typical of the "it's all about me" small-life person.

I'm sure that this author would have had her name right up there in lights as a self-published POD or e-book author, that no one else did a damn thing that got her well-published to begin with. (Yeah, right.)
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Old Today, 04:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slyc_willie View Post
Well, the characters were originally hers, but she signed them away to the publisher. This is more a case of an author not understanding the contractual obligation she agreed to. Technically, the characters are not her intellectual property anymore, but she still created them. That's more of a point for fans, and not so much of one for the publisher.
Actually it seems it's a bit of a mix. According to the article:

Quote:
After taking a writing test, Ms. Smith was hired to create a series about a high-school girl who's torn between two vampire brothers. Ms. Smith says she didn't realize at the time that it was work for hire and that Alloy controlled the intellectual property. She quickly wrote a trilogy, in nine months, for a small advance of a few thousand dollars, she says. Alloy declined to confirm the figure. She drew on characters and scenes that she had created for an adult novel she was writing at the time. "I cannibalized a book that I was tinkering with and pulled out my best characters," she says.
So she was hired to create a series. How she didn't realize was "work for hire" when she was hired to do work is a little confusing. Then she took some of her own characters, which is a bad idea in hindsight. But she must have changed them a bit, since she was hired to write a book for teens, and the characters were from an adult novel.

I'd agree that if she does anything like this again, she should definitely hire a lawyer to look things over before signing.
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