P. N. Elrod (p_n_elrod) wrote,
  • Location: BIC
  • Mood: amused
  • Music: Miracle Symphony by Hayden is on the radio

Fan fic - sí! Public Domain - sí-sí-sí!!!


Once more I have stumbled across someone accusing me of being some sort of a literary hypocrite.

I've gone into detail on this on my website, but there's a few out there who've missed it.

Once and for all,

I'll rinse and repeat if needed, but I'm optimistic that it will go forth and do no harm.

The only fan fiction I have a problem with is the unauthorized use of MY characters, and that's all.  Most people get that and respect it, and I want to throw a great big ice cream party for them all, I love you, I love you, muah-muah-muah!

I am protective of the characters because I'm figuring fic writers are hoping to eventually get in the pro leagues.  If they get themselves messed up by a copyright infringement suit then NO legit publisher or agent will have anything to do with 'em.  Harsh, but true.

I love you guys!  I don't want you getting into trouble!

Now--lemme clarify the whole QUINCEY MORRIS THING--which is apparently why some people think I'm a hypocrite: I wrote a Dracula "fan fiction" and got it published.

The copyright on Dracula has expired.  I know it--the publishers know it.  Now you do, too!

Dracula and anything/anyone else in Stoker's book is in something called The Public Domain.  This is a cool thing.  Learn about it.  Enjoy.

When a work is in the public domain it means anyone can write a story using that universe and it is TOTALLY OKAY!  

Because it is in public domain any character from the original Dracula is open for use!  I do not own the copyright to Stoker's Quincey any more than I do for Shakespeare's Hamlet.   

A lot of other writers like
Saberhagen, Kiraly, Joss Whedon, Coppola along with the contributors to my Dracula's London collection, the Dracula: Prince of Darkness collection, comic books, reprint collections and five zillion movie makers have done the same thing. 

We all get that public domain thing and love it.  You are most welcome to join the club!!

Public domain is the bestest, most wonderfulest thing for fan fiction writers. They can play with public domain things ALL they want and it's totally cool!

The only characters you can't use are the ones original to my particular Quincey Morris book, like Lady Bertrice or Lord Burce, because they're inventions I grafted into the Stoker story.

Anyone that Stoker made up is totally free and clear though.  Take it and run, graft in your own characters, have fun like I did!

And finally--RE the Kolchak: The Nightstalker stories I've done:  I was contacted by the editor who has the copyright holder's (Jeff Rice) permission. I got paid to write a story, and Mr. Rice gets paid for the use of his character.  It's totally allowed and I LOVE him for letting others play in his backyard.

The Stepping Through the Stargate book and other collections I've tribbed to are called "critical essays."  They are not fan fiction.   A critical essay is --oh, hell, look it up.  I can assure you that it is covered by something called "fair use."  Fair use covers book reviews, essays, and using brief quotes from a work.  That, too, is perfectly legal.

Those who are swift to call people names, please--do your research first before you lay down a load of judgment on someone.  Google and Wikipedia are your very good and helpful friends.  They prevent blog-in-mouth syndrome.

Hopefully this covers it.  I'd say I ain't anti-fanfic again, but it's either sunk in or not and I'd really rather be doing something else...like learning to juggle.

But I'm not finished organizing that danged hall closet yet. :grumble-grumble-snort:

Tags: dracula, fan fiction, kolchak, public domain, quincey morris
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