Legal Matters

By Dolores J. Nurss

Chapter 2

I give permission to print paper-copies, for your own use or those of someone without adequate computer access, so long as A) you do not charge money for these print-outs, B) you put my name on every copy and C) you do not modify my writing. You must meet all three conditions.
I do NOT give permission to copy any portion of my writing to another website, message-board, or other point in cyberspace, except in the case of small (attributed) quotes for review purposes or siglines. (Reviews on my own message-board(s) will assume attribution by dint of being there. All others must put my name in writing.) You may, with permission, create links to my site. I reserve to myself all rights for published book deals.
You may freely create visual art, sculptural art, songs, or dances based upon my work so long as any public display or performance attributes the inspiration to me. If, however, you put music to actual words that I have written, and this song later earns you money (excepting in pass-the-hat situations) you must pay me 4 cents to the dollar. I reserve to myself all rights to plays/movies/dramas/animations based upon my work, if the creator charges for it, although I would gladly consider exceptions if someone wants to approach me and negotiate with me.  If the creator does not charge for it, I would still require notification and attribution, and the right to label the version as approved or not approved by the author.
You may only write fanfic based on my world if you agree to the following conditions: 1) You will not charge money for it. 2) You will state that it is fanfic based upon my work, neither wholly original to yourself nor wholly attributable to me. 3) You accept that I take no responsibility for anything that anyone else writes in fanfic, because it’s impossible to read everything anywhere that people might thus write. 4) You will not sue me for plagiarism if I happen to write something later similar to your own work based in my world (the reason being that you stand really good odds of inadvertently drawing inspiration from deliberate foreshadowing on my part, intended to pave the way for my own later work. All of my stories interconnect intricately.) If you have not submitted such an agreement to me, to these four conditions, and waited for me to verify that I have received it before presenting your fanfic to others, then you have no right to write in my world.

I do encourage fanfic, actually.  I just want to lay down really clear groundrules.  Writers who haven't done so have had to ditch major story-lines because a fan-fic writer stumbled upon the same idea, usually based on groundwork that the original author already laid down hirself.  Yet fanfic's too important a training ground for up-and-coming writers to block it from happening, and hey, I've done it myself!  (In the writings of a dead guy so far, so I can't step on future projects.)  And it adds a layer of synergy between writer and reader.  Heck, I might even find my successor that way!

One final legal bit.  I have based my characters on folks that I dream about.  Any resemblance to anyone in the waking world, living or dead, is entirely coincidental except for a) references that the characters make to obvious and well-known historical figures, or b) rare instances where the characters dream about me. I am indeed a living person in the waking world (at least at this writing) but other than that don't look for anyone else; they're not there.


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