copyright question

Started by FeBurns, May 18, 2010, 10:38:14 PM

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Hypothetical question:  I have a favorite author who wrote an entire series about a specific species that she invented.  I love the series.  I crave doing a r/p themed around that species specifically - not specific characters, they would be new characters of my creation (and that of a partner), but the characters would be the same species written about in the book series.

Is that copyright infringement?


My understanding is that as long as you aren't planing to sell what you write or make any kind of monetary profit from it then it is not copyright infringement, though I'm sure that this is an extremely gray area legally speaking.  I know that there are a number of RP's on Elliquiy that are set in Canon worlds and even use Canon characters.


Whether it is or not, it's standard fare here!


It's fair use under American copyright laws. Some authors don't like it, but it's not something that they can legally shoot down.


Kyrsa's correct as far as U.S. Copyright law goes, although it might technically be possible for the creator to shut down the particular piece as some have done on fanfic sites (notably Christopher Tolkien re: Hobbits and Scholastic has tried before being vetoed by Rowling on Potter-fic) or research (as the Hemmingway family has done).  Then again, most of my knowledge of copyright is based on how it interacts with academia, which is a whole other can of worms.
"Life is growth.  If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead." -Morihei Ueshiba, O-Sensei


Considering the fact that most RPs here take place in approved-only areas, I highly doubt the author or his/her publisher would even find out about it to begin with.

"More than ever, the creation of the ridiculous is almost impossible because of the competition it receives from reality."-Robert A. Baker


I have an RP based off a setting developed in a book series. I actually contacted the author and she was very supportive. She said she got her start doing fanfic and even wants to read our RP. However, that is probably the author and others may not be as welcoming.


FeBurns, I think if you spend a few minutes browsing the sorts of RPs played on this site your question will be answered: Elliquiy welcomes them, they are almost standard fayre here. I myself in 71 roleplays here have played in 7 that are based directly on anything from obscure manga to mainstream Hollywood blockbusters. I do not think you will encounter any issues in RPing a specific licensed setting.


This is great feedback!

Thanks, everyone, for responding and sharing your thoughts and experiences!