I was gonna blog about something completely different (it was going to be on David Fickling guest lecture for the Children's publishing module) but then I ran across this topic at the Absolute Write Watercooler and I stole the title :P
You want to stop drinking now if you don't want to spray it all over your screens.
A fanfic writer who goes by Lady Sybilla has written a sequel to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight books (titled: "Russet Noon") and has self-published it under the pretense that the characters have entered "the public psyche" and are therefore not copyrightable and that "Characters are only copyrightable if their creator draws them or hires an artist to draw them". Cue snorting and drink spraying, I told you not to take that sip.
She's sent out press releases, she has Youtube trailers (at least 2 that I know of) and apparently has sent out a casting call for a Native American hotty to take pictures of as whats-his-name-werewolf-boy.
And you know what's really hilarious? Her "publisher" AV Paranormal has opinions and is trying to "educate" people on copyrights but, get this, AV Paranormal is registered to an organisation called... Lady Sybilla! Also, when you google AV Paranormal you get a website about some ghosthunting TV show. Huh?
So when she refers to her "publishers", she's really talking about herself in the third person, 'nuff said.
No legit publisher (and most non-legit for that matter) would touch this one. They'd be as crazy as Lady Sybilla if they did. The copyright sharks are closing in. They're busy laughing their arses off right now.
I've written the occasional fanfic myself as well as a "proper" writer of my own original work. I don't think fanfic is a bad thing or that it should be stamped out but most fanfic writers are honest, creative folks who just want to play around a bit with something that's touched them and know that trying to make a profit from someone else's work is theft. However, not everyone is as informed as I am and this can only make it harder for the good people writing fic who are just as outraged by Lady Sybilla's behaviour.
I'm not a big fan of lawsuits, especially when it's between fans and authors/publishers (I find that often it's the copyright holder being too touchy) but this time around, I'm gonna be eating popcorn and watching for some serious fallout - and I will be siding with Stephenie Meyer's lawyers.
Youtube trailers: 1 and 2.
Russet Noon website
Russet Noon Press release
4 months ago