Whose Characters Are They Anyway?

I know the title of this entry might seem awfully silly and obvious, but the characters in the Twilight Saga belong to Stephenie Meyer and to some extent, in regards to the movies, to Summit Entertainment.

So why are we bringing this up? Every now and then we get a teenager emails us wanting to know if we’d feature their Stephenie Meyer product that they are producing and they want to be paid for. They figure if Hot Topic has stuff why can’t they sell theirs. Once in a blue moon we get a teen who wants to publish their Twilight story. The short answer here is that you can’t do those things for profit because the characters belong to Stephenie Meyer and unless you have some type of specific licensing agreement or contract with her and Little Brown ( like Hot Topic, Summit, Borders, NCEA, Cafepress, etc. ) you can’t do this. She holds the intellectual property rights over her characters (copyright, trademark depending on what we are talking about) until such time as they go into the public domain. We then let the teen in a nice way know that despite their gusto, what they want to do is illegal.

So when do things hit public domain? According to US law (and other nations have highly similar laws) works created after January 1, 1978, are automatically protected from the moment of their creation and are given a term lasting for the author’s life, plus an additional 70 years after the author’s death. So folks, the earliest that anyone can profit from Stephenie Meyer’s work without her say so (assuming she met a sudden untimely end today) would be 2079. Suffice it to say, many of us will be long dead.

Let’s put this into simple terms: The loose ideas of vampires feasting on animal blood instead of human, vampires needing to stay out of the sun, the Quileute Tribe in La Push, shape shifting werewolves, etc. are not copyrightable until you lump enough together and make them uniquely yours. In other words a werewolf of the Quileute tribe whose name is Jacob Black and whose mortal enemy is a vampire named Edward Cullen who drinks animal blood, sparkles in the sun, and resides in Forks…(deep breath)…IS COPYRIGHT STEPHENIE MEYER. Think of it like TV series that try to imitate each other where they have similar types, but in the end, each series’ characters uniquely belong to that series and their creators.

The only thing you can legally do with these characters is something highly transformational like parody, such as what Saturday Night Live does in its spoofs, or a critique piece, and even then, you have to be careful on how much source material you quote. Writing a summary of facts (see the story of the Harry Potter Lexicon debacle) or writing a continuation is derivative and therefore illegal without permission.

As far as fanfiction goes. It absolutely infringes on copyright, but most authors are willing to look the other way on it as long as you are not trying to directly profit from it yourself. In other words you can’t self-publish your fanfic and sell it on Amazon or Ebay, at least not legally.  Other authors, do not just look the other way, two such examples of vampire writers are Anne Rice and J.R. Ward.

Is fanfic helpful? Maybe, there are current authors who used to write fanfic, Meg Cabot and Cassandra Clare are two examples. However, merits of their work aside, these authors never tried to publish things that weren’t theirs for profit. They knew better. If publishing fanfic were legal you can bet that Cassandra Clare would have published both her Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter fanfiction for huge profit, given the number of her followers, years ago.

Why are we bringing all this up now? Well this past month a 36-year-old fan fic writer who has her own publishing company (AV Paranormal) and given that fact, should know better, tried to publish her post-Breaking Dawn fanfic entitled “Russet Noon” on Ebay. She sent multiple press releases out on the matter; each one was more delusional than the next all containing gross misrepresentations of copyright law.  Frankly we keep baffling at these conservations that she supposedly had with her publisher that she keeps mentioning in her press releases since she is her publisher. Does she do it via an out of body experience?

At one point she linked her site to the Lexicon as if to suggest that we approved of this fiasco. (You can see how we dealt with her in the comments section here.). You can see how other industry professionals categorized her folly:

Lee Goldberg, Hollywood screen writer and blogger

How Publishing Really Works, industry blog and resource site

Well, we thought, that the author of this had finally seen the light when she self-deleted her website, and removed her novel from Ebay. Honestly we weren’t going to give her any press other than to point out her lunacy to Jaden for his commentary until today when she issued yet another press release.

It seems that she still hasn’t figured out what she did was illegal and has a great woe is me interview going on over here. Before someone else gets suckered by this adult, college-educated woman’s, “The big bad powers that be are ganging up on poor little me” and “now I’ll just have to publish it online for free” routine (AKA: what every other fanfic writer gets to do minus the whine and delusion), we decided to speak up.

So, in the interest of having the other fanfic writers out there (currently 74,107 on fanfiction.net alone), if you have a recommendation for a fanfic that isn’t bombarding the Twilight sites with press releases, put it in the comments.

Comments

  1. I have read a lot off fan-fics but I think they all know that they can’t make a profit. surely they would get a big fat lawsuit slapped on them if they did.

    • Can I just say…WTF?? This quote had me laughing astoundedly,
      “F: Do you have any other project at your hands?
      A: Absolutely, I have my own universe that I’m creating based on a screenplay i wrote called “The Temple”. It will be scifi adventure. Not vampires, the creatures in this one are cave-dwelling aliens.”

      Umm….The Host, anyone?? (granted not all the alien were in caves…) but hello!?

      Let’s have some creativity people!!

  2. She is one misguided person. I’m in shock.

  3. wow! people are insane to think they can get away w/ that! thanks for “outing” her and sharing copyright 101!!!

  4. Holy crap!! When someone wants to make money off of this it makes me want to shout, “Write your own stuff!!” Oy. As an aspiring writer, I am personally offened that she would try to make money off an idea that was not hers.

  5. The HTIC says:

    I am honeslty interested in reading it. I can understand the uproar for her wanting to publish it. That I do not agree with, but her releasing it as fanfic online I am fine with that. There is so much twilight fanfiction out there anyway.

  6. Beth Smith says:

    What a pathetic lady! I agree, come up with your OWN idea!! That is so frustrating! Well, I honestly think even if she came up with her own idea, eventually, she lost credibility. I wont ever read her stuff, that’s for sure!!

  7. I have several favorite fanfic Twilight writers and they are groups of individuals, who like me are obsessed with Twilight and let their imaginations go where they will. The difference is that they can put it in to words and they do it for fun. They love getting reviews and that’s payment for them enough. They also always indicate that all rights belong to SM. You’ll always get that one person that threatens to spoil it for everyone else, like this insane lady. Glad it was pointed out. For me, reading fanfic has been an amazing experience. Twilight has made my mind wander and I love that fanfic puts my thoughts into words.

  8. I don’t care about the author?
    right there is an issue.
    She, as an aspiring author should know better.
    When her “real” books come out, she’ll be thinking twice.

    Also, Alice gets sick? huh?

    • Yeah when I read that about not caring about the author, it is the characters that matter i was like ok this lady is crazy!! I don’t understand how she can think that the characters matter but not the author, Stephenie made the characters!!! And then when she says Alice gets sick I knew she was insane. How does a vampire get sick?

      I hope she is happy because if she ever publishes a real book every person who loves Twilight will refuse to read it! haha that is a lot of enemies to make

  9. The unauthorized practice of law is also usually criminalized under state statute…

    • Not that we disagree with that sentiment, but how exactly does that apply in context here?

      • Generally, applying the law to the facts of a particular situation and drawing a legal conclusion is “practicing law.”

        • So as to not seem like I am being a jerk…I love your website…You just have to be careful in situations like these. I think you have every right to distance yourselves personally from this person who is doing something you disagree with.

          • I don’t really see that the Lex is attemptng to practice law in this case. They are simply trying to bring attention to copyrights laws and trying to educate their massive fanbase. It’s mostly common sense, anyway.

          • I just read the press release. Is Grace Kelly Lady Sybilla’s alter ego? The “interview” reads like its the same person asking the questions as the one answering them, and either the interview is poorly translated, or they are both somewhat illiterate? I mean, if that’s a sample of LS’ writing, who would WANT to read a whole book of it?

          • I think Grace Kelly is the name of the gal who runs the site the interview was done on. I’m assuming it’s a screen name, but I just broke into a fit of giggles imagining the real Grace Kelly somehow embroiled in all of this.

          • In as much as I have not stated that I am a lawyer. I am not offering Lady Sybilla (or anyone else for that matter) to represent her. I have summarized and editorialized as much as Lee Goldberg, How To Write, and numerous other sources have who have commented on this situation. I haven’t breached any laws.

  10. I love how she’s a Twilight fan but honestly this is Stephenie’s Meyers work and she needs to find her own story and come up with something original and something she’s going to call her own and love. This is just sad and we really don’t need all this drama !

  11. Chrystina says:

    It is great to know that this law exists to protect authors and their works. It is very important to know copyright laws… in fact… as I am learning in college, copyright lawyers are making a lot of money… we can thank coo coo’s like this and also youtube… just because you love something, doesn’t mean you have the right to use any photograph or movie clip.. it all belongs to someone.

  12. Woooww…I can’t believe that anyone would be so delusional to think that that would be acceptable/legal! Seriously – have fun with fanfiction – its a cool way to express yourself! heck, maybe even send steph a copy, to show her how much she’s inspired you! but trying to sell something that inflicts YOUR take on HER world? um…it’s HERS. any idiot knows that.
    and as for all the “respect” she claims to give up to steph? Why don’t you show some REAL respect by not trying to capitalize a profit off of her idea/creation? kthanxbye (note – i got this phrase from “Lauren’s bite”…lol, see how easy it is to give credit where credit is due? take a lesson crazy Lady)

  13. Cristine says:

    Thanks for this post. I always love reading posts about the topic of fanfiction and copyright infringement. I really don’t understand why some fanfic writers don’t get it. I mean if someone else in the fanfic world copied their work, they’d be peeved too.

    All I can say is that as a fanfic writer myself, I’m really appreciative of authors/screenwriters/production companies that let the public use their characters and storylines for fanfiction.

  14. TwiFan21 says:

    I was wondering why no one was discussing the legalities of fanfiction.

    That’s why I come here to the Lexicon! Thanks!

  15. Thank you for linking to my blog–it’s much appreciated.

    If anyone fancies reading more about this, there’s an active discussion about this over at Absolute Write, in the “Roundtable” forum; and Fandom Wank has a fabulous (if rather difficult-to-navigate) discussion about it too, and has collected all relevant links (I think I’ve linked to all of that from my article on How Publishing Really Works, so won’t make more clutter in your comments thread).

    I’m amazed that she’s issued another press release: I really thought that this one had died by now. Some people are not prepared to learn: not even if you hit them over the head with a clue-gun.

    This particular fan-ficcer is going to have one HEAP of legal action dumped on her head if she doesn’t stop it now.

  16. Ilu_una says:

    It’s really incredible what people think they can do these days.

    But truthfully, though morally we disagree with it and we would never want anyone to wrongfully take credit for someone else’s work, things that “seem” to blur the line like uploading a movie on Youtube are accepted because we all want to enjoy it and hey, its free!

    It’s a very double standard. We all reap the benefits while others are fighting copyright battles. I’m sure most people have noticed that you cannot upload a video featuring music by Muse. It’s picked up almost instantly. And you know, its unfair, but its also very very FAIR. We’ve just become so accustomed to weaving our way around murky illegal waters (music download, movie download, etc.) that it seems so normal to us. But its NOT.

    Something to think about when you call this woman crazy and then go off to download music off of Limewire or BitTorrent. (Not saying its bad, just saying its a bit of a double standard.) Sure, those people aren’t making money off of their Youtube videos or their music uploads, but they are still giving away something that the author/creator made.

    What this woman was trying to do is wrong, but denouncing that as wrong and the other as not is a little murky. It’s turned into “what we can get away with is a-ok”.

    • We don’t disagree, but we aren’t seeing where that applies in the particular article in that we are not endorsing illegal uploads of movies or books.

      The music and photos that underscores lots of fan videos pretty much falls into the same category as fanfiction. It is a copyright violation, it depends if the particular artist wants to look the other way or allow it.

      Many, if the item features pictures in PR packs and a song related to the movie will look the other way because it drums up business for them, others (perfectly within their rights don’t see it that way).

      Definitely way off the scale of illegal(can we say Wolverine) is uploading entire movies, shows, albums, books so that the originating artist has no hope of a sale.

      • Ilu_una says:

        Oh! I’m not saying the Lexicon endorses illegal uploads of movies or books; I’m sorry if it seemed that way (not my intention at all >_<)

        I have much respect for the Lexicon to their stance on this and past issues of copyright infringement.

        I was just waxing poetic on the double standard present in our society. No worries, I’m not having a holier than thou moment, I too upload photoshopped pictures to Youtube and enjoy Twilight MVs. It was just a reflection on the general state of things.

    • Hi Ilu_una,

      I actually do understand what you’re saying. First and foremost, I want to acknowledge that you’re in no way defending me, but you are making a very valid point here.

      Many of my attackers do download mp3s illegally, decorate their websites with pictures they have no direct authorization from the copyright owner to use, and upload videos to YouTube for which they don’t own the copyright, etc.

      And yet they still throw stones as if they’re free of sin. You might already know this, but just in case you didn’t, I have issued refunds to the few buyers that pre-ordered a copy of Russet Noon on eBay. I have also publicly apologized for having attempted to make money off of Stephenie Meyer’s characters. Additionally, I have announced my decision to still publish the novel and make it available for free to anyone who would like to read it.

      I don’t know what else to do. No matter how hard I try to apologize and admit that I was wrong, I am still being demonized and made out to be a thief.

      The Twilight Lexicon webmasters, as well as many others who think of themselves as SM’s loyal vigilantes, attack me regardless of what I do.

      So, once again, I reiterate that I don’t think you’re trying to defend me, but I do appreciate that you point out the obvious irony of this movement to crucify Lady Sybilla.

      I know that my post will either get deleted altogether, or the site owners will once again attack me and accuse me of whatever crimes they decide I’ve committed.

      But the bottom line is that I have tried my best to make ammends. If I wanted to, I could still be selling pre-order copies of Russet Noon via less well-known distributors. Whether anyone believes me or not, I’m telling the truth. I have altogether given up on trying to make money off of Russet Noon, but no one pays attention to that.

      Instead, they’d rather dwell on my past mistakes and keep scapegoating me as if there were no hope of redemption for me.

      The last thing I’d like to state is that my conscience is clear. I have every constitutional right to submit press releases to promote my tribute novel and I’m never going to apologize for that.

      The fact that Google News publishes every press release I write doesn’t mean that I’m “bombarding” Twilight sites with PRs. It just means that my PRs get enough hits from people in general who are interested in reading about Russet Noon.

      Whether it is to hate on it or simply to learn more about it, people all over the net are curious about Russet Noon.

      So, I’d like to conclude by posing a couple questions both to the TL owners, as well as the self-righteous bashers who love to condemn others for the very transgressions they themselves commit.

      Am I the only human who makes mistakes? Can you honestly say that you’ve never needed a chance for redemption in your entire life? If Stephenie Meyer herself has never judged me and neither have her reps, then who are you to accuse me of something I never even followed through with?

      • Twilight_News says:

        There is a difference between an attack and reporting on your persistent need for attention. You are the one who issued the press release about an interview you gave to the Brazilian site. You then posted about it on your own website. I hate to tell you this, but when you issue press releases people examine the contents and write stories. That’s how press releases work! (I can’t believe I am explaining this to a college educated 30+ year old.)

        I can’t claim responsibility for what is published on the Internet other than what is published here. I’m not Al Gore; I didn’t claim to invent the Internet and control its contents. What is on this site amounts to your original post here, our response on that post, and this post. If you have an issue with other people take it up with them. Among our powers is not Vulcan mind control. Believe me if I could make people do what I wanted and have them serve as my minions, there would be a certain 16-year-old who would empty the dishwasher and take out the trash without prodding. In general the “treatment” you got here is far kinder than anyplace else I’ve seen in my perusal of websites.

        In the course of your interview you talk about how you lost money and now how you are forced into giving away this item for free. The whole thing is a real woe is me tale. You aren’t sorry you did it, you are sorry you got caught. I suspect if it weren’t for the fact that now everyone is on to you, you’d still be publishing it for money. Newsflash, you never had any other legal choice than not to publish it for money.

        Additionally you are still harping on the same old “well others did it too” a la illegal music downloads, etc. Once again, I repeat. I’m not saying you are the only thief out there, just that you are a self-admitted one who keeps issuing press releases trying to get people to feel sorry for you. Given your interview, you are very sorry you got caught, but you are not remotely sorry for doing it.

        As for your fanfic, let’s call it what it is please. It’s not a tribute novel. It’s garden variety “I didn’t like the book canon denial” and now “I’m writing the real story”. Seriously, is it your first week on the Internet? Let me acquaint you with fanfiction.net. I’m tempted to say that 80% of fanfic out there from Harry/Hermione in blessed “harmony” to Frodo/Sam with guest threesome appearances by other random hobbits and elves is canon denial fanfic. Nothing wrong with it, a harmless pastime usually riddled with grammar errors, poor characterization, angst, and self-insertion wish fulfillment when you get to the inevitable at long last tortured sex scene. A tribute-novel…it ain’t.

        I am not persecuting you. I am not stalking you. I am in fact reporting on your press releases! I suspect were it not for the media scrutiny that you caused with your press releases, no one would care about you and your fan fiction. You want people to stop talking about you, it’s easy. FOR THE LOVE OF JACOB…stop issuing press releases! I assure you, if you keep going the way you are, people are going to continue to point and stare at the train wreck that is your persecution meets attention whore complex.

        Pel

        • Twilight_News says:

          OK I should have known there would be another press release. (See below)

          Let us sum this up:

          Alphie’s reaction: Wow the Snape wives on their astral plain now look sane. (Non-Harry Potter people Goggle Snape wives)

          Pel’s reaction: Hard to say really where the wheels came off the bus. Hell, there’s no damn bus just a rusty carburetor spewing exhaust. I’d call her bat crap insane, but it would be an insult to the bats.

          Apr 15, 2009 – Writers and readers all over the net have opened their eyes to the truth: authors sell their fanfiction and get away with it. Sure, published authors play a safe game around copyright laws and change the names and circumstances of their characters around just enough to claim they’ve created a new character. Yet, in the end, every single author out there weaves their stories around archetypes that have existed since humans started telling stories in caves and around fires.

          Ask anyone in Hollywood. Every story you see in movies and books is a recycled formula where authors merely plug in characters with different identities and histories. No author truly creates characters. The characters already exist in the archetypal world that Jung, Freud and Joseph Campbell have described in their books. The author is a medium who channels these characters. The origin of all characters is the Shared Mind, the only mind that truly exists. Our minds are all one single ocean of shared memories, fantasies, dreams, nightmares and visions.

          Just to name a few contemporary instances, characters like Edward Cullen, Jacob Black, Harry Potter and Anakin Skywalker are universal archetypes that get recycled by authors over and over again with just a few variations here and there. Such characters are far from being unique creations, since they share many traits with other literary portrayals from the past. They are just reincarnated versions of characters that conquered previous generations. In other words, there is an Edward Cullen for every generation, and this doesn’t mean that the author who recycled him is a thief.

          Laws that attempt to privatize the ownership of characters operate based on a delusion of separateness that we all share in this matrix we call reality. But according to Eckart Tolle, author of The Power of Now, there is no such a thing as separate minds. There is only one Universal Mind and it is the source of all our thoughts.

          While this concept used to be considered an occult truth back in more conservative times, today it is a widespread awareness. This is the reason why modern science, especially the field of quantum physics, has started to accept the possibility of telepathy, clairvoyance and remote viewing.

          We all share in this Universal Mind. Fictional characters have their origin in this shared mind. There is no such a thing as the author’s individual mind. The individual mind is an ego creation. The ego is the one who fights for self preservation, that’s why we feel like we have to compete against one another for survival.

          The mind of authors is the same as ours. We have access to the same mind as the Hollywood giants do. Every universe or, to put it in more commercial terms, franchise, feeds off our fantasies, dreams and hard earned dollars. When we give life to a universe, when we become its fans and financial supporters, we become the human batteries that keep its matrix alive.

          For as long as our minds are enslaved by the belief that the archetypal world can be commercialized, we are the victims of a lie, a smokescreen, an ideology, a matrix. We must free our minds from this lie. Characters don’t belong to authors. Authors don’t create characters. They merely channel them. Characters are recurring universal archetypes. The only thing that changes is their names and identities, but their essence is always the same.

          Authors write fanfiction and sell it all the time. They just change the identities of the characters to protect themselves from lawsuits. Unfortunately, when an author is honest about their unconventional views about fanfiction, they get called a “thief” and their ethical values come under attack. The only problem with this self-righteous, judgmental thinking is: How can you steal something that’s already yours?

        • Fair enough, we’re all entitled to our own opinion and views. Your reply reflects your subjective interpretation of my actions, but it’s your site, and it’s your constitutional right to interpret and label, so I won’t even try to contradict you. Just keep in mind you’re not perfect yourself.

          However, I hope you do understand that I will continue to write about my side of the story for as long as people continue to write about me. In my own perspective, issuing press releases is a response to what is being written about me and my novel (I will call it what I consider it to be, since I’m entitled to do so).

          And, yes, I’ll admit you’ve been a lot more civilized than other Twilight fans in other sites, so I do appreciate that.

          Something I’m curious about, though: Why do you keep emphasizing my age as if it were something to be ashamed of? If you haven’t reached that age yourself, you will at some point, so what’s all the age bashing for?

          I could be 75 years old for all you know, and just be using a different age for internet purposes. My actions and perspectives would still be the same, because I am an individual who happens to stand my ground when it comes to my perspective regardless of my age. But again, it’s your site.

          As for my comment about my college education, I apologize if it came off as insulting. I didn’t mean it that way. To be honest, I haven’t read any fanfics out there by college-educated people. I’d love to read some to change my general perception of what I call the average fanfic writer.

          In the end, just like I cannot stop you from expressing your views about me, you cannot stop me from standing for what I believe in. As I said before, I chose to stop selling Russet Noon out of my own free will. I didn’t “get caught.” I made it public myself and responded to the opinion of the majority.

          • Twilight_News says:

            We are certainly not perfect, and have never claimed to be so. We have gotten stories wrong, apologized, and printed retractions. Do people leave the site and bash you over things like that? Do they form opinions that we don’t like? Sure, welcome to the Internet. Does it suck? Yep, but “them’s the breaks”. You learn and move on. This has nothing to do with perfection or the lack thereof.

            As for this: “Something I’m curious about, though: Why do you keep emphasizing my age as if it were something to be ashamed of? If you haven’t reached that age yourself, you will at some point, so what’s all the age bashing for?”

            Since you asked, I’ll give you a candid answer. The owners of this site are 35 and 43 respectively. We both are college educated parents who in our real lives frequently deal with teenagers moreso than the average person generally would. It is certainly true that age and education do not per say equate with wisdom and common sense. Honestly, your utter lack of comprehension of making an archetype your own and then having that item be subject to copyright laws is simply mind blowing. Usually teenagers misinterpret things the way you do. Adults don’t. I can’t remember the last time I saw so much logical fallacy in one place, and that’s saying something because I used to coach Lincoln-Douglas Debate. Honestly, since you asked. I’m not sure if you really are incapable of comprehension or if it’s grand self-delusion. If it’s the former, I’m betting this is a pattern that has happened repeatedly in your life. If it’s the latter, the last person I saw in this much denial was the Iraqi defense minister who was claiming victory and all was fine as Baghdad was being reduced to rubble behind him.

            Might I suggest that you just quit while you are behind.

            And if you want to read fanfics by two college educated people I humbly link you to the fanfics written by the owners of this site. I’d link you to the myriad of others I know of, but I don’t want to be responsible for inflicting you on other people.

            Lion and the Lamb by Alphie http://www.ramblingsandthoughts.com/twilight/viewstory.php?sid=17

            An Innate Power by Pelirroja http://www.ramblingsandthoughts.com/twilight/viewstory.php?sid=188

            Neither of us has any delusions about getting these published and we certainly don’t send out press releases about them as they are nothing more than an idle past time.

          • Cool, thanx for the links, I’ll check them out.

            “Neither of us has any delusions about getting these published and we certainly don’t send out press releases about them as they are nothing more than an idle past time.”

            No need to restate your views for the umpteenth time, as they’ve already been established quite clearly. But, since we seem to be rehashing personal interpretations ’til the cows home, I’d like to mention once again that I stand my ground in regards to my mature adult perspective, so if my PRs upset you so much, then don’t read them.

          • Twilight_News says:

            “No need to restate your views for the umpteenth time, as they’ve already been established quite clearly. But, since we seem to be rehashing personal interpretations ’til the cows home, I’d like to mention once again that I stand my ground in regards to my mature adult perspective, so if my PRs upset you so much, then don’t read them.”

            You mean restating as in a new press release as if we didn’t get it the first time?

            I’ll be reading them, I won’t be giving them any front page blog time, but I’ll read them.

            Incidentally my part of the Universal Mind is happy to donate to your part of the Universal Mind most of 1984. There’s a lot of Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, and Laura Branigan lyrics rattling around in there that I could really do without them taking up space. I might be able to remember more useful things like where the hell my car keys are. Try as I might The Union of the Snake is seriously embedded, but since you’ve got this universal mind thing nailed, if you could zap those lyrics out or channel them to someone who really needs them it would be sweet. Better yet, rerecord the song I’m sure the guys won’t mind if you just take it.

            Really you aren’t accomplishing anything here. With apologies to George Lucas, “Move along, these are not the fans you are looking for.” I won’t be engaging you further. My boring day at work is over, and I have better things to do than to continue a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent.

          • Okay, okay TN and Peli, can I please just clarify that I have absolutely nothing personal against you?

            I’m not your opponent. We’re moms of teens and we just happen to disagree on the subjects of Twilight, fanfics, copyright, promotion, etc. So what? We’re still fellow human beings.

            Why antagonize each other over an insignificant impasse? Just take a chill pill and bury the hatchet, why don’t you? Hatred and rancor are bad for your health. Can we just agree to disagree and leave it at that?

            Read my PRs if you want, that’s cool. No need to discuss them on your blog. It’s all good in the hood. Let Stephenie worry about the legal issues. Everyone else just chill, come on. You’re blowing this out of proportion. Take a deep breath and read the following article while you’re at it:

            http://psa.blastmagazine.com/2008/08/23/twilight-a-follow-up-and-a-promise/

          • Twilight_News says:

            I don’t know you personally well enough to hate you. I’m honestly starting to wonder if this is a colossal put-on (if so, bravo, well-done, you got me and many others…although I should probably thank you for the ad revenue I’m earning from people who otherwise wouldn’t give a rat’s ass looking at this thread.).

            If not seriously are you off your meds? I’m wondering are you bi-polar? Someone emailed me and pointed out that on another site(can’t find the link now think it’s called right to write or something like that)and they are wondering if you have Aspergers? If either of those two things or something similar is true get help, or go to whoever it is you go to when you think you are missing social and context clues, because this is one big failure to pick up on context, tone, and reason.

            Honestly, you were an afternoon’s diversion on a slow work day. Seriously, you’re making this too easy. Do you enjoy being my Internet punching bag? Cause you keep coming here to my turf (which in case you haven’t figured it out is a fansite for the author not a wannabe author) and I keep smacking you down with what is actually common knowledge and the law and yet you keep coming back for more. Every single thing you write is such utter nonsense it’s hard to know where to begin to even debunk it. You say you want to move on, but all your actions prove otherwise. You keep claiming that you’ve learned but at the same time you keep claiming that Stephenie Meyer’s characters aren’t hers and link to dubious sources to continue to delude yourself (I’ll have to tell the editor of Blast magazine he’s a scholarly source when I’m invited to their Christmas party this year.)

            I’ve taken a look around the Internet. With every additional press release you write you are fast becoming the largest and possibly longest running Internet joke. No one is supporting you, they are pointing, laughing, and dying for your next bout of lunacy so they can do it again. I can’t imagine this is the only time something like this has happened to you. This is your real-life problems repeating on a grander scale online. SEE A DOCTOR. YOU NEED ONE. Really, get help, you need it.

            Actually, better yet, since you know you are right and the rest of us are wrong, tell your college professors exactly what you are doing. Show them all your press releases, all your contentions, and this post and the ensuing threads. While you are at it show it all to your family. What have you got to lose. I’m thinking someone you care about needs to help you out here, because really you are losing a grip on reality.

          • OMG, I’ve just had an epiphany! I have Asperger’s Syndrome! All these years I’ve been wondering what was so wrong with me. I’m going to drop out of school and give up my teaching career so I can check myself into a loony bin right away.

            Thanks so very much for your kind advice. You are a very knowledgeable Twilight-Psychiatrist, you have made me see the light. You really have layeth the smacketh down on me. It’s gonna take me years to recover from all the damage you caused with your oh-very-eloquent, scholarly debates. I’m forever in your debt.

            When I’m in a straight-jacket, I’ll be sure to tell the panel of psychiatrists that examines me to hire you as their head shrink. You really have an uncanny ability to diagnose the mentally ill with great accuracy and you don’t even need to know their medical history to do it. You are so far ahead of your time, I’m gonna have to build a monument for you.

            You’ve officially exhausted the reply thread. Actually at this point we’d just settle for you crawling back under that rock you live under. Would the good citizens of Antelope Valley please reclaim your resident idiot? i know you’d probably rather not have her back, but we are tired of dealing with her. I’m just throwing all your IPs into moderation…no more comments from you…you are the weakest link… please pick up your lovely parting gifts and don’t let the werewolf bite you on the butt on your way out the door..goodbye

          • i’m college educated . . . and then some. here you go lady sybilla:

            http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4847870/1/An_Untitled_Continuation_of_the_Twilight_Saga

  17. how can someone do something like that??

  18. Wow, did you take arguing classes at some point in your life? Coz that girl got a massive slap in the face, well done! lol I never realized fan fiction was against the law. :O Thank goodness Stephenie Meyer doesn’t mind.

    Stupid woman tryna make money. *grumbles*

  19. Artemis5390 says:

    can she still post her book online? even if she isn’t making a profit off of it, one would think that Stephenie could go to court over this and get that lunatic’s work off of the internet.
    and she obviously has no idea what she is doing. in the interview she mentioned that Alice gets sick. what? vampires cannot get sick!
    also, her complete disrespect for Stephenie is appalling. she mentions that Stepheie drew on aspects from Pride and Prejudice for Twilight. that’s true, however, Stephenie did not name the characters Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth and set the story in England. and correct me if i’m wrong, but there was never a copyright on Pride and Prejudice because those laws did not exist at the tiem of Jane Austen. there is a complete and total difference between what Mrs. Meyer did and what this delusional woman is attempting to do.
    i hope Stephenie takes her down!

    • Well she certainly can put it up there as like every other fanfic author does as long as Stephenie and Little Brown are not opposed to that idea.

      What is more problematic for us is the idea that she is expounding of, “see now I’m forced to do this for free” as if there was ever any other option.

  20. lirael cullen says:

    thats insane… hahah i’m in shock..

  21. Donna Rogers says:

    I write Twilight fanfiction, but as a Media Teacher, I am aware of the copyright issues. I would NEVER dream of trying to profit from what I write. I just want to get this stuff out of my head, and hope other people like it. It’s a great feeling when someone else responds positively to your writing.

    • Cristine says:

      I think this is the main reason for fanfic writers to post their work. It’s more for creative reason than profitable reasons. I think as fanfic writers, the best accolade we can get is from people commenting on our stories rather than how can I publish/sell this story without getting arrested. ;)

      • Donna Rogers says:

        I WILL say this, though. Stephenie Meyer has inspired me to start writing. I’m using the fan fiction opportunity to “stick my toe in the water” so to speak.
        If I do write something to publish, it will be MINE, not copied off of someone else.

  22. Wow, this is absurd. Personally, I don’t see the appeal of fanfic because it often takes the story away from the direction the published author intended for it. That being said, I have no problem with people who write it and post it on the internet for fun for others to enjoy. Trying to PUBLISH it is quite another story.

    Apart from the legal/ethical matters, I think it’s probably wise when writing fanfic to stick to the rules of the original author’s world…

    Vampires don’t get sick.

  23. This lady needs to understand that the characters aren’t real Stephenie made them up. if you read the interview she says “The author is just a medium. So the story and the characters are more important to me than the author. They definitely have lives of their own once they’re created.” I think someone needs to explain to her that these characters belong to the person who created them and no body eles!

    The thing I hate most about this lady is that she wants people to pity her for not being able to publish this book. She truely thinks she should make money off of Russet Noon

  24. wow is that woman for real? ok free fanfic i dont care about that but actually trying to sell it as her own book when the characters aint even hers…..

  25. wow, i’m surprised she thought that what she was doing was appropriate.

  26. Wow, I can’t believe she actually thought she could go through with this.

    I don’t read much fanfic but I am completely obsessed with AngstGoddess003′s Wide Awake. It is intended for a mature audience. But here’s the link to her LJ since she no longer posts on FFn.

    http://angstgoddess003.livejournal.com/

    Look for Wide Awake in the sidebar at the bottom.

  27. In truth I have mixed feelings about fan fiction. I typically don’t read it, unless it is really REALLY good, of which (honestly) isn’t the case most of the time. As a writer (screenwriter), I prefer to write my OWN stories, unless I am commissioned to adapt or fix another writer’s novel or screenplay. My belief is this, if I am going to spend hours, weeks, years, of my life working on a project, especially a writing project, I want it to be MINE… This solves copyright issues right off the bat. If it is yours, you have the power to do what you want with it.
    The biggest issue with fan fiction is that most writers have a specific view as to how their world works. If they want to continue the series, but not be the lead writer, they commission that work out to another writer who is most likely share that vision and quality. George Lucas, for example, has a multi-tiered reviewing process for authors who wish to submit material to further the Star Wars saga.
    Fan fiction takes that away…
    Stephenie, for example, wants her characters to be protrayed in a certain light, sparkles in all. As a writer, she wishes that everyone can enjoy her characters the same way. You unleash some bad fan fiction (not just talking about writing craft here) that can detract from that vision, and could possibly ruin it for somebody else, or be like me, and simply dismiss any fan fiction, as it isn’t the “REAL” deal.
    Is fan fiction wrong? No…
    However, I think a lot of people, especially IF they want to become writers themselves, need to really focus on developing their own projects.

    • Totally should have used George Lucas as an example, especially since he does allow writers to write in his universe after they go through a process.

      In fact the Lee Goldberg article cites the case of a Stars Wars fanfic writer that tried to publish without permission, and the resulting lawsuit.

  28. Rockin'It says:

    Right on, lexicon! Never afraid to tell it like it is!

  29. twilightlover1975 says:

    Check out this fanfic – Breaking Dawn from Edward’s POV. It’s fantastic! http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4551648/1/Metamorphosis

  30. Rockin'It says:

    -Oh, and usually fanfic writers will put on a disclaimer anyways, saying “I don’t own twilight, or anything related to it” and so on. Not like we don’t know that already, but at least we’re acnowleding that we know we don’t own it!

    Gosh, that lady is wrong in the head…

  31. I personally think she sounds delusional. Unbelieveable.

  32. Well, here is my say…I dont read fanfic! So I would never had known about this person had the Lexicon not brought it up…. :)

  33. sillygirl says:

    This is just another reason to love the Lexicon. Thanks for posting this.
    Personally I have never read any fan-fic. I love Steph’s story and I’d rather just leave it at that. Besides, if you have enough creativity to write a story about someone else’s character’s, wouldn’t your time be better spent writing something original? Just a thought.

  34. Bite Me...please? says:

    Jeez, lady! Is she delusional, did she actually think she could get away with it? That the copyright laws didn’t apply?

    As a fan fiction writer, I am personally offended. She gives us all a bad name! It’s one thing to do something illegal, wich in itself is REALLY bad, but then to get the facts wrong! How the hell is a vampire supossed to get sick?

  35. Alu Rathbone says:

    You forgot to mention that resemblances to characters or real people are coincidental. (in a sense about the characters though, so long as its not an entire rip off.)

    for example…

    If you had a Jacob Black… and he was human (and only human) and coincidentally lived on a Reservation, that’s okay… so long as his friends, and mortal enemy are not the same as in a book.

    They have to have this law for the simple reason of names being so common…

    Black is a common last name… look at… Sirius Black.

    I have my own character named Jacob… but he’s a vamp and the last name is Landson.

    You could have a story that takes place in Forks, WA so long as it doesn’t involve vamps and werewolves.

    Copyright infringement would be… The Same exact characters with the same exact story who live in the same towns.

    But even with what I said about the same name same place coincidence you have to be very careful.

    Sometimes authors automatically think you’ve ripped them off with out reading the whole book.

    And they have the same problem in the music world with copyright infringement… which isn’t the fault of the artist as it is their Label.

    let me give you the exact rule on coincedence:

    I am getting this off the copyright page of The Bone Setters Daughter by: Amy Tan

    “This is a work of fiction. Names, places, and incidents either are the product of the authors imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to an actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is enitirely coincidental.”

    What the lexicon is trying to tell you is that it’s not okay to use Stephenies books, characters, and storylines (or any authors for that matter).

    It is however okay to have for example…

    Carlisle Cullen ( which is a common last name) lives in London, England. His career of choice is a teacher of history and he is married with four kids.

    So long as the kids are not named Edward, Emmett, Jasper, Alice, or Rosalie (which they could for the country he lives in is England… very common there, It wouldn’t be a very good idea to name all of them those names.

    I hope this makes sense… if not i’m really really sorry for confusing you.

    (For what it’s worth there are two different cullen families in my town. and quite a few different ones in the City of Chicago. We do have an Edward and Alice Cullen in chicago… it was hysterical to find out. You know when you are board sometime you read the phone books… suburban and city.)

  36. Love this article! Someone mentioned this fanfic on another site a month or so ago and it was frustrating, trying to explain to them that this “writer” wouldn’t be able to publish her fanfic w/o repercussions. I can understand readers wanting the stories to continue, but sometimes things go a little too far.

    My favorite part of the interview you linked to was the ‘author’ saying she is going to college to become an English teacher. Seriously? How would she ever teach her students about not using plagiarism in their papers when she’s guilty of her current transgressions? That’s pretty laughable.

    Again, great post!

  37. alice_rocks says:

    WOW…This woman is truly misguided. I can not believe that she would do something like that. Why would you ever steal or even borrow someone else’s character when you don’t even know the whole story. I’m sorry, but has she been in our wonderfully amazing talented Mrs. Stephenie Meyer’s head? I don’t think so. I just can’t believe it. I would never read anything about the Twilight Series characters that didn’t come from Stephenie Meyer herself. I really hope they take some kind of legal action against her. Unfortunately, now a days that is the only way people learn. I also hope this doesn’t deter Stephenie from creating or finishing any other books in the series. I hope she knows we all support her and her creations.

  38. This literally makes me sick! How stupid could this woman be? Isn’t it common sense that you can’t steal from another author and publish without a big fat lawsuit ready to kick your butt? I mean come on! I for one write twilight fanfic, but that’s only to focus on my skills as a writer, and i write my own stuff too. I could never be that totally ignorant! She’s fricken crazy!

    • Bite Me...please? says:

      Exactly my state of mind!
      I mean,how can she own a publishing place and not know that the copyright laws are gonna nip her in the butt?

  39. Keri Lynn says:

    Wow, even I knew that was illegal. I was/am an avid reader of CC, both her HP fan-fiction and her original works and when I was reading the DT several years ago I wanted to make a shirt for it (sadly I never actually did), so I e-mailed her and the artist of the picture I wanted to use for it to make sure it was okay because I knew that not only was that the right thing, but was the legal thing to do and I was only 14 at the time. People never cease to shock me with their senselessness.

  40. HTIC the bottom line is you can’t steal other peoples work! What that lady is doing is stealing. She knows she did not create those characters and they don’t belong to her. People always try to profit off of someone else. Make up your own characters, and world, why steal someone else’s work. If you are so talented you should be able to come up with something on your own.

  41. foundmyjasper says:

    AMEN TO THIS POST.

  42. a lurker says:

    I highly respect and support the Lex’ stand on clarifying legal issues, but pointing out Cassandra Clare of all people when it’s about plagiarism… oh my. All my hairs are standing on end right now.

    • I hear you, that is why I said “merits of their own work aside”. As long-time Harry Potter fans we saw the CC thing go down first hand.

      Not taking a side in the allegations here and now because it will cloud the current. But for sake of argument plagiarizing in fanfiction while scummy and stupid doesn’t add or detract from that status of the fanfic to start. In other words if you steal a car and then steal some new hub caps from another source to go with it, it doesn’t nullify the first part in any way.

  43. Marcela says:

    How interesting. I remember the original discussion about Russet Noon but instantly dismissed it once I read the synopsis of the book. I didn’t even think about the legalities. I’m really glad you brought this up just so it’s something I can keep in mind in the future :)

  44. “F: About Breaking Dawn, did you like the way things turned out?
    A: Not the ending, I was very bummed by the ending, I hate the whole idea about imprinting and I’ve set out to undo it.”

    ummmm….It’s not hers to undo!!!

    how stupid!

    • Oh, wow, I must have skimmed over that part of the interview. What a ridiculous thing to say!! Just like her idea of Alice getting sick, trying to undo imprinting is not staying within Stephenie’s parameters of the world. That would be dumb fanfic, but it’s even more obnoxious that she made it into a book that she tried to publish.

  45. kehacakes says:

    I think it’s funny how she thinks that just because she has had more “training and education” than other fanfic writer’s (like how is she supposed to know that anyway?) that it makes it okay to break the law and she should get to publish hers. Too bad all that training and education wasn’t on the subject of copyright laws.

  46. I write a Twilight fanfiction. But I would never sell it or publish it like that lady. I’m 15 years-old and even I know about copyright laws.

  47. arazcal says:

    Personally, I find this whole situation the “author” finds herself in to be completely of her own making. That she is/was a fan of the series is one thing but to then build off of and expand on said series with every intention for personal profit and monetary gain, I find reprehensible.

    What I can’t understand is why someone would put all their time and energy into developing a story that already exists rather than delving into a literary work that is completely of their own making.

    “Imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery”, but that’s simply not the case here.
    Forgery was never part of that phrase.

    Love to all in the Lex.Universe.
    Keep fighting the good fight ;)

    • Completely of their own making? Does that even exist? I don’t think I’ve read a literary work completely of the author’s making since forever. Even Shakespeare seems “fanfictiony” to me. Most things are rly good pastiches.

      That said, this lady is clearly in the wrong. You can imitate, sure, but this is not imitation as a form of flattery. This is a flat out robbery. You can’t steal Meyer’s laptop or notebook or wherever she wrote down these books for the first time, so surely you can’t steal her characters. I don’t know why that’s such a hard concept to understand. Most people seem to get the importance of respecting others material property but I guess with intellectual property it’s just too abstract for them or something.

  48. arazcal says:

    P.S.
    It is/was not my intention to offend any writers of fanfiction. (I’m simply a purist) ;)

  49. Lady Sybilla,
    All you did by bringing all this attention to yourself is ruin any reputation you might have had. I think Stephenie Meyer would be disappointed that you are trying to make money by using her story. If you were a true Twilight fan you would support her and not try to STEEL her writing. Come up with your own story! I don’t know about you other Twilight fans, but I certainly will never buy or read any of Lady Sybilla’s writing.

  50. Well, this has been just hilarious, hasn’t it?

    Though I don’t think SM can claim exclusive rights to the entire concept of vampries finding alternative food sources, but I really can’t believe some of the things people think they can get away with- vampires anr’t THAT widely used, people!

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