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3-30-2010 @ 11:20AM
A fourm for Lore feedback....What this says to me: We're out of story ideas for post-cataclysm content, but won't outwardly admit it. Offer suggestions, your little gaming lives depend on it!
3-30-2010 @ 11:46AM
Speaking as a writer, I can assure you that running out of ideas is never a problem. Blizzard's writers all put together will *never* run out of ideas.Do not pass Go, do not collect 200 gold, go directly to the Knaak Reading Room. :P
3-30-2010 @ 11:51AM
Also, from the "WTB Edit button" department:It would be illegal for Blizzard to use any story suggestions from their fans. This is why professional authors are legally bound *not* to read fanfic of their work - someone who wrote a story that the author read could sue if any of the author's later work could be proven in court as similar enough to the fanfic to be considered plagiarism. This has happened to at least one author - Mercedes Lackey, I believe, but don't quote me on that.So Blizzard's not going to be looking for new story ideas from a forum, because if they used something someone wrote, they would have to purchase the story from them or something similar, and that would involve all kinds of legal issues that I'm sure they'd rather not deal with.I don't know if your post was serious or intended as a troll, but either way you're wrong. Twice.
3-30-2010 @ 12:05PM
3-30-2010 @ 12:41PM
@Hob - Y'know, that's an excellent point, and one I'm sure Blizzard took care of, because it makes sense that they'd be aware of all this entails. I'll have to ask about that next time I see a Lawbringer column. Thank you.
3-30-2010 @ 1:41PM
Never fear! Lawbringer is here!I have about two months of columns planned for when I finally get to copyright law, and I will be going into this particular problem. As a short taste version, you own a copyright on anything you type online, and if Blizzard were to copy that, they would be infringing. However, if they never read your work and independently came up with the exact same idea, that wouldn't infringe. To prove that their work was not a copy, they often have to prove they didn't access your work. As a result, if Blizzard starts using ideas from the forum, they either a) bought a license to what was published, b) didn't let their lore guys even look at the forum, or c) the idea was so obvious and/or general they feel confident that no judge is going to think it was copying of a protected copyrighted work.
3-30-2010 @ 1:57PM
@MusedMoose - I'm fairly certain you're wrong about the legal issues surrounding fanfic. Strictly speaking, fanfic authors have no rights to their derivative works. Fanfic is usually tolerated by the original work's copyright holder because it presents no harm, but there's a reason you only see it circulated online; it can't be commercially distributed.If you look at the infamous Harry Potter Lexicon case, you'll see that this doesn't only apply to fan creations that are told in a fictive mode, but also to speculative materials like timelines and encyclopedias that conflict with what the rights holder also wishes to produce. (This was a case where Steve Vander Ark unwisely attempted to publish the most prominent online fan compendium of Potter material in printed form, and his publisher, RDR Books, was sued for doing so. The fact that the fan timeline on the site was likely the source for the timelines on the official Warner Bros. DVDs had no bearing on the law.)In fact, one of the persistent worries of fanfic communities (look up the one that has branded itself the "Organization for Transformative Works") is that there ISN'T any legal protection for fanfic (and for good reasons, I might add). If an author steals your fanfic you can go ahead and sue, but you aren't going to win. Otherwise there would be an unreasonable expectation on the part of the author to prove the kind of thing you suggest - a total ignorance of the fanfic and speculation going on. Thankfully, that isn't the case.I'm not sure where you got your Mercedes Lackey example, but Lackey began as a fanfic writer herself, and has been one of the few authors to grant permission for its noncommercial distribution via Creative Commons.
3-30-2010 @ 2:12PM
I find it amusing that further fiction that closely drew from fan ideas was found to be legally actionable, but further fiction that closely drew from fan ideas TO CONTRADICT THEM is wholly legal, EG later Harry Potter books which went out of their way to undermine as many fanfics as possible.
3-30-2010 @ 6:07PM
Aww, someone's still bitter about Harry and Hermione not ending up together! Cute.
3-30-2010 @ 8:28PM
I have no attachment to Potter, I just remember hearing about the hilariously belligerent interaction the author had with the fans about certain popular fanfics.
3-31-2010 @ 10:29AM
@ Nicholas Tam - It's possible that I'm misremembering what I read, or that the person who wrote it was mistaken. Thanks for the info either way, though. And I'm certain that a lot of writers get their start writing fanfic; I've written a bit myself. ^_^
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