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8-16-2011 @ 9:06AM
I always wanted to enter Blizzard's writing contests, but the fine print gets me every time, since you basically yield all ownership of the writing to them for perpetuity and they can use, edit or even sell it as they see fit.
8-16-2011 @ 9:54AM
"you basically yield all ownership of the writing to them for perpetuity and they can use, edit or even sell it as they see fit."Well, it is their universe / IP that you're going to be using. What could you otherwise gain if you were to write a short story about WoW, SC or Diablo and not submit it to the contest in comparison to the grand prize / runner up prizes?At least this way, you can get your name out, some official recognition, and goodies if they believe your story is good enough. It would seem to be a more productive use of time if you submitted it than if you were to just stick the story on the forums or a personal website only to be recognised as another fan fiction and forgotten some time later.
8-16-2011 @ 9:56AM
Mine's more of a creator's rights issue than a matter of who will see it or enjoy it.
8-16-2011 @ 10:23AM
It seems like a fairly typical situation to me; considering that it's to specifications that no-one else can legally use, it doesn't seem like it's much different from a work-for-hire situation.One of the tricks is that Blizzard must secure permission to be able to republish the contest winner, and to publicise the name of the winner. Often people get tripped up by the legal language that secures them that right. In this case, entering also asserts that Blizzard own the copyright of what you write - but then, it's fanfiction, so Blizzard own the copyright on the derivative works submitted anyway, and it's far simpler for them to just assert that than to make a derivative works argument after the fact.Basically I don't think you need to feel like your creator's rights are taken away when you never really had them in the first place.
8-16-2011 @ 10:33AM
I hear your point, but the stories I would write would be my own characters, interacting in a world that might be Azeroth, or might not. Were I to write a story for the contest, it'd be an original work, likely with little to no Azerothian reference, simply a fantasy story, told to the best of my ability.Too often, I think submissions for these things ARE just fan-fiction, piling onto the setting as it is presented, and not necessarily creating something, if that makes sense.Even if you don't win, they can still print and use your submitted works... and then you get nothing for it. They could theoretically publish an anthology book of the submissions, credit none of the authors, and pocket every cent, with no recourse for the creators, who all agreed to the terms.Anyway, long circular discussion is long and circular. I'm not submitting anything because I dislike yielding the rights to my own work, with no promise of compensation.
8-16-2011 @ 10:53AM
I'd be more concerned about the lack of payment from a publisher as opposed to a contest from Blizzard. Common sense dictates you look at what they've done with the past winners/submissions to see they've been respectful of the work. The dollar amount of 1st prize and runner up has far more worth than what you might monetarily. For the word count they're looking for, you'd be lucky to get 75 bucks from a pro semi pro publication.
8-16-2011 @ 4:20PM
@MattKrotzer Your point might be valid, but what they are looking for are stories that are definitively set in the Warcraft, Starcraft or Diablo universes. Stories that are ambiguous and may not actually be set in those universes aren't really what they're looking for. The submissions for these things are "fan fiction" because that's precisely what they ARE looking for -- work that's set in their universe, their IP. That said, it's perfectly reasonable that they retain all rights to the work. It's a contest, it's not a paid contract -- what they do with contest entries after the contest is over isn't really a concern. They aren't tying down any and all future works you create, they aren't tying down any original work you create, it's just the one story. If you're entering a contest hoping to get paid for it, well. That's just not going to happen. The prizes are clearly laid out, expecting anything on top of those prizes would be silly. If you aren't a fan of the rules, then don't enter -- nothing's forcing your hand!
8-17-2011 @ 1:49AM
And that's all I was saying, Anne. I don't like the rules, so I'm not playing. ;)
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