I have absolutely no opinion on Twilight either way, but I thought this kerfufle was pretty interesting. Evidently this lady, er, Lady Sybilla (cuz real names aren’t kewl?) wrote her own Twilight book.
I have no problem with fan fiction. As far as hobbies go, there are much worse. You should see how many hits Erin gets off her softcore clavicle porn (inside joke! inside joke!). Some people, like Jane Espenson or Peter David, even managed to segue from fan fic to successful writing careers. And I think there’s value in being able to write with character voices not your own (as you would have to if you were working for, say, a TV series).
But this Lady Sybilla decided to take it one staggering step forward and try to sell her fan fic. I don’t know the full story on her publisher, whether it’s just her or if it’s an actual publishing company full of people who have no idea how publishing or copyright law works.
This little gem came out of an earlier press release that seems to be gone now:
“When fictional characters become such an intricate part of the popular psyche, as is the case with the Twilight Saga, legal boundaries become blurred, and copyright laws become increasingly difficult to define. This is especially the case when actual cities like Forks and Volterra are used as the novel’s settings. Such settings are not copyrightable, as they are considered public domain. Similarly, the Quileute Nation is also not copyrightable, and neither are vampire or werewolf legends. Copyright laws protect writers from unauthorized reproductions of their work, but such reproductions only include verbatim copying. Characters are only copyrightable if their creator draws them or hires an artist to draw them. Stephenie Meyer herself borrowed a great deal from previous works dealing with these mythologies.”
I can’t even count how many ways that paragraph is ridiculous. And I’m far from being a copyright expert.
This particular sillyness aside, I have to wonder, with all the print-on-demand publishing that’s available now, and with the internet making it easier for people to successfully self publish, will we start seeing lots of this cropping up soon?
Mostly I’m just interested because I have a whole Trapper Keeper full of X-Wing vs TIE Fighter fan fic from about 12 years ago I’d love to make into an anthology. Someone let me know if that’s cool.