Welcome to the Fanfiction Board

Post your Errant Story, Errant Road, Exploitation Now, and Babylon Jones fanfiction here. Please note that Poe is not allowed to read it.

Welcome to the Fanfiction Board

Postby Imp-Chan » June 20th, 2010, 2:45 am

Here is the Caffeine Angel Studios official policy on fanfiction:

We are all for noncommercial transformative works (such as fan fiction, fan art, or fan videos). We think fanfiction is nifty, and beneficial to the fan community, and we see no reason whatsoever why you shouldn't write it. However, the stories that we publish, and the characters and settings that we create for them, are how we make our living. There's a lot of tricky legal ground we have to traverse in order to do that. So if you produce a transformative fan work, we ask that you respect our need to make a living by keeping your work noncommercial and within the distribution limits that we set.

Part One: Where You Can Share Your Noncommercial Transformative Fan Works

We recognize that fan works are primarily a matter of community. Sharing them is important, and we really hate that the elaborate dance of intellectual property rights means we ought to altogether forbid distribution. That would suck for everyone, and the idea of it just makes us feel dirty.

So after much thought, we came up with a compromise: on our forum, we are providing free hosting for your transformative fan works involving any story, setting, or character we publish. You may post as much or as many of those fanworks there as you like... but that is also the ONLY place where you may post them in their entirety. You may not distribute the body of any transformative fanworks referencing our stories, settings, or characters anywhere else, ever.

However, you can still share your transformative fan work with outside communities in other ways. Once you've started a thread for your work on our forum, you may still post links to that thread anywhere else that you like, and in fact we encourage you to do so. You may also post a one-paragraph excerpt (or a thumbnail, etc.) anywhere you like, provided you accompany it with a disclaimer that says you don't have the rights to the work and are not licensed to transfer them to anyone else.

Our living depends on our being able to sell very limited amounts of distribution rights for our stories, characters, or settings to other companies, so we have to be very careful about granting anyone permission to use them in other places. Many sites have terms of service that include an unlimited license to distribute the content you post in any format ever invented including those that haven't been invented yet, and to sub-license those distribution rights to anyone else. Terms like that can effectively eradicate copyright protections. If we granted permission for you to distribute your transformative works concerning our stories, characters, or settings anywhere else, then it could later be argued that we also gave you permission to give away the distribution rights to our stories, characters, or settings by posting them to those sites.

Asking that you only post your works to our forum is the simplest and nicest way we could think of to guard against that licensing problem but still support and encourage the distribution of transformative fan works.

Part Two: Purity of Concept and Open vs. Closed Canon

This will basically say that in order to keep his ideas purely his, Poe is never going to read your fanfiction. It will also say that some canon is open in the sense that Poe's not done writing about those characters yet, and some is closed in the sense that he is, and it will review the board-wide rules that say that whatever you post here is ours to use as needed, in order to avoid our being sued for coincidental overlap of ideas later. It will say it in legally helpful plain speech, but I keep getting distracted so it will have to do so later. The top part is more practically important anyways.

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Re: Welcome to the Fanfiction Board

Postby Graybeard » July 10th, 2010, 3:07 pm

So is this going to happen, Impy? Fanfiction isn't normally my bag, but I'm getting a thing ready that I'll start posting here (as a serial) once the "rules and transformative works policy" are articulated -- somebody's gotta be first into the pool, after all.
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Re: Welcome to the Fanfiction Board

Postby Imp-Chan » July 10th, 2010, 8:13 pm

Oops, yes, it's absolutely on. Sorry, I keep getting distracted by the billion and one projects I'm trying to finish by September and forgot to finish retyping it. The important stuff is up there now.

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Re: Welcome to the Fanfiction Board

Postby Graybeard » July 10th, 2010, 8:59 pm

That all sounds normal and routine. The only place where I can see possible issues is in sorting through what's "open" and what's "closed." There are challenges to that, because on the one hand, you want to avoid clashes with canon, while on the other hand, you want to avoid spoilers that will impact Errant Story or future projects. I hope you will elaborate on your second point, but no need for this topic to continue to lie dormant while you flesh it out.

I will shortly post a first try, involving something where I honestly don't know whether the key character is in "open" or "closed" space, but what he/she/it will be doing, while closely connected to canon, won't ever appear in the story, I'm pretty sure of that. Impy, can you private-message me ASAP after you've seen it if it looks like there's going to be a problem that I don't anticipate? I want to avoid causing trouble, obviously.
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Re: Welcome to the Fanfiction Board

Postby Imp-Chan » July 11th, 2010, 1:07 pm

Open and closed canon are only really relevant in that Poe might someday actually read fanworks for things of closed canon, but people are still welcome and encouraged to write for whatever they like with no care whatsoever to whether or not Poe is done writing for that character yet. The only difference is whether he'll read it, and honestly he probably won't regardless.

The only place this all becomes a little tricky is in terms of my role. Since I am the editor and I am the bridge to the fan community, I have conflicts in terms of keeping my ideas isolated from the fanworks and fulfilling my role within the community. However, I've concluded that while I do edit Poe's words and act as an art director, I'm not actually constructing any stories, dictating plots, etc... plus I'm an opinionated bitch who is unlikely to be swayed by what I read when it comes to how I feel things ought to work writing-wise. So it should be safe for me to read things as needed. Besides, that's what that little clause about we get to use anything we like however we like is there for... just in case an idea does accidentally overlap, it still won't particularly matter in terms of legal stuff with that bit there.

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Re: Welcome to the Fanfiction Board

Postby Viking-Sensei » July 11th, 2010, 9:26 pm

I know that the general assumption here is that people are going to be world-building off of the bigger, more fully fleshed out world of Errant Story, but I'm going to also guess that there's a few fans (such as myself) who are going to want to perhaps meddle in the affairs of Exploitation Now as well. Does this policy apply to both works?

If so, I'd like to suggest, as a matter of sorting, that we do something to keep these fanfics seperate? Once we have a significant volume, we could possibly introduce a sub-forum to keep them all neat and orderly, but for now maybe we could request people tag their stories EN, ES, or Other in the title. ("Other" might cover... I dunno... Ralph and Bimbo suddenly trading places with Jon and Meji, or speculative transformative works based losely on Poe's other quasi-franchises like Babylon Jones).
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Re: Welcome to the Fanfiction Board

Postby Graybeard » July 11th, 2010, 9:51 pm

Viking-Sensei wrote:I know that the general assumption here is that people are going to be world-building off of the bigger, more fully fleshed out world of Errant Story, but I'm going to also guess that there's a few fans (such as myself) who are going to want to perhaps meddle in the affairs of Exploitation Now as well. Does this policy apply to both works?

If so, I'd like to suggest, as a matter of sorting, that we do something to keep these fanfics seperate? Once we have a significant volume, we could possibly introduce a sub-forum to keep them all neat and orderly, but for now maybe we could request people tag their stories EN, ES, or Other in the title. ("Other" might cover... I dunno... Ralph and Bimbo suddenly trading places with Jon and Meji, or speculative transformative works based losely on Poe's other quasi-franchises like Babylon Jones).

I think Impy's clear guidance was that yes, the policy applies to both, and to Does Not Play Well With Others, Babylon Jones, and anything else that Poe writes. You might want to work out the rules offline with her on Fun With Familiars, which looks like a special case.

In case it isn't obvious, the thing that I started is in the Errant Story-verse. I'd actually left that unsaid at the beginning intentionally, inviting the question "so where does this fit?" from new readers -- who could consequently be referred all the way back to the beginning of Errant Story (thereby to become fascinated and read the whole durn thing) for the tie-in. On reflection, however, I think you're right that it's best to avoid confusion to begin with. Your tag idea sounds good, and when I get a minute, I'll redo that thing to conform.

And based on the way the last chapter has been going, I would not be so certain that "Ralph and Bimbo suddenly trading places with Jon and Meji" is not going to be part of Errant Story...
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Re: Welcome to the Fanfiction Board

Postby Graybeard » July 16th, 2010, 8:32 pm

So isn't anybody else going to try this? There's tons of potential subject material out there. Life in Mandi's tavern ... coming of age among the Ensigerum ... snapshots of the Mage/Priest War ... "Maxwel," the named-but-never-seen half elf who taught Ian magic, trying to make do in the wastes of the Northern Confederacy ... how the Hinadori family (Ichiro's ancestors, say) came to power in Tsuirakushiti ... life among the bandit clans of Farrel ... life among the trolls ... unmentionable things involving the youthful Leah and Riley ... tons of material. And that's just in Errant Story. I do not want to try to imagine what could be done with Exploitation Now, Babylon Jones, DNPWWO, etc.

Impy, any chance you could put up an announcement reminding people that this is here? I'd love to see the, ah, creative minds of the fan base at work.
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Re: Welcome to the Fanfiction Board

Postby Imp-Chan » July 17th, 2010, 9:47 pm

I'll put up a considered newspost about it once I've finished typing up the transformative works policy. I did mention it in a panel yesterday.

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Re: Welcome to the Fanfiction Board

Postby Viking-Sensei » July 17th, 2010, 11:28 pm

I'm working on a "Continuing Adventures of Ralph and Bimbo" idea that I've been mulling over for a few years... I was debating about doing it as part of The Apple of Discord (since they're also cast members there) but I'm not quite sure how to draw some of this stuff so it may be best to tell it in words.
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