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MidnightMare247

I've read a lot of fanfictions and most of them have a disclaimer. Is the disclaimer necassary? I mean, it's pretty obvious we don't own whatever we're writing about. But if we somehow do need to write a disclaimer, then what would happen if we forgot? Would our story get erased?

12/29/2013 #1
StoryTeller500

I don't have a disclaimer in mine. I think if you say "X or Y belongs to me" then you're in trouble. I could be wrong though.

12/29/2013 #2
Edhla

Disclaimers aren't necessary. In fact, legally speaking they're worthless - a bit like stealing a van and then putting a sign on the window saying "this van is stolen" to avoid prosecution. People like to think they make it more "safe" but it's not true. Others like to use them just to honour the source material. Personally, I find them annoying. Harry Potter doesn't belong to you? Well, you don't say!

12/29/2013 #3
MidnightMare247

Your probably right. I don't want to risk getting banned from this website, so I'm going to take your advice.

12/29/2013 #4
MidnightMare247

I , meant to say "Your probably right. I don't think I'll get banned from this website, so I'm going to take your advice.

12/29/2013 #5
cathrl

The only thing disclaimers do legally is to demonstrate that you are not claiming you own the original material.

When you're posting here, on a fanfiction site, in a section specifically for stories about someone else's material? They don't add anything, because the act of posting here does it.

12/29/2013 #6
MidnightMare247

I , meant to say "Your probably right. I don't think I'll get banned from this website, so I'm going to take your advice.

12/29/2013 #7
TheByronicMan

*You're

12/29/2013 #8
The Lauderdale

Disclaimers aren't mandatory on FFN, but they are mandatory or automatically supplied on some other sites. For example, on AFF people who don't include a disclaimer evidently get dinged by the site admin. And on the Henneth Annun web site, where I have some of my stories posted, there is some unobtrusive boilerplate text at the bottom of every story (or chapter, if it's multi-part):

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

While disclaimers aren't necessary on this site, I think they serve as a polite tip of the hat to the original creator(s). They can also provide helpful clarification if the fan-author is drawing on more than one source.

12/29/2013 #9
Enigmatic Insignia

In some circumstances, there are ways to make the disclaimer 'cute', depending on what the tone of the story is. Comedies would lend themselves well to this.

I've also seen disclaimers used to specify the opposite of what you'd expect--to specify what characters were made by the author and to disconnect them from actually existing within the universe they're writing about. Things like 'this work does not belong to me, except for character A and character B, who were the product of my imagination'. This gives them the opportunity to specify that if another author likes this character for whatever reason, it would be polite to ask the author of that work to use them.

12/29/2013 #10
cathrl
And on the Henneth Annun web site, where I have some of my stories posted, there is some unobtrusive boilerplate text at the bottom of every story (or chapter, if it's multi-part)

We have similar on the fandom-specific site I help moderate - not least because who owns what copyright is really very complex. It's an anime which has three entirely different dubbed versions, a "translation" dubbed version, an OAV which has itself been dubbed, two comic series, and now a live action movie. Just about all of them have different copyright owners, some of which have now expired.

Quite how to word a disclaimer isn't clear at all, so we have a site-wide version which has wording like "including but not limited to".

12/30/2013 . Edited 12/30/2013 #11
AJMarks

I guess I got used to seeing disclaimers, but they usually were for violence, r***, sex, etc. That was also for several other sites. As a result, the stories look 'n***' without one, even on here. There is a small part of me that thinks, "well, the writer doesn't care enough to give credit to the creators" if I don't see a disclaimer, despite knowing they care enough to write a story.

12/30/2013 #12
MidnightMare247

You have a point.I don't want the authors to feel think I'm acting like I created the characters. And maybe writing a disclaimer might show that you respect the creator of whatever your writing about.

12/30/2013 #13
MidnightMare247

Then again, it is FANFICTION.net where people post FANFICTIONS, so it should be obvious that we don't own whatever we're writing about. Right? What are the odds of some random author coming to this website and trying to get our stories erased for not writing a disclaimer?

12/30/2013 #14
LMRaven

Considering disclaimers don't hold any real legal weight, there isn't much of a point except to give a nod of acknowledgement to the copyright holders. They certainly don't offer the fanfic writer or the site any legal protection so any disclaimer stating non-ownership is really up to the fanfic writer but it's certainly not a necessity.

12/30/2013 #15
Madam'zelleG
I guess I got used to seeing disclaimers, but they usually were for violence, r***, sex, etc.

But that's really more like a trigger warning.

12/30/2013 #16
cathrl
What are the odds of some random author coming to this website and trying to get our stories erased for not writing a disclaimer?

Zero. Any author who goes after you based on you not having a disclaimer will be looking for damages based on the financial loss they've suffered due to people reading your stories thinking they were the original author's, not to have the stories erased. I can't imagine a judge doing anything other than laughing if the stories in question were posted on a fanfiction site.

If the author wants your stories (and everyone else's for their material) erased, they just send an official request to site management. There's a list in the guidelines of authors who have done this. I honestly don't know whether any of these involved deleting stories, or if the fandoms never existed in the first place.

12/30/2013 #17
MidnightMare247
If the author wants your stories (and everyone else's for their material) erased, they just send an official request to the site management.

Well that wouldn't be nice! Unless the fanfiction writer said something offensive in someway. But what would happen if the author wanted ALL of the fanfictions people created about his idea erased? What would happen to this website?

12/30/2013 #18
LMRaven
If an author or copyright holder wanted all fanfiction based on their creation ceased, they'd simply send a c&d and all fanfiction in the fandom and crossovers would be deleted. Nothing would happen to the site, just the fandom.
12/30/2013 #19
MidnightMare247

So did the Fanfiction.net creator(s) ask permission from all the authors and copyright holders if they could allow the opportunity for everyone around the world to post fanfictions about their ideas?

12/30/2013 #20
LMRaven
Not to my knowledge and it's highly doubtful that they did. It would cost a hell of a lot of money to buy the permissions to the rights. The ones that don't allow it have probably sent the admins official letters. Though I do know of several instances where a fanfic author was targeted directly by a copyright holders attorney - most notably was JK Rowling for someone's portrayal of Harry in a slash fic. I think she received some negative feedback for that though but she is known to approve fanfiction overall.
12/30/2013 #21
MidnightMare247

Interesting. So I guess most of the authors don't mind people creating fanfictions about their ideas. That's good to know.

It would cost a hell of a lot of money to buy the permissions to the rights.

If I'm understanding correctly, the owners of Fanfiction.net didn't get permission? If that's the case, than there's probably a lot of authors who have no idea that their ideas are on this website.

12/30/2013 #22
MidnightMare247

Interesting. So I guess most of the authors don't mind people creating fanfictions about their ideas. That's good to know.

It would cost a hell of a lot of money to buy the permissions to the rights.

If I'm understanding correctly, the owners of Fanfiction.net didn't get permission? If that's the case, than there's probably a lot of authors who have no idea that their ideas are on this website.

12/30/2013 #23
MidnightMare247

I keep accidentally posting my comments twice!

12/30/2013 #24
The Lauderdale
If I'm understanding correctly, the owners of Fanfiction.net didn't get permission? If that's the case, than there's probably a lot of authors who have no idea that their ideas are on this website.

Very possible. There are still a lot of people in general who don't know about fanfiction, and I'm sure that's true about some authors as well.

What I say is that, if you are uncomfortable writing for a fandom without knowing the author's position on fanfiction, you can try looking it up. For example, Diana Gabaldon loathes fanfiction, doesn't think highly of fanfiction writers, and has said she doesn't want people to write fanfiction for her books. All well and good, but I'm not sure she ever told the people at FFN this, because her name still isn't included on the Guidelines list of prohibited authors.

Fanlore keeps a fairly long list of professional author fanfiction policies at this link:

fanlore.org/wiki/Professional_Author_Fanfic_Policies

Be aware that authors are human beings and sometimes change their mind. Orson Scott Card and Mercedes Lackey are both authors who said that they didn't want fanfiction based on their works, but have since changed their minds.

12/30/2013 . Edited by cathrl, 4/15/2017 #25
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