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Why ban Tintin fan fiction?

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Richard
UK Correspondent
#21 · Posted: 2 Jun 2005 23:17
The artistic integrity of the people involved in the creation of fanfictions was never in question. I think it's great that books, films etc. can inspire other's to create works in homage to the original authors. However, the problem with the creation of fanfictions, with regard to people selling them, it's usually nothing to do with the original creators. I think the best way to illustrate this is with an example of a fairly well-known case, Rodier's Tintin and Alph-Art.

If you see the colour editions of the book for sale on the Internet occasionally, especially the ones with Tintin and Haddock stood on the cliff, they're knock-offs of the original. Rodier privately published his black and white edition, and someone took the colour pages - themselves a tribute to both Hergé and Rodier, undertaken as a group project - printed them out, bound them and now sells them for ridiculous amounts. I think that's been discussed elsewhere in this forum before.

The people that are selling these, I imagine, have never even spoken to the original author. They simply took the pages from the Internet and sold them for personal gain. That's not a slight on Rodier's account - himself now an accomplished comic strip artist - since he created the book for free. It was distributed on the Internet by a now-defunct group of Tintinologists and their website, and because of the actions of disreputable people has now had their site closed down and security tightened on their group.

Anyway, to bring this lengthy ramble back on-topic, if some Tintin fanfictions were published on the site, they are open to the risk of being taken by some 'entrepreneur' (or 'thief') and being sold as a collection. It's been done before - Rodier's Alph-Art, his portfolio of characters, Christmas cards and general images, Harry Edwood's tribute comic and magazine covers - and no doubt it'll happen again. These artists, who clearly have talent and had no aim other than to spread their work, became the victim of plagiarism, despite their initial intentions of distributing their work for free.

Sorry, I realise I've rambled an awful lot there, but I hope I've illustrated the point. Basically, the main problem is you can't protect your work once it's on the internet. Tintin's a money-spinner not only for Moulinsart but for private sellers (just do a quick search on eBay !), and if someone can make money out of artists' and authors' tributes to Tintin, rest assured - they will.
admin
Administrator
#22 · Posted: 3 Jun 2005 03:23 · Edited by: admin
Moonrocket wrote: I guess, for those of you who disagree with Tintinrulz and I, it might be different if you were part of the fanfiction community.

Years ago we (The Cult of Tintin) started the world's first and only online interactive Tintin fan fiction, which some of you may be old enough to remember. No less than a dozen fan fiction writers took part in that project, and sixteen chapters had been published before Moulinsart's lawyers told us to stop.

We have since learnt...
a) that fans do not have the legal right to produce any kind of fan work* without express written permission from the copyright holder;
b) that disclaimers do not release one from liability or legal prosecution;
c) and that posting a disclaimer may prove one is aware of legal concerns.

Moonrocket wrote: I see a fanfiction as a way to honor a piece of work (whatever media it might be), but according to earlier posts from you all, being a "fan" just doesn't seem to matter. Whatever.

Speaking from my experience, as far as the law is concerned, being a fan does not matter--sad, but true.

Moonrocket wrote: I'll still continue to write my Tintin fic, and I'll still keep posting it on the site where it's being "published" (if you can call it that).

That is entirely your choice. The choice some of us have made is to abide by the law. :-)

*parodies are excepted

--
Related threads:
- Will Moulinsart ever allow people to create Tintin fan works?
- When does copyright over Tintin expire?
- Criteria Moulinsart use to sanction Tintin-related works
- Why do Moulinsart hoard Tintin stuff like gold?
Danagasta
Member
#23 · Posted: 11 Jul 2005 15:28 · Edited by: Danagasta
That is entirely your choice. The choice some of us have made is to abide by the law. :-)
Is this international copyright law or just one nation's law? I'm confused......

Being a person who dislikes monopolies, however, you can easily figure out where I stand on Moulinsart. I know they're trying to protect something, but I don't think they were prepared for the Information Age in all its glory. There aren't laws governing the Internet, nor what's put on it (that's regarding fanfics)---I mean, look at all the stuff that's put on there. How could Moulinsart even have a case if there are no explicit copyright laws applying to the Net?
I'm sorry to say it, but if Moulinsart has issues with a silly fanfic, they need to get some help. I always thought that being overprotective of "intellectual property (define THAT one LOL)" was nothing more than a ego-trip. I personally would WANT someone to carry on something I started after I died. Maybe that's the Cherokee in me, wanting to actually keep something alive instead of hoarding it. I guess Belgian culture is different when it comes to tradition, sadly...ours are flexible and ever-changing, ensuring the preservation of the people. Moulinsart? Not quite.
Courtney
jockosjungle
Member
#24 · Posted: 11 Jul 2005 16:08
You may have a case or you may not, but the truth is that nobody here can test the water in a legal sense. When the Moulinsart Lawyers coming knocking on my door to close down my site (not that they should as I'm very careful as to what content I use) I couldn't afford to use all my money in a test case to see which team of highly priced lawyers has the better argument.

As regards to fan fiction I'm pretty sure all they'd need to do is mention the Herge quote of how nobody should do Tintin after him and how Moulinsart are the protectors of that to win the case

Rik
Danagasta
Member
#25 · Posted: 11 Jul 2005 16:29
As regards to fan fiction I'm pretty sure all they'd need to do is mention the Herge quote of how nobody should do Tintin after him and how Moulinsart are the protectors of that to win the case
It may be different in Europe than it is in the US, so I'm having a hard time understanding how they could have a case just on that.

Courtey
jock123
Moderator
#26 · Posted: 11 Jul 2005 17:25 · Edited by: jock123
Danagasta
There aren't laws governing the Internet, nor what's put on it (that's regarding fanfics)---I mean, look at all the stuff that's put on there. How could Moulinsart even have a case if there are no explicit copyright laws applying to the Net?

Sorry, but you are totally wrong here - copyright law does apply to the net - otherwise no publisher would be putting their material on the web, and plenty of newspapers, journals etc. are there. You have no more right to appropriate someone else’s work on the web, than you would with a duplicator and stencils, a photocopier or a five-colour press.

I always thought that being overprotective of "intellectual property (define THAT one LOL)" was nothing more than a ego-trip

I can’t offer a definition of intellectual property, but I can clearly see the concept, and appreciate the importance of it to the poor hard-working schlub who makes their bread and butter for themselves and their families from coming up with the art, literature, music, graphic design, gadgets, software, pacemakers, medical scanners, sanitation filters, energy-efficient motors - all the stuff they think up. Why shouldn’t they be protective? Why should others filch their intellectual property any more than their houses. cars etc.?

If Hergé couldn’t have made money out of Tintin because any Tom. Dick or Harry could do their own, then he wouldn’t have bothered, because it put food in his mouth and a roof over his head - not really an “ego-trip”…?

jockosjungle
As regards to fan fiction I'm pretty sure all they'd need to do is mention the Herge quote of how nobody should do Tintin after him and how Moulinsart are the protectors of that to win the case

They wouldn’t need to argue a case really, as the law is firmly on their side; it’s like they wouldn’t have to argue a case if you stole their car - the law is clear-cut, they can show it’s their car, they win. They own the rights in Tintin - they win… (Simplified, but in essence correct, I believe).
Danagasta
Member
#27 · Posted: 11 Jul 2005 17:32
If Hergé couldn’t have made money out of Tintin because any Tom. Dick or Harry could do their own, then he wouldn’t have bothered, because it put food in his mouth and a roof over his head - not really an “ego-trip”…?
I think it most assuredly IS an ego-trip. Not all artists and writers are that way--myself included. It comes down to personal preference in that case.
There's no need to be hostile. I ask these things to learn, not to rile anyone up. Europe differs so much in laws from the US, and you can't expect me to know how it is there.
Courtney
jock123
Moderator
#28 · Posted: 11 Jul 2005 19:37
Danagasta
There's no need to be hostile.

I’m sorry that you construed what I said as hostile, it was not intended as such, although I am antithetical to your position; to take a position contrary to yours is not hostility, just a difference of opinion, and to offer examples of why so, I felt to be debate.

In making a statement such as “intellectual property (define THAT one LOL)”, you are making a fairly provocative challenge, and I endeavoured to show that, although as I said I cannot give you the definition - which is probably straight-forward to a lawyer - for many people it is literally their livelihood for them and their families.

You are obviously in a very fortunate position that you don’t wish to maintain your rights to your work, although if you work in journalism or for a radio station your employer might not think so, but please don’t laugh at those who are less fortunate than you, and who have to defend their rights. When you add that such people are “ego-tripping”, without actually ever explaining why, it seems unfair to those people who have those ideas to be taken to task.
Danagasta
Member
#29 · Posted: 11 Jul 2005 21:06
You are obviously in a very fortunate position that you don’t wish to maintain your rights to your work, although if you work in journalism or for a radio station your employer might not think so, but please don’t laugh at those who are less fortunate than you, and who have to defend their rights. When you add that such people are “ego-tripping”, without actually ever explaining why, it seems unfair to those people who have those ideas to be taken to task.
All I can say is this: If people have ideas, and they put them out there in a public forum, someone somewhere is going to do something with those ideas. That's just how the media is.

Generally, in news, we have what's called proper attribution. We give credit to original sources in very quick snippets, such as "According to (insert call letters or news agency here).." and that's the final bit of it. It is true, news people are much more fortunate in that case.
I like debating. After all, I am Danagasta (Sharpwar)^_^
Courtney
admin
Administrator
#30 · Posted: 12 Jul 2005 07:21
Danagasta wrote: Admin said, "That is entirely your choice. The choice some of us have made is to abide by the law. :-)" -- Is this international copyright law or just one nation's law?

All domestic copyright laws which may apply.

Danagasta wrote: There aren't laws governing the Internet, nor what's put on it (that's regarding fanfics) ... How could Moulinsart even have a case if there are no explicit copyright laws applying to the Net?

As far as I know, copyright issues on the Internet are dealt with by domestic copyright laws. For example: if a work is used in Australia from the Internet, then Australian law applies.

Domestic copyright laws may vary from country to country; however, most countries are members of the Berne Convention and the Universal Copyright Convention (UCC), which allow people to protect their works in countries of which they are not a citizen or national.

Danagasta wrote: ... if Moulinsart has issues with a silly fanfic, they need to get some help. I always thought that being overprotective of "intellectual property (define THAT one LOL)" was nothing more than a ego-trip.

Well, ego trip or not, the fact remains that copyright laws grant the creator the exclusive right to reproduce, prepare derivative works (e.g. fan fics/art), distribute, perform and display the work publicly. Exclusive means only the creator of such work, not anybody who has access to it and decides to grab it and use it for whatever purpose.**

Danagasta wrote: All I can say is this: If people have ideas, and they put them out there in a public forum, someone somewhere is going to do something with those ideas. That's just how the media is.

Ideas are not copyrightable; it is the expression of an idea that is copyrightable.

Danagasta wrote: Generally, in news, we have what's called proper attribution. We give credit to original sources in very quick snippets, such as "According to (insert call letters or news agency here).." and that's the final bit of it.

** Where the concept is recognized, fair use/dealing allows a small amount of copyrighted work to be used for research, teaching, commentary, news reporting, parody--but not fan fiction/art creation.

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