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Lobby 2. Welcome Main Community Discussion Board topic #90739
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Subject: "What Is Allowed - & What Is Fair?" Previous topic | Next topic
Mesg #90739 "What Is Allowed - & What Is Fair?"
Author Wandering Author     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
Author Info Member since Jun 01st 2007
1569 posts
Date Sat Apr-21-12 11:30 AM
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My question revolves around Lorandia, the shared world project that never entirely got off the ground. I came up with most of the background on one country, and a few other details, and I set one partially finished story in that world. By agreement, the copyright to Lorandia was held by Forward Motion, and use of that world would require permission.

Now, I'm trying to clean up my notes, expand on those that need it, etc. as well as finish the various stories I've started, so I have to figure out what to do about the story set in Lorandia. And there are problems with Lorandia; not all of the worldbuilding was as careful as it could have been. (I'm not naming names, in fact I don't remember them, but I do remember running into some logical flaws here and there.)

Zette obviously has the final say on what I can and cannot do. Whatever limits she sets, I won't cross. But assuming she allows me to do anything with the notes for Typhre and some of the features around it, and the story, there is still the question of what copyright law allows and what is fair.

My thoughts, which follow, are just that. I'm thinking out loud. I'm not saying I'm right, I'm just trying to get a sense for what the rest of you - and especially those who had any part in shaping Lorandia - think. I'm not inclined to do anything the rest of you feel would be unfair - especially those who took part.

Since ideas are not copyrightable, I would suspect I'd have the legal, and possibly the moral, right to rework the parts I contributed and fit them into the framework of another world I create. Given some of the logical flaws, I'd need to do something similar in any case, or at least "renovate" the existing material. But how far do I need to go? Or should I just abandon the whole thing? There are details in the story that I'm pretty sure spring from other contributions to that world, and sorting out what is what and eliminating every detail and similarity to others' contributions is going to be tricky. The story is set in the part of the world I (mostly) created, which makes it far easier than it would otherwise be, but I am not always certain which details that aren't in my own contributions to Lorandia were just things that sprang up in the story, and which came from others' ideas. And the notes I have for the story similarly contain material I can only be so sure of. Obviously, names and the most specific details that I'm not sure of need to be cut out or changed, but how far do I need to go? Trying to avoid a world that's too similar to Lorandia, without gutting the story so badly it won't survive, is going to be a tricky walk no matter what. But where is that line? What types of information are general enough that it doesn't matter?

I'd add a footnote to this question. While Lorandia was a great idea and a fun one in many ways, I've gained one bit of valuable experience. Never invest too much energy, effort, or time into a project that involves a shared world unless you first have all the specifics worked out, agreed to, and pinned down, so you don't need to worry about them after the fact. (That includes what to do if others' contributions contain logical flaws or contradictions that require resolution, since that is a specific issue of its own.)

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Replies to this topic
RE: What Is Allowed - & What Is Fair?, jameskearl, Apr 22nd 2012, #1
RE: What Is Allowed - & What Is Fair?, l_clausewitz, Apr 25th 2012, #2
RE: What Is Allowed - & What Is Fair?, Wandering Author, Apr 25th 2012, #3
RE: What Is Allowed - & What Is Fair?, Wandering Author, Apr 25th 2012, #4
RE: What Is Allowed - & What Is Fair?, astropolis, Apr 29th 2012, #5
RE: What Is Allowed - & What Is Fair?, l_clausewitz, Sep 18th 2012, #6

Mesg #90743 "RE: What Is Allowed - & What Is Fair?"
Author jameskearl     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
Author Info Member since Dec 18th 2006
179 posts
Date Sun Apr-22-12 09:24 PM
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In response to Reply # 0

As someone who contributed ideas to Lorandia -- and could very well be responsible for some of the logical flaws you noted (no offence taken) -- if any of my ideas seeped into your work, I'll give you (and anyone else) permission to use and adapt them as you see see fit. I had no grander ambitions beyond contributing to the project.

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Mesg #90759 "RE: What Is Allowed - & What Is Fair?"
Author l_clausewitz     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to send message via ICQ
Author Info Member since Jan 02nd 2005
2646 posts
Date Wed Apr-25-12 05:39 AM
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In response to Reply # 0

I don't feel much "proprietary-ness" for things I contributed to the Lorandia project, seeing as most of what I added were ripped off from history anyway. So if any of them gets into your story I probably would notice them but wouldn't mind in the least.

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Mesg #90760 "RE: What Is Allowed - & What Is Fair?"
Author Wandering Author     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
Author Info Member since Jun 01st 2007
1569 posts
Date Wed Apr-25-12 12:47 PM
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In response to Reply # 2

Thanks. One reason I'd have a hard time sorting "my" ideas from the others is because I ripped them off from history, too. I think we all do that.

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Mesg #90761 "RE: What Is Allowed - & What Is Fair?"
Author Wandering Author     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
Author Info Member since Jun 01st 2007
1569 posts
Date Wed Apr-25-12 12:59 PM
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In response to Reply # 0

I do realise that I failed to state one important point. Although, as I've said before, the original understanding was that the Copyright rights to this world belonged to Forward Motion, and I intend to respect that, as far as my own opinion is concerned on the portions I contributed - use whatever you like. Use it all. I contributed it understanding it would be part of a shared world, so it would be more than petty to complain if someone used that world in a story. And, if it suits your story, change the details you need to in order to make it work. I didn't mention this before as I considered it so obvious.

None of that does, or is meant to, take away from Zette's right to have the final say on what is done with any and all contributions. But, since I was asking for others' opinions, and it suddenly occurred to me I hadn't stated my own, there they are. Follow whatever limits Zette sets - beyond that, have fun. Don't worry what I might think. If I'd meant to keep any sort of control over the parts of the world I created, I would have set them in my own world and kept the Copyright to them. (As much as you can Copyright worldbuilding; although the precise wording of your notes would certainly be covered, what details would be considered protected as specific to your world and what would not are one of those things that could probably earn many lawyers heaps of cash if two parties chose to dispute it. My own opinion, even on worlds I've created privately, is that apart from specific names or highly unusual - and non-historical - circumstances, it isn't reasonable to get upset because someone has a similar idea.)

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Mesg #90764 "RE: What Is Allowed - & What Is Fair?"
Author astropolis     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list
Author Info Member since Jun 12th 2002
2052 posts
Date Sun Apr-29-12 11:11 AM
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In response to Reply # 0

I made a few small contributions to Lorandia. Please feel free to make whatever use of them you can.

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Mesg #91597 "RE: What Is Allowed - & What Is Fair?"
Author l_clausewitz     Click to send email to this author Click to send private message to this author Click to view this author's profile Click to add this author to your buddy list Click to send message via ICQ
Author Info Member since Jan 02nd 2005
2646 posts
Date Tue Sep-18-12 12:44 PM
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In response to Reply # 0

While we're at it, does anybody still keep a reasonably complete copy of the old Encyclopaedia Lorandia compilation?

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