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AUs with Names Changed

I've been wondering- what would be the legal situation if one were to write an AU fanfiction taking place either in the real world or a world of the fan's creation (or maybe an in-verse fic for a series that takes place in the real world), and then change the names?

Could they then claim it was original? Could they sell it as their own work? Would it change the situation if the original fanfic, with the names unchanged, was still available online?

I ask because I've read a lot of Twilight AUs with all werewolf or vampire characters as humans, and the characters are often so changed it seems they might as well be original.

EDIT: Also, what about real-person fiction (RPF) AUs, or fics that don't mention whatever real thing the people are a part of (their band, or the show/movie they acted in, etc)? If the names were changed, what would that mean? Could it be called original, and would having the fic with names unchanged online affect that?


Mar. 19th, 2011 06:14 am (UTC)
I read it a pretty long time ago. If I remember right, she changed the character names, added in different lore (she didn't have to alter any existing lore since the fanfic assumed you already knew the lore), and then expanded on the story to make it longer. I think the rest of it stayed almost exactly the same
Mar. 19th, 2011 06:33 am (UTC)
So all she did was add things to make it understandable outside the context of a fanfic, to those who didn't know the original storyline?

Wow- I'm really surprised that it could be published like that, especially since she's so honest about it having originally been a fanfic. I guess since the plot of the fic itself was original, as long as she changed the names so she wasn't infringing on the character trademark, it could legally be published?

It's a very interesting example. Thank you for sharing.
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