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Fic from deleted journals, fair game?

 Hello, I'm new and I have an issue/question. Recently an author deleted their fic from LJ and FF.net by deleting their accounts. The author cannot be reached. I've saved said fic as a PDF and don't know if I can distribute it.

In *my* opinion, this should be fine. After all the author posted the fic to the public. I'm not saying by doing so that they gave up the rights. I'm saying by doing so, they acknowledge the risk of doing so. In addition since posting it to the public, doesn't that mean they wanted it to be seen? That they didn't care if it was to be seen? With that in mind, why wouldn't it be ok to distribute said fic? It has the old author credited. Like I said, just my opinion.

Can I or can't I? I've looked up LJ TOS and FF.NET TOS and they pretty much, to me, say, if you post on our site, we are not responsible for whatever happens.

Comments

morgandawn
Mar. 24th, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC)
now on to legal issues
as someone posted above, if you believe that fan fic has copyrightable elements, then you'd follow the basic fair use analysis.

*you could, for example, write your own transformative fiction based on the story
*you could use some of the phrases in a collage or a vid
*you could post portions (possibly even large portions) in support of an article or an essay or even to support a point you are making in your blog
*you could use portions to create a wiki entry about the fan or the story

There are few exceptions that would allow you to offer the story as a whole.

*if you were a teacher, you might be able to print out the story and hand it out to students (this is a tricky and hard to navigate exception and there has been a lot of legal wrangling over it - I am only summarizing the exception in its broadest form)
*If you were a library or an archive that offers public access, you could print out a hard copy and then treat the PDF as a preservation copy and allow people to access the PDF on site.

One interesting question: in the print world, once I have a copy in hand, I am able to loan it or give it away. Even if I pick up the book or newspaper for free off a park bench. I'd be curious to see how this might apply to a hard copy of the story. For example, at most fan run cons, there is a swap table filled with printed netfic that is being offered for free. Some of the fic has long since vanished from the net and the author's wishes are unknown.
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Nothing in this community, its posts or the comments thereto should be considered as specific advice. Your access to and use of this Community means that you understand and acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship exists between you and any poster or commenter hereto, and that the Community should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney/counselor/solicitor in your jurisdiction.

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