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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.


Mar. 24th, 2011 06:29 pm (UTC)
etiquette thoughts
Focusing on the etiquette (as opposed to the legal issues), I think that unless the author has explicitly said they do not want their story circulated you could make it available on a 1:1 basis. This fits in with most fannish practices dating back to the 1970s where fans would privately copy and circulate out of print stories.*

Reposting the story to the net or in a journal would be more like republishing the story - or to carry the zine analogy further, reprinting the zine.

I'd look to see how storyfinder communities handle requests for deleted fic. I suspect you'll see a range. On spnstoryfinders and sgastoryfinders you'll see people sharing copies 1:1 as long as the author has not expressed their circulation preferences.

*Note: Then, as now, there have always been fans who feel that any copying or sharing of out of print zines - for any reason - is not permissible. There are also fans who say you are not allowed to loan your zines ever, so keep in mind there is a wide range of opinions, some more practical than others.

Edited at 2011-03-24 07:37 pm (UTC)
Mar. 26th, 2011 08:00 pm (UTC)
Ettiquette and the law
I would add that, from a legal standpoint, those who think that it's not permissible to loan or share prints zines are completely in the wrong. The right to give away or loan out a physical copy is guaranteed by statute. This is the premise all libraries are built on.
From a moral standpoint, I don't see why people shouldn't be able to share on a 1-to-1 basis. It has the same effect on the author as loaning out a book to a friend if the author had published in book form, and I don't think the author should have the moral authority to stop you. (From the legal perspective, it's murky whether emailing a copy is fair use, but the author is unlikely to protest.)
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