Last week, we wrote about one of the biggest, glaring flaws in the Copyright Office's long awaited report on the DMCA 's safe harbors was its refusal to recognize how frequently it's abused to take down legitimate works. As if on cue, over the weekend, the NY Times has quite the story about a feud in I kid you notwolf-kink erotica fan fiction, that demonstrates how the DMCA is regularly abused to punish and silence people for reasons that have nothing to do with copyright.
Sometime inCain caught wind of another author, Zoey Ellis, that was writing and publishing similar erotica. Fan fiction almost always creates a derivative workmaking it a potential infringement.
Crying wolf: what can a wolf-kink erotica lawsuit tell us about patented pitching metrics?
However, most authors tolerate non-commercial fan fiction either seeing it as helpful or at least not harmful enough to go to war with their own fanbase. To make matters worse, as was noted in the original article, there is surprisingly little case law in this area. All of this is Wolf-kink erotica to the fact that fan fiction and amateur writing communities have become a legitimate path to professional success as a writer. This is a similar technique as was used by E.
James when she turned her Twilight fan fiction into Fifty Shades of Grey. However, neither would be able to claim ownership of those elements.
Plagiarism squabbles have long been a part of fan fiction communities but, as authors move from online forums to published works, those battles are going to go from being online dramas to actual court cases. But no matter how this ends, this is just the first round.
When a trope becomes more than a trope
As such, this war is an important story for every author to be aware of because it is not an outlier, but an indication of the direction the copyright battle lines are moving. After all, the worlds of fan fiction and amateur erotica are much more forgiving on matters of copyright than the world of commercial publishing. Still, non-commercial fan fiction is both well-tolerated and extremely popular.
Trying to translate things that are perfectly normal in amateur spaces to the commercial world is not going to be a smooth process.
Instead, they are attributed to the Omegaverse, which is a set of tropes that was created by the wolf-kink erotica community over the course of thousands of pieces of writing. Jonathan Bailey May 26, Close Search for.
A feud in wolf-kink erotica raises a deep legal question
The fact that her publisher settled drives the point home. Some, such as Star Trek, allow it directly. Ultimately, it will likely be for the court to decide as neither seem willing to settle at this point.
Though she got her start in fan fiction, she moved to do original work and even repurposed many of her fan fiction stories by removing all of the copyright-protected elements and characters. Hopefully, both courts and authors catch up to this issue quickly.
According to Ellis, while there were many overlaps between the books, the similarities were not original to either set of works. However, according to the New York Times, Cain has struggled with her defense. After analyzing some of her stories, Cain determined that they were plagiarisms of her work and compelled her publisher, Blushing Books, to file Digital Millennium Copyright Act DMCA takedown notices against them.
With her books suddenly removed, Ellis spent months fighting the takedowns and getting her works restored.
This jump brings with it a unique set of problems. Authors can only own elements of their work that are both protectable by copyright and original to them. Though Ellis was able to get the books restored, she worried about lost sales and about how the allegations of plagiarism might mar her reputation and career. The story pits two authors, whose pen names are Addison Cain and Zoey Ellis, head-to-head both professionally and Wolf-kink erotica in a fight about allegations of plagiarism and copyright abuse.
As more authors make the jump from amateur writing to commercial publication, the past they built upon can create copyright problems. A recent article by Alexandra Alter at the New York Times drew attention to a copyright battle that has divided the wolf-kink erotica scene.
On the surface this might seem like a feud between two authors in a niche sub-genre of writing. The story starts with the author Addison Cain. The less original those works become, the more copyright is going to struggle. Blushing Books, for their part, has already settled the case leaving the matter solely between Cain and Ellis. What this does is make the copyright the author has in the work increasingly thin and makes it so that increasingly similar works to it are not infringements. Copyright was deed to protect original works of authorship.
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Fan fiction has not been heavily litigated and the times that it has pitted the original creator against the fan, not two fans against each other. If they both altered their piece to make them available for commercial publication, they would likely still share many of the same elements. During a deposition, she failed to cite one example of overlap not covered by the Omegaverse despite claiming that such similarities existed. Say, for example, two authors wrote in the same sub-genre of Harry Potter fan fiction.
While the story might seem very niche and unimportant, it actually points to a major problem that authors are going to face. As such, more and more authors are making the jump from either fan fiction or other amateur-led author communities, such as the Omegaverse, to professional publishing. When you bring in ificant elements from an outside source, whether a preexisting work or tropes within a genre, you can not control those elements.
Stories set inside the Omegaverse feature a hierarchy of characters that includes dominant alphas and submissive omegas.