STEP 1:  Create

STEP 2:  ?????

STEP 3:  Profit!

What is Step2?

Floor64's Step2 is a community brainstorming platform for asking about, suggesting, creating, and building models for success, with help from the Insight Community. It's not just about the "business" model, but the overall "success" model. How do you create that connection with the marketplace? How do you offer something worth buying? Step2 is here to help.

If you're trying to figure out how to succeed, provide some details and ask for some insight. If you've got ideas, jump into the existing discussions. Let's all team up to help turn the Step 2 in every plan into something more than just question marks.

Start a discussion >>


Can I use Batman & Superman

0 like 0 dislike
Long time reader, first time poster, but I had to ask, I've written a short story wherein the world it's set in (Metropolis) is lived in by batman (but a future where Robin took over the mantle), and a whole host of superheroes (like Spiderman married Wonder woman, The Thing does specialised porn etc), and Superman (now married to Lois Lane with a son), but the main story's about the son of superman and a new Robin - and it's (supposed to be) humourous.

If I tried to include it in a book selling on Amazon and itunes, would I be looking at troubles? bearing in mind, the story probably wouldn't work if I had to substitute the heroes.

I'm wondering if satire wouldn't cover the fair use thing. Thanks for any help.

Tony F.
initiated Aug 29, 2012 in Ask Techdirt by Tony Paulazzo (140 points)   1 1 1

4 Responses

1 like 0 dislike

In no way does this constitute legal advice... I'll just point you to this Wikipedia article on fan fiction.

The shortest answer is "no" -- fan fiction is not generally covered by fair use. 

response added Aug 29, 2012 by Michael Ho (2,370 points)   10 14 27
1 like 0 dislike
If, in any way, you are getting money for your work, then it is in no way legal. You can't even claim fair use in this case. If it were just fan fiction on a website, it is still technically illegal (though you MAY be able to argue fair use), but most companies won't go ballistic over fan-fic's.
response added Aug 29, 2012 by Jeff Bunde (570 points)   2 4
@gothenem I wouldn't go quite that far.  It is entirely possible for fair use to happen in a commercial setting (think of how often commercial news reports rely on fair use, or look at the case of a book publisher who published a book of Grateful Dead posters -- which was found to be fair use, despite being a commercial endeavor).

Not that this means commercial use is always fair use.  And in this instance, it still seems unlikely that this kind of activity would be seen as fair use.  Just saying that your claim that if there's money, it's definitely illegal does not hold in all cases.  Just most cases.
0 like 0 dislike

As others have stated, you should look very closely at the laws governing these things and if you're serious about publishing the book, speak to a lawyer well before you go forward with it.

Two other points I'd mention (and, as Mike Ho noted above, this is not legal advice in any way shape or form -- but just noting two general points):

  1. You mention satire, but satire is not considered a form of fair use.  *Parody* can be (though is not definitely), but not satire.  It's important to understand the difference.
  2. Even if you think you have a strong fair use defense, that does not mean a large company with deep pockets won't sue you.
response added Aug 31, 2012 by Mike Masnick (22,930 points)   59 99 160
0 like 0 dislike
I'm kind of curious as to what the copyright situation is with regard to characters. Does the copyright period run from the first publication with those characters in or is the clock restarted with every subsequent use?
response added Sep 5, 2012 by drew stephenson (3,370 points)   3 10 22

Please log in or register to contribute to this discussion.

Related discussions

0 like 0 dislike
0 responses
15 like 0 dislike
9 responses
3 like 0 dislike
3 responses

Terms & Conditions · Privacy Policy · FAQ · Contact
Brought to you by Floor64 and the Insight Community.