copyrightquestion from a newbie...

Deacan

Commodore
;)

First of all: hi there!

I don't know where to post this question, so I simply start here... I wrote a book based upon "Privateer 2", and a second one is in work... but: who has the copyrights on the game right now?

Just asking because several of my friends want to see this book in the stores...

Deacan

PS: sorry for my bad english - I'm from Germany and it's been a while since I last post something in this language...

;)
 
I can't give you a really satisfying answer but I can tell you that you got to distinguish between the copyright of the game (like don't copy this cd...) and the copyright on the literary content. Even when the game itself runs as abandoned, the literary content, like character and story, can still be under copyright. So you got to look for both. Maybe there is even more...
 

Death

gh0d (Administrator)
EA has the copyright on Privateer 2 and its content, on which this book is based. Therefore, you'd have to talk with them (who at EA in particular I don't know), especially if it's for money.

Odds are, though, that unless you're a known author, the chances of allowing it are just about zip, and even then it's unlikely, given EA's present disinclination to develop the license.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Martini Doctor said:
I can't give you a really satisfying answer but I can tell you that you got to distinguish between the copyright of the game (like don't copy this cd...) and the copyright on the literary content. Even when the game itself runs as abandoned, the literary content, like character and story, can still be under copyright. So you got to look for both. Maybe there is even more...

Also, "abandoned" as the concept you're describing doesn't exist here. It's not at all necessary to look for diferent levels of copyright. There's one owner of the property, and all requests would go through them. Electronic Arts is the contact point. Has the original poster ever written books before? EA is rather unforgiving when it considers work by unestablished groups and people.
 
My fault. In german law part of the copyright on a creative peace of work is inalienable. Even when an author sells his work to a publishing house, part of the copyright stays with him. Thought it might be the same with US law, which is the decisive factor in this case.
This is what i meant when i talked about diferent levels of copyright. Even if EA would allow him to use the stuff he should still ask every single creator of the whole.
And even if he wouldn't need to, it would show respect to other peoples work.
Yet, I'm sorry if i screwed things up in my previous post.
 

Maj.Striker

Swabbie
Banned
You would need to contact Carter Edgerton at EA, Director of Creative Content and directly responsible for licensing out of EA's intellectual property. Before you do so however I suggest that you have the following information prepared for him or he will likely not respond to your request:

1. The name of your book and the general scheme of what it covers.
2. The name of the publisher that will manufacture and distribute your book. (This would include whether you intend to distribute world wide or to an explicit market.
3. The fee that you and/or your publisher are willing to pay to EA for the use of the intellectual property.
4. The percentage of profits that you will also pay to EA as a return on the venture.


2 through 4 are the most important and if you don't have a solid business case then you can forget about hearing further. If you do have a publisher lined up willing to produce and distribute the book then you might be able to proceed to the negotiation stage with EA. Of course your book will have to be reviewed by EA's internal marketing team to determine whether it agrees with the franchise's established canon. Since Wing Commander is not a franchise that they are actively involved in "pushing" to their perspective market...it's not likely they'll be interested in your proposal without a solid airtight case.

Well, that's basically it. I wish you the best of luck.
 

Deacan

Commodore
Well, thanks for all informations!

The book is in german, and there are only 8 copies at all - and there are not for sold!
But I will try to contact the crew of EA... perhaps it will work, at least I personaly don't want to make any money with this stuff - as I told you in the first post, my friends want the book in stores...

Deacan
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Hehe, that's funny -- I just wrote a livejournal post about how it'd be nice if the novel series continued in German...

Even if you can't get your book published we'd certainly like to hear more about it.

You would need to contact Carter Edgerton at EA, Director of Creative Content and directly responsible for licensing out of EA's intellectual property.

Heh, you forgot to provide the contact information.
 

cff

Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi
Martini Doctor said:
My fault. In german law part of the copyright on a creative peace of work is inalienable. Even when an author sells his work to a publishing house, part of the copyright stays with him. Thought it might be the same with US law, which is the decisive factor in this case.

You are right, the copyright cannot be sold in German or Austrian law. However the publishing rights and everything else can. As consequence whoever wrote the backstory would still have the copyright in German law. However he still would have no say regarding this matter because the publishing rights would most likely be with EA (unless there was a different contract). Copyright alone doesn't give you any right at all besides the claim 'I did it'.
 

Deacan

Commodore
So, I got an answer:

From EA

Hello,

I am sorry to say that without a revenue guarantee from a prospective licensor EA is unable to put resources towards rights requests for IP that we currently do not support.



Would you be able to Guarantee a min of $100k in royalties to EA from your proposed usage of Privateer 2?



If so please send over more details regarding your potential publishing partners and distribution channels and suggested royalty rate paid to EA over the requested term and territories.



If not I apologize for not being able to be more accommodating and wish you a Happy Holidays.



Jim Stadelman

Account Manager, Licensing

Electronic Arts

.......................
 

t.c.cgi

Vice Admiral
Well, unless your publisher thinks you can make it big, it might be easier just to release it as fanfic here or on some other website.
 

privfan

Commodore
2 thoughts
cool that they replied
sucks that they want a guarantee of $100k
especially considering that even $10 (yes, ten) is more profit than they're currently making off of wing Commander seeing that they aren't doing a thing with the universe
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
privfan said:
especially considering that even $10 (yes, ten) is more profit than they're currently making off of wing Commander seeing that they aren't doing a thing with the universe
Except that a bad WC product could deal significant damage to the franchise, thus affecting the possibility of other products in the future. EA is absolutely right to require such guarantees from people interested in working on their franchises. I for one am happy that they do so, rather than whoring out their franchises to anyone that asks.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
privfan said:
2 thoughts
cool that they replied
sucks that they want a guarantee of $100k
especially considering that even $10 (yes, ten) is more profit than they're currently making off of wing Commander seeing that they aren't doing a thing with the universe

See, that's not true. They just released six translations of the novels, with the final one done within just the last couple months. https://www.wcnews.com/news/update/6769 Like Quarto says, they don't just randomly hand out the license to anyone though. If they did, we could have easily gotten plenty of WC games in the last five years, but there's a good chance they would have been of the same poor quality as many other generic space sims. This should be very reasuring. When we do get more Wing Commander products, they will be well done and will have the appropriate amount of resources invested in them.
 
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Haesslich

Spaceman
Quarto said:
Except that a bad WC product could deal significant damage to the franchise, thus affecting the possibility of other products in the future. EA is absolutely right to require such guarantees from people interested in working on their franchises. I for one am happy that they do so, rather than whoring out their franchises to anyone that asks.

And anyone who's not afraid of bad games created under a franchise, I have but two words: "Star Trek" :D

It's not like EA hasn't been licensing WC stuff, as Chris noted - it's just they're picky about their property, and want to protect their investment.
 

t.c.cgi

Vice Admiral
privfan said:
2 thoughts
cool that they replied
sucks that they want a guarantee of $100k
especially considering that even $10 (yes, ten) is more profit than they're currently making off of wing Commander seeing that they aren't doing a thing with the universe


At least he has a remote chance. If it were me I would have said no outright.
 

Worf

Vice Admiral
Or like most people, just blow him off unread.

$100k... I suppose if you can guarantee 100,000 (a fairly large run) books will be published, you can give them $1 royalty on each. Maybe 25,000 books a $4/book... would give you about nothing for royalties left over and a book price of probably $12 or so...

It's probably easier to release it as fanfic, and self-publish it in tiny quantities in independent bookstores (just enough to have your friends buy it). Small enough quantities to not attract EA's attention, and in independent bookstores since they're often willing to try more unknown authors.
 

Alch

Spaceman
Well, I will surely look like a fool but, after reading this thread... :rolleyes: there might be no problems concerning intellectual properties, copyrights and so on when dealing with fanmade projects as standoff, flight commander or, for similarity matters, holding the line??
 
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