Please read and understand this--e-mail us if you don't--if you intend to make art, or games, or lectures etc etc of any type using characters created by W. A. Hoffman (Wynette A. Hoffman). This information does not apply to stating a public opinion about Ms. Hoffman's characters, reviewing her books, or talking about her, etc.
Ms. Hoffman is very grateful and pleased to have inspired people to produce art using her characters. It is very validating for any artist to inspire others. She truly wishes to do nothing to dissuade any other artist from ever following their muse and creating. However, as a professional artist, Ms. Hoffman is required – by the dictates of common sense and the legalities of the world we live in – to protect her intellectual property rights. Her main concerns as a creator are that her name as an artist, the quality of her works, and her ability to earn money with those works are not damaged, tarnished, or impeded. Also, she loves her characters about a million times more than anyone else, and she is very protective of them: they are her children. To that end, she wishes to make this public statement about what she will and will not allow as pertains to her intellectual property: copyrights and trademarks.
One: I cannot allow anyone to make money off my work or characters unless they are granted specific license by me.
Two: I cannot allow any derivative works of my work – in whatever medium – to be circulated in the public eye if they present my work in a manner which would dissuade other people from reading or buying my work. And I have the right to make the determination as to what is or is not flattering to my work. This does not include reviews or critical analysis or mention of my work. This pertains to art in any form that would serve to cause anyone in the potential market for my novels to have an unfavorable or incorrect impression of the books, their characters, the subject matter, or my writing style.
Three: I cannot allow anyone to circulate in the public eye derivative works of my work in other artistic mediums that I intend to possibly exploit.
So… What does that mean?
First, let me clarify that when I say art, I mean any creative expression. I am not limiting the word art to graphic reproductions. I mean writing, singing, music, games, dance, freeform public art pieces, and illustrations.
The rules here do not effect you if you do not allow anyone else to see what you produce. If it's only for you--the derivative art creator--then knock yourself out. Create anything you want, say anything you want: as long as no one else ever sees it. If it’s your private thing: it’s your private thing. The minute it shows up on a public site, you mail it to your friends, display it in an art show, etc, then it’s literally and figuratively my business.
If you do not understand why it is my business, and you don't have a good grasp of copyright, trademark, and the definition of derivative... Learn. Especially if you wish to be an artist /writer yourself--which you presumably do if you're creatng derivative art of my or anyone else's characters. I am not a lawyer or a legal scholar. It is not my place to explain these things. Go look them up. Then ask questions of qualified people.
So, with that in mind, here are my guidelines for derivative works that are to be publicly circulated, displayed, posted, etc…
Fan Fics: Ms. Hoffman is willing to allow other authors to write and distribute stories that involve her characters and story as long as: the derivative work (fanfic) does not earn the fan author any money: does not substantially quote Ms. Hoffman's prose or dialogue: is written respectfully of the characters and GBLT issues: and, properly references Ms. Hoffman's creation of the work being derived. (meaning some notice is given that the story is a fanfic of characters from the specific series and that the characters belong to Ms. Hoffman.) She reserves the right to request a cessation of the distribution of any work that she finds to be in violation of the points listed above, or for any other reason at her discretion.
Fan Art: In this we are discussing illustrated art—in any media(computer/chalk/ceramics/ etcetc)--that specifically represents Ms. Hoffman's characters by name. She is willing to allow the creation and distribution of fan art depicting her characters by name if no money is earned by the derivative artist and the characters are portrayed respectfully—and credit for the series is properly displayed. (see fan fic para above). If her novels inspire you to draw pirate pornography/erotica/YAOI images and one of the characters has red hair and the other blond, she doesn't care or have any say in the matter unless you say the illustration/image represents her characters specifically.
Graphic Novels/Comics/Serial Art Adaptations: Ms. Hoffman would really like to collaborate with an artist to do a graphic novel adaptations of her work, and sell it. She is a comic book fan, though, and thus aware of the possible art styles for this kind of thing and she has preferences. Ms. Hoffman is also a graphic artist, and she can script any of her projects panel by panel, and she has very specific ideas about how she wants to see the characters and story portrayed. So, she does not want to encounter--or have any potential purchaser of a version she might produce encounter--a graphic novel/comic version of her work with which she is not directly involved. If you want to do it and never show it to anyone, go for it. If you are a professional-caliber artist and want to talk to Ms. Hoffman about collaboration, please contact her with examples of your portfolio.
Scripts (for movie/play/audio): Ms. Hoffman writes scripts. She would love to adapt her work as a series of movies, plays, or a mini-series etc. She knows that's not really likely to happen, and she can give you dozens of reasons why; yet, she still reserves the right to adapt her work into those forms. If you want to write a script and you never intend to show it to anyone, go for it. But she does not wish to have anyone stumble across or be presented with a script adaptation of her work that she did not write--unless someone writes her a really big check and she has signed an option agreement. If you are interested in professionally adapting Ms. Hoffman's work, feel free to contact her.
Translations: Ms. Hoffman is very interested in doing foreign language versions of her novels. If you have the knowledge to do a translation of her work and wish to collaborate in profit sharing on the publication of such a version, contact Alien Perspective. She cannot allow people to translate and post--or in other ways make available to the public-- translations of her work without her permission. (And, Ms. Hoffman is not in a cash flow position to hire someone to translate her work at this time.)
Readings/Recordings: Ms. Hoffman gives her permission for people to publicly read her work – exactly as written – as long as she is fully credited for the work and the reader does not earn money. Ms. Hoffman chooses to reserve the right to record any such reading by audio, video or any other means not defined here. If you wish to record a reading of any part of her works and broadcast it in any media or format in order to publicize the book or raise awareness of GBLT issues and history, please contact Ms. Hoffman and she will be happy to discuss the matter and probably grant permissions for specific events or situations.
Cosplay/Improv/Interpretive Dance/Performance Art: Knock yourself out – just be respectful and don’t record it or sell it if Ms. Hoffman's name, the name of her books, or her character names are specifically mentioned within it or in reference to it. To clarify by example, Ms. Hoffman does not care if you perform an RBW cosplay at a convention, as long as you don’t make money from it and she is properly credited for the copyright in the announcement to the audience and in any recording made. If you plan to make money from it, either contact her and ask for written permission--or leave any trademarkable or copyrightable material out of it.
Music: If you are inspired to write music and lyrics by Ms. Hoffman's work--or filk-- the same rules apply as for everything else. Don't make money, treat her characters and GBLT issues with respect, and credit her.
Games: Ms. Hoffman doesn't care if someone wants to set an FRP adventure in her worlds using her characters--as long as you never try and publish it as a module. (And that rule is so old school, most of you probably won't know what we're talking about...) Essentially, she does not care if people engage in online or offline RPGs etc. as long as the three major considerations are met and she is properly credited.
Merchandise: If you are inspired to make a craft project based on Ms. Hoffman's work, go for it. If, however, you have a great idea that could be mass produced and you want to sell it, contact Ms. Hoffman to negotiate.
Brain Wave Recordings… Seriously, if there is any form of derivative art/software/merchandise we have not covered here, do not assume Ms. Hoffman does not hold rights concerning it or that she doesn't have an opinion about it. Contact her to discuss it and ask for permission.