March 12, 2013
Things we didn’t expect to joyfully type (at least not this soon): 
Huzzah! Universal won its “50 Shades” copyright case against the porn company!
You know, the company (Smash) that claimed that 50 Shades was in the public domain because in a prior version, it had been uploaded to FFN and various other sites online. 
The one where Universal got to write, in its legal papers, this: 
Defendants do not and cannot provide any legal authority for the proposition that an earlier version of Ms. Mitchell’s work is now in the “public domain.” They can hardly defend their infringement of Plaintiffs’ copyrights in the Fifty Shades Trilogy by claiming that it is substantially similar to Ms. Mitchell’s own earlier work.
Yes, Universal & their lawyers have basically stated that there is no legal authority for the proposition that fanfic posted online is in the public domain. 
How is this relevant to your interests, fanfic writers, and fanartists? 
As we posted last week,  as a user of the internet, you still own the copyright in your work, even if it is posted online for other people to access, and even if the Terms of Use for the site you’re posting on say that the site has a license to use your work on specified ways.
This right exists, even if it’s based on something someone else wrote; you still hold a copyright in your original, specific words. Online and available does not equal Public Domain.
So here’s the breaking news about the law suit, via Lexis-Nexus:

Adult film studio Smash Pictures Inc. agreed Friday to pay an undisclosed amount and stop selling its pornographic adaptations of the best-selling “Fifty Shades” book series, settling a copyright infringement suit by Universal City Studios LLC and the books’ rights holder.



(Note: We don’t know who created the image at the top of this post; we did an Image Search and it came back to 9gag, who we know don’t create a lot of what they post and watermark; if you know who made it please let us know so we can properly credit.)

Things we didn’t expect to joyfully type (at least not this soon): 

Huzzah! Universal won its “50 Shades” copyright case against the porn company!

You know, the company (Smash) that claimed that 50 Shades was in the public domain because in a prior version, it had been uploaded to FFN and various other sites online. 

The one where Universal got to write, in its legal papers, this: 

Defendants do not and cannot provide any legal authority for the proposition that an earlier version of Ms. Mitchell’s work is now in the “public domain.” They can hardly defend their infringement of Plaintiffs’ copyrights in the Fifty Shades Trilogy by claiming that it is substantially similar to Ms. Mitchell’s own earlier work.

Yes, Universal & their lawyers have basically stated that there is no legal authority for the proposition that fanfic posted online is in the public domain. 

How is this relevant to your interests, fanfic writers, and fanartists? 

As we posted last week,  as a user of the internet, you still own the copyright in your work, even if it is posted online for other people to access, and even if the Terms of Use for the site you’re posting on say that the site has a license to use your work on specified ways.

This right exists, even if it’s based on something someone else wrote; you still hold a copyright in your original, specific words. Online and available does not equal Public Domain.

So here’s the breaking news about the law suit, via Lexis-Nexus:

Adult film studio Smash Pictures Inc. agreed Friday to pay an undisclosed amount and stop selling its pornographic adaptations of the best-selling “Fifty Shades” book series, settling a copyright infringement suit by Universal City Studios LLC and the books’ rights holder.

(Note: We don’t know who created the image at the top of this post; we did an Image Search and it came back to 9gag, who we know don’t create a lot of what they post and watermark; if you know who made it please let us know so we can properly credit.)

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