One of the saddest symbols of fanfiction’s unclear legal status are the standard disclaimers prefacing many stories. They serve a pseudo-legal purpose, and while they do not preclude an infringement suit, disclaimers/author credits may appease nervous authors. Here are some examples:
Don’t own them. Don’t own it. Don’t own anything worth suing for. Unless you count my 45rpm of TV Smith’s Explorers’ “Tomahawk Cruise”, but they’ll have to pry that out of my cold dead hands. (Yes, I own vinyl, and still even listen to it – that’s what I get for being old.)
(The Pirate Way, Pirates of the Caribbean)
Disclaimer: If you recognize it, then it belongs to Charlaine Harris. Everything else is mine.
(A Conversation, True Blood)
Doctor Who and its accoutrements are the property of the BBC, and we obviously don’t have any right to them. Any and all crossover characters belong to their respective creators. Alas no one makes any money from this site, and it’s all done out of love for a cheap-looking sci-fi show. All fics are property of their individual authors. Archival at this site should not be taken to constitute automatic archive rights elsewhere, and authors should be contacted individually to arrange further archiving. Despite occasional claims otherwise, The Blessed St Lalla Ward is not officially recognised by the Catholic Church. Yet.
(A Teaspoon and an Open Mind Website General Disclaimer, Dr Who)
Disclaimer: Oh durn, House and Cuddy are not mine.
(Sunset, House MD)
Disclaimer: I do not own Burn Notice or the song “She Wouldn’t Be Gone”. Please don’t sue me, I’m totally broke anyways. =]
(She Wouldn’t Be Gone, Burn Notice)It just seems so wasteful that so many bright, talented writers have to worry about being sued for their fannish, non-commercial writing.
“I have my own particular sorrows, loves, delights; and you have yours. But sorrow, gladness, yearning, hope, love, belong to all of us, in all times and in all places. Music is the only means whereby we feel these emotions in their universality.”–H.A. Overstreet