Lora Innes, creator of THE DREAMER, has a post up about fan art based on her characters. Short version: she approves and enjoys it, but she also provides some guidelines. A sample:
▪ YES: Drawing my characters/writing fan fics/makings songs/fan videos, etc for the love it. When this is posted online, adding proper link backs and credits.
▪ NO: Selling prints, advertising space on a fan site, making shirts, buttons or anything else that draws a monetary value.
▪ YES: gifs and memes that celebrate the fandom, with a link back to The Dreamer.
▪ NO: gifs, memes or fan art that does not coincide with the spirit of myself or The Dreamer. (Not limited to but including adult themes, harsh language, hateful/critical/mean spirited subjects. If you wouldn’t see it in my comic, please don’t associate me or my work with it outside my comic.)
THE DREAMER is a webcomic (a print collection is available from IDW) about a 17-year-old contemporary girl who goes back to the Revolutionary War for adventure…in her dreams. It’s easy to see how fans would be attracted to the idea and a lot of what Innes is asking for is just common sense…but also fairly unenforceable. Or, as someone says in the comments:
So much of it seems harmless, I had no idea it was technically copyright infringement. Guess I’ve been breaking the law since I first started making Ghostbusters fan-comics in second grade… ;)
It isn’t just the big guys who have to worry about fan-made prints and so on.
UPDATE: Oops, apologies for misspelling Innes’s name. =(
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.