Thursday, January 2, 2014

Three not-so-elementary tips for using pre-existing characters, my dear author...

Being the start of a new year, January 1 (yesterday) saw a whole new set of works come into the public domain. And as that happens, some authors may want to use their characters for their own purposes. But if those characters are used in multiple works and not all of them are available, you might think you can't. Certainly the rightsholders for the later works will want you to think so. Are they right? A recent judgment on Sherlock Holmes gives some insight into this far-from-elementary question.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Okay, this time I'm *really* back

You are entitled to disbelieve, but I'm really back this time. 2013 brought a ton of personal stuff: some good, some bad, some great, some awful, all huge. But just like 2013, that's in the past.

Two things became clear to me during the hiatus:

  1. Writing these posts was helpful to keep me sharp. Keeping up on topics of interest and figuring out how to explain them to the world made me understand them more deeply. That's something I can build upon...
  2. I've taught my Entertainment Law class at the University of Washington for 4 years and it's time to update the curriculum. The thing is, most of the topics I cover here would also be good for my students. And teaching doesn't have to be boring, and textbooks don't have to be boring either.
So here's a marker I'm throwing down right now. In 2014 I will work out first iterations of thoughts on this blog, look for comments and criticisms etc., and use those to assemble the thoughts in longer form that I'll make available as an e-book and through CreateSpace for print.

I need you to keep me honest. So if I don't do these things, hold me to them.

On with the show... and thanks for coming back.