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Old 10-27-2013, 05:36 AM   #1
Orion
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Turning a MUD into a novel

I've been working on a MUD for a few years now that's focused on roleplay, contributing to a story told by all the characters.

While I've been doing this, I've also been writing a novel based on the same setting, with some characters I plan to introduce when the MUD is opened for play.

It's unlikely that I'll finish the novel before I open the MUD, but I was wondering if there were any legal issues around creating a story that might be seen to be using other people's characters and ideas from a MUD that you've created, even if those characters were assigned to players by you.

I don't know much about stuff like this, but perhaps some waiver notice at the start of the game, stating that you give assent for anything you add to the story possibly being used in a book.

I figure, also, some people might like the idea of reading something similar to a game they've come to enjoy, if that becomes the case.

It's entirely possible, and probable that the events in my novel will unfold in a way that is different to what happens in the MUD, as I will want to give players the latitude to affect the story in the MUD as they like (within reasonable constraints defined by the setting.)

Last edited by Orion : 10-27-2013 at 05:53 AM.
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Old 10-27-2013, 06:04 AM   #2
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Re: Turning a MUD into a novel

I'm also a little concerned that someone could decide to use the story in my MUD to write a novel of their own. I know it's probably unlikely, but it makes me wonder if there's anything legally to prevent that.
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Old 10-27-2013, 08:27 AM   #3
flbellman
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Re: Turning a MUD into a novel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion View Post
I'm also a little concerned that someone could decide to use the story in my MUD to write a novel of their own. I know it's probably unlikely, but it makes me wonder if there's anything legally to prevent that.
That should be a copyright infringement case, notwithstanding the terms and conditions of your website. Of course, each case should be addressed individually. The more detailed your word is, the easier you can stop people form using it. Of course, there are many issues as to builders, and other stuff. Is not this covered somewhere in the Forums? This topic should be hot!

However, the bottom line is this. For example, I play Achaea, and the Mud has a lot of background, name of Gods, places, events etc...I cannot write a novel set in the world Achaea, and sell it in bookstores, (even though this my help to advertise Achaea, but that's another matter).

You can add a specific clause in the terms and condition of your Mud to bind players on the base of a contractual obligation, and not only by the applicable IP Law which may have different standard as to copyright infringement. I think it really depends on your attitude about fan fiction.

If you want I can help you or anybody, for free on this matter.

I am really fond of IP and VG, and I would like to support the MUD community.

P.S. Yes, I am a lawyer, quite sadly;
P.P.S. Yes, I did an LLM in NY on IP Law;
P.P.P.S. To be hones, I (try to) play Achaea. I do not have much time left for VG.
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