Originally Posted by DaleDe
Yes, I have permission to post this. Melinda's concern is that there can be no money made on any of her work. This is due to the fair use policy that she is using to be able to use Harry Potter characters in her books. The characters themselves are trademarked but fair use permits FanFic stories and books so long as no there is no commercial value.
I respectfully disgree with you, Dale. By using another author's characters one is creating what's called a "derived work", and that requires the permission of the original copyright holder (which is presumably Ms. Rowling in this case). Whether or not commercial gain is involved is irrelevent. As a purely practical matter, I agree with you that publishers will generally turn a "blind eye" to fan fiction, but that doesn't make it legal.