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Old 10-28-2013, 08:16 AM   #106
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Not sure what I think of it, but it got me thinking - if I read a translated version of a book, can I truly say I've read the book the author wrote?
Seems to be the same situation, no?
No.
Translating somebody else's words doesn't equal using an already created universe and characters, and then adding new characters, different relationships, different settings, different dialogues, different everything.
The former is called translation, the latter fanfiction. Translators around the world are acknowledged as working legitimately, fanfiction writers often get sued over stealing or using other people's property.

Maybe this modern adaptation won't go far as some fanfiction does, but then again it might get pretty damn close. Who knows.
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Old 10-28-2013, 08:17 AM   #107
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Maybe this modern adaptation won't go far as some fanfiction does, but then again it might get pretty damn close. Who knows.
You can know if you take the trouble to look at the excerpt on the "Austen Project" website and compare it to the original.
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:38 AM   #108
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Translation is considered legitimate, and so is making adaptations of public domain works. You can call it fanfiction all you want, but this isn't fanfiction. Fanfiction is derivative work based on copyrighted material without permission.

This is certainly a derivative work, but it's not under copyright, and therefore there's no need to ask permission. When people get in trouble for fanfiction, it's for copyright violation, just as if someone had tried to publish an unauthorized translation. No one gets sued for adapting public domain works.

Authorized derivative works based on copyrighted material aren't fanfiction, and this is no different. It's true there is no authorization given, but as it is public domain, no permission is needed, and indeed there isn't even anyone who could give permission.

I don't know if this will be a good book or not, but even if it isn't good, that doesn't make it fanfiction.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:01 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by QuantumIguana View Post
Translation is considered legitimate, and so is making adaptations of public domain works. You can call it fanfiction all you want, but this isn't fanfiction. Fanfiction is derivative work based on copyrighted material without permission.

This is certainly a derivative work, but it's not under copyright, and therefore there's no need to ask permission. When people get in trouble for fanfiction, it's for copyright violation, just as if someone had tried to publish an unauthorized translation. No one gets sued for adapting public domain works.

Authorized derivative works based on copyrighted material aren't fanfiction, and this is no different. It's true there is no authorization given, but as it is public domain, no permission is needed, and indeed there isn't even anyone who could give permission.

I don't know if this will be a good book or not, but even if it isn't good, that doesn't make it fanfiction.
Actually, I wouldn't quite say this is correct: there is nothing at all that says fanfiction is necessarily written in universes / for works still under copyright. It's, well, derivative fiction written by fans.

There is plenty of Jane Austen or Sherlock Holmes or Shakespeare fanfiction around - non-commercial, fan-written derivative works, which are essentially not at all different from, say, Harry Potter or Twilight fanfiction, other than the originals not being under copyright any more and therefore there being no question of legitimacy.

Derivative commercial fiction for public domain material is, essentially, in all matters other than legal, fanfiction (unless, I suppose, written for pure profit by people who aren't "fans" of the original in any way).

Let's say a fan writes a derivative novel (adaptation, alternative take, "what if ...") for a Jane Austen book, and a similar derivative novel (adaptation, alternative take, "what if ...") for a J K Rowling novel - they're both fanfiction, just that in one case it's perfectly legal (regardless of whether the fan posts it online for free or uploads it on Amazon to sell) and in the other, the author may opt to protest and/or sue the fan.

Most commercial derivative fiction based on / inspired by / adapted from public domain books is more polished, of higher quality and, possibly, written with profit in mind, compared to most non-commercial derivative fiction (aka fanfiction - for public domain and non-public domain works alike), but it is still, in every way but legal standing and commercial status, fanfiction.

Basically, what I'm getting at, is that if a random fan writes a similar adaptation of, say, Sense and Sensibility (taking the characters into a modern setting but leaving the basic plot intact), and posted it on fanfiction.net, it would very much be considered fanfiction. If it's Joanna Trollope and it's written and published as part of a project with "artistic value", for profit, it's literature - but in its very essence, it's the same thing.

...

Also, on topic, I've just ordered the Trollope book. Sense and Sensibility is my favourite of Jane Austen's novels, and I'm looking forward to seeing what a successful author has done with it and how well (if at all) it works in a contemporary setting.

It's entirely possible I end up not liking it very much, but it's also possible I'll enjoy it. In either case, it won't take away from the enjoyment Austen's novel has given me over the years, just as the Sense and Sensibility fanfiction (of the non-commercial, fan-written kind) that I've read over the years, most of it admittedly not very good, didn't make me think any worse of the book.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:04 AM   #110
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Also, on topic, I've just ordered the Trollope book. Sense and Sensibility is my favourite of Jane Austen's novels, and I'm looking forward to seeing what a successful author has done with it and how well (if at all) it works in a contemporary setting.

It's entirely possible I end up not liking it very much, but it's also possible I'll enjoy it. In either case, it won't take away from the enjoyment Austen's novel has given me over the years, just as the Sense and Sensibility fanfiction (of the non-commercial, fan-written kind) that I've read over the years, most of it admittedly not very good, didn't make me think any worse of the book.
Good for you! I'm going to wait until the paperback release, at which time the ebook should fall considerably in price. It's rather expensive at the moment.

Please do let us all know what your opinion is, after you've read it.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:07 AM   #111
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Good for you! I'm going to wait until the paperback release, at which time the ebook should fall considerably in price. It's rather expensive at the moment.

Please do let us all know what your opinion is, after you've read it.
I'll try to remember to! It'll take some time as I actually ordered it in hardback from BookDepository, so it'll take a good three weeks for it to get to me...

I considered the ebook, but I just bought & assembled a new bookshelf last week (found that I could rearrange some furniture to make room for just one more) and now it's standing here all empty, so I'll probably be buying a few more books in paper again in the near future...
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:14 PM   #112
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This is kinda, sorta related to this thread:

The Selling (Out) of a Classic - Book jackets of Pride and Prejudice juiced up for the Twilight set
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:31 PM   #113
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Covers do help sell a book. The rather sterile covers that classics often have sends a message of "This is a classic, it's good for you, but you won't really enjoy it." The more modern covers look more appealing. Packaging is important, regardless of what you are selling.
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