Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Liavek Independent Creator's License

1. The background

This license lets creative people use the world of Liavek, its magical system, and the shared characters designated in Section 7 at no cost in creative work that earns less than $3000 US, and describes the conditions for work that earns more than $3000 US.

Liavek is the intellectual property of Will Shetterly and Emma Bull, who share that ownership through contracts with the writers in the Liavek anthologies originally published by Ace Books. Collectively, those writers are the Liavek Co-op, which consists of Emma Bull, Will Shetterly, Gene Wolfe, Patricia C. Wrede, Nancy Kress, Steven Brust, Jane Yolen, Kara Dalkey, Pamela Dean, Megan Lindholm, Barry B. Longyear, Charles de Lint, Nathan A. Bucklin, Gregory Frost, John M. Ford, Charles R. Saunders, Bradley Denton, Alan Moore, Caroline Stevermer, Lee Barwood, and Walter Jon Williams.

Stories and characters created by writers in the Liavek Co-op belong to their writers and therefore may not be used under the terms of this license. This license only allows for the use of Liavek’s world, magical system, and the shared characters designated in Section 7.

2. Creators of prose, poetry, or music

a. Creators of prose, poetry, or music may use Liavek’s setting, magic system, and designated shared characters free of charge for short stories, novels, poems, and songs that earn less than $3000 US, whether from self-publishing or through a contract with another individual or company.

b. Prose, poetry, or music creators who make $3000 US or more must send 10% of the total amount earned within 10 days of receiving it to Will Shetterly and Emma Bull, who will distribute that money among the members of the Liavek Co-op.

c. Prose, poetry, and music creators who create work under this license that attracts commercial interest from entertainment producers (such as but not limited to comic book companies, TV and movie studios, recording artists and companies, and game companies) must contact Will Shetterly and Emma Bull to negotiate a contract that benefits those creators and the Liavek Co-op. (See 4.d)

3. Creators of comics, videos, or games

a. Creators of comics, videos, or games may use Liavek’s setting, magic system, and designated shared characters free of charge for self-produced comics, videos, movies, and games that earn less than $3000 US.

b. Comics, video, or game creators who make $3000 US or more from self-produced Liavek work must send 10% of the total amount earned within 10 days of receiving it to Will Shetterly and Emma Bull, who will distribute that money among the members of the Liavek Co-op.

c. Comics, video, or game creators who create work under this license that attracts commercial interest from entertainment producers (such as but not limited to comic book companies, TV and movie studios, and game companies) must contact Will Shetterly and Emma Bull to negotiate a contract that benefits those creators and the Liavek Co-op. (See 4.d)

4. The conditions of this license

a. Independent Creators who use this license may not contact any member of the Liavek Co-op to ask about using or approving anything that is not explicitly granted in this license. If an entertainment company wants to use a specific writer’s characters or stories, that company should contact Will Shetterly and Emma Bull.

This license is meant to let new creators use Liavek without placing demands on members of the Liavek Co-op. Artistically, Independent Creators should use Liavek with the same considerations they would bring to public domain material or fan fiction: the point is not to write an “accurate” version of Liavek but to create their own work set in the world of Liavek.

b. Work produced under this license should include this notice at the beginning or end of the work or on the copyright page: “This work was made under the terms of the Liavek Independent Creator’s License.”

c. Independent Creators may use a conventional copyright notice or a Creative Commons notice of their choice to cover their own work. This includes putting their work in the public domain, so long as the notice in 5.b (below) is included.

d. This license lets Independent Creators produce their own work set in Liavek, but it only lets them sell work using Liavek to publishers of prose, poetry, or music. It expressly does not give Independent Creators the right to sell Liavek work to producers of movies, television, comic books, games, or any other form of commercial entertainment besides prose, poetry, or music.

If an entertainment producer wants to use an Independent Creator’s Liavek work, that creator must have the producer contact Will Shetterly and Emma Bull, who will strive to ensure the project succeeds under a contract that rewards the Independent Creator and the members of the Liavek Co-op.

5. Creative protection for Independent Creators

a. Stories and characters created by Independent Creators belong to their creators and may not be used by anyone else without their creator’s permission.

However, minor details that an Independent Creator invents, such as but not limited to the names of streets or businesses, will become part of Liavek’s world and may be freely used by other Independent Creators under the terms of this license.

b. Independent Creators who want to let others use original elements in their work should include this notice at the beginning or end of the work or on the copyright page: “This work was made under the terms of the Liavek Independent Creator’s License. The characters and story elements may be used by other creators who use the Liavek Independent Creator’s License.”

6. Limitations on Advertising and Promotion for work created under this license

Any advertising or promotion for a Liavek work created under this license must include this notice: “This work was made under the terms of the Liavek Independent Creator’s License.”

Advertising or promotion for work created under this license may mention Liavek or the City of Luck. For example, an Independent Creator’s novel may be advertised or promoted with a phrase like but not limited to “a new novel about Liavek, the City of Luck!” or “a new story inspired by the Liavek books!”

Independent Creators may not use promotional quotes or reviews about the original Liavek anthologies to advertise or promote their own work. Use of the Liavek Independent Creator’s License does not imply that an Independent Creator’s work is similar to the work of the members of the Liavek Co-op.

7. What may and may not be used under this license

a. Shared characters that may be used

Liavekans

Rikiki, the blue chipmunk

Tazli, the Levar of Liavek

The Levar’s Regent, His Scarlet Eminence

The Magician

Gogo

Didi

the cats of 17 Wizards Row

Captain Bastian of the City Guard

Lt. Lian Jassil, aka Rusty

Sessi Jassil, Rusty’s adopted sister

Tel Jassil, Rusty’s father

Chay Garis, Rusty’s mother

Stone, Rusty’s comrade in the Guard

Zhir

King Thelm

Prince Jeng

Advisor L’Vos

Ambassador Rangzha Fon

Tichenese

Bejing Ki, Old Teacher of the Guild of Power

Chiba, her apprentice

Danhiz ola Vikili

Chiano Mefini

Independent Creators are encouraged to create their own characters for their work. Liavek is a large city. It has more agents of His Scarlet Eminence than those Steven Brust wrote about, more traders and nobles than Emma Bull wrote about, more priests and theaters than Pamela Dean wrote about, more ships than Gene Wolfe and Walter Jon Williams wrote about, more S’Rian magicians than Patricia C. Wrede wrote about, more inhabitants of Wizards Row than Will Shetterly wrote about, etc.

b. Locations that may be used

Any location in the original Liavek stories may be mentioned in a story under this license, but only the characters explicitly permitted in Section 7.a may be used.

This means Independent Creators may mention any any location in the narrative or dialogue—for example, a character may walk past The Tiger’s Eye or say something like “I tried to sell this at The Tiger’s Eye, but the clerk said it’s fake”—but this license does not give Independent Creators permission to use any of the characters who are associated with The Tiger’s Eye.

c. Time periods that may be used

Work may be set before, during, or after the time covered in the original anthologies.

8. Questions and contact information

Feel free to ask general questions in the comments below.

For contract or payment information, write Will Shetterly and Emma Bull. Our email: shetterly at gmail.com.

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