• Member Since 21st Jun, 2016
  • offline last seen Yesterday


Just trying my hand at writing stories, not very good at it yet but I hope to get better

More Blog Posts4

  • 28 weeks
    My case against no lyrics

    Greetings everyone Thule117 here with a quick little clarification. Now, as some of you may know, I recently posted a blog asking for help with allowing the song lyrics in my story to remain, (I should note that I have deleted them for the time being, but would very much like to see them eventually returned). What I may have failed to do is explain why I think the rules against song lyrics are

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    24 comments · 271 views
  • 28 weeks
    Fans of Guardian, I Need Your Help

    Addendum: After much thought, and consultation with fans, I have submitted to taking the lyrics that precipitated this message down after finding a workaround that somewhat addressed my concerns. However, I am leaving this blog up as it still encapsulates my feelings on this matter, and addresses what I believe is something we fanfiction writers should address. In addition I still encourage

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    41 comments · 332 views
  • 37 weeks
    All is forgiven Hasbro

    Never let it be said that I hold grudges. I mean, I do, but DON'T NOBODY SAY NOTHIN! GOT IT!? Ahem. . . I just got through watching the two opening episodes of season 8 of MLP, and I can honestly say that I love them. I still hate the movie, and just thinking about it makes me want to spit acid and strangle puppies. But I am willing to forgive it, if only because it created the setup for teaching

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    0 comments · 204 views
  • 62 weeks
    My Little Pony the Movie: Opinion

    Hey everyone, Thule117 here. How's everybody doing tonight good? Good. Say, I just got finished watching My Little Pony The Movie, and all I can think of to say is: WHO IN THE 9 SHADES OF FUCK WROTE THIS GARBAGE!!? Seriously, it was like watching a visual checklist of tired disney movie tropes done by inept hacks!

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    11 comments · 390 views

My case against no lyrics · 11:29pm May 31st

Greetings everyone Thule117 here with a quick little clarification. Now, as some of you may know, I recently posted a blog asking for help with allowing the song lyrics in my story to remain, (I should note that I have deleted them for the time being, but would very much like to see them eventually returned). What I may have failed to do is explain why I think the rules against song lyrics are misguided. Now first I'd like you to read this: Legal Issues with Fanfiction

This is about the best layman's version of fanfiction legal standing I could find readily available, but I encourage people to look for other sources to attain a more complete view of the situation. Now what I want to focus on is several things in this article, first this point: "To have copyright protection under U.S. law, a work must be an "original [work] of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression . . . from which [it] can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device."Such works of authorship include but are not limited to literature, music, plays, pictures and architectural works."

What I call attention to in the above quote is that music and literature hold equal presence in the world of copyright. Neither is considered older, beyond or above the other in importance or relevance. Now let us examine this statement: "Under U.S. Copyright law, the legality of a given work of fan fiction will depend principally on three legal doctrines: (1) copyrightability of the underlying source work; (2) the derivative work right; and (3) fair use."

I won't challenge that all music lyrics are copyrighted, and I will not go into into the concept of how "The Derivative Work Right" operates, other than to say it is the most contentious part of fanfiction legality and the law that puts all fanfiction on (at best) shaky legal ground. Now let us look at this statement:
Fanfiction is not infringing if it constitutes "Fair Use" of the underlying copyrighted work. In determining whether a particular use constitutes fair use, courts consider the following four factors:

  1. "the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Now let's go through these criteria one at a time and see how they apply to written music lyrics.

1. "The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes."

Obviously I'm not making any money on this, so any music I use passes the first criteria of fair use.

2. "The nature of the copyrighted work."

This is a bit tricky, and could be used to argue: music is different and thus you are wrong. So for sake of argument we'll say I fail this particular requirement.

3. "The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole."

Now no one can say I am not quoting the lyrics pretty much word for word in most cases. I did alter some of the lyrics enough that they might pass muster, but once more for the sake of argument, let's say that I fail again.

4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."

This one is pretty much a win right out of the gate. Because I think we can all agree that reading the lyrics of a song is nowhere near as satisfying as hearing the song properly. If anything your next logical step would be to track down the song and listen to it yourself to get the full experience (something I actively encourage in the author's notes by the way) so this one represents a net gain for the holder of the actual copyright. So on the last one, I pass with flying colors.

So final score on this is:

Legal 2

Illegal 2

Which brings me to this: "Fair use is assessed on a case-by-case basis."

If the courts decide these on individual merit, why shouldn't the moderators do the same? Or, if that is a logistical hurdal, why not just state that you publish at your own risk and if an outside group threatens legal action they are not going to hesitate to throw you to the wolves to save themselves? I agree that there should be limits placed on this kind of thing, and that a degree of restriction should be enforced, but I do not think we should bend to a blanket rule of absolute zero tolerance.

I have heard people say that record and music companies are especially aggressive about this sort of thing, but then how do you explain things like this: Manowar Example or this Overtones Example?

You may notice that the Overtones example has the label of (Official Video) meaning that the creator or company is literally giving away the music. The Manowar example may not have the word "official" in it, but I think we can all agree it looks pretty legitimate and is far too blatant to have "slipped under the radar". I will be the first to admit that this doesn't necessarily prove that the music industry wouldn't take issue with what I did. However it seems an awfully big stretch that they will give out the music for free themselves, but go berserk if someone writes the lyrics in a story, that if anything, is perfect advertising for their product.

I personally think the rules on lyrics are a case of a fear that could in theory happen, but never has, or will. Everyone just got so used to it being the law of the land that they didn't realize that the world had moved on to the point where the rule was mostly obsolete. The music industry has had occasions when they have been extreme, but like other companies, are not particularly likely to care about what is done in fanfiction writing unless someone attempts to make money on it. It simply isn't worth their time to attack a group or individual over a matter that will be a legal coin toss, and cost several dozen times more to attempt to prosecute than it ever would to ignore.

Anyway, that is my argument on the matter, thank you all for listening, and I hope you will continue to enjoy Guardian.

Sincerely, Thule117

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Comments ( 24 )

Having seen the Savage-Fair Use debacle of a few years ago, I don't think money has too much to do with it? I'll completely agree with you that I think putting lyrics in should be okay, but Your Movie Sucks made a very good video about why Savage was wrong about fair use, and specifically cited that monetary gain doesn't matter. I would recommend watching it, and I can try to get you a link if you'd like?

I unfortunately have to ask the question of have you talked to anyone higher up the staff tree because as far as I know Meeester does not have the authority to grant an exception or outright change to rules thus you have to go higher up the totem pole. if necessary you may try talking to


because he is the highest on the pole. if that doesn't work then you basically have to live with it as other then doing a hostile takeover of Fimfiction (which i do not recommend) your basically out of options.


Well, for one I am happy to see you more calm after the stressful days you must have undergone about this matter.

So yeah, while the rules are iron-hard unbending, you need to understand that it is a risk that the owner of the site cannot knowingly allow, if he is to be allowed to keep his house - because when a lawsuit happens, it isn't towards the users like you and me...

It is done against the owner/host of the site.

Thus, by keeping the stance non-compromising, the owner's shielding himself somewhat from that happening. Of course, it comes at the price of the rule being enforced.

I hope that this message finds you in good health.

Have a good night!:twilightsmile:

I would indeed like a link, thank you for the offer, and your support.

You make an excellent point, I was actually just composing a letter to what I believe is the number two individual on this site to present my argument. I haven't quite finished it yet, but I am going to do it.

I'll dm it to you once I get home.

See this is why I don't do stuff like this because then people take credit for my ideas plus there are TONS OF OTHER STORIES THAT HAVE LYRICS IN THEM!!

I just made the suggestion because I thought it might be a interesting idea to go with if you had something that had changed or was worthwhile, though i have to question WHY you target one person in favor of the hundreds of others that do the SAME THINGS.
I will include links in my next post of people who did the same thing (as if your going to throw one person under the bus why not ten)

let me just check the 754 stories in my read later list

Has a direct Youtube link to a song.

The seventh chapter of that fiction also has a Youtube song link.

A rule that is inconsistently enforced, may as well not be a rule at all.

Professor Plum
Story Approver

Links are fine. We've never had a problem with links.

It's copying lyrics that is the problem.

oh wait we can't link to songs (well then let me search for that as i KNOW I HAVE AT LEAST 300 STORIES WITH LINKS TO SONGS!)

sorry i just get frustrated

does this include in the authors notes too?
if it does add 50 to that

Professor Plum
Story Approver

As I just said, links are fine.

ok I was typing for too long and posted before I saw your comment.

and I understand
I unfortunently do
maybe there would be like a way to get around this BUT my current thought of linking to a diffrent site really wouldn't work as that is not allowed either
especially since the story is so heavily integrated into the lyrics

I really am out of solutions HOWEVER if you do decide to do something like that i would be willing to help AS i run a web server, and i would be willing for you utilize it. pm me if you would like.

Professor Plum
Story Approver

No thanks.

We allow people to link to other websites that include copyrighted content, as it's assumed the other site isn't breaching the copyright (uploaded by the copyright owner, or with permission, or whatever). And if that's not the case, then it's the responsibility of the other site to remove it, not us.

Theoretically, Thule would be allowed to keep the songs in his story if he could prove the copyright holder had authorised it. But I feel that is somewhat unlikely.

A third party web server wouldn't improve anything, not change our rules.

no i mean to like host the parts with the lyrics or like a downloadable version of the original story or something, i mean he/she would need to have the version with the lyrics cut out but you could download or view the uncut version if you so desired. Just a thought.
alternatively he could just submit a request for authorization of the usage of the lyrics to their song and be done with it.


I actually put something in the author's notes offering to send people an unredacted copy of the chapters if they wanted them, and I decided to put links to the songs into the story (I already had them in the author's notes). Honestly the one that really upset me was the first song I ever put in, it was modified specifically to fit the story, and the original song will not make as much sense.

ok whatever i hope that this does not kill the story.

Well I'm not going to pretend I'm not upset at what happened, but the whole reason I am upset is that I want the story to go on, it'd be kind of hypocritical if I stopped now.

duh I'm an idiot sometimes

naturally i'm once again up at midnight reading stories,
and I have to get up at 6:30
sleep deprivation
fun stuff
and I have a video uploading to youtube and after 6 HOURS IT IS ONLY AT 57% CURSE YOU INTERNET!!!

In other words I'm tired grouchy and would like to keep some of the stories on my lists alive if at all possible

too many have been canceled for my liking
I may try to sleep now

note all updates have been read(for the most part) I may sleep now

Oh, you stay up to late working on stories too eh? Get some sleep friend, I think we will both feel better tomorrow.

So everyone can watch it if they so desire:

A quick edit to my previous comment, while I think that having lyrics isn't gonna hurt the site, that's just purely my own opinion, and if the mods say to take them down, best to just listen to them and take down the lyrics.

hmm wasnt there somehing withn the copyright law that if one used materials from others one should always give credit (while not using said materials for monetizing purpose) to the original creator which the materials belong to so the fair use is A-OK and wont cause any infringements thus no problems regarding the law?

i seen youtubers use materials from various artists etc who had zero problems due to they giving credits to the artists etc

Nope. You can still receive a C&D letter and/or lawsuit even if you do that. While courts look more favorably upon non-commercial use, that isn't a major factor in a Fair Use decision. However, it does help show that you are not trying to usurp the market for the original work by pointing them to the original work and saying "Hey, this is where I got this. Please show support for the original! :D " While it won't make you immune to prosecution, it doesn't hurt any and is just plain respectful to the IP owner.

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