Ann Sharp, ex-editor of the Darkover NewsLetter, was kind enough to send me a copy of the DARKOVER NON-GUIDELINES (coming directly from Elisabeth Waters). I include here this copy:
In the summer of 1992, Mrs. Bradley was forced to stop reading unsolicited Darkover stories. At that time she also stopped giving permission for her fans to "play in her yard." One of her fans wrote a story, using MZB's world and characters, which overlapped the setting she was using for CONTRABAND, the Darkover novel she was working on at the time. Since the fan had sent MZB a copy of the story and she had read it, the publisher refused to publish CONTRABAND. This meant that Mrs. Bradley was out several years' work, as well as the cost and inconvenience of having her lawyer deal with a fan who was convinced that she should have a shared byline on a Darkover novel.
She does not plan to do any more Darkover anthologies.
As things now stand, anyone writing a Darkover story, or using Mrs. Bradley's world or ANY of her characters, is violating her copyright. (Look up "derivative work" in the copyright law if you want the details.) She is NOT giving permission to do this. If she finds out that anyone is using her work in this fashion, she will turn the matter over to her lawyer.
It's a shame, but the Darkover books are a large part of her livelihood, and she can't afford to have anyone compromise her copyright in them.
Any Darkover stories sent to her are therefore returned or destroyed unread.
If you see this notice and you have already written a Darkover story, please either destroy it or rewrite it so completely that it is not a derivative work of Mrs. Bradley's work.Note:
The short version is simple: you cannot publish (including on the Web or for free, as far as I understand legal details) any fictional work about Darkover. This site, which is basically an analysis of Darkover novels, is not a derivative work and therefore does not seem to be illegal.
source file (Last modification: Wed Apr 21 17:21:45 1999)