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A special note regarding use of my artwork on pages related or copyrighted to Anne McCaffrey and her popular world of Pern®.

Please, if you use my art on Dragonriders of Pern®-related pages, add this disclaimer to the bottom of your page!

-------Start of Disclaimer------------------------

Images and dragons drawn by Dee Dreslough used on this page are not inspired by or in any way related to the Dragonriders of Pern® by Anne McCaffrey. They are either traditional Earth dragons or Dimar and are all original works.

-------------End Disclaimer-----------------------

A bit of explaination:

In 1997, I shut down my original website and destroyed all my Pern®-inspired art when Anne McCaffrey's lawyer contacted me. At that time, I had a page with free Pern®-inspired dragonrider art [pictures of people's original MUSH/fanfic characters] that had a link advertising my commission page and the rest of my gallery. Please note -- I was not selling my Pern® inspired art. I was letting fans use it for free -- you couldn't buy prints or anything like that. I was only using it to advertise my ability to do commission service work in any genre. If someone actually commissioned something from me, I didn't put it up on the site, so I thought I was basically creating a one-of-a-kind original piece of art for them. If they didn't like it and didn't pay, I then gave it to the rest of the fandom for free. I recently saw a few other websites doing this, so I'm adding a little 'tutorial' here to help folks stay out of trouble.

Learn from my mistake: Don't associate your Pern® fan art with any pages that you use to drum up business, like a commission page. Keep your Pern® fan art separate from any and all other art you do!!! According to her lawyer, you technically can't even DISPLAY your Pern® fan art without her expresssed permission in advance, but I know exceptions are made for many fans anyway. "Your images are recognizable as based upon Anne's books and as such cannot be marketed, displayed, transmitted, sold or used without Anne's permission. " - J.Katz The legal merits of this claim are seriously in question...but they have money, and you probably don't have as much, so if you don't want trouble, keep it all separate.

I agreed to remove all my art and stop drawing Pernese® dragons after that point. I do not want to risk another possible lawsuit for my own original works through any misunderstandings. The dragons on this site, and dragons I have drawn after May 5, 1997 are NOT Pernese®. No Pernese® dragons are on my site. I have destroyed them all.

Pern® fans are welcome to use my art, just like any other dragon fans are - I just need additional clarity on those pages to ensure that Ms. McCaffrey does not think I'm ignoring our agreement by drawing Pernese® dragons again and allowing them to be downloaded, or using the popularity of her world to further my own career. That's why I am hesitant to even have the word 'Pern®' on my pages anywhere...but I have to explain this all for those of you who are using my dragons on her pages.

Thank you for your help!

-Dee Dreslough

Letters from Anne's Lawyer (reprinted with permission)

From Attorney J. Katz:

Dear Ms. Dreslough:

I represent Anne McCaffrey and recently had occasion to review your
web page entitled "Dee's Dragonrider Art Gallery (Tables Version)".
You have made clear in the text of your materials that the artwork
appearing at this web site is inspired by and based upon Ms.
McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pernr series and you appear to understand
fully the copyright and trademark rights reserved to Anne McCaffrey,
by your reference to her works. You also seem to understand that you
may be violating her rights by your statement found on your web site
that "if mentioning my inspiration is something that can get me sued
. . . oh well. If I've goofed, let me know where to fix and I will.*sigh*"

Indeed, you are seriously violating Anne McCaffrey's trademark and
copyright rights by your efforts to copy her work (creating
"derivative" works) and marketing them over the Internet. As you
indicate, you have not received permission from Anne McCaffrey to do
so and the mere fact that you disclaim such endorsement does not
allow you to violate her rights. Moreover, by both displaying the
artwork and permitting it to be downloaded over the Internet, you
not only violate Ms. McCaffrey's rights, but you contribute to others
violating her rights which is, in itself, a contributory copyright
and trademark violation. We have, for example, confirmed that your
pictures are being used by others. For example, David York gives you
credit for graphics appearing on his Pern page.

By this letter, I am advising you that you must remove your art
gallery from the Internet immediately. Should you fail to cease and
desist from these copyright and trademark infringements, we will have
no alternative but to proceed with a legal action for an injunction
and damages, as allowable under the copyright and trademark laws.
Anne McCaffrey has not hesitated to prosecute copyright and
trademark violations against others who have violated her rights over
the Internet. On her behalf, we have obtained substantial monetary
judgments, in those cases in the middle and low six figures, for such
violations. Ms. McCaffrey takes these copyright and trademark
violations seriously.

Please promptly confirm by return letter that you are complying with
this demand. If you fail to do so, we will be required to take
further action.

Very truly yours,
Jay A. Katz

cc: Anne McCaffrey (via facsimile)

Note: My gallery was not called Dragonrider Art - it was Dragon Rider art. I used two words in an attempt to be even further from Dragonriders of Pern(r) - her logotype trademark which uses the one word 'dragonrider'. I also tried to make it very clear that my art was not any official creation of hers. It was just inspired by the books, just as the fans who were requesting the art from me were inspired by the books to write up their own Pern characters.

(GEE - I guess my art *wasn't* violating her copyright. "This pin is not an officialy licensed Pern Product. It is a pin based upon Todd's own painting and therefore does not infringe upon Anne's copyright. Todd knows Anne McCaffrey personally and would not dream of infringing on her copyright."

Well, I thought I knew Anne McCaffrey via our email conversations, and I know I never dreamt of violating her copyrights... *shrugs*)

I later asked for a clarification. I basically asked the lawyer, if I pull all
references to Pern in text, can I still distribute the art for free like I had been doing? He said no:

"Your use of the words DRAGONRIDERS OF PERN®, PERN or other nomenclature is not relevant. Your images are recognizable as based upon Anne's books and as such cannot be marketed, displayed, transmitted, sold or used without Anne's permission. Those rights have been exclusively optioned to others."
-from letter from Attorney Jay Katz.

Please note, I was told by an art-specialist lawyer that an illustration is rarely found to be derivative of text - especially novel-length text. I'm hoping someone can provide a better definition of derivative work for me at some point in relation to fan art inspired by text. At this point, though, I do believe that the lawyer I spoke to was correct on that -- pictures inspired by text are generally not derivatives. Also, my depictions of Pernese dragons differed from McCaffrey's own definition of the dragons and all other illustrations of the dragons done by artists for her books. (My dragons had ears, proto-horns rather than head-knobs, and non-bug eyes, as well as varied hues and stripes in the skin.) The illustrations I drew were not of any characters or writings that any of the McCaffreys created -- they were based on characters created and copyrighted to her fans. They would send me their character's description, and I would do my best to draw it for them. On at least two of the pictures, I did add Weyr insignia, which is like a logo for the Weyr, which is 'Trade Dress' from one of her guidebooks I think, so those pieces almost certainly would have needed to be altered or destroyed, though.

No one dragon illustration on any of the covers or even in the guidebook 'The Dragonlovers Guide' has been officially called the definitive official Pernese dragon. The depictions I've seen on book covers and in the guides vary wildly. But yes, I did mean the dragons I drew to be Pernese. I mention this for the benefit of other artists who might find themselves "losing their art" because misguided viewers believe the artist drew a Pernese dragon when they didn't. I have seen people use non-Pernese dragons for illustrations of their Pernese characters, which makes me wonder at the idea 'are recognizeable as based upon Anne's books' and how far that could go. I don't see the British covers in my mind when I picture Pernese dragons -- and yet, I know British Pernfans who see the US covers by Whelan as not right either.

Simply put, I believe my biggest mistake in all of this was citing my inspiration for my artwork. I've been told, (and I'm not sure how true this is either), that if I'd never mentioned Dragonriders of Pern(r), I never would have been contacted.

Other Links:

Treat Fans Like Humans <- My advice to rights holders, authors, game-companies and others who have rights and want to change what their fans are doing.

The Organization for Transformative Works <- for Fan-fiction authors. They're working to legalize and protect derivative works. <- a new website specifically dealing with legal issues for fandom, copyright, trademark, etc. If you've gotten a C&D, or are curious, check this out.

(From Alec Johnson:)

All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are copyright© Anne McCaffrey 1967,2000, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author.

If you do make mention of The Dragonriders of Pern, be sure and append the following to your copyright notice:

The Dragonriders of Pern® is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.

All art and text (c) 1996-2008 Dee Dreslough unless otherwise noted.
Please read and understand my Terms of Use for the artwork.