A special note regarding use of my artwork on pages related
or copyrighted to Anne McCaffrey and her popular world of Pern®.
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.
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!
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
web page entitled "Dee's Dragonrider Art Gallery (Tables
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
may be violating her rights by your statement found on your
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
Indeed, you are seriously violating Anne McCaffrey's trademark
copyright rights by your efforts to copy her work (creating
"derivative" works) and marketing them over the Internet.
indicate, you have not received permission from Anne McCaffrey
so and the mere fact that you disclaim such endorsement does
allow you to violate her rights. Moreover, by both displaying
artwork and permitting it to be downloaded over the Internet,
not only violate Ms. McCaffrey's rights, but you contribute
violating her rights which is, in itself, a contributory copyright
and trademark violation. We have, for example, confirmed that
pictures are being used by others. For example, David York gives
credit for graphics appearing on his Pern page.
By this letter, I am advising you that you must remove your
gallery from the Internet immediately. Should you fail to cease
desist from these copyright and trademark infringements, we
no alternative but to proceed with a legal action for an injunction
and damages, as allowable under the copyright and trademark
Anne McCaffrey has not hesitated to prosecute copyright and
trademark violations against others who have violated her rights
the Internet. On her behalf, we have obtained substantial monetary
judgments, in those cases in the middle and low six figures,
violations. Ms. McCaffrey takes these copyright and trademark
Please promptly confirm by return letter that you are complying
this demand. If you fail to do so, we will be required to take
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.
http://pern.srellim.org/fl_pin.htm "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,
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.
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.