Writers for the MTG lore

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Hi. I wanted to ask if someone could explain to me how creative chooses who will write what in the MTG canon.
Now that Doug has wrote the Secretist what will be of the new stories?
Seeing the project of the Expanded Multiverse made me think if creative would ever give their approval to someone who wanted to write about original characters in their creation. He/She would need the authorization to use the intellectual property of Wizards, but then?
No one really knows at this point. Probably Wizards doesn't even know for sure. You could try asking Doug though...

But it might help to clarify your question a little bit. What specifically are you trying to find out and why? 
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
Also, it should be noted that M:EM isn't "forbidden" from using canon characters by Wizards edict or legal restrictions. It's the same as other fanfic. I suppose it could be a problem if we ever tried to monetize such works, but really, it's our rule, and if anything, it's to avoid contradictions.

Shameless Self-Promotion

These are the MTG Fiction pieces I have written:

Planes of the Dual-Walkers
Allo's Fortnight
The Butcher's Cleaver
Dead Man 'Walking
Showdown
Pariah
Deals and Devils
The Tears of the Djinn
Cromat Comes
Kiss of the Shorecerers
Numerous poems in The Poetry Plane
Magic: The Musical

Please read and comment! I love hearing people's thoughts and reactions to my work!

Oh, yeah, that's a self-imposed rule in part to placate the scary lawyers preemptively, but mostly so that we can A. encourage more innovative ideas and B. keep our continuity cohesive and unified.
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
Once you start using the canon characters you have to:

A. Make sure you don't mess up their continuity, unless the voters collectively decide to make all of M:EM alt continuity, in which case they can start re-writing all the stories that were done poorly...

B: Worry about Wizards/Hasbro randomly retconning anything about any character, at random, for NO reason, because apparently they are doing random retcons for no reason now...
Please note: unless I'm trying to be sarcastic or humorous, most of my posts are very literal. Don't try to "read between the lines" because there is usually nothing there. I try not to imply anything when I write.
Also C) It will anger the scary eldritch being of fire and darkness that watches over history.
What I wanted to ask was if someone could receive the approvation of creative for doing a thing like an e-book or the Alara Anthology (That I enjoyed a lot, thanks to all the people who wrote it) that will be canonized.
I know it's a wacky idea at best, but I think that is difficult to do worst than "The Quest for Karn" and if some gifted author could come up with a decent work it would help the worldbuilding without  treading on creative's toes.
In a world with "You make the card" and creative decay a "You make the non-block story" would be cool. 
I would guess that there's a lot of legal issues with things like that.

After the official forums lost most of their functionality, a once vibrant community of Vorthos was wiped out.The survivors founded a new place to discuss all things concerning with the art, flavor and storylines of Magic: The Gathering. Come join us.

I know. I wanted to hear your opinions about a thing like this. Do you think someone would ever be able to obtain the permission to do such a thing?
I really, really doubt it. Maybe allow people to send in a story for Uncharted Realms  or so, but they'd lose all the rights to the story. That could be possible, I guess, but having fans make up canon kinda sets a dangerous precedent.

After the official forums lost most of their functionality, a once vibrant community of Vorthos was wiped out.The survivors founded a new place to discuss all things concerning with the art, flavor and storylines of Magic: The Gathering. Come join us.

Woooo, history lesson time!

Ok, so this question has actually come up in a couple of notable situations in the past.

The first was during Time Spiral block. See, Wizards knew that they were returning to Dominaria, and they knew the return had to appeal to longtime storyline fans. WotC decided to try something they had never tried before: they sent out an open call to fans to send in a plan for Time Spiral's story. A couple of people were then picked from the applicants to write the novels that would accompany the block.

It... didn't work out. I've actually never been totally clear on why, but the impression I've gotten is that the strain of going from having never written a novel to writing a novel under very constrained deadlines--going from zero to 60, as it were--was too much for the selected applicants. The plan fell apart, the novels were written in-house after all, the Mending happened, the storyline community descended into a maelstrom flamewar... and the experiment was largely forgotten.

The idea came up again a few years later, though, when the notion of a fan continuity first started to enter this forum's zeitgeist. There's not a lot to tell there, either. Basically, we pitched the idea to Brady of a fan-based continuity that Wizards could pick and choose from--"upgrading" certain elements to official works.

We never did quite figure out how that would work, and the idea was dropped...

...But the seeds of that conversation contributed ultimately to the creation of the Expanded Multiverse project.

Finally, more recently we floated the idea again of fans writing some of the novels for free. It came up because of the collapse of the novel line. As it fell apart, some suggested that they would be happy to write for free if it meant the novel line could continue.

Ari Marmell, the author of Agents of Artifice, materialized and essentially laid the smackdown on that idea. His argument was essentially this: a lot of fantasy authors work in a freelance capacity. When fans offer to work for free, they inherently devalue--not philosophically but literally--the work of these freelance authors. After all, why should companies pay their creative staff if they can get fans to do the work for free? It's the same reason why artists should NEVER do unpaid specwork that's disguised as design competitions, and they should NEVER do work "For Exposure." It devalues the whole field in a very tangible economic way.

Again, there was some talk of more officially recognized expanded canon, but again we couldn't figure out how to do it.

That's pretty much where things stand today. I don't know the history from Wizard's side of things, obviously, so I'm not sure how licensing has worked for them in the past (we know for a fact that Brady has pitched movie ideas to studios before, and of course there's the print comic that came out recently and, I think, just finished). There's not really a method that we know of yet for fans to get the blessing of WotC for use of their materials. There's the Expanded Multiverse, but we exist only because WotC--and, more importantly, Hasbro--doesn't notice us, or is deliberately turning a blind eye. It's not a great state, I don't think, but I hope that this history makes it clear that there are a lot of different external forces (including some I didn't mention, like our very strange modern intellectual monopoly laws) at work on this notion.

(Hm, this'd make a good tumblr post...) 
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
That's actually really interesting...
 There's the Expanded Multiverse, but we exist only because WotC--and, more importantly, Hasbro--doesn't notice us, or is deliberately turning a blind eye.
 



I don't think Hasbro or Wizards are actually capable of getting rid of the Expanded Multiverse even if they wanted to. They could kick it off this site and delete the archive, but not actually prevent fan works being uploaded elsewhere unless there's money being made off of them. Come to think of it, maybe we should have the archives uploaded to other sites in case Wizards ever did decide that it had a negative impact on the game and decided to remove it from here.
Yes, I hope that all of MEM is being backed up somewhere. I have a copy of Acharu's worldbuilding on my computer, which I think is updated to the last changes I made.

Realistically, Hasbro could harrass us, order servers to destroy our websites wherever we tried to store or discuss MEM online. They know the IP addresses and presumably names and real addresses of everyone with an account here, and could sue us for hundreds of thousands, or millions, of $. U.S. laws being what they are, every one of us could be financially ruined for life if Hasbro lawyers decided to be ****s. U.S. citizens on this forum could also be put in jail for debt.

U.S. "intellectual property" laws are not an empty threat, they are wielded as devastating weapons by many companies, and often with no regard for whether the fanfic/documentary/whatever is non-profit or whether the artists themselves even object at all.
Please note: unless I'm trying to be sarcastic or humorous, most of my posts are very literal. Don't try to "read between the lines" because there is usually nothing there. I try not to imply anything when I write.
What Arcades said. It's a real sword of damocles situation for us unfortunately, especially considering that Hasbro hasn't exactly been kind to Bronies that are doing similar things, recently...

(That said, 42 made a backup a while ago when there was a panic after I was suspended. We're good.) 
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
Hmm. Well, I probably should have thought of all this before I decided to join...

Have I mentioned, by the way, that my computer has this strange virus that creates fiction? Weird...

Shameless Self-Promotion

These are the MTG Fiction pieces I have written:

Planes of the Dual-Walkers
Allo's Fortnight
The Butcher's Cleaver
Dead Man 'Walking
Showdown
Pariah
Deals and Devils
The Tears of the Djinn
Cromat Comes
Kiss of the Shorecerers
Numerous poems in The Poetry Plane
Magic: The Musical

Please read and comment! I love hearing people's thoughts and reactions to my work!

Actually... Hasbro/WotC doesn't need to worry about the M:EM since the files are already hosted on Wizard's servers, and you guys agreed to the Terms when you signed on to the site.

By posting or submitting any User Content to or through the Sites or Services, you hereby irrevocably grant to Wizards, its affiliates and sublicensees, a worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, non-exclusive, and fully sub-licensable license, to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such User Content (in whole or in part) in any media and to incorporate the User Content into other works in any format or medium now known or later developed. The foregoing grants shall include the right to exploit any proprietary rights in such User Content, including but not limited to rights under copyright, trademark, service mark or patent laws under any relevant jurisdiction.



In other words, since Wizards claims the M:EM as belonging to them under the User Terms of Use, it doesn't pose any competition to their other property rights. What they don't own is the M:EM(NSFW), but that's covered under a different set of Fair Use laws. (Strangely, that actually gives the M:EM(NSFW) more protection than the M:EM, whether was independently hosted or not, since the M:EM(NSFW) includes canon characters.) They could still order it taken down, of course, but there isn't a concern that it might be considered a threat to their rights.
Mine's got it too. Although mine seems to be a much weaker strain than yours :/

I really don't think anything too apocalyptic will happen to us. Worst comes to worst, the project gets disbanded. I mean, they've sent loads of C&D letters to Polish Tamales and zie's still going strong. [shrug]

EDIT: Clever, Deckhopper. Very clever.

Unfortunately, and infuriatingly, even though you're side of things is probably protected under fair use, it's still probably ultimately without a real defense. Since web hosts seem to collectively be selling us out to the copyright monopoly industry I'm pretty sure no parody is safe :C 
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.


EDIT: Clever, Deckhopper. Very clever.

Unfortunately, and infuriatingly, even though you're side of things is probably protected under fair use, it's still probably ultimately without a real defense. Since web hosts seem to collectively be selling us out to the copyright monopoly industry I'm pretty sure no parody is safe :C 



I said it had more protection, not that I/we would be able to successfully a case if it came down to it. The group I originally wanted to host it with would probably join us in a fight, if it wasn't for the fact that it would break them to do so. The fact that M:EM has less protection might actually make it safer. Wizards/Hasbro could kill it at any time, with no warning of requests, since they already own it. At the same time, since they already own it, there's no legal grounds for you guys to stand on, so there is no reason to go after it. If that makes any sense?

I was actually looking into this because of the Innistrad novel I've been writing. Since I've been posting it here, Wizards could just say "Ours!" and publish it for free. (Sorry, Ari!) Or rip out whatever chunks they feel appropriate to use as they see fit for no compensation. Now, from our experiences the folks we deal with wouldn't be that rude, but that's not counting any suited up management type from overruling them.
That does make sense, yes.

I suppose I'm more irate about sites like youtube that have taken material that blatantly, objectively, seriously-there-is-not-even-a-question-about-this is protected under fair use and just taken it down as soon as there was a abuse claim with no protection for the author of that content. It's pretty eggregious.

Some of the stuff that could potentially go in M:EM:NSFW would similarly fall under the heading of parody. But I doubt that would make much difference in the end.

And that really sucks.

Sorry for ranting. I'm trying to stay as neutral as I can but there are some things about the situation in a broad sense--not even with Wizards or even Hasbro--that I find very frustrating and disturbing.
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
Sorry for ranting. I'm trying to stay as neutral as I can but there are some things about the situation in a broad sense--not even with Wizards or even Hasbro--that I find very frustrating and disturbing.



It's understandable. There are laws in place that protect stuff like parody and they're treaded upon like it's nobody's business, all for vague reasons.


Couldn't we host back-ups on sites that aren't US-based. I know the estate that has the rights over Tintin lost a case where they sued an artist of a parody over here, so maybe Belgium is a bit more lenient. Maybe Iran or something doesn't care about US copyright. (Although they might take issue with the M:EM NSFW's content.)

After the official forums lost most of their functionality, a once vibrant community of Vorthos was wiped out.The survivors founded a new place to discuss all things concerning with the art, flavor and storylines of Magic: The Gathering. Come join us.

...Damnit. Now I totally want to email Dinnerjacket Barinellos`s Bolas/Tezzeret fic and sig it from Biden or Obama. Just...just because. If I am going to cause the end of the world, let it be the single most ridiculous cause ever. And considering what I know of world and military history, that is saying something.
The Great War started because Archduke Franz Ferdinand didn't like seams in his clothing. That's gotta be up there.

Shameless Self-Promotion

These are the MTG Fiction pieces I have written:

Planes of the Dual-Walkers
Allo's Fortnight
The Butcher's Cleaver
Dead Man 'Walking
Showdown
Pariah
Deals and Devils
The Tears of the Djinn
Cromat Comes
Kiss of the Shorecerers
Numerous poems in The Poetry Plane
Magic: The Musical

Please read and comment! I love hearing people's thoughts and reactions to my work!