Copyrights on original fiction

[searched the topic in the forum, found nothing, sorry if already discussed]

Let's say I'm writing some original work clearly inspired by Ars Magica - short stories and maybe a novel. I have several scenarios in my head. What if the material

[] exists only on the internet (blog, personal site) and never explicitly cites The order of Hermes, Mythic Europe and all the terms listed in the small prints as copyrighted material, even if every Ars Magica player clearly understands the references [/]
[] is printed and given away for free (fanzines and similar beasts), nobody makes money out of it, but it's possible to have a physical copy [/]
[] (highly improbable) the material is published in a bookish format and people actually make money out of it [/]
[] (slightly less improbable) it becomes part of a print on demand/pay on download system where technically people could make money out of it, even if the involved amount of money would be ridiculously small[/]

Sorry for the brutal questions, but I really want to start on the right foot and avoid stepping on your toes.

In general terms, we don't have a problem with fan-created material that's given away for free. If money is involved (selling books or PDFs using our trademarks, copyrighted material, etc.), then a formal license is probably necessary.

If you write something that might be in Mythic Europe, or is inspired by Ars Magica, but is not clearly derivative of our content (and understanding what exactly is "derivative" might be something unclear unless a court of law weighs in on it), you may be fine even selling it without license or permission, but this is tricky territory.

An example I'd suggest is Charles Ryan's novel, The Mason of New Orleans. This novel is actually set in the same locale as the 4th Edition Ars Magica supplement that Charles wrote (Triamore), and there's an element of magic, but not the distinctive Order of Hermes, Hermetic techniques & forms, etc. You can enjoy the novel and imagine it might be one narrative lens on Mythic Europe, but it clearly doesn't infringe on any Atlas intellectual property.

Thanks for the answer, I'll try to keep it in mind :smiley:

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