Imagine that you've just written an entire fan fiction novel set in the Star Wars universe. (If it helps, imagine it's a world based on Willy Wonka, or Lance Bass, or The Greatest American Hero or Event Horizon or the Gilmore Girls or whatever you need to imagine in order to get yourself in the right creative frame of mind.) Imagine that hubris convinces you to self-publish it. (Maybe to pass out to friends? Sure, I can imagine that.) Imagine then that hubris turns into delusion and you decide to self-publish it and sell it on Amazon and B&N.com. Now, imagine you're my brother Lee and watch as his head explodes into tiny little razor thin shards.
Lori Jareo, a self-published author, is selling her fanfic STAR WARS novel ANOTHER HOPE as a print-on-demand title on the Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites. Apparently, neither Amazon nor Barnes & Noble looked at the book before they listed it for sale. Jareo talks about the obvious copyright violation issues in a Q&A on her website:
Q: Having set Another Hope in an already existing universe, I find myself wondering if there was any concern on your part regarding copyrights?
No, because I wrote this book for myself. This is a self-published story and is not a commercial book. Yes, it is for sale on Amazon, but only my family, friends and acquaintances know it’s there.
Q: I also wonder how far a writer is allowed to write in a world and to use characters introduced by another author?
If it’s not a commercial project, I don’t see any problem.
It's not a commercial project...but she's selling it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble (and offering it for sale on her website). What a moron. She even had the chutzpah to copyright her novel. She offered this disclaimer on the book:
The characters in this book are trademarks of Lucasfilm Ltd. The publisher of this book is not affiliated with Lucasfilm.
The first thing I have to wonder is how the fuck Lee heard about this. The second thing I have to wonder is when his blog will be inundated by 50,000 fan fiction writers calling him an asshole-for-pay-cocksucking-professional-soul sucking-writer. I'd say, oh, ten minutes from now. The third thing I wonder is when the author will find Lee's post and how quickly she'll threaten to sue him, because that's what normally happens in these situations.