Lori Jareo wrote a not very good novel-length work of Star Wars fanfic called Another Hope. Nothing remarkable there. However, she then put it into print without Lucas’ permission, and put it up for sale on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and Powells.com.
The publisher listed for the book is Wordtech Communications, which claims to be “one of the nation’s largest poetry publishers” (“A New Paradigm of Poetry!”). Ms. Jareo is one of the people who runs Wordtech, so she definitely should have known better.
John Scalzi, who heard about this clusterf*ck from Nick Mamatas, wrote it up as The 2006 Stupidest FanFic Writer Award Gets Retired Early:
I highly recommend Scalzi’s dissection of Ms. Jareo’s innnnnnnnnteresting concept of copyright law. He’s offered to start a pool on how long it takes for Ms. Jareo’s book to get pulled from Amazon, and has laid his bet down on “Monday by 3pm Pacific.”
…[L]et’s see what she has to say about it in her “author interview.”
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.
Let me repeat this, just to savor the juicy cluelessness of it: “Yes, it’s for sale on Amazon, but only my family, friends and acquaintances know it’s there.” I feel myself getting stupider every time I read that line, but the good news is that I have a long way to go before I would be actually stupid enough to say that line myself.
Jareo’s website is down now, but as one of Scalzi’s commenter pointed out, Google still has it cached: title page / Another Hope main page / author interview / excerpt from book / about the author. There’s more; I’m sure you can find it.
The book’s listing on Amazon is still up as of this writing. The customer reviews are instructive. They’re nearly unanimous in their desire to beat on Lori Jareo with a big stick. Who’s posting them? Other fanfic writers.
A list of tags from their reviews:
See it now or see it never.
bad fanfic, Very Very Very Illegal, the stupid it burns, weapons-grade stupidity, blacklisted from fandom, a moron, copyright infringement, Lucas is so going to kill you, lawyer up sweetheart, crazy like a fox, CRAP, Copyright Infringement, illegal and idiotic, is yoda gonna have to smack a btch, stupid people doing stupid things, a Chernobyl-esque mistake, copyright violation, fan fiction for sale, fanfic gone very wrong, needs a good lawyer immediately or possibly a psychiatrist, only living brain donor…