Can I Make Fan Art Or Write Fan Fiction?

I appreciate and am energized by enthusiasm for my books, art, and other creative works (together, “Dragonsteel Work(s)”). Fan art and fan fiction encourage creativity and facilitate interpretation and expression about the Dragonsteel Works. As much as I hate to curb creativity, I have established some limits—without which the integrity of my Dragonsteel Works and the fruits of my labors would be compromised. These limits are described below.

Default Fan Art/Fiction Policy: Dragonsteel and Brandon Sanderson (hereinafter “Dragonsteel”) retain all copyrights in their Creative Works. This means no copies, no derivative works, no distribution, and no public display. A “derivative work” is a work based upon one or more of the Dragonsteel Works. Additionally, and to further clarify, this means that Dragonsteel DOES NOT permit public displays of any text of art from any of the Dragonsteel Works. Any license or permission to use any intellectual property from the Dragonsteel Works, or permission to claim that fan art/fiction/product is “official,” MUST BE IN WRITING and is otherwise invalid. This is the default. Some exceptions are described below.

Permitted Fan Art/Fiction (Exceptions to the Default):

  • Visual art (e.g., prints, digital, 3D, sculpture, etc.) that does not include a whole, partial, or substantial copy of any visual art from any Dragonsteel Works. To further clarify: copying or substantial copying (even by hand or non-automated means) of any Dragonsteel Works visual art (e.g., print, digital, picture, book cover, poster, map, logo, etc., including but not limited to the Dragonsteel logo, Stormlight glyphs, Mistborn Allomancy symbols, and/or Aons) is never permitted. What is permitted: creation of an original digital or physical print work that illustrates a scene, character, or object—with the exception of maps or geographies—from the Dragonsteel Works. These allowed works are referred to below as “Allowed Visual Fan Art.”
    • Permitted Non-commercial Use: The following uses of Allowed Visual Fan Art are permitted as long as there is no direct or indirect compensation (financial or otherwise) for such use: (i) electronic distribution; or (ii) making and/or distributing of no more than five (5) physical prints or stickers.
    • Permitted Commercial Use. The following uses of Allowed Visual Fan Art are permitted: (i) Making and selling, upon commission, a physical original of Allowed Visual Fan Art; and (ii) making, distributing, selling, and publicly displaying stickers and/or physical prints of Allowed Visual Fan Art. Sales or distribution of any other items displaying or incorporating Allowed Visual Fan Art, e.g., t-shirts, apparel, mugs, plushies, pins, jewelry, figures, phone accessories, replicas, etc., ARE NOT permitted.
    • Notice for Title or Description. Titles or written descriptions of Allowed Visual Fan Art must include a conspicuous notice in substantially the following form: “Unofficial fan art illustrating [character, place, etc.] from [book or series] by Brandon Sanderson.”
  • Fiction. Uncompensated (direct or indirect) creation, copying, and/or distribution of one-off works of modest-length fan fiction based on the Dragonsteel Works is permitted. Serials (comics or otherwise), sequential art, or fan fiction works of significant length works ARE NOT permitted. Copying of text (other than non-distinctive text of insignificant length) from Dragonsteeel Works IS NOT permitted. Selling fan fiction or fan comics (including receipt of advertising revenue for posting, displaying, or otherwise making available fan fiction) IS NEVER permitted.
    • Any permitted fan art/fiction must include in the title, or in a similarly conspicuous location, a notice substantially similar to the following: “unofficial fan [art or fiction] based on [book or series] written by Brandon Sanderson.”
  • Music. Music that repeats text or detailed storylines or excerpts from the Dragonsteel Works IS NOT permitted.

Non-allowable Fan Art/Fiction

  • For the sake of clarity, the following ARE NOT permitted:
    • copies (complete, substantial, or recognizable) of any glyph or symbol from the Dragonsteel Works.
    • use of crowdfunding to finance fan art or fiction.
    • maps reflecting worlds, locations, places, or geographies in Dragonsteel Works.
    • any use of distinctive text from any Dragonsteel Works in any manner in association with art, fiction, products, or other materials for sale (e.g., “Life Before Death, Strength Before Weakness, Journey Before Destination”).

If you are unsure about any fan art/fiction, please kindly assume it is not permitted. Please direct any questions about this policy to [email protected]

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