Openly-Licensed Storyworlds and Collective Authorship

This session is facilitated by Marsha Courneya

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About this session

The session will be an interactive workshop that starts with a brief history of copyright in relation to the individual author and ends with a united effort to collectively originate a storyworld under a Creative Commons license. We will examine what, other than legal definitions, differentiate unauthorized works (fanfiction, fan wikis, etc.) created within a storyworld from their canonical counterparts. These unauthorized works enrich the value of the intellectual property immeasurably for the copyright holders, but copyright law centralizes this value in a way that supports income inequality.

Goals of this session

To discuss the question: What does it take to author a storyworld and who should own it? No single person can maintain a contemporary, complex storyworld without the contribution of others, but this challenges our historical view of the individual author as godlike creator. The openly-licensed storyworld represents a decentralized strategy that sidesteps the income inequality held up by modern copyright law. As a group, we will weigh the benefits of the six Creative Commons licenses in relation to a collectively-authored storyworld before we originate one under a randomly-generated collective artist’s name.

The results of the workshop saw the creation of the Collective Artist’s name, ‘Carles Tedesco’ whose members are as follows (please comment with your name so I can add you if you attended the session):
-Marsha Courneya

The title of our storyworld, which is licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA is “Incense an Insensibility”

The main characters in this Western genre storyworld are Zorro, Eleanor (from Sense and Sensibility) and the goddess, Nike.

Eleanor passes through town in a stagecoach and comes across the goddess, Nike, who immediately falls in love with Eleanor. Nike compromises her position as a powerful goddess in hiding (a big poncho hides her wings) and is hunted by Zorro, who is terrified of Nike.

Eleanor can’t help but admire Zorro, who has retired into priesthood.

Will Zorro catch Nike? Will Nike strike down Zorro and disappoint Eleanor? Who keeps burning incense?

Find and contribute to the Wiki here:

If anyone would like a copy of the slides, please email me at