In the December 1985 issue of our newsletter, we offered some tentative categories and guidelines for derivative works. We appreciate your responses. ln this issue, we wish to talk about another aspect of derivative works, i.e., their distribution.
Our basic policy has been and continues to be not to accumulate and distribute numerous derivatve works ourselves. The basic focus of the Foundation is to publish The URANTIA Book, its translations, and a few closely related dirivative works. For instance, we are considering completing the Index to The URANTIA Book which was started some time ago and are exploring several other publication efforts which are closely related to The URANTIA Book.
There are two main reasons the Foundation limits the number derivative works it is willing to produce and distribute. First, there is the practical reason of the time and money it takes to produce such works. Second, if the Foundation distributes all manner of derivative works, there is an impression given to the readers of The URANTIA Book and the public at large that all these works have been approved by the Foundation. Because derivative works can be highly personalized to reflect the style of the author and may contain personal opinions of an author, we believe it is wiser not to give this impression of endorsement.
However, we do not mean to imply that we are discouraging or preventing others from producing derivative works. To the extent that such works require copyright pemission, we must, of course, review and make some judgment about them. If a work doesn't require copyright permission, the author is free to publish and distribute the work himself. Over the years we have given copyright approval for many works that we have not distributed ourselves.
We believe this approach is important in maintaining our identity and the integrity of The URANTIA Book, and at the same time we believe we are fairly meeting the needs of diverse viewpoints among the readers regarding derivative works.
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