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“Add Magic to Taste” Kickstarter: 48 hours Left!

We’re in the home-stretch of the campaign for Add Magic to Taste! There are just over 48 hours until we’re done. If you’ve been on the fence about getting it – this is essentially your only chance to get this wonderful anthology in print! The e-book will be on our website, but we won’t be ordering many print copies above demand – we may have a few extra for an extras sale or that we can offer as add-ons for future campaigns, but once those are sold? There’ll never be more copies in print. So, if you want a copy? Back it now!

For those who have backed and want to know what our latest news is – and for those who haven’t yet backed and want to know what they can get – here’s some updates on our progress toward our stretch goals!

First – our Backers unlocked an option for a third piece of art, and we’ve commissioned @joshua-beeking to do it! He sent a preliminary sketch yesterday and, well – it’s pretty darn amazing.

This image will be included as an inset in all e-books and print books, and backers at levels 3, 4, and 5 will get it as an art print!

Second – our most recent addition to the campaign? A magnet of our mage Dux! We asked our Patreon supporters on Discord which of our Dux they’d like, and this was their choice…

All backers at Levels 2, 3, 4, and 5, will get this adorable dux as a sticker AND as a magnet!

Third – thanks to the level of support the campaign has had, we’ll be able to pay all our authors 6 cents US per word they wrote – up to $300 per author. If we can raise another $1,250 over where we’re at as I write this, authors will get another raise, to 7 cents US per word, and if we can reach $25,000 by the time the campaign ends on Saturday (11 AM Eastern!), all our authors will get paid 8 cents US per word. This has always been our ultimate goal, and we can’t reach it without your help – so, please, please, signal boost this post and help us spread the word about this project – and help us get this amazing book into the hands of as many readers as possible, cause we’re sure ya’ll are gonna love it!

Learn more on Kickstarter right now!

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Third Art Piece Artist Announcement!

We’ve got a signed contract and formal permission from the artist to share who will be doing the third piece! We commissioned a third work when we reached the $15,500 stretch goal – the third piece will be included in the e-book, produced as a glossy 5″ x 8″ image and included with every print book, and backers at levels 3, 4, and 5 will get an 8″ x 10″ art print of the piece as well!

Joshua Beeking will be producing this piece! He sent us this biography to use:

I’m Joshua Beeking, an illustrator from Québec City that works in both  traditional and digital medias. I have been working on sharpening my  skills for over 10 years. I received formal education at Quebec’s  O’Sullivan College, where I earned a diploma in 2D/3D Animation and Rendering in 2012. I won first place at the UQAM digital creation contest in 2011 for best character designs. I’m currently a full time freelance artist with more than 200  commissions completed over the years, and aim to share my little touch  of creativity with the world!

Links: Instagram | Patreon | Twitter

Joshua will be producing an undersea scene for this, since we’ve got a few stories that involve the ocean, beach, and/or merpeople! We’ve given him a high degree of creative license, and we don’t have a sketch yet, so I can’t share a progress piece, but we can share underwater works he’s done before, such as this one (there are some others, but some are not safe for work, so we’ll hold off. <3 )

With Joshua’s mastery of line work and beautiful use of light, we’re thrilled to have him to create this piece for Add Magic to Taste!

(and, teaser – he’s also a contributor to our second anthology, already in the works – it’s called And Seek (Not) to Alter Me – Queer Fanworks Inspired by Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” and we anticipate launching a KS for it basically as soon as we’re finished with fulfillment for this one, so stay tuned – there’s lots more queer to come from Duck Prints Press! 😀 )

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Add Magic to Taste Merch Spotlight: Stickers!

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about the authors contributing to Add Magic to Taste, our collection of 20 original, fluffy queer stories set in magical coffee shops and cafes, but we’ve talked less about our merchandise!

For those who’ve been following us for a while, you may remember that last month we had a pre-sale for stickers featuring our mascot, Dux, decked out as a barista. Well, Dux is back for our Add Magic to Taste Kickstarter – and while originally we were only going to have one sticker, our mage!Dux, one of our less expensive stretch goals was to enable us to give our backers two additional stickers…and then when the time came to pick, we had so much trouble making up our minds that we decided to make it three additional stickers instead!

These adorable die-cut sticker designs feature the graphic design work of Alessa Riel, who created our logo, and Dux. All backers at level 2 or higher (as in, everyone who at least orders the physical book) will get all four of these stickers, and if you’re as in love with our mage Dux as we are, you can also add additional mage Dux to your order at $3 each.

So, you want a fabulous collection of heartwarming queer fiction?

You want to support fresh new voices and independent presses?

You want this really cool stickers?

Of course you do!

Check out our Kickstarter NOW!

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Stretch Goals and Add Ons Updates!

We’ve reached our second stretch goal, which means all our authors will get a raise, from 1 cent a word to 2 cents a word, which doubles how much they earn! This is wonderful, and good progress toward our goal of paying our authors “market rate” of 8 cents per word (if we hit $25,000, we’ll be able to do that)!

Our next stretch goal is at $10,500 (as of RIGHT NOW? only $50 away!). At that level, all backers at Level 2 will have a mage Dux sticker added to their purchase, at no cost to the backers, and backers at Level 2, 3, 4, and 5 will also receive two additional die-cut stickers! The management team is still considering our options but this one is almost guaranteed:

Considering the rate at which we’ve been accruing backers, and that we’re less than $300 from the “two more die-cut stickers” goal, we are prepared to guarantee that we’ll hit this level before the end of the campaign – and we may even hit it today! (especially if those of you who have already done so much to help us succeed continue to help us spread the word about this project!)

And as a reminder: all of our stretch goals that involve merch or extra items being produced lead to our backers getting more “stuff” for ZERO ADDITIONAL DOLLARS of backing! Our two major art stretch goals – the back cover (already funded!) and the inset art piece (at $15,500) – will be included in the e-book AND print book, so backers at all five levels will receive them (though only level 3+ will get a print of the art!). Our stretch goals that include small, flat physical items (such as the stickers, and the mini-book at $18,000) will go to backers at levels 2 through 5; and our other merch items,  such as the a second enamel pin (teasers to come when we’re closer to hitting that goal at $14,500) will be added to the packages for backers at levels 3 through 5!

You can see the full list of stretch goals on our main Campaign page! But the gist is: if you back the project, and you help us spread the word and bring in more backers, and we’re able to raise more money…everyone gets more stuff, at zero additional cost to any individual! It’s pretty cool, right?

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Exciting Kickstarter Updates!

Well, we’ve had a VERY exciting last 36-hours-or-so, that I wasn’t able to post about as it happened because I was traveling.

Exciting thing the first:

On Friday afternoon, we were notified that Kickstarter had selected us as a #projectwelove!

Exciting thing the second:

On Friday evening, we reached our primary funding goal of $7,500! Add Magic to Taste will definitely be a reality after our campaign ends!

Exciting thing the third:

Yesterday, we reached our first stretch goal, which means that the book will have a full-color second piece of artwork by @lizleeillustration (Instagram | Twitter | Personal Website) on the back cover as well as the first! We’d already prepared for meeting this goal; LizLee had sent us three sketches, from among which we picked the cover – a second of the sketches will be modified to be the back cover, and here’s a sneak peek!

Overall, it’s been a REALLY thrilled few days, and there are so many good things to come! We are at $9,000 so far for funding, and we have stretch goals planned through $25,000 – which we doubt we’ll reach but oh would it be so so so exciting if we did! Backers will get extra merch (at no additional cost to themselves!) and our authors will get pay increases and the Press will be better able to pay our staff and monthly expenses – so if you’ve been considering backing the project, let me tell you: this is a sure thing, and you should at least give it a look!

You can support Duck Prints Press by backing our Kickstarter for Add Magic to Taste, a collection of heartwarming queer stories set in magical coffee shops, bakeries, and the like – read more about it here!

Already a backer and want to help us more? Consider backing our Patreon (and get even more awesome extras!) or buying us a ko-fi. <3

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Add Magic to Taste Merch Reveal 1: Key Chain!

We’ve got a lot of amazing merchandise planned for the Kickstarter of our first anthology, Add Magic to Taste, which is an anthology of 20 stories about fluffy queer relationships growing and developing in magical coffee shops, tea shops, bakeries, and the like!

We’ll be posting teasers of our stories and reveals of our planned merchandise over these last few days before the Kickstarter launches on July 15th, with more to come after the campaign goes live, so stay tuned.

First up?

Key Chain!

image

This absolutely adorable piece by @foxyjoy-art (Twitter, Instagram) will be featured on a 2″ x 2″/5 cm x 5 cm printed by Stickermule!

How can you get your very own key chain of this precious pixie and delicious donut?

  • Back our Kickstarter at the $35 level or higher (you can learn more about our backer levels in our FAQ, or wait until the campaign launches on July 15th)
  • Support our Patreon at the $25/month level (and while lower backer levels won’t get you the key chain, they WILL help support the Press, and some also include other Kickstarter-related extras!)

(you can also buy us a ko-fi or three if you want – it won’t yield key chain but we’ll appreciate it a lot. <3 )

Interested in Add Magic to Taste, Duck Prints Press, and our upcoming Kickstarter? We’d love to have you along for the ride – so give us a follow on social media and keep your eyes open, ‘cause there’s a lot more amazing things to come!

The Kickstarter for Add Magic to Taste launches on July 15th, 2021!

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Cover Reveal for “Add Magic to Taste”

Duck Prints Press will be launching our first Kickstarter on July 15th, 2021, and we cannot possibly be more excited for it! We’ve got a LOT more info to come related to – previews of the merchandise, teasers for the stories, and more – but we wanted to get things started by sharing our amazing cover, which features art by LizLee Illustration (@lizleeillustration, Instagram, Twitter, Personal Site) and graphic design work by @pallasperilous (Twitter, Personal Website), @hermitwrites (Pillowfort, WordPress), and @alessariel.

For Add Magic to Taste, 20 authors have come together to produce all-new, original short stories uniting four of our absolute favorite themes: queer relationships, fluff, magic, and coffee shops! Our diverse writers have created an even more diverse collection of stories guaranteed to sweeten your coffee and warm your tart.

Love wlw? So do we!

Love mlm? We’ve got you covered!

Love genderqueer characters? Raise those trans, enby, agender and other flags high!

Love aces? Same, and we don’t (only) mean playing cards!

Love poly relationships? Oh hey, we’re sharing a brain!

We won’t say this anthology has it all – there are too many identities in the world for us to fit all of them into one anthology of 20 stories – but if you want some queer fluff and happy feelings, you’ve come to the right place. Add Magic to Taste features characters of different races, ethnicities, sexualities, romanticisms, gender identities, religions, and home nations, united by the common theme of finding someone (or more than one someone) to enjoy a muffin and a cuppa with – for today, or for a lifetime, romantically or otherwise!

Learn more about this project:

So, mark your calendars! Follow our Tumblr! Read more about the project! Ask us any questions you have! And save your pennies so you, too, can buy this amazing collection of stories!

The Kickstarter for Add Magic to Taste launches on July 15th, 2021!

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Fanart and the “Right of Publicity”

As we make progress on our second anthology, And Seek (Not) to Alter Me, a collection of queer transformative works inspired by William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, we confronted the following question:

If artist contributors do works recognizable as performers in specific adaptations, does that present copyright issues?

To solve this, we did some research, and we thought we’d share the results with you all!

The use of likenesses of performers in original artwork doesn’t fall under copyright protections. Instead, in the United States, performers are protected by the right to publicity, which gives individuals the exclusive right to license the use of their identity for commercial purposes. This means that, for an image or likeness of a performer (or other public figure) to be used in a commercial context, either the performer needs to be the commercial originator (as in, they need to be the person selling the thing), or they need to have given their express permission.

However, there are two significant exceptions to this.

  1. Freedom of the press allows photographs of performers to be used without their permission if the image(s) in question are considered newsworthy. This is how paparazzi are able to sell images to tabloids, for example, and in general, legal precedent has favored unauthorized photographers over the privacy and publicity rights of performers.
  2. First amendment rights to artistic freedom allow artists to create transformative  works of artistic merit that include a likeness of the individual, even without permission, and to sell the original or reproductions of that work.

Obviously, the second of these is what is applicable in our case, and in the case of the majority of fanartists. The challenge is assessing what counts as “transformative.” As with fanfiction, this is a legal gray area, and there’s precedent both in favor of creators and against them. Different states have also interpreted their laws more loosely or more strictly, as have different countries. Therefore, there’s no hard and fast rule for “this is transformative enough” and “this isn’t.” 

Creators are on their most solid legal ground when they either:

  1. create a work that heavily modifies the appearance of the performer(s) depicted in a distinct artistic style (for example, doing an abstract work versus doing a photorealistic one) or
  2. sell only limited numbers of the work, in a way considered “artistic” instead of one seen as “for commercial gain.”

And again, these metrics are subjective – a major example in the case law, for example, involves an artist who did a work that featured the likeness of Tiger Woods – without permission – and then put it on T-Shirts which the artist sold. The court ruled in favor of the artist, deciding the work was transformative enough, even though the approach was clearly commercial. But in another instance, where an artist did a painting of the Three Stooges and put that on a shirt, the court ruled that the aim of the artwork had been primarily to create fiscal gain and commercial, and that the work wasn’t sufficiently transformative. It can truly go either way, with the vicissitudes of legalities, the views of the ruling judge, state and national and international law, and the individual aspects of each case.

In addition, a creator will be on much safer legal ground if they are careful not to violate any copyrights or trademarks. For example – if a creator uses a reference image taken by someone else, that reference image could be copyrighted. For a second example – if a creator makes a piece of artwork and then labels it as “Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter” the issue of trademark is introduced – Harry Potter and many related terms are trademarked – and could face legal challenges from multiple directions. Avoiding these pitfalls can help reduce the risk of a legal challenge.

If a creator makes a piece with a recognizable likeness on it, and sells reproductions featuring that likeness, they are potentially at risk of being sued. However, those of us in fandom know that the extent to which most celebrities pursue their right to sue people is limited. Consider how many shirts are up on sites like Redbubble with art featuring recognizable images of main characters from popular franchises. Theoretically, any of these individuals could be sued, but in practice, few have been sent cease-and-desists, much less actively taken to court. Because these individuals have chosen not to enforce their right to publicity across the board, they’re also in a weak position to start enforcing it – when a right such as right of publicity isn’t consistently enforced, applying it to specific cases can become difficult for celebrities (in a similar way to how trademarks can lapse into the public domain if a trademark holder doesn’t vigorously defend their trademark, which is how some brand names have legally entered the vernacular even though they’re technically trademarked). 

Performers are more likely to pursue legal action if the work in question damages their “brand” – for example, if it’s derogatory – or if the work in question is to be widely distributed for extensive profit (profit the performer receives no amount of, because they haven’t been involved). They’re also most likely to win a legal case if they can prove damage has been done to them – as in, if the work(s) in question have cost them jobs, opportunities, money, etc.

When considering whether to create a work that includes a likeness of a public figure, a creator should therefore consider:

  1. Do they have the permission of the public figure in question?
  2. Does the public figure have a history of pursuing legal action against creators who use their likeness?
  3. How widespread will sales of this work be, and how profitable?
  4. Is the work insulting or derogatory toward the public figure?
  5. Is the work being produced and sold in a state or country that have “right to publicity” laws?
  6. On the off chance they choose to sue, is the creator able to protect themselves?

In conclusion: there are real risks, but they are minimal for creators in the United States. If you have concerns, make sure you research intellectual property law for your area, contact an intellectual property lawyer, and/or research the celebrity you are creating artwork of to see if they have a history of vigorously protecting their rights. When in doubt, it’s safer to opt not to sell the work in question.

From the point of view of the anthology we’re working on, we’ll be advising our artists to keep in mind the “significantly transformative” aspect, both as regards “right to publicity” and copyright of reference images, and try to avoid direct representations of living actors who have portrayed these roles – because Duck Prints Press operates under the laws of the state of New York, and in New York, “right to publicity” rights end upon the death of the person in question. A photo-realistic image of a performer playing a specific role would likely be a no-go, if that performer is still alive, but otherwise – especially considering the positive light our work will portray performers in, the transformative nature of our project, and our projected scale of sales (not more than in the hundreds, we expect) – we don’t predict having any issues, even though technically we could be sued if we use a recognizable likeness of a living performer.

For those coming at this issue without our specific interests – make sure you do your research, understand your rights and the rights of the performer/celebrity, be aware that you could potentially be vulnerable, though the odds are low, and consider speaking to a lawyer if you have concerns.

Good luck, and happy creating – and selling those creations!!

DISCLAIMER 1: We are not lawyers. Nothing in this post is intended as, nor should it be interpreted as, legal advice. This post is for general information purposes, and may not be the most up-to-date information or the most relevant to your individual circumstances. If you have questions about intellectual property law, your best bet is always to consult an intellectual property lawyer.

DISCLAIMER 2: Duck Prints Press LLC is incorporated in the state of New York in the United States, and operates under the laws of the state and country. Creators in other states and other countries should supplement this information with research specific to their location. This website lists information state-by-state.

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