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Protecting and Preserving Sir Terry Pratchett's Intellectual Property

From Harbottle & Lewis, lawyers representing the estate of Sir Terry Pratchett

22 June 2015

Fans may like to know about how we protect the intellectual property in the late Sir Terry Pratchett's name and work. These efforts have been ongoing for some time. Sir Terry's family, the executors of his estate, and his manager Rob Wilkins, have asked us to provide some information about this. They have been touched by the dedication and creativity shown by fans of Sir Terry's work, and there has never been any desire to interfere with non-commercial fan activities.

Commercial activities (for example, but not limited to, t-shirts or similar) do require, and always have required, permission. The same applies to adaptations of Sir Terry's books.

Sir Terry's books are of course protected by copyright. Depending on the circumstances, this can be infringed by using even quite brief quotations without permission. Artwork created by official illustrators, such as Paul Kidby, is similarly protected.

The Terry Pratchett name, as well as the name "Discworld", and the other distinctive names and titles associated with Sir Terry's work, are also protected by trade mark laws around the world. This extends to the use of protected trade marks in relation to merchandise.

Where unauthorised infringing material is identified, we are often able to have it removed via established website takedown procedures.

In many cases we also communicate directly with those responsible, and ask for appropriate written assurances.

Commercial rights in Sir Terry's work, outside of publishing rights, have been granted to Narrativia Limited. These have been officially licensed to a number of approved licensees in order to maintain appropriate focus and quality. Requests for permission are considered on a case by case basis but will often have to be declined.

If readers are in doubt as to whether they can offer particular items for sale, or undertake any other activities, they should contact legal@narrativia.com.