We’ve been asked a sensible question by email so I’m putting our answer here for the next time someone asks the same sensible question:
Can I use the novel I wrote with you guys and the team(as part of White Water Writers) as the basis for future work I do? Like writing a sequal or turning it into a play?
The very most acurate answer is: we don’t know. We’re not copyright law professionals and we don’t know enough about the ins and outs of the law to give any advice. However we can tell you our understanding.
The good news is that we (by which I mean the project ‘White Water Writers’ and the organisation ‘eQuality Time’) claim no copyright on any novels we produce. We did for the first few books and got writers to sign a thing that said we could use the books to promote the project, but we don’t any more. There’s an argument to say that we should bring it back, at least for the younger writers, because it’s a good way to underline how real the project is, but that is a seperate issue.
This is also the bad news because the copyright is held by *all* the writers in the group *jointly*, which means that if you want to do anything commercial with the IP, you need to get *all* of them to agree (but not us).
I think that this only applies if you want to eventually sell/show/profit from the IP (which I assume you’d at least like as an option) – if you are happy that you’ll never turn it into money, then you can do what you want (I think it’s still polite to tell people though)