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Open Season on MERCANARY™

1. Terms of the Open MERCANARY License (version 1.0)

1.1 Henceforth, use of MERCANARY is bound by the terms of this open licensing agreement.

1.2 It is understood that David Reynolds is the creator of MERCANARY, which is the trademark of Problematic Press.

1.3 This license in no way relinquishes ownership of this trademark nor our copyrighted works, such as The Marvelous Saga of the MERCANARY.

1.4 Furthermore, we (David Reynolds and Problematic Press) reserve the right to withdraw and revoke this license from any individual or group of individuals at any time for any reason, which may require the unpublishing and removing of your content from distribution.

1.5 Otherwise, subject to the terms of this license as detailed here and updated from time to time, we grant the limited use of MERCANARY — the character, concept, design, and image — for commercial use in English-language content in any medium to any person or group of persons (hereafter referred to as “you”).

Contents of the Terms

2. Your Use of MERCANARY

2.1 Given that you abide by the terms set out in this agreement, we hereby grant you license to create content in English that uses MERCANARY.

2.2 Content may be created for any medium, including but not limited to short fiction, poetry, novella, novel, comic strip, graphic novel, zine, music, dance, theatre, film, puppet show, animation, or video game.

2.3 Your use of MERCANARY should consider the characteristics detailed in the guide below.

2.4 Your use of MERCANARY must comply with the limitations detailed below.

2.5 Use of MERCANARY in any way signifies your consent to the terms of the Open MERCANARY License.

3. Guiding Your Use of MERCANARY

3.1 While MERCANARY originated in MERCANARY™: A Zine of Poetry and Adventure and was further fleshed out through The Epic of the MERCANARY™ as well as The Marvelous Saga of the MERCANARY™, you are not entirely bound by those depictions. Nevertheless, we suggest you use those sources as guides for the character.

3.2 For example, while we refer to MERCANARY as male (he/him), he is not bound by gender, and you may make him whatever gender you wish for your content.

3.3 Any reference to the character’s name in writing must maintain the use of ALL CAPS and include the symbol in its appropriate position, while references to his species should be styled using lowercase, like any common noun. So, as an example, one might write “MERCANARY is not the only mercanary to be mistaken for a mercenary.”

3.4 Otherwise, we have established in our previous works that MERCANARY is the following:

  • Half bird, half merman, and half myth.
  • He is a mystical being with supernatural powers.
  • He is absurd.
  • He may fly, swim, and slither.
  • He may change shape, so he is not bound to appear with a canary’s upper torso or even with a mer-tail.
  • He may turn invisible.
  • At times, he may be seen by children and hidden from adults.
  • He is inexplicably capable yet he is often naive.
  • He has an extra-dimensional pocket that stores everything he needs.
  • He often wields a pair of machine guns, which he unloads in celebration of small accomplishments and simple joys.
  • He may be mistaken for being a mercenary, given how often he brandishes his guns, but he is more precisely a sells-word, one who relishes in the story sold.
  • He loves reading, and he’s a fan of poetry.
  • Although he used to only speak in chirps and coos, now he has found his voice.

3.5 We suggest you explore one of the following settings or genres for your content:

  • magical realism
  • pulp noir
  • cyberpunk
  • fairypunk
  • retro-futurism
  • swashbuckling adventure
  • cosmic horror
  • dark academia
  • wuxia action

3.6 If you closely follow our suggestions and your content is a work of literature, then you may wish to submit it to us for consideration for publication. Please do so! You may use the submission form found here.

3.7 You retain copyright over your content, which means you may sell it on your own without owing a royalty to David Reynolds or Problematic Press as long as you abide by the terms of this licensing agreement and include the required acknowledgment as detailed below.

4. Limitations on Your Use of MERCANARY

4.1 You acknowledge and accept your responsibilities and limitations as a content creator according to the intellectual property laws of the jurisdiction in which you reside, and you indemnify David Reynolds and Problematic Press from any liability — legal, financial, personal, or otherwise — associated with the content you create.

4.2 While our previous publications also depict other characters, such as Harrison Stockton Bueller and Troll-Cat, this license does NOT grant the use of any other characters. This license ONLY grants the use of MERCANARY in your content.

4.3 You must not use MERCANARY in any way that damages David Reynolds or Problematic Press, including but not limited to anything that may constitute libel, slander, or defamation of David Reynolds, Problematic Press, or a third party.

4.4 To the point of undue hardship, you must make every reasonable attempt to prominently include in your content the required acknowledgment as detailed below.

5. Required Acknowledgments

5.1 In general, your content must include and prominently display this written declaration verbatim: “David Reynolds is the creator of MERCANARY, which is the trademark of Problematic Press. MERCANARY appears here in accordance with the terms of the Open MERCANARY License.”

5.2 If it is feasible, you must audibly declare for your audience that “David Reynolds is the creator of MERCANARY, which is the trademark of Problematic Press. MERCANARY appears here in accordance with the terms of the Open MERCANARY License.”

5.3 If it is feasible, you must include a link to problematicpress.com.

5.4 If it is feasible, you must include the Problematic Press logo.

5.5 We appreciate that different media have different ways of handling such acknowledgments, and we offer the following guidance:

  • For a print book, include the written declaration, the link, and the logo in the front matter of your book.
  • For an ebook, include the written declaration, the link, and the logo in the front matter of your ebook.
  • For a stage performance, place signs near the stage and entrance that include the written declaration, the link, and the logo, and also audibly declare the acknowledgment immediately before the performance begins.
  • For a puppet show, place signs near the stage and entrance that include the written declaration, the link, and the logo, and also audibly declare the acknowledgment immediately before the performance begins.
  • For a film, include the written declaration, the link, and the logo as part of the opening branding, and also audibly declare the acknowledgment while it is on-screen.
  • For a video game, include the written declaration, the link, and the logo as part of the opening branding, and also audibly declare the acknowledgment while it is on-screen.

5.6 If it is feasible, include such an acknowledgment when promoting your content, such as when giving interviews or in advertisements.

6.1 You can download a copy of this agreement as well as additional resources as a .zip file at this link here.

6.2 That .zip file contains logo images as well as a .pdf copy of MERCANARY™: A Zine of Poetry and Adventure.

7. Our Gratitude

7.1 David Reynolds and Problematic Press are thrilled that you are considering using MERCANARY in your content, and we thank you kindly for your interest.

7.2 May MERCANARY be a boon for your content!

Problematic Press
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