//Thank you Carillon for the editing and update on this post!
Starting on November 15th, 2006, any and all characters submitted and approved to Layonara's server are eligible to become a permanent part of Layonara's unique history and lore. Not all characters will become part of lore; only solid RP, good play, good community standing, etc. will lead toward potential inclusion in the lore, and none of the above is a guarantee your character will be included. A character or other player-created content will be included only when a player is approached by Layonara staff with such an offer. Furthermore, to accept the offer the player would then have to approve the request in writing and agree to let their character become a part of Layonara's copyrighted and trademarked lore and history. At that point the character would belong to the copyrighted material of Layonara and the owner of the Layonara Intellectual Property.
Many players may wonder what exactly that means, or have some concerns or questions about the copyright. First of all, let me assure you that having your character included in formal lore is _NOT a requirement_. We are absolutely not interested in appropriating any of the intellectual property or creative content of our playerbase. As such, if an offer for inclusion is extended, it is entirely up to the player/author whether or not he or she chooses to accept it. However, Layonara's formal lore and history as it will be represented in the handbooks (and other associated texts) has its own unique copyright, and as such we cannot include any creative content in these works that is not part of that copyright. Content, including characters, written by community members will be included ONLY if the author agrees to this and signs the rights of the character/written content over to Layonara. In other words, inclusion in lore is not a requirement for anyone, but signing the rights to the content over to Layonara is mandatory for that content to be included in any of the trademarked and copyrighted works.
It is also very important that if you (the player) wish to have a chance to be a part of the copyrighted (and trademarked) Layonara lore and history that you do not allow your character to become a part of any other lore/history/content/writings/art etc. that is copyrighted or trademarked or "might" be copyrighted, now or at any point in the future. If that happens, there is no chance the character will ever become a part of the lore/history of Layonara. As always, all material must also be the original creation of you, the author, and you cannot include any previously copyrighted content in your character submission or associated development content, even if you have no interest in being part of the Layonara copyright.
If a player is approached by the Layonara staff and accepts the offer to have their character included, the player will still be the creator and definer of the character and will still control the destiny of that character. However, once the character becomes a part of the text of Layonara (in copyrighted material) it will remain a part of that copyright. It is likely that character submissions and/or any character development threads will be used as points of reference when including characters in Layonara lore, but other marks the character has left on the world such as involvement in quests or world events may also be used.
Please note that none of the above changes a single thing for players who do not care about having their characters included in Layonara's written texts and lore. The above is provided only so that you, the members of the community, can better understand what is happening with copyrighted lore materials, and so that players who do want to be a part of future lore and history texts know the ramifications and requirements of accepting an offer for inclusion if one is extended to them.