New writer here! I want to ask a question: if I take a plot of a movie and write it in my book but not entirely. There are similarities but also things which don't exist in the movie. Do I need to but copyright? If not what should be the procedure? I am new in the writing thing and I want things to be right to avoid problems. Thank you

  • If you have questions that are legal in nature, then you need to, at a minimum, specify which jurisdiction you are interested in. Copyright laws vary by locale.
    – user
    Sep 18, 2017 at 9:52

2 Answers 2


That's a good consideration, however, here's my quick tip: Do it and don't tell anyone. Yikes! Heres the thing: almost every single idea out there is a copy of another one. If you see something you like and want to recreate it, but want to change some things- then totally just do it. Make it original enough that it can be something else, but you know what you got it from. So many books are like this. Of course, this does only go so far. If it's too similar, someone might call you out on blatant copyright, and you could look at being sued (this all depends of course on many nuances in the law and exactly what was done, etc) If your desire, on the other hand, is to simply rewrite the story but keep characters, most of the plot, etc. the same- then fan fiction is really your best bet. Or, talk to the author yourself and see if you can get rights to the story to write your own stuff about it! My biggest advice though overall, is just be aware that most people copy each other and just hide it. Also, once you really get in the groove of writing, you might be more inclined to write your own unique things rather then copy others (everybody gets inspiration from someone, everybody takes from someone else) (p.s. chances are, what you're writing now won't get published. I don't mean that to be harsh or critical against your writing, but what I mean is if you're new to writing, and this is your first project, you may not stick with it for very long as you change and grow and new ideas come along. I would only worry about the legal matters about this if you were 100% serious about getting this story out and published. You're not going to be punished for rewriting the story and saving it on your own word docs! or publishing to a fan fiction site)

  • I see. But I am not copying from a book,I am copying from a movie. What happens in this case? Sep 20, 2017 at 6:37
  • @MarieHoping A book and a movie are pretty much the same thing from a writer's perspective. They are both a story being told, one through visual, the other through imagination and words. Also just because it's a movie, doesn't mean you can write the exact same thing as a book because it is still IP of who ever wrote the movie. As Richard said, change it up enough so that it's not obviously copying, but tributes and aspects of it that display inspiration from material is always nice to see. Call it easter eggs if you will.
    – ggiaquin16
    Sep 20, 2017 at 17:54


For example, if it is an adaptation of a story that is already copyrighted, then it might be a little bit dodgy for people. If it's fanfiction or whatever, then ok....


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