I want to write a book about historical figures. Do I violate copyright when I do so?

  • See also this related question about the legal implications of writing about living historical figures: writing.stackexchange.com/questions/9215/…
    – user29032
    Apr 15, 2018 at 7:31
  • 2
    Copyright is about protecting someone's creation. Historical figures are in the public realm, but for example biographies are copyrighted. In general using many sources will be OK but transcribing other's works on your topic will not.
    – Bookeater
    Apr 15, 2018 at 17:38
  • Copyrights are also very country-specific. Apr 16, 2018 at 13:14

1 Answer 1


By writing a historical book you do not violate any forms of copyright as far as I am aware, many people have written books using historical figures and I cannot name one person who has been taken to court because of this. However, it also depends on how you write the historical figure. If you write them in a way that could or is supposed to offend someone then you could get into a lot of trouble regarding the media and your book would likely not be accepted by publishers.

But I STRONGLY suggest studying writing and history first before ever attempting to write a book like this, or even a book at all for that matter. Usually when writing a historical book you only attract certain types of people and they will be very fussy over the details of how you wrote these figures and even if you got facts right. So please do some research before doing anything out of your capability.

This is the best answer of mine I could give you but I hope it has helped.

  • 2
    Hi Derika. There is no need, and in fact you're not supposed to, manually sign your posts with your name. Each of your contributions is already attached to your profile (see the "answered", on desktop to the lower right of your answer text). See What kind of behavior is expected of users? in the Help center.
    – user
    Apr 15, 2018 at 7:25

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.