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I am writing a book - continuing someone's book series. They were finished but I'd really like to see the other characters' lives. I need to quote (I wouldn't say really quote but let's call that quoting) or rather explain the other author's book in a chapter so my readers understand what I'm writing about. Can that part get copyrighted and my work put in the trash? I'd quite literally describe everything that happened there in a chapter. The words I used are pretty much the same although I did not copy the text from the original book, only explained what happened there. Can someone help? Thanks!

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I am writing a book - continuing someone's book series.

I'm sorry to say that you're already infringing copyright. You cannot publish books about other people's characters without their permission.

If you're just writing a fanfic that you intend to publish online for free, that's fine. As long as you're not profiting from it, and the original author hasn't forbidden fanfics of their work (Anne McCaffrey being an example of a writer who has done that), then you shouldn't run into any legal issues.

It sounds like you intend to publish this as a physical book, however, in which case, I strongly recommend that you don't do that, and just publish your story somewhere like FanFiction.net instead. If you try and get this sold in bookstores, you are going to get sued the second the copyright holder finds out about it.

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    She can get into trouble for publishing fan fiction. Anne McCaffrey had to ask the fanfic community to stop publishing works set in Pern to protect her rights.
    – EDL
    Mar 22 at 22:17
  • @EDL That's a good point, I should have clarified that to start with. I've now done so.
    – F1Krazy
    Mar 22 at 22:20
  • And if I'd contact the author and ask for premission? Mar 22 at 23:06
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    I think it would be smarter to ask for permission as soon as possible, so you know ahead of time what you can and can't do with the book once it's complete.
    – F1Krazy
    Mar 22 at 23:26
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    In theory, publishing it online can get you in trouble, it's just that it's not worth the bother to most writers.
    – Mary
    Mar 23 at 0:52

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