I have a character name that is similar to a book title. However the name is a fantasy type name but I spell it completely different. Will I get in trouble for my character having a similar name?


1 Answer 1


Character names cannot be copyrighted. You could name a character Harry Potter if you wanted to, providing that character and their universe had no resemblance the worlds created by J.K. Rowling. If this Harry Potter was a potter or a butcher and wasn't fighting against an existential evil and etc, you'd almost certainly be fine.

If the title of your book was 'Harry Potter and the Throwing Wheel,' or 'Harry Potter and the Beef Knuckle' then someone could make a credible claim that readers could mistake your story about butcher for further adventures of the young wizard. They might claim you are diminishing the value of their intellectual property. They might claim you are infringing without permission.

None of this matters, if your story is never published -- be it shared with the public on the web, self-published, or traditionally published. In the last case -- traditionally published -- their lawyers will work to ensure that there is little to no likelihood that your story infringes on another author's intellectual property.

You should just write your story. If you only share it with friends, you cannot get in trouble. If decide you want to publish it, you can worry about the problem at the time. Statistically speaking you'll make so many revision to the story that by the time you finish it, it will be a moot point.

  • That is wrong due to Harry Potter being a book & franchise you would get in deep legal trouple by naming your character Harry Potter, but you could to Henry Potter(an american version of the name Harry) Oct 29, 2023 at 21:51
  • @PaulGamerBoy360, I believe you are confusing Copyright and Trademark. If you tried to Trademark “Harry Potter the Butcher” from your novel, I’d expect you’d have a problem. But using a character name in a work of fiction that doesn’t bearing any resemblance to the original novel would not likely be a problem
    – EDL
    Oct 29, 2023 at 22:13

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