Questions tagged [copyright]

Questions involving matters of copyright, encapsulating parody and level of similarity questions, reprinting and publishing of copyrighted works, public domain, attribution, fanfiction, legality, and fair use questions. Any question involving copyright law in the U.S. or abroad should be given this tag.

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Non-Fiction References/Copyright

I’m writing a non-fiction book and I want to use authors and books as supporting references. Does anyone know if this sample below represents a copyright infringement? Copyright is a legal protection....
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When is it better to use a real life versus a generic fast food company name when talking about a regional chain?

So, I know that questions regarding the usage of real-life company names has been brought up before, but this is a really weird example that I've run into that doesn't seem covered by the previous ...
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Am I able to freely borrow or reference real people, places or things in a story that takes place on a different world or a made up landmass?

I'm currently writing my first novel and I can't figure out whether I am able to reference an abundance of different people, places, and/or things. I've had this idea of wanting to sneak in a sizable ...
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1answer
51 views

Permission for using a non-company's name and story [duplicate]

The company existed from 1985 to 2000. Then it was taken over by another company and later that was also taken over by another. I'm writing the story of that company. Do I need to take any permissions?...
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101 views

Is it legal to write about a video game universe with just changed names? [duplicate]

Let's say I want to publish a novel that deals with a fictional character within a video game universe (for example TloZ Ocarine of Time). The background, the events and the races within the story are ...
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1k views

Can I write a story revolving around a video game (Without it taking place in game and making many changes)?

Okay, so this is odd, but hear me out. We've all heard the story, Person A finds a cursed video game cartridge, plays it, every character dies, Person B gets involved and dies, Person A gets rid of ...
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1answer
57 views

To what extent do territorial print rights preclude online-publication rights?

A US literary journal would like to publish online my new English translation of dead author É's poem, written originally in French. The poem has been translated before, and is in fact in print in a ...
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2answers
127 views

My Middle Name Is Amara And I Want To Add It To My Book [duplicate]

I'm writing a series that has to do with vampires. My middle name is Amara, and I personally find that name really, really pretty. I wanted to add it to my book as the name of the main character but I ...
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2answers
132 views

What resources can I use to be 100% assured that my story is not too similar/plagarising already existing works?

I've been worrying about this for quite a long time. So, for the past year or so, I've been working hard on a story I'm very passionate about. My biggest concern of them all is copyright issues. I'm ...
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What are the Best Practices for Developing Content for a Product-Promotion Website? [closed]

For products that are already listed in marketplace, what would be the best practice in sourcing content for a blog-style website that reviews, compares, and promotes such listed products with a view ...
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Similar plot and similar character names-too similar? [duplicate]

I'm asking this question on the behalf of my friend. So, recently, my friend's story seemed remarkably similar to a published story(FYI, my friend's story is still in the drafting stage, I'm just ...
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Does the fact that an old work was republished later affect the public domain status?

I want to use large excerpts from an old book in the textbook I am writing (e.g. 500-1000 word chunks at a time taken). These will serve as primary sources for the students to analyze. The first ...
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102 views

Copyright infringement on spelling of invented names?

Years ago I invented a name for a kingdom/country in my YA fantasy novel, which I am on the verge of self-publishing. At random, I discovered a self-published author had the same invented name for her ...
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The author allows me to use their (excellent) idea, but I need to paraphrase it. I can't find a good paraphrase. What should I do?

I meet an excellent idea and really want to use it. The author allows me to do that, but I can't just copy the whole text. The problem is, I do want to use my own language, but in each sentence they ...
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How can a newbie writer secure a self-written story for him/herself using copyright? [closed]

I have an idea to write a story. How can I apply copyright to it after it gets written?
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718 views

What really is considered as plagiarism?

I am currently writing a novel which I noticed is based on ideas from many books that I have read. I noticed that what did I do is get an idea from a book, get another ideas from (many) other books, ...
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84 views

Is it appropriate for one to use already existing content?

Will it be considered copyright infringement if one would use already existing content, for example, a song? Can you be sued for copyright infringement if you use this, even if you give the original ...
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147 views

I want to use the premise of a story that I think wasted its potential, can I do this?

I have been pondering on a novel idea that would likely utilize a large chunk of a premise of a novel that I read several years ago. To be clear, the elements that I would want to use are the premise (...
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1answer
73 views

Copyright issues when using images from a TV show in my book

I'm writing an episode guide for a TV show and I think it would be helpful to include a couple of screenshots/images from each episode plus maybe 4 or 5 more images throughout the book. What is the ...
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1answer
89 views

My book has a similar characters as the book The One and Only Ivan. Will I get in trouble if I publish my book? [duplicate]

We have completely different plots, I have several characters that are similar but different to each other. The One and Only Ivan had a gorilla, elephant, and dog, while I have a chimpanzee, elephant, ...
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200 views

Are the Arthurian legends freely available for use?

I put a bit of Arthurian fantasy into a short story I wrote. I originally thought that this was perfectly acceptable, as many books do so, and the original stuff is ancient. But after reading this, ...
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1answer
281 views

Are fictional town names trademarks or protected intellectual property of their author?

If a town name in a popular fictional work is widely associated with a particular fictional work, can the name be freely used as a name for a new nonprofit organization even if the nonprofit is ...
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1answer
32 views

When citing a paragraph in a book on my website, how long can the citation be?

I would like to cite a few sentences of a book in my website, and I would like to know if I may run into some copyright infringement. On the book, it is written "Les Editions Arthaud, 1986, All ...
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159 views

Is it a copyright infringement if I include a magical newspaper with moving pictures in my novel? [duplicate]

I want to add a magical newspaper in my novel. In the newspaper, all the images are moving, like the newspapers in Harry Potter. Is it copyright infringement for me to include a newspaper with moving ...
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1answer
133 views

In a parody of a short children's story, is copying a couple of lines word-for-word going to present legal problems?

I've written a parody of a famous children's book, the original being a 60-line poem with illustrations (modern, so definitely within copyright). I've tried to get the parody as close to the poem as ...
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58 views

Traditional publishing with already copyrigthed content

If I establish worldbuilding elements on a blog or service like World Anvil, will I still be able to use those elements in book and get traditionaly published? Technically I should have full rights to ...
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1answer
87 views

May I copy some paragraphs of other writers as examples? [duplicate]

I’m a Spain-based writing tutor and I’m currently working on a writing guide. I’d like to quote well known writers as examples, which means include some paragraphs of such authors. Is there any ...
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1answer
43 views

How to include a software license covering code samples in a book

I'm working on a programming book, which will be distributed both electronically and (potentially) in print. It includes many coding samples, which readers may wish to use. To avoid the hairy, and ...
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2answers
3k views

How can I know that I'm not plagiarizing?

New to the web. I just recently started to write again. I won a few highschool prizes writing short stories. Around the same time, I began to play Roleplaying games and to write different stories for ...
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1answer
73 views

Has the idea for my story already been taken?

I want to write a story about a place called Kingdom Come, where you can come in but you cannot go (i.e. you are not allowed to leave). Has this idea already been taken? It really sounds like the sort ...
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Do I have to get permission to use a person’s pet’s first name and likeness?

I want to start a comic series about my pets living in a universe without humans. This would include their interactions with my neighbors and friends pets. I only use the pet’s first name and the ...
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2answers
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Similar Character [duplicate]

So, I had a dream about this demon character named Sin (I physically saw his name in my dream) that goes to church. I wanted to make this into a story, but I feel like it's too similar to Rin Okumura ...
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How to start writing an autobiography [duplicate]

I’m planning to write my autobiography. I don’t know where to start. Please give some tips and tricks to kickstart the project. I know it’s my personal stuff. But still some hacks from experienced ...
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How to protect my unfinished work?

I am currently writing a fiction novel. I have about 5 finished chapters. But, since English is not my native language, (it's actually my fourth language) I feel the urgent necessity of sending my ...
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2answers
61 views

How do you copyright a book if you’re both the author and illustrator?

I'm making a book and want to illustrate it too. So do I have to copyright them seperatly or can I copyright them all together? And if I make them into a series do I need to copyright each book ...
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1answer
79 views

Should I Copyright My Novels Myself or Have My Publisher Do It?

I have four thoroughly reviewed novels right now and I am wanting to copyright them before May 2020. But, I am having doubts as to whether or not I should. I am aiming for traditional publication and ...
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1answer
49 views

Republishing a Creative Commons NonCommercial-NoDerivs licenced work for archival purposes

I have a 10+ year old 800 page pfd someone wrote but never published and I'd like to publish it (not taking credit for it, just to own a physical copy). The original author is dead so I can't get ...
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1answer
84 views

What is Considered Transformative Use in Fiction Writing?

I have been reading some material about E.L. James and her Fifty Shades of Grey series. It seems she originally wrote this novel as fan-fiction, and how she decided later in life to make it an ...
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Languages in my fantasy story [duplicate]

I'm writing a story right now, mostly because I just felt like it. At the moment I don't plan on doing anything fancy with it just keeping it to myself. I just want to make sure I won't be getting ...
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2answers
649 views

Writing a supernatural book with characters who have supernatural powers that have already been explored in other works?

I am in the process of writing a book with many of the characters discovering that they have supernatural powers. I am trying very hard to find 'original' powers that have not yet been created and ...
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1answer
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How does authorship and copyright work in translation?

I am a freelance translator, and once received a request from a client saying that they were supposed to translate a chapter of a book, but had to outsource this task as it was difficult. I declined ...
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131 views

Does receiving donations to give earlier access to chapters in a fan fiction count as copyright infringement?

Well long story short I have been writing a fan fiction for a while (The fan fiction takes place in the 'please don't tell my parents i'm a supervillain' universe) and some of my readers asked how ...
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1answer
84 views

Using trademarked content in a professional blog [duplicate]

I tried to find similar question, but it seems it haven't been asked, the closest I found was this but it is more specific about screenshots, and I need a general advice. If I write blog about my ...
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133 views

Use of real company name in fiction: generic, common names

I read the very helpful discussion of using brand/company names in fiction (Use of real organization in fiction) and have read other resources on the internet but have not been able to find one ...
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2answers
120 views

I have two story ideas and I want to know if they're similar enough to other books/movies to be copyright infringing [closed]

Is a story about the Hindu gods being real inherently copyright infringing on the Percy Jackson series? Is a story about a plague causing the apocalypse, then a street gang trying to restore order and ...
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1answer
106 views

George Orwell died over 70 years ago: how does this affect the copyright of translations of his works?

From what I understand, since George Orwell died (21 Jan. 1950) slightly over 70 years ago now, his books are now in the public domain under UK copyright law: Type of work Written, dramatic, ...
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2answers
47 views

copyright issues relating to rewriting news reports

Is it legal to rewrite news reports for commercial use? I've noticed the following information, and I'm wondering whether it applies to other news agencies as well. Associated Press text, photo, ...
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1answer
81 views

Is it legal to use real people in education material?

We are doing a game-like app on the topic of literature where we will portray some of the writers with illustrations and animations, also making them utter certain things. Would this require ...
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0answers
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Searching for an author with unpublished fantasy writing for my mobile game [closed]

I would be extremely grateful for any advice on how to search for or reach an agreement with an author. I'm a solo indie game developer, unreleased. My game is a fantasy random gacha hero collector. ...
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4answers
160 views

Can I reference events of a different fictional work in my fictional work?

Let's say I'm working on a fantasy series called MyWork, that is set in the present in a small town in the US. I have a fantasy series that I take inspiration from, InspirationWork, that is set in the ...

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