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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52 views

Permission for a quote?

Someone (not a particularly famous person,) said something during a podcast that I found would make a good quote, used in my upcoming book. Do I need to get permission from the speaker or the podcast ...
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66 views

Can I mention a character and/or name of a famous author in the subtitle of my book?

Can I mention the words "Conan" and/or "Robert E. Howard" in the subtitle of my book? They are certainly well-known. Please note that they won't appear inside the book, only in the ...
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65 views

Paraphrasing an ancient proverb, but has been recently translated copyright in a novel question

Ok, so this is originally attributed to Chuang Tzu who was around in the BC era. However, all the sources I can really find on it are from a translation in 1965. So what are the rules on this one? Is ...
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48 views

Copyright of newer weapon designs used for a novel?

What is the status on using a newer designed weapon, like the cyclone M48 knife, in a novel? Would I run into copyright/trademark issues? The spiral design is what I am interested in more than using ...
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3answers
96 views

How can I get permission to use an illustration from an old book where the author is dead and the publisher closed?

I am translating a book published in 1961. The author has been dead for more than 50 years. I would like to use the same illustrations, but do not know who to ask. The painter is dead, and he did not ...
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73 views

A location for a big event

My novel I am writing has a Queensland, Australia castle in it, Paronella Park. I did research and I’m using facts, except my characters paid extra to stay inside the castle (which I understand that’...
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66 views

Are your submissions to the writer's guild protected from unwanted readers?

Can people read your submission when you use the registration system for registering scripts? I am wondering if people can read your submissions within the writer's guild, or if the documents are ...
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24 views

Can someone use Robert Rogers name? [duplicate]

Well, I have a character whose name is Robert Rogers and he is the General of The Army. and lately, I found someone named Robert Rogers, an army officer. I'm not sure if that makes any copyright (or ...
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136 views

Is it possible to copyright my great grandfather's unpublished book of handwritten poetry written in the late nineteenth century?

In the latter half of the 19th century, my great grandfather wrote a series of handwritten poems that he compiled in handbound poetry book, along with two of his penciled drawings. The book was never ...
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104 views

Should you mention your sources of inspiration somewhere?

Should you mention your sources of inspiration somewhere? Let's say you borrow a lot from Greek mythology, Shakespeare, and take some world-building ideas from some famous author. Should you mention ...
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157 views

Will using "Jeep" as a character name cause copyright issues?

As the title says I have a character named "Jeep" and I would like to know if it will cause any copyright problems for me or not. (P.S: By the way, it's for a script for a game.)
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I gave my main character the same first and last name as in another book - is this fine?

I am writing a book and had nearly finished half of it and gave it to my friend to read, but she told me there is already a character in a book with the same first and last name. Would it be okay if I ...
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86 views

Does having some same characteristics invoke copyright?

I want to make a manga. The complex story uses characters from toys that I played with as a child. These characters were Legos and not rendered in 2D. And, I mixed some parts of their body so they ...
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54 views

Character name trademarks and copyrights [duplicate]

I've had some characters for a while for a comic I'm wanting to write, and until now I never thought about name copyright and trademarks. After looking it up, quite a few of my characters have the ...
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58 views

Do I need permission to copy school questions to my book?

My main character is going to a highly advanced school but I have no idea how to make up hard questions. I'm terrible at math, so I was wondering do I need permission to copy my older sister's college ...
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89 views

Is magical factions story too similar to Harry Potter?

I have and idea for a story where everybody has magical potential and at a certain age they must choose a style of magic of where they will base their learning from. Is this too similar to Harry ...
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42 views

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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6answers
339 views

Am I able to freely borrow or reference real people, places or things without fear of legal persecution?

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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113 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
61 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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133 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
144 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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1answer
50 views

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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114 views

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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70 views

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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108 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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46 views

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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76 views

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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736 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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86 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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149 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
81 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
95 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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2answers
211 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
421 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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168 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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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
51 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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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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108 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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114 views

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
55 views

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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20 views

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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84 views

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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67 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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