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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2answers
135 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
68 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
43 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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193 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
113 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
29 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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2answers
132 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
131 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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56 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
86 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
34 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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1answer
68 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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1answer
88 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
51 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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82 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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56 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
77 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 ...
2
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1answer
81 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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30 views

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
358 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 ...
2
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1answer
58 views

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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125 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
83 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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122 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
117 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
101 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
46 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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2answers
64 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
94 views

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
154 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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1answer
131 views

What is the purpose of an author stipulating that only 50% of his book can be translated?

I recently requested permission of an author to translate one of his books, and permission was granted. However, the contract stipulated that no more than 50% of the book could be translated. What is ...
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3answers
4k views

Want to publish unpublished work found in an auction storage unit

I started buying storage auctions in the middle of this year. In the third one I bought I ran across an unpublished manuscript for a fiction book U Boat treasure by Charles Hand. He has no published ...
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6answers
315 views

Is it illegal if I use religious material in my novel?

I have a serious problem. I am going to start writing a novel which includes a character called Ravana, from the Hindu literary text called the Ramayana. Now, if I were to publish this, would it be ...
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1answer
179 views

Is my writing original if it is a hybrid of Tolkien and Rowling? [duplicate]

I am planning to write a fantasy book which incorporates the styles of LotR and Harry Potter. The setting is a Middle Earth-like world. The main character attends a magical school. There is a ...
2
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3answers
298 views

Is it a copyright violation to have the character share some characteristics with a known character?

More specifically, consider the following examples: 1) Say my protagonist is a boy who has a lightning-bolt scar on his forehead, wears round glasses, and has dark hair and green eyes. His name is NOT ...
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1answer
26 views

Extracts and Quotations - Copyright Issues

I wish to include a wide variety of extracts and quotations from the literature of philosophy in a book. This is not just the odd sentence but will sometimes be a paragraph or two. I'm wondering what ...
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2answers
149 views

Fiction copyright, mythologies and interpretations of ancient texts?

So, I understand that ancient mythologies and their characters such as Zeus etc are part of the public domain. However, what happens to individual interpretations of ancient texts? For example, a ...
5
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4answers
390 views

Is anything like the propulsion systems (warp/impulse drives) copyrighted from being use in other sci-fi novels?

I'm currently writing a sci-fi/fantasy novel that mostly takes place on a star/space-ship but I'm stuck on if i'm available to use names of the propulsion drives, such as Warp or even Impulse drives. ...
2
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1answer
117 views

RNG 109 Watermark

I've been reading up a bunch of Screenplays from movies that I liked and came across a couple of them with a curious watermark on them, saying "RNG-109". I noticed this on a version of the Script for "...
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0answers
71 views

Can I use Stephen Hawking's name in my Science fiction book? [duplicate]

I wrote a science fiction book in which, Alien species comes on earth and they meet with Dr. Stephen Hawking. Is it legal to use his name for the book?
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4answers
1k views

How much should I pay the copyright holder for the right to translate a book and sell copies?

Suppose I'm a local publisher. If I want to translate a book, print it and sell translated copies, how much should I propose to pay to the copyright holder? Is there some acceptable percentage of book ...
6
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2answers
306 views

Owning comic book characters

I am currently writing an ongoing comic series, along with a co-author. Some of the characters in the book were created by me, some by the co-author, and some by third parties. All characters in ...
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2answers
122 views

Do I need to change the title of my book because it is similar to the Transformers Universe?

I used the name Primus and Primes for my book and these are from the transformers universe. My concept is totally different. Is this a copyright infringement? I introduced a secret society named "...
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3answers
7k views

Do living authors still get paid royalties for their old work?

Do authors still get paid royalties for their old works? For example, If I decided to buy a copy of the "Odessa File" by Frederick Forsyth or "Kane and Abel" by Jeffery Archer, do the authors get paid ...
5
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3answers
142 views

(Self-)publishing a book using copyrighted material - adaptation for younger readers

I have written and drawn a children's book. It's an adaptation of the Hobbit condensed into 32 pages aimed at 4-8 year olds (can be read to and read by children). I had the book printed for private ...
5
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2answers
594 views

Are writing prompts copyright protected?

I love following writing prompt blogs and accounts on social media because they really get my creativity flowing, my favorite being Writing Prompts on Tumblr and Instagram. I've never actually ...
0
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1answer
95 views

Would I be able to have my characters play “Dungeons and Dragons” in my book? [duplicate]

A big part of my book is that the characters play the tabletop RPG "Dungeons and Dragons". There is no content actually showing them playing it, but they do mention it. Would that be allowed?

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