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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85 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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1answer
44 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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3answers
598 views

Approach to pop culture quotes in fiction writing

I am contemplating writing a fictional character [nerd] who speaks in a pop culture references. I appreciate this question somewhat overlaps Referencing modern pop culture in science fiction The ...
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2answers
66 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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Is it considered plagiarism to publish a novel that has characters of the same animal species? [duplicate]

I am currently working on the last draft of my children's novel. Recently, I found out that several of my animal characters are the same species from The One and Only Ivan, written by Katherine ...
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2answers
642 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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1answer
77 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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1answer
80 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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9answers
13k views

Can I write a book of my D&D game?

I am a long time Dungeon Master of Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder. My games run in a custom world of my own making. However, I utilise a lot of the traditional lore and races of D&D. I'm ...
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2answers
144 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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7answers
15k views

Using the real world in writing

To what extent can you use locations, businesses, etc. from the real world in fiction? I know someone cannot copyright a city, but what about a particular location in the city that's private. Can I ...
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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
83 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
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
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
120 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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135 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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0answers
57 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
36 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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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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5answers
1k views

When does inspiration across artforms become plagiarism

eSpoilers for Green Book in the E.g. section I listen to a lot of music, and when I come up with stories, I often use songs as a source of inspiration. However, what I was wondering is are songs ...
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1answer
90 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
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
71 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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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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6answers
834 views

Is it safe to create a wiki for a book (or something featured in it) before the book is published?

I'm working on a sci-fi novel, and it contains a lot of fictional creatures, which are in some ways separate from the novel because I came up with them a while before I actually got the idea to write ...
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0answers
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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2answers
1k views

What are the copyright limitations for adopting a fictional character's name as your Pen Name?

I wanted to use 'Dumbledore' as a part of my pen name. But I was told that by doing so I might, I just might subject myself to suing by J.K. Rowling (if she intends to). Is that true? Can't I use ...
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57 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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7answers
4k views

Can I legally use these song lyrics as book/chapter names?

This topic has been discussed--but please advise me on this particular test case. The title of the fiction novel is "Shorter of Breath" -- a reference to a lyric in Pink Floyd's "Time." Chapter ...
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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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2answers
282 views

Is writing a novel about a song considered plagiarism?

I am interested in writing a novel about a song from a band. It will have the exact same plot but different names of the characters. Is this considered plagiarism? The idea of the song and my book are ...
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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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0answers
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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4answers
330 views

Intellectual rights for a guest blog submission

I have written several guest blog posts for a website with a large readership. I didn't ask for payment because the site is set up primarily as a public service in the special interest area. Now I ...
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2answers
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
430 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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2answers
126 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
60 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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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
103 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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1answer
554 views

Is it copyright infringement to Disney if I were to name my online company BuzzLightYear? [closed]

I want to use the name BuzzLightYear (one word) as a business name. What are the laws on character copyright infringement for just using the name of a Disney character? And in this case a slightly ...
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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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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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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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1answer
132 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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