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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7
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3answers
257 views

Is it ok if some of my city names are the same as the ones in other books/series/video games/ pieces of work?

My book has a few place names that are also present in other pieces of media, for example, one of my cities is called "Manalin" and I just found out that there is a planet in Star Wars also called ...
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1answer
67 views

Registering copyright as a “folio?”

I was listening to an older episode (2012) of "The Audacity to Podcast", where the host is talking with a copyright/IP Lawyer: https://theaudacitytopodcast.com/tap077-copyright-laws-for-bloggers-and-...
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4answers
160 views

Copyright issue when referring to a textbook

I'm currently writing a little book which explains all equations that first year students will use. There is a law that requires many assumptions and I have referred the student to the page in the ...
4
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3answers
57 views

Licensed out content for book, whose name in copyright notice?

Hello there. I hope this is not a completely basic question, but I could not find the answer anywhere else. I have written content that a company wants to publish. We have signed a contract that ...
0
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1answer
86 views

Is it considered plagiarism if i take an item from another story and use it in my own? [duplicate]

I am writing an essay for school about "The Neighborhood of the Future" And I want to include the babel fish from a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Could this be considered plagiarism?
23
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6answers
6k views

Can someone publish a story that happened to you?

Can someone take a story that happened to you, without your knowledge, and publish it? Using your name and specifics, and take the copyright for it? A person, whose mother lived in our small town, ...
8
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2answers
166 views

Do I need permission to name organizations in a non-fiction book?

I am self-publishing a dog photography book. I have obtained permissions for all subjects in the book. One of the pictures I am using has the American Kennel Club (AKC) logo in it. I'm assuming I need ...
6
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4answers
10k views

Help! I accidentally gave my fictional character the same name as a fictional character on a TV show. Do I have to change it?

I've been writing a YA mystery book in which one of the three main characters is a detective—who now seems to share his name with another fictional character on TV. I was pretty young when I came up ...
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5answers
4k views

Can my character's name match someone in real life?

Is it legally OK that my character's name by coincidence matches someone's in real life, famous or not? (For example I am naming a character Aaron Hale.) The character's appearance and everything else ...
6
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3answers
279 views

Names already used

I have named my fish and dolphin characters in my short story. It transpires that these names are already in use in other stories, for example 'Cornelius Cod'. Would I have to change my characters ...
6
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2answers
188 views

Do I have to pay royalties if I include excerpts from other works?

In a lot of books, at the beginning, the authors include quotes from poetry or songs that are relevant to the theme of their story or to their characters' situations. Obviously I would have to ask ...
4
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2answers
166 views

Add copyright notice before submitting manuscript?

I have written and illustrated a rhyming picturebook (for approx 0-7 year olds) and have it in PDF format which I prepared in InDesign. When I am sending the manuscript off, do I need to worry about ...
3
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4answers
363 views

Can I use an old painting of Lilith as my book cover?

I'm working on a book of poetry, and I want to use John Collier's (1892) painting of Lilith as the cover. I won't be selling the book though; giving it away for free. Can I legally use the painting as ...
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2answers
357 views

My publisher copyrighted my book cover and interior

My illustrator designed the cover of my book, but my publisher did not want to use his cover. They wanted their illustration department to do it. What I didn't know was that they copyrighted the cover ...
5
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3answers
2k views

Usage of an old photo with expired copyright

I would like to use an old photo/postcard (example 1, example 2) for a non-commercial poster. The poster is for a school assignment. The photo would illustrate a map and text about the history of the ...
5
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1answer
130 views

Can I publish a “revised edition” of my book with a different publisher?

I published my book in 2013 with one publisher in India. As I was unhappy with the publisher—he had made changes to the book while editing which I was not happy with—the book did not do very well. I ...
2
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3answers
111 views

Writing a Novel based on a Self-help Guide Book

I just want to be clear on this before I do any sort of writing with regards to the subject. So I have an idea for a novel that shows a person trying to obtain his objectives using the lessons and ...
5
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4answers
135 views

Is it a good idea to post a story in a fanfiction website, and then seek to have it published later on?

Is there any complication that can ensue when you seek to have a story you've published in a free domain website, and then have it published through a conventional publisher? What if I were to modify ...
2
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2answers
178 views

Is it plagiarism to use an item from another story in my own story?

What if I use an item from another story in my story? For example, in my story there is a metal called adamantium which obviously came from the story of Wolverine. Can it be considered plagiarism?
8
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1answer
173 views

What can we do to make sure that our novels are in the public domain as soon as we die?

I heard that the amount of time required for a work to be in the public domain has been extended. If you want your novels to be in the public domain as soon as you die, how do you do that? And can the ...
2
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2answers
88 views

When can characters be reused? [duplicate]

Can one legally include a reference to, or an appearance of, a character from an existing work of fiction? How much of that character can be used? What makes this permitted or forbidden under US law? ...
3
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2answers
165 views

Finishing up someone else's novel

One of my friends passed away about a year ago and left me some manuscripts. A rough draft and without a proper ending. I was wondering if I should finish it and how. Should I take the draft and just ...
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3answers
229 views

I want to name a character something but j feel like people would say I'm copying Veronica Roth, my favorite author. What should I do?

I have a problem. I want to name a character (the main character's romantic interest) Tobias, but I feel like people would associate him with Tobias Eaton from Divergent, knowing how much I love that ...
4
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4answers
667 views

Can you reprint screen shots of a game application or program without permission?

It seems pretty normal to see screenshots of MS Word, steps for "this is how you generate a template". I don't think Microsoft would object. But I'm not sure about reprinting images from in-game ...
3
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2answers
103 views

Can you get a work translated into simple modern English published?

I am wondering if you could translate a book from Shakespeare to simple modern English and have it published somehow. As far as I know, you can translate non-English books and have them published, but ...
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4answers
4k views

Can we “borrow” our answers to populate our own websites?

Second Edit -- to try to expand the scope BEYOND W.SE and to cover any CreativeCommons work, not just here. Deleted part about the badges. -- Edit -- to clarify it's not quite a BLOG, more a portfolio ...
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1answer
330 views

Public domain does it apply to any and all art work prior to 1920's? [duplicate]

Can I use famous art work images that were created prior to 1900 in my book and sell the book legally? Are all artworks prior to 1900 Public domain? I want to use images of paintings made in 1800 to ...
2
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3answers
770 views

Copyright of a TV series when used as reference?

Is it considered fair use to have screenshots, or character likenesses, in a book as a descriptor or reference? For example, when describing time-travelers, can I use a few screenshots from Doctor ...
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2answers
2k views

Can I copy images from published books and use them in my paper?

When it comes to citing text from someone else's work, the rule is to provide a proper citation and source. Once you do that, you're off the hook. But when it comes to copying images it seems to be ...
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2answers
42 views

Reversing title and subtitle in foreign edition

I am publishing a book with an American publisher. My contract allows me to make a separate contract with one particular foreign publisher for a translation in his language. That foreign publisher ...
21
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2answers
18k views

Are Names of Characters Copyrighted by Authors?

Are names of characters copyrighted by authors? For example, the character "Eragon" from the Inheritance Cycle series, or a name that you've generated using an online name generator that you'd like to ...
5
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4answers
187 views

Audio version of copyrighted written material

I want to do a free daily podcast of the Bible. Would I need permission of the copyright holder of the translation I am reading or would this be considered fair use? Would I need to state the source ...
10
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6answers
28k views

Are music lyrics copyrighted?

I tried to find copyright information about music lyrics, but it is too confusing, because it is related to the usage. There are lots of websites providing lyrics, but it seems they are somehow ...
6
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1answer
359 views

Are translated Basho poems copyrighted?

I'm wondering if translated works of ancient poems are in the public domain, or if they're copyrighted by the translators. It would seem like if the author on a given work is listed as "Basho", then ...
3
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1answer
123 views

Republishing public domain work by family ancestors

Both my husband's great grandfather and, on my side, my own great-great grandfather were published authors. Their books appear on the Bibliobazaar/Open Source sites. Although we are direct ...
5
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1answer
173 views

Copyrighting illustrations I paid to have created

I wrote my first children's book. I hired an illustrator and paid for them to illustrate my book so I can self-publish and create the book for my son. I drew out each of the 8 spreads how I wanted ...
1
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2answers
86 views

copyright issues and permissions

I am a children's book illustrator. I am hired to illustrate a series of books by the author. The first book has already been illustrated by some other illustrator and published by a publishing house. ...
3
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1answer
188 views

Need to own copyright on illustrations if planning a series?

I am writing a children's book for the first time. I anticipate this becoming a series. I have an illustrator to do the artwork. If I anticipate a series do I have to own a copyright on the ...
3
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1answer
88 views

Copywriting question, error by publisher

I had a friend "publisher" help with organizing and publishing my children's book through a self publishing company. We have no written contract. He was to help me for gratis as he learned the process ...
3
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3answers
396 views

How can I trust that the proofreader and designer of a book will not plagiarize our work?

My friend and I are writing a book in English in the Electrical Engineering field. At this stage, we need someone to proofread our texts and also to design the layout of the book, so we will need to ...
3
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5answers
367 views

How to secure my written work from being stolen or copied before publishing?

I'm a newbie in the field of writing. After writing a book, I need to visit a number of publishers. So, how do I secure my written work from being stolen or copied before it's published? Is there any ...
7
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5answers
55k views

Is it legal to use an old painting on the cover of a book?

Can I put an old painting on the cover of my book without violating the law? AFAIK the copyright for a painting expires after 70 years. Hence, if a painting was created in 1874 and 70 years expired ...
3
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2answers
63 views

Song quote for an 'in memoriam'

I would like to quote a few lines of a lyric from St. Vincent's song "New York", for an 'in memoriam' I want to put in a newspaper on the anniversary day of my friend's death. Do I need to get ...
2
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4answers
325 views

Is using an online name generator a good idea?

When I'm stumped for a planet name or an organization name or something, I usually search on Google for a free name generator. But are the names in random generators copyrighted? If I used a ...
0
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2answers
113 views

I am an author that wrote a biography on a singer. Do I need to get permission to turn the book into a screenplay?

I am an author who wrote a biography on a singer. I want to turn the book into a screenplay. Do I have to get permission from the singer to do this?
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Is there an official license type applied by copyright holder that allows a written work to be continued upon/derived by third-party writers?

Say I create a copyrighted written work, is there a license I can apply to that same work that will allow a third party to create and copyright a derivative work? Is there an existing license or ...
1
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1answer
171 views

License for incorporating game-play and characters of a video-game in a novel?

I have recently finished my first novel, entitled 'K: A Tale of the Afterlife'. In this novel, there's a certain chapter where the main character walks into an old-fashioned arcade and plays the video-...
8
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2answers
2k views

Referencing, but not using, trademarked characters

Obviously, you're not allowed to use trademarked characters like Superman or Batman in your published works. If I wrote a novel about Superman fighting Lex Luthor, I could get sued. But what about ...
6
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2answers
788 views

Is my book legal? Is my story too similiar to Harry Potter

I have been creating a story in my mind from early childhood. Now, I am very talented in writing, so I decided to give it a try one day. It was awesome! The book I imagine in my head was being written,...
4
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2answers
291 views

Can I publish a book based on the Library of Babel?

So I want to write a fictional book based on Borges' Library of Babel idea. The only thing I would preserve is the setting. However, I am unsure of the legality of it. Is the setting copyrightable? ...

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