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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In a novel that I'm writing, can a character quote a line from a movie or TV show?

I've recently noticed that in a lot of pop culture reference heavy shows or movies, like Community, Suits, Deadpool... they always mention the movie they took it from. As in, another character is ...
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Is there a way to license fictional characters, settings, ideas, et cetera?

I hope this is not too vague, but I'm wondering if there is a way to release fictional creations in a way that would allow other writers to freely use them. E.g., let's say I have a fictional ...
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695 views

Is it considered trademark infringement to use the name of a real business in a novel?

I am writing a pivotal scene for my novel that is set in Red Square of Moscow. A very wealthy bureaucrat is leaving a famous, high end store that exists in real life. Is it considered trademark ...
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Info for use of Wikipedia articles

Can I use Wikipedia articles (under creative commons) to write a book and sell it? I read the rules for using Wikipedia articles but I am still not sure I properly understand it. I want to write a ...
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Does the Creative Commons license protect my writing on the web?

I usually write on the web and I would like to license my writings using one of the Creative Commons licenses, but I can't understand how that license can protect our works. We really like to share ...
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How can I establish ownership over my work?

I have an irrational fear of my work being stolen. I understand that this is, realistically, extremely unlikely to happen. There are just too many barriers to something being successfully stolen and ...
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1answer
368 views

Can I quote an infamous line from a satire written in the 18th century in my novel?

I marked it with a footnote containing the writer's name, the work's title and copied the "Publisher" section from Wikipedia so far. What about the English translation of the original French quote? ...
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4answers
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How important is owning the copyright on illustrations as a first time author of a children's book?

I am a first time author looking to publish a children's book which I need to have illustrated. I have a contract offer from a well-known vanity publisher, and they have offered to produce the ...
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Using picture under GNU Free Document Licence as book cover

I am self-publishing my dissertation and want to use a picture of a painting, modified to fit the cover and with titles and author name on it. The painter is dead for over a hundred years and a file ...
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683 views

Using ideas posted on social media: is it ok?

I have a question about copyrighting. I was scrolling through tumblr the other day and someone had posted an idea that said something about people seeing in black and white until they meet their ...
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Autobiography and lawsuits [closed]

If I write an autobiography and include living family members who have done some very strange things, am I at the risk of being sued?
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Can I use a scientific theory for my story?

Let's say that I read an article on a scientific magazine about, I don't know, a new cosmological model or something theorized by a very smart guy. Can I use it as the core idea of my sci-fi story or ...
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What do I put on my copyright page when self-publishing?

The question is pretty much what the title is. I do know that all intellectual property is protected by copyright law from the moment of it's creation. I have backed up my work with several methods, ...
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Retelling old stories

I have read this similar question but it does not really address my question. What if I want to write a novel or a short story that is inspired by (or outright a retelling of) a popular poem written ...
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290 views

How does public domain/copyright work across different countries?

What if I want to modify/sell a book that is copyrighted in my country, but is under public domain in X country? If I download a file containing the X country version, am I allowed to do this? If not, ...
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Who (if anyone) can add canon to an existing universe?

Under normal circumstances, it's obvious that the original writer would be in control of the canon, but what about when the IP-owner is deceased or no longer participating in their industry? This ...
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Fictional characters of a real sports team?

My fictional novel includes characters who play for the Boston Red Sox. Obviously, I am using fictional characters and a made up storyline, but am I allowed to use the name of the team or is that ...
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Publishing and Marketing [closed]

How hard is it to find a publisher for first time author? What are the risks of our story getting stolen and what are the ways to protect it? What are various ways of marketing so that the book ...
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1answer
226 views

Right to published deceased mother's poetry

My mother gave me a collection of her poems. She is now deceased. She always wanted to be published. She never copyrighted her work. Her surviving spouse and my brother have no issue with me doing ...
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4answers
294 views

How to self-publish for free?

I am currently writing a book that I want to self-publish, so that I can keep the rights to it to write sequels for it later on. How do I self-publish for free and make it popular?
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Confusing author guidelines

I am going to publish an article on this website. I was going through author guidelines section and I found this piece of information: By sharing any contribution you agree to grant 90min.in ...
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455 views

Copyright plot of movie? [closed]

New writer here! I want to ask a question: if I take a plot of a movie and write it in my book but not entirely. There are similarities but also things which don't exist in the movie. Do I need to ...
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297 views

Do I need the copyright to mention Tim Hortons?

So I'm writing a book, (duh) and I want to include a mention of a Tim Hortons cup, (Canadian coffee place) just to hint at the reader that I'm Canadian. I want to put it in there casually; it's gonna ...
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3answers
427 views

Copyright of examples used in books?

I'm getting into non-fiction technical writing (a blog, but potentially ebook or otherwise). Often the best technical advice come from dissecting and synthesising good and bad examples from the ...
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Using direct references to Marvel without being sued [duplicate]

Can I make a low-key reference to a Marvel movie in my book without anyone noticing? And if they do notice, can I get sued?
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Using Names for Weaponry used in Actual Games

I've recently looked at the chat that talks about the question of referencing actual military weapons in your writing. Since I'm writing a science-fiction novel, that's not too big of a problem for ...
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4answers
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Is permission required for quoting the Bible or nursery rhymes?

I have characters in my novels that quote the Bible and a couple lines of old nursery rhymes. Do I need to obtain permission in order to use these quotes in my books? What about quoting a popular ...
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Translation&Publishing: which situation do I need to inform the author, or don't?

I read some English poems on the books or websites, and like to translate some poems from English to Chinese. So can I put these English poems with my translation on my blog? Which situation do I ...
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May I use real weapon names in my book without copyright problems?

I would like to use some weapon names to sound familiar to readers, (AK47, M16, C4, Colt...), but as far as I have heard, using real names from weapons one must have the permission of the companies (...
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356 views

Does using a pen name complicate a copyright registration?

I am planning to self-publish my first book under my pen name. Do I need to get copyrights for the book and my pen name before having it published on KDP? Or can I go on without this step?
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Trademarked toys as an inspiration to a novel - should I contact the producer?

Sorry for any mistakes - I'm not a native English speaker. I've started writing my first novel which I would like to attempt to publish. All of the characters are based on my animal toy collection, ...
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1answer
71 views

Are About pages copyright?

I am creating a website that serves as a directory of companies within a niche industry. In my site I would like to provide info on each of the companies and was wondering if it was ok for me to use ...
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69 views

Taking copyight

We were talking this with my teacher in the language class. Why if someone took a "public domain text" and published an alternate ending? Would this be legal? Clarification: In my country (Argentina),...
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1answer
104 views

How to protect my idea/design to re-publish a public domain book?

I found a public domain book that has never been re-published and I wanted to include illustrations with the book. If I submit manuscripts to publishers, how can I protect my idea? What if they just ...
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2answers
98 views

How does copyright generally work?

If someone could explain - in the words of a layman - about copyright in general, I'd be much obliged. I'm still a long way from publishing, but I don't have the faintest clue how it works. Does it ...
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91 views

Royalty rate for edition of estate-held text

I am the literary executor of my father's estate. A relative has started work on producing a (probably very) limited non-professional edition of my father's 1938-45 war diary. I need to strike a ...
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193 views

Can I have a character make a quote from a real life figure?

Can I have a fantasy character make a quote from a real life figure? For example, can I have a villain make a statement spoken by let's say, Adolf Hitler?
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321 views

How do I obtain permission to quote a Buddhist teaching in my fiction book?

In the book I have written, one of my characters recites a portion of the Dhammapada. How do I avoid violating copyright laws? The quote is from a translation on a website, but I can't find any ...
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2answers
98 views

When is a good time to copyright your book?

If you're submitting your book to a traditional publisher, when is a good time to copyright your book? Before you give it to the traditional publisher? After they approve? Etc.
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1answer
44 views

Research paper: want to reprint an illustration but creator is dead w/no heirs — how do I get permission?

In a research paper, I want to include an illustation from a published monograph, however, to obtain permission from a deceased author with no known living relatives seems to be a problem? The ...
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1answer
91 views

copyright infringement

I have an idea that follows the story line of another story. The plot device is similar, but the setting, context, majority of characters (with the exception of maybe two or three), and outcomes are ...
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1answer
159 views

Rewriting a blog post, passing a plagiarism checker as 100% unique, do I still need to cite my source if I want to post it on my own blog?

After rewriting someone else's blog post and passing a plagiarism checker as 100% unique, do I still need to cite my source if I want to post it on my own blog?
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Can I use the real name of TV shows in my novel? [duplicate]

My main characters are famous. Can I use the actual name of entertainment TV shows, such as 'Entertainment Tonight' in my fictional novel?
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2answers
62 views

Copying Certain Information From A Official Website

Hey Guys I was researching on a assignment I have to submit to my university. When i was about to copy certain information i went under the "Terms of Use" seeing if i could copy the said information ...
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4answers
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Is there any financial advantage to translating my book myself?

I can speak a few languages and I am just about done with my first manuscript in English. Since I found the translation fun and not too difficult, I translated it into French, German, Spanish and ...
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2answers
87 views

How to copyright my works in India?

I'm a poet and I write small poems. I know there is a lot to learn and update in the works I make, but how can I copyright my works? Is it one time for all the works or does every work need to be done ...
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21k views

How does copyright apply to illustrations and cover art?

Is a paid-up-front illustrator entitled to royalties? If I hire an illustrator for artwork, and I pay up front on a per-illustration basis, what copyright gotchas should I be aware of? Does the ...
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108 views

Nintendo Based Copyright

I am writing a story for publication that has one of it's key features is these other worlds/universes being the basis of the videos games we see in real life. As such I was hoping to have 2 books in ...
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115 views

Math textbook - Crediting sources and copyright protection of source materials

I want to write a simple textbook on standard high-school level algebra. Most of what we know about the field, we have known it for centuries. So I'm fairly certain the majority, if not the entirety, ...
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184 views

Would there be copyright problems in publishing a book based on a similar concept?

I have been working on a new kind of reference book for some years. The book is similar to existing reference books, but uses a unique way to present the information, which I previously had not seen ...

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