As of May 31, 2023, we have updated our Code of Conduct.

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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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 ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.8k
2 votes
2 answers
115 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? ...
David Siegel's user avatar
  • 4,327
15 votes
6 answers
3k views

Borrowing Characters

Would it be a violation of copyright and/or plagiarism to “borrow” a character from another novel? For example, I have a short story and want to include as a side character Ender (of Ender’s Game). I ...
LN6595's user avatar
  • 251
9 votes
5 answers
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 ...
P.Lord's user avatar
  • 191
3 votes
2 answers
252 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 ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.8k
37 votes
9 answers
20k 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 ...
linksassin's user avatar
  • 4,123
3 votes
2 answers
117 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 ...
yocu's user avatar
  • 638
17 votes
4 answers
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 ...
April  Salutes Monica C.'s user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
47 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 ...
emeritusprof's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
118 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 ...
matt tanen's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
8k views

Is there a website that tells you which D&D creatures are under copyright protection?

I use D&D as a source of inspiration in my writing, but the problem is sometimes I use monsters I see in the Monster Manual in my stories. Is there a way to know which ones of them are under ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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2 votes
4 answers
651 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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
138 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?
BILL JONES's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
82 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 ...
Peter Stine's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
685 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 ...
user3473715's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
907 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,...
Nikola kreten's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
624 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? ...
CapnShanty's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
67 views

Penalties for copyright infringements [closed]

How the infringement damages are calculated (EU countries) if there are few images failed to licence for copyright. For example, if the profit of a publication is 1000 USD and there are 3 images out ...
Peter Smith's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
204 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?
Ar Jay Palomo Juan's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
80 views

How far does using the same words from copy righted works go?

In my story, I have this world that is referred to as the chaos realm. A quick Google search gives me results for World of Warcraft (although only in the form of a mod apparently), War Hammer and ...
noClue's user avatar
  • 4,203
1 vote
1 answer
251 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-...
S. Zill's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
2 answers
201 views

Can I mention Sherlock Holmes in my story? [duplicate]

Now that character SHERLOCK HOLMES is no longer under copyright and is in public domain, can I bring him into my fantasy story where the Protagonist meets him to get some help?
Vishal Kompalli's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
97 views

Universe similar to Transformers

I have in mind a story that would be about a transforming robots like Transformers, but with slightly different origins of their creation and what they're really are. I'm a bit afraid of using ...
lukaszkups's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
223 views

Can the outline of a short story be reason for plagiarism?

3 years ago a friend of mine shared the outline of a short story ( 1 page) inspired by Wild Swans the fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen. Last year I began to write a screenplay inspired by the same ...
Loredana Gasparotto's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
420 views

At what point is permission needed to reference meta-characters and works in my own?

In this question it is mentioned that you can't use a character from another novel in your own novel. But if characters in my book talk about fictional characters in other books, that seems to be ok. ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 121
1 vote
1 answer
127 views

Is permission needed to use a fictitious character from another novel in my story as a point of reference?

I am writing a novel and I would like to introduce characters from other published works as time travelers. Is this a bad idea or even legal? Copyright infringement comes to mind... Is there a legal ...
Kalee's user avatar
  • 11
3 votes
1 answer
162 views

Copyright: is it OK to include very short (paragraph-length) text from other novels?

Writing a novel, is it legal in terms of copyright to have a character reading aloud a passage from an existing book? Something like this: John opened Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire and ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
4k views

Meaning of 'Adapted by [another person's name]' written on book cover?

Some of the books have written on their covers this: Adapted by [another person's name] Content of such textbooks is more or less same, maybe some new chapters are added. What does 'adapted by' mean?...
threeA's's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
605 views

In literary fiction, when does allusion, pastiche or intertextuality cross over into plagiarism?

I want to write a novella that to some degree translates Conrad's Heart of Darkness to a modern urban setting, and I want the astute reader to be able to make multiple connections between the two ...
Chappo Hasn't Forgotten Monica's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
89 views

Ownership on slide presentation

Last night I did a presentation (on poetry) at the local library. It was packed with a lot of information, only some of which was covered in the handout. It was requested that I pass the slides to the ...
Terri Simon's user avatar
  • 1,805
4 votes
2 answers
195 views

What if my published short story is made a movie or a novel, without my permission?

I am writing a short story and thinking of publishing it in the next month. But then, I had a doubt. What if somebody takes it, expands it and changes it a bit and makes a movie or a novel out of it? ...
Raj's user avatar
  • 41
1 vote
2 answers
98 views

How to enter a self published book into Russian library

My late father wrote a book in Russian. He self published it, and registered it with the USA Library of Congress. I tried twice to upload a picture here but keep getting error messages. His deep ...
Nina's user avatar
  • 11
6 votes
3 answers
364 views

Do I stand to lose anything if I reprint an already published story on my own site?

I've got a story published in print with limited circulation. From what I can tell, my first publication rights are spent. I like this story and I want to make it available to more people, so I'm ...
Andrey's user avatar
  • 215
6 votes
1 answer
692 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 ...
bevanb's user avatar
  • 163
6 votes
3 answers
630 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 ...
Brenda Hamilton's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
227 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 ...
Ken Copen's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
442 views

What is legal and illegal in writing? [closed]

I am planning to write a book in my mother tongue (so excuse my bad grammar). It's in "Business and Management" So, while I was reading books for my references, I found a well organized book. I took ...
Samer Samarah's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
134 views

In a business novel can characters read real books?

I’m considering writing a piece of business fiction to discuss some agile and testing principles. Given the wide number of books in this area it seems most appropriate to have characters discover the ...
Liath's user avatar
  • 1,900
5 votes
1 answer
270 views

What is the best way to copyright my manuscript?

I wanted to ask what is fastest and safest way to register a manuscript? There are a lot of Websites that offer registering books. I'm really confused and don't know which one to trust, besides ...
Reza's user avatar
  • 51
6 votes
2 answers
428 views

On copyright infringement and plagiarism

So, I'm writing a novella about this guy named Peter, who is an actor living in LA. In the fall, he comes back to his hometown, a small town in New Jersey, after a gap of three years. He has a large ...
Anon's user avatar
  • 61
9 votes
5 answers
2k views

Can I copy an existing magic system?

Is it fine for me to copy the magic system of another author if every other aspect (story,plot,etc.) of my fantasy story is my own design? For instance, can I use bending from Avatar: The Last ...
Alexander's user avatar
  • 315
3 votes
1 answer
193 views

Pitching an RPG to a publisher: what to bring and how to safeguard the work

I'm not sure how different it would be to pitch an RPG (Role Playing Game) manual to a publisher compared to pitching a novel, but I don't have any experience so it's all the same for me. Let's say I ...
Bolza's user avatar
  • 133
4 votes
1 answer
359 views

Are tweets copyrighted?

I am writing a book which tells the story of a year in a particular niche. I want to include some tweets in the book as images like you see embedded in web pages all the time. Do I need to ask for ...
Rob Sedgwick's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
82 views

If a software project has a permissive open source license is it plagarism to copy text to a paper without attribution?

Many open source software projects have licenses that allow freely copying source code and using it however you want. Some of these licenses do not even require attribution. Source code is just text ...
costrouc's user avatar
  • 121
4 votes
1 answer
116 views

Do I need a star's permission to write a fiction TV series inspired but not exactly as his life?

I want to write a fiction TV series inspired by a true love story between a star and his fans except that I'm going to represent the fans as an actual female character and make it a romantic series. ...
Yostina's user avatar
  • 623
7 votes
1 answer
966 views

What is "Buying Back My Book"?

I have read on a few different author blogs, as well as some answers here I think, references to the author needing to "buy back" rights to their books. Having not yet explored all these options, ...
James McLellan's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
320 views

Can I retell a popular manga series as a novel and query it to an agent?

I’m working on my first draft of a retelling of a popular manga series from the 90s. It has been adapted and redone at least 6-10 times as an Asian drama TV series in many different countries. I’m ...
JennyDee's user avatar
  • 281
3 votes
2 answers
80 views

What are the copyright laws and permission requirements for a teacher using a student's work as an example?

If a teacher makes a writing assignment for students (some would be minors), can the teacher use those writings as examples in the future? The teacher would examine the writings and provide analysis ...
DJN's user avatar
  • 31
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to quote a book in my novel?

I write as a hobby and so my works are pretty amateur, but I still try to keep my writing as legitimate and proper as I can. My novel is about how a teenage boy (who is notorious for being a bad ...
Dani's user avatar
  • 133
5 votes
4 answers
8k views

Should I copyright my material before sending to my publisher?

Should I copyright my material before sending to my publisher? Can they steal my content?
Abhishek dot py's user avatar

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