Questions tagged [legal]

General legal questions. There are also separate tags for "copyright" and "creative commons". Make sure to specify the relevant jurisdiction.

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An acknowledgements section thanking people you don't know

Acknowledgements sections that thank people you don't know and from whom you haven't asked permission are rare. What are the pros and cons of including such thanks? I suspect one of the reasons they'...
tell's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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Will I be sued if I write about something that bears superficial resemblance to a real-world disaster, even when I add a disclaimer?

I am writing a story (actually a fanfiction) which I am serializing on Archive of Our Own, a popular site for that type of written works. Actually I planned out the entire plot for that story since ...
Purgatorio Chunagon's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
51 views

Writing a short story set in a real museum - how much can I include?

I have written a short story set in a museum in Ireland. It is a private museum that contains various displays and sculptures. I am happy with the story and would like to submit it to a few journals/...
nairb's user avatar
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1 answer
99 views

Am I legally allowed to expand someone else's short story into a novel?

For years I told a short story in my kindergarten classroom. It was written and freely shared by the writer. I rewrote the short story (2-3 pages) into a middle grade chapter book, expanding the plot, ...
HRWriter's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
146 views

"Such" vs. "Said" vs. "The"

I'm a transactional attorney, but recently I've received some criticisms for my usage of the word "such" in lieu of "said" or "the" or "aforesaid" or similar ...
filiusdextris's user avatar
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0 answers
90 views

It is legal to recreate Camp Half-Blood in my own writing? [duplicate]

"Camp Half-Blood" is the name of a location in a book series of the same name from the author Rick Riordan. It is legal to recreate this location in my own writing, even if the original ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
895 views

Is it okay if I use a historical figure's name for a work of fiction completely unrelated to history?

I was planning at some point to write a mystery fiction unrelated to history. I was inspired by writers who used literary figures as a name for their characters, yet the plot was completely unrelated ...
Alink's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
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I may publish a true crime non-fiction book... who is legally responsible of the accussations? Author or publisher?

I run a small imprint about a niche topic (in fact, I use POD services, so it may not be considered an actual imprint/publisher), but I was approached by an author who is writing a book about an ...
Dylan VC's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
109 views

Seeking advice on safeguarding my manuscript

I'm an Australian writer who is contemplating sending my manuscript to a novel editor in America. I'm concerned about the possibility of my work being claimed by someone else. Given my limited ...
Nuada Airgetlám's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
69 views

Can I publish a collection of poetry that alludes to other authors such as Shakespeare and Wordsworth without violating copyright?

I am a teacher. My students want to self publish their work as a collection of poetry and short stories. Some of their assignments were to allude to other works and authors—like Wordsworth or ...
Sgriggs's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

Can I use more specific monsters and creatures legally?

To be specific, metallic or chromatic dragons for an example. I know mindflayers and beholders and such are way off the list. But is the concept of dragons in distinct categories like this too similar ...
Bruce Karn's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
132 views

Recreating public domain children's stories and using the original illustration?

Personally, I love old children's books. The artwork is phenomenal. Recently I saw more than one person selling Goldilocks and the 3 Bears. I do not intend to take public domain stories from one ...
abluepelican's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
90 views

Copyright question?

Can I use the phrases "what do you see?" and "I see--" that is used in Brown Bear, Brown Bear in a children’s book, or are those phrases copyrighted? My book is about Halloween ...
Shelly Baker's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
180 views

Do I need to ask real locations' permission to use them in my story?

I have written a children's book about dragons and the things they do in Texas. Do I need to ask i.e. the Lubbock Arboretum if it's okay that I mention them in my story? So my question is: When do I ...
Clare's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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Unpublished manuscript

I found some stories my mother wrote and they were never published. She is deceased. I know I can send them in but can I edit them before I do? She wrote them in the 1960s on a manual typewriter and ...
Elizabeth's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
265 views

Can a 17 year old take NSFW Commissions? [closed]

As a 17 year old, am I allowed to write NSFW for commissions? If so, how extreme? Actual s*x, blowjobs, tits, etc lol, what would be allowed?
Liri's user avatar
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1 answer
154 views

I paid for illustrations, now they want more money for copyrights for each illustration: do I owe them this?

My contract says that I paid for illustrations for a book and for its front and back covers. (I've completed the payment) Now they want more money and are saying that I need to pay for each copyright ...
Raycy's user avatar
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1 answer
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Publishing copyright with regard to novels and comics

I wasn't sure where to post this, but I have a couple of questions about copyright law regarding written and illustrated works. If I traditionally publish a novel and maintain the copyright, can I ...
Ren's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
48 views

Are runon sentences more permissible in legal writing?

In a legal filing, as long as the meaning is not at all ambiguous which seems to be the cardinal objective of legal writing, are runon sentences which may be more cumbersome to read less undesirable ...
TylerDurden's user avatar
5 votes
5 answers
5k views

Are deity/god names protected by copyright or trademark?

If yes does this apply to historical deities/gods or only to fictional ones?
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
98 views

Should I change the name of fictional companies when they were created after I published my book?

Should I change the name of fictional companies when they were created after I published my book? Let's say that one of my company names is "Cetus Industries" and Cetus Industries is ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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How far can the characteristics of a character be copied?

For instance, when Dota (Defense of the Ancients) was a Warcraft mod it had a character called "Lina Inverse" that was named after the character from the Slayers anime series, and that three ...
user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
171 views

How do I give attribution to pictures in a powerpoint slide presentation?

How do I give attribution to pictures in a powerpoint slide presentation? I use several images in a powerpoint slide presentation I prepared, and they're from Google Image Search, what are some proper ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
81 views

Is it illegal to take the story of someone who told and continued your story and tell it in your own way?

Is it illegal to take the story of someone who told your story and tell it in your own way? Let's imagine an alternative Universe. In that universe, I am George Martin, creator of Games of Thrones, I ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
79 views

How do Fair Use and Copyright laws apply to allusions in writing?

I'm working on a novel where one of my main characters is young, and supposed to be obsessed with anything under the brand name "Star Wars"(Especially pertaining to the movie.) When talking ...
Annah's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
181 views

Writing a story based on parts of greek mythology

I'd like to write a story that uses bits and pieces from the myth about Ambrogio. Can I do that legally? I have my own version of this so-called myth and don't want to get myself in trouble if I use ...
Nadine's user avatar
  • 11
3 votes
2 answers
115 views

Truth in Fiction, Liabilities

Are there guidelines for characters who are based on real people in a fiction novel? For example, I have a character who is patterned after an eccentric local elected official. Of course, different ...
Kit's user avatar
  • 31
0 votes
1 answer
452 views

Can we get sued for copying the same drawing style?

Akira Toriyama's Dragon Ball & Square Enix's Dragon Quest share the same art style, but it's because they were designed by the same artist, Akira Toriyama. I am wondering if we can get sued for ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.9k
2 votes
1 answer
370 views

How do you posthumously credit the authors of public domain content in your adaptation?

My question concerns the author Ben H. Winters who has recently published several books with himself listed as Jane Austen’s co-author. Sense and Sensibilities and Sea Monsters is one such novel ...
Vogon Poet's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
181 views

Do I have to attribute Apache font license when using it for e-book and print book?

I'm currently in the process of writing a book, and I'm using mostly OFL fonts in it, but I also find some Apache licensed fonts very attractive and would like to use them. The condition for using ...
Aecarvalho's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
41 views

Should you include all documents when you send a script to the writer's guild for copyright protection?

If you're writing a movie script and you want to protect that script as a copyright, should you send other documents along with it, or is the movie script more than enough? I am thinking whether other ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
79 views

Taking suggestions from your readers on how to progress your story without being liable to legal damage?

Taking suggestions from your readers on how to progress your story without being liable to legal damage? Is there a way to navigate this, or this should be a no no at all times, because the risk of a ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
1k views

What are the fair use rules in the USA for short quotes from books or song lyrics in a novel?

What are the fair use rules in the USA for short quotes from books or song lyrics in a novel when they are explicitly quoted and attributed to their source? I'm looking at self-published work (...
empty's user avatar
  • 459
2 votes
1 answer
131 views

What are the copyright laws on writing books about living artists?

I was wondering if I wanted to write, illustrate, and publish children's books that is about an artist and their life (their journey as a child to an adult but in a simple whimsical childlike story), ...
Saba Heravi's user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
180 views

What are the legal protections for fictionalized autobiographies?

Suppose an author is writing a novel that is heavily based on autobiographical material and is based in the USA and Canada. What steps would need to be taken for the author to avoid being sued for ...
empty's user avatar
  • 459
0 votes
1 answer
85 views

using a word for another meaning

Sorry if it sounds stupid but here's the question: I have a character who thinks the Italian word "pronto" has a similar meaning as "stupid" no matter how much others tell him the ...
Arian_ki's user avatar
  • 177
0 votes
2 answers
131 views

Parallel Universes With Real people [duplicate]

I'm writing a story where the main character is going into different parallel universes. Can you get in trouble for referencing a real person or thing if they’re in one of those different universes?
Victor Glock's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
144 views

How do you ensure people don't plagiarize a work you've submitted to the writer's guild?

I found that there's a writer's guild registration system, but it made me wonder what allows you to prevent people from reading work submitted to the writer's guild association and plagiarize it? Is ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.9k
0 votes
1 answer
205 views

How do you timestamp a written document?

How do you timestamp a written document? So that it can be used in a court of law if you seek to get compensation for a stolen intellectual property?
Sayaman's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
142 views

Can I use the brand name of a drug?

More specifically I want to mention the drug Dexedrine, however, if that can lead to legal problems, I could simply describe it as an Amphetamine prescription.
Peixoto's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
164 views

Publishing Contract - Unsure about the legal wording

So I've just been sent through a publishing contract for my debut novel. I don't have a literary agent as I submitted straight to the publisher. They liked the manuscript and have sent me a contract ...
Startled Turnip's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
65 views

What permissions do I need for publishing a story with a chapter requested by somebody else?

In my story I have a chapter that was requested by another person while I was accepting requests. Now as I am getting a second draft and Betas, I was wondering what kind of legal stuff I would need to ...
Ceramicmrno0b's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
159 views

Is magical factions story too similar to Harry Potter?

I have and idea for a story where everybody has magical potential and at a certain age they must choose a style of magic of where they will base their learning from. Is this too similar to Harry ...
Gabriel Burchfield's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
116 views

Non-Fiction References/Copyright

I’m writing a non-fiction book and I want to use authors and books as supporting references. Does anyone know if this sample below represents a copyright infringement? Copyright is a legal protection....
DonNMass's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
122 views

When is it better to use a real life versus a generic fast food company name when talking about a regional chain?

So, I know that questions regarding the usage of real-life company names has been brought up before, but this is a really weird example that I've run into that doesn't seem covered by the previous ...
user2352714's user avatar
  • 4,685
5 votes
2 answers
504 views

Self published cost of books as a tax deduction

I sell physical review books for a certification in my professional field that are starting to pick up on Amazon, about $2000 per month. I am paying a publishing company to print my books and then I ...
Justine's user avatar
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4 votes
5 answers
538 views

Am I able to freely borrow or reference real people, places or things without fear of legal persecution?

I'm currently writing my first novel and I can't figure out whether I am able to reference an abundance of different people, places, and/or things. I've had this idea of wanting to sneak in a sizable ...
Unknown Brain's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
113 views

Is all caps in legal notices perceived as abrupt?

When adding a legal notice to a user interface, or in a data file for download, I want to include a legal warning. It needs to mention that the data is confidential and it should not be shared with ...
Gabriel R.'s user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
180 views

Proving the number of sold copies to my publisher

I'm having a problem with my publisher not giving me my royalties for two years. They keep telling me the book isn't selling yet I have found used copies of my book on line. How can I find out the ...
Esther's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
94 views

How to credit an artist for adding minor details to a vehicle?

How do you credit someone for coming up with a general design of a vehicle without designing every little aspect about it? Let's say you make a video and you want to credit the person who came up with ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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