Questions tagged [legal]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1 vote
1 answer
69 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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
181 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, ...
4 votes
5 answers
462 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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
968 views

Can you legally write new Star Wars: Legends books?

Will Disney allow an author to write a book that is part of the Legends canon, since the new canon is out? I realise you'd need to be an established author to do so, but I wondered if anyone could add ...
6 votes
5 answers
1k views

Can I use an existing fictional language?

When creating a world where there are either aliens or fantasy races, you know that they should speak their own language. But the truth is that for story purposes, such races will speak their language ...
0 votes
0 answers
55 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 ...
6 votes
3 answers
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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
231 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 ...
6 votes
5 answers
592 views

Can a mock-magazine with fictitious content count legally as fan fiction?

I contribute to a small website, well, one that's got Photoshop of various things. - it's a small obscure site with only a few users. Recently I've been learning InDesign and Quark Xpress for digital ...
3 votes
3 answers
225 views

Realistic way to ensure letter is posted in 10+ years time [closed]

I'm a bit stuck on what should be a straightforward plot issue but not sure what is actually realistic. The character is going away into tera incognita (effectively exile until a deadly enemy has ...
3 votes
2 answers
235 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 (...
3 votes
0 answers
65 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
38 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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
77 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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
156 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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
140 views

In a book about myself, can I name real places like the school I went to?

I am going to write a book about myself. I will be working on this for awhile and it most likely will not be published physically. But I want to say the name of my middle school/high school. I want to ...
8 votes
1 answer
7k views

How can I get permission to translate and republish a book?

I am interested in translating an English book into my native language. How can I get permission to translate the book? Would that also include permission to republish the book in the native ...
2 votes
1 answer
107 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), ...
0 votes
4 answers
105 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
55 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....
0 votes
1 answer
82 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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
109 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?
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

Using real names in fiction

I'm thinking of writing a fiction novel. The plot I've outlined so far centers largely around one possible path the future of our world could take over the next several decades. In doing so, the story ...
0 votes
1 answer
138 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
74 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?
12 votes
4 answers
3k views

Legality over using a REAL museum and REAL artifacts in a fictional - HEIST novel

I have a question regarding the legality of using a real museum and real artifacts in my Heist book which is almost ready for publication. Initially, it will be self-published via the amazon kindle ...
3 votes
1 answer
126 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.
0 votes
1 answer
59 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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
407 views

Can you make (Negative) references to real people and places in a novel?

I was wondering about how much freedom a writer has to refer to real people and places in a fictional work and in what situations it's best to get permission or avoid it altogether. I do know that ...
6 votes
5 answers
5k views

Is fan fiction publishable?

This is a question that has been touched on here and there, and yet I can't find a good answer. Suppose I am writing a story set in the Star Wars universe. I don't want to dodge copyrights and ...
1 vote
1 answer
112 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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
119 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 ...
2 votes
3 answers
106 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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
170 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 ...
3 votes
0 answers
180 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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
90 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 ...
1 vote
3 answers
90 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 ...
36 votes
10 answers
14k views

How to prevent ebook piracy from stealing your livelihood?

I'm a part-time writer, still working on my novel (with a long term goal to make a living as a writer). My partner is also a writer, full time, with a couple dozen novels in ebook format, who makes a ...
3 votes
4 answers
2k views

Copyright of a book which is out of print

I have a question on a book which its last edition was published about 50 years ago and its author died about 47 years ago. Now it is out of print. The last edition of the book I am interested was ...
2 votes
2 answers
82 views

Publishing other peoples anecdotes

I have asked friend and relations a question and want to publish the answers with their name by the answer. If I ask them if they mind it being publishes is that enough?
8 votes
3 answers
664 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 ...
1 vote
4 answers
118 views

What are some potential problems you can have if you happen to share similar names with an author?

I am a freelance author consultant and have ran into a unique problem. My customer happens to share a similar name with a famous author and she is concerned that there might be potential problems if ...
29 votes
7 answers
16k 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 ...
3 votes
0 answers
64 views

If I use a real building in a real city could I be liable for some sort of lawsuit? [duplicate]

I want to use a real building (skyscraper) in a real city that will be the subject of a terrorist attack and partially brought down with disastrous effect on the surrounding neighborhood. Good idea ...
1 vote
2 answers
125 views

My character is a child abductor; can he drive a brand-name car?

I'm about to self-pub my first novel, a domestic thriller with a time-travel twist, and in the story, one of my main characters abducts a child (he's not a pedophile). He owns a 1970 Barracuda--the ...
1 vote
4 answers
788 views

Can a Town/City Sue an Author for a Bad Portrayal in Fiction?

Lets say we choose a random town off of google maps on which to base a story where the local authorities (we won't say police, or whatnot, but local authorities) perform an investigation that is ...
6 votes
4 answers
3k views

Writing a book that involves an ex husband

I'm new to the writing world (other than writing a lot as a child). I want to write my story to help empower women in similar situations but it involves writing about my ex. How does one tell their ...
0 votes
2 answers
177 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 ...
8 votes
3 answers
415 views

Legalities about fictionalizing current events?

What are the legalities of taking something currently in the news and writing a story/novel/movie (but not a documentary/biography) about it? Take Snowden, for example. Someone went and made a movie (...
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Can I self-publish a book on the Kindle store when I'm under 18?

I'm wondering if I can publish a comic on the Kindle store! It's because me and my friends made a comic and I've now re-drawn everything on my computer and I've looked into this and it says I need to ...

1
2 3 4 5
7