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
12
votes
4answers
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
1answer
93 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.
1
vote
0answers
55 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
55 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
2answers
373 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
5answers
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
1answer
80 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
2answers
103 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
32 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....
2
votes
3answers
78 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
132 views

Am I able to freely borrow or reference real people, places or things in a story that takes place on a different world or a made up landmass?

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
159 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
98 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
2answers
82 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
545 views

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

I contribute to a motoring website, well, one that's got Photoshop of cars, motoring history etc. - it's a small obscure site with only a few users. Recently I've been learning InDesign and Quark ...
1
vote
3answers
87 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
10answers
13k 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
4answers
1k 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
14 views

How would you pop the reference to a minor case into the ‘Application' section of an essay?

I don't understand the example emboldened below. Can't you add just a superscript number in the text, then in the footnotes cite that "minor case"? Unquestionably one superscript cannot &...
2
votes
2answers
78 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
3answers
619 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
4answers
112 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
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 ...
29
votes
7answers
15k 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
0answers
62 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
119 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
4answers
708 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
4answers
2k 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
2answers
163 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
3answers
381 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
1answer
853 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
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 ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I know that I'm not plagiarizing?

New to the web. I just recently started to write again. I won a few highschool prizes writing short stories. Around the same time, I began to play Roleplaying games and to write different stories for ...
5
votes
5answers
948 views

Using Trademarked Public Domain Characters as supporting characters in story

I've been trying to find a decent answer to this question for days but no luck so far. I've decided to pose the question to you all, and hopefully some of you will know the answer. Tarzan is in the ...
2
votes
2answers
109 views

Is it illegal to use a real person as a character in your story? [duplicate]

I'm writing a story where my character meets some of the world's greatest philosophers in a dream. He meets Franz Kafka, Dostoevsky, and Friedrich Nietzsche in dreams. Kafka only speaks in quotes from ...
1
vote
1answer
7k views

How to replace “and/or” in sentences with multiple terms?

When writing a legal document, what is the proper way to replace and/or in a list with more than two terms to remove ambiguity? For example, if I just have two terms: deliver apples and/or oranges ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the copyright limitations for adopting a fictional character's name as your Pen Name?

I wanted to use 'Dumbledore' as a part of my pen name. But I was told that by doing so I might, I just might subject myself to suing by J.K. Rowling (if she intends to). Is that true? Can't I use ...
2
votes
4answers
344 views

Can I reference a Lego Millennium Falcon in my book?

I read the post about referencing real and fictional characters but would like to know what you think about this. I am writing a book where the character is looking back at his childhood toys and I ...
4
votes
1answer
114 views

Publishing a book with anonymity as a foreigner

I want to publish a book in the United States as a foreigner in anonymity because of political risks in my country. How can I do this? I don't have any credit card and no reach to global banking ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Create Character that Use's Real-Life Poet's Work

I am attempting to write novel. Character is loosely based on real-life Poet who lived and died in foreign country (b. 1919, d. 2005). I would like this Character to create same poem this real-life ...
13
votes
5answers
5k views

My autobiography is exciting, but I'm an unknown. Should I make it a novel instead?

I've kept diaries all my life and now have over 100...which I've recently started turning into an autobiography - where some of the original diary quotes are included along with the new text. I ...
1
vote
2answers
137 views

Use of real company name in fiction: generic, common names

I read the very helpful discussion of using brand/company names in fiction (Use of real organization in fiction) and have read other resources on the internet but have not been able to find one ...
-2
votes
1answer
660 views

Is it copyright infringement to Disney if I were to name my online company BuzzLightYear? [closed]

I want to use the name BuzzLightYear (one word) as a business name. What are the laws on character copyright infringement for just using the name of a Disney character? And in this case a slightly ...
-1
votes
2answers
224 views

How to avoid libel when writing a fictional account of a real event

I was a researcher for many years and it is a habit that has its usefulness in writing but also some serious drawbacks. The usefulness is that it helps create believable plots and functional physics ...
6
votes
4answers
160 views

Can I reference events of a different fictional work in my fictional work?

Let's say I'm working on a fantasy series called MyWork, that is set in the present in a small town in the US. I have a fantasy series that I take inspiration from, InspirationWork, that is set in the ...
1
vote
0answers
94 views

Searching for an author with unpublished fantasy writing for my mobile game [closed]

I would be extremely grateful for any advice on how to search for or reach an agreement with an author. I'm a solo indie game developer, unreleased. My game is a fantasy random gacha hero collector. ...
0
votes
6answers
347 views

Is it illegal if I use religious material in my novel?

I have a serious problem. I am going to start writing a novel which includes a character called Ravana, from the Hindu literary text called the Ramayana. Now, if I were to publish this, would it be ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

What are the steps to secure permission from real people?

I want to write a novel where the main character is a real person, someone famous. What are the steps to ask permission to do so? Who do I have to contact? (like the person's agent, lawyer, etc.)
5
votes
4answers
7k 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?
5
votes
5answers
190 views

best licensing option for freest possible sharing of lyrics while retaining the right to get paid if someone else makes money from them

I would like to share many song/poetry/lyric works. I would like to share them as freely as possible, allowing modifications, use of small pieces or lines or concepts, etc.. I want to encourage ...

1
2 3 4 5 6