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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2
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2answers
58 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?
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2answers
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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 ...
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3answers
353 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 (...
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1answer
337 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
63 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 ...
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5answers
829 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 ...
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2answers
100 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 ...
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1answer
4k 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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1answer
111 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 ...
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1answer
56 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 ...
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5answers
3k 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 ...
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2answers
116 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 ...
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1answer
496 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 ...
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2answers
151 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 ...
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4answers
154 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 ...
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0answers
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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. ...
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6answers
307 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 ...
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1answer
71 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.)
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4answers
5k 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?
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5answers
186 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 ...
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2answers
244 views

Including a book extract in my blog

Can I include an extract of another persons book in my blog with references? If so, are there any restrictions that I must follow?
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3answers
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Best practices for designating prose as intellectual property?

--Subtitle - What is the cheapest & most simplistic proof an idea belongs to me that will hold up in court. Is my (explained below) example still good? Is there a better way? When I come up with ...
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4answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
295 views

Owning comic book characters

I am currently writing an ongoing comic series, along with a co-author. Some of the characters in the book were created by me, some by the co-author, and some by third parties. All characters in ...
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3answers
14k views

What are my legal rights if somebody writes a book about me without my consent?

So, I just discovered a person I knew in college has written a book. This book is titled as fiction. But after buying and reading this book, I am in this book. No name change. The place where I work, ...
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2answers
485 views

Can I say this about real countries in my fiction?

I am writing a visual novel and use a fictional country in "real-world" setting. Some cases have been bothering me and I'm not sure if it's legal to write this because it might be insulting(?): To ...
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2answers
183 views

Including a real event in a story

I was thinking about writing a short story depicting a real event that took place over 2000 years ago. I'm not using any real person, but I am using the place and it's surroundings. I've seen plenty ...
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4answers
751 views

Can a plagiarist sue one who plagiarized them?

I sometimes write rather vicious satirical pieces that heavily reference (arguably - but possibly beyond the point of plagiarism; definitely the same setting, the same characters, strong references to ...
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3answers
624 views

Getting My Rights Back

Back in the late 90's I wrote a picture book which eventually was published in 2002 by a big name publishing house. The book was critically acclaimed, won an award, and went through a couple of ...
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3answers
3k views

I'm scared that my story is plagiarizing another story

I am working on my debut story. In my freetime, I write another story that will be the start of a series. The series consists of Steampunk fairytale retellings. Lately, I have been worrying that it ...
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9answers
2k views

How to deal with moral/legal subjects in writing?

More specifically, how can one write a novel that examines or even argues against cultural moral values and laws without... dealing with legal fallout as the author? I realize this may be asking to ...
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2answers
124 views

Can I use a TV sitcom name as part of my book title

I would like to use the title of a TV sitcom in the title of my book. How do I find out if this is without legal ramifications?
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6answers
2k 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 ...
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9answers
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 ...
5
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2answers
381 views

Can I use the name of an already-existent band for my fictional one?

I made up a fictional band for a story and called it Enceladus, only to discover that there is already a real band with the same name (not a very well-known band). Could I still use the name without ...
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14answers
8k views

Are wands in any sort of book going to be too much like Harry Potter?

I am trying to write a magical system, and I love the way that wands are like gunfire and how you flick and attack and it's instant. No weird hand movements or long unwieldy staffs or canes to use. ...
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5answers
449 views

Legal ramifications for writing about fictional relationships with celebs

I’m thinking about developing a blog where the main character is fictional and has fictional relationships with well known celebrities and sports figures. Are there any legal ramifications for ...
2
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1answer
123 views

Does Japan have a Press Code?

Many countries have a press code (examples: Germany, South Africa) It is a kind of ethics guide for journalists. While usually not a law, it is often taken quite seriously by the whole profession. ...
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1answer
85 views

How do I copyright my own series?

I'm looking to trademark my own work and I want to know how. Everything I found online is exclusively about trademarks for COMPANIES and PRODUCTS, but not intellectual property like a manga series or ...
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3answers
225 views

Is it ok if some of my city names are the same as the ones in other books/series/video games/ pieces of work?

My book has a few place names that are also present in other pieces of media, for example, one of my cities is called "Manalin" and I just found out that there is a planet in Star Wars also called ...
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6answers
6k views

Can someone publish a story that happened to you?

Can someone take a story that happened to you, without your knowledge, and publish it? Using your name and specifics, and take the copyright for it? A person, whose mother lived in our small town, ...
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2answers
512 views

Do published authors have rights to use their own book cover images?

With the caveat that I'm sure it varies based on publisher, genre, etc., but -- generally, if you were an author who was published and the book cover was designed by the publisher, but you wanted to ...
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1answer
138 views

Can different publishers publish books taking place in the same story universe?

I have recently published a sci-fi novel, and I am planning on writing another novel set in the same universe. I plan to send it to a different publisher this time. Is it legal that I have two ...
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3answers
382 views

What to include in agreement with a Ghost Writer. .

I am exploring engaging a Ghost writer to partner with me on the development of a non-fiction (well, mostly) business book. What are the critical elements of the agreement that need to be included?
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3answers
3k views

Using names of video game, movie, and comic book characters and group names in novel, but as tribute to them

I'm planning on writing about a merc group in the not-so-far future that is named and uses nicknames in honor of the group and characters from NAMCO's PSX game Tales of Destiny. Is that allowed if I ...
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6answers
459 views

There's an actor with my lead character's name - how big a problem is this going to be?

I began work A Long Time Ago(tm) on this particular book and only took it up again about eighteen months ago. Back in 2007, I checked around but didn't see anybody of note with the name of my ...

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