47

No one can copyright an event The events that happened to your father don't belong to anyone. They just are. Different people will have different knowledge (or beliefs) about various portions of the events, but they are just different versions of something that happened. Yes, the author who published the story can copyright the book. But she is ...


37

Plagiarism would be taking exact text from the various game manuals and representing it as your own. So don't do that. But you probably weren't going to anyway, because you want to tell a story, not publish a game log. Think of your story as being inspired by your game, but retell it as a story. When you tell a story you use the language of description, ...


33

In the US, an author holds the copyright to his work for all his life, and his heirs hold it for 70 years after his death, at which point the work becomes public domain. (source) In other countries the number of years after the author's death may vary, but I do not know of a single country nowadays where copyright expired before author's death. (This used to ...


31

Naming your character Violet Raine does not violate copyright. You can throw in a joke about the mom being a Prince fan but the father drew the line at naming the kid Purple. This would be contextualizing your story in the real world. Since he has passed on, you can even make Prince a character in the story – I know that's not your question, but it's my ...


31

You cannot publish the work without permission. It was copyrighted the moment it was written. The fact that you 'purchased' the manuscript is no defence. By that token I could 'publish' all the books I have purchased. You need to purchase the copyright from the family.


27

I am not a lawyer, but you really should not do this. Orson Scott Card (OSC) and any partners he has (publisher, movie studios) own "Ender", and you cannot profit from it in any way whatsoever. OSC and his partners are rich enough to sue you even if you don't make any money, and may even be legally obligated to sue you in order to protect their property, if ...


26

If you're in doubt about your legal obligations, find a copyright lawyer and get some professional advice.


26

You have the legal right to reuse elsewhere what you post on Stack Exchange. It's your content. When posting to SE, you give SE a nonexclusive license to use it, and doing so requires that it's your content to license in the first place; see the terms of use for the details, it's referred to as Subscriber Content. So nothing legal would prevent you from ...


26

The answer to your question depends on how strongly the set of names is associated with the preexisting work of fiction. Not just the individual names, but the set of names together. For example, individually Romeo and Juliet are common enough names, if you set your story in Italy. However, if you name the main characters in your story Juliet and Romeo, it ...


25

Well, having asked the question I then went to Bing.com to investigate further. I was surprised to find the answer quickly. I found it here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2007/04/10/2065727.aspx and I reproduce it in this way: In the row of numbers, the smallest number shown tells you which printing of the book you have. For example, if ...


21

Minor point as I've met people who don't get this - authors and publishers are only paid for the new copies of their books. When you buy books from any kind of second-hand store, it's only the store owner getting the money. I came to the belated realisation that my years of finding old SF books in such stores wasn't helping authors and started buying e-...


20

First off, "grok" is not copyrighted; you can't copyright individual words, even made-up ones. Therefore fair use (a defense against an infringement claim) does not apply. That doesn't mean it's impermissible, in fact it almost certainly is fine. It's also not trademarked, as it is not being used by the Heinlein estate to identify a product or service. And ...


19

Your business is with the client. Tell the writer to contact the client. Inform your client about the demands the writer made and ask him what he wants you to do, tell him that the risk is his. Do all this in email, not verbal.


18

If you live in a country that is a signatory to the Berne Convention (most countries are), then your work is copyrighted as soon as you create it, regardless of whether you go through any registration process. To a publisher, your work is already copyrighted, and if they want the copyright and not just publication rights, they'll have to ask for that in the ...


17

Technically, you own all of the content you post on Facebook; therefore, you can copyright it. HOWEVER, by posting something on Facebook you: ...grant [Facebook] a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on... Facebook. and while this license ends when you delete the content from ...


17

"Can someone take a story that happened to you, without your knowledge, and publish it?" Of course. Newspapers does this all the time. No one asks the president's permission before writing a news story about the latest bill he presented to Congress. Or on a more personal level, if Joe Blow is arrested, the newspapers don't ask his permission before writing a ...


16

If you think the title is the best fit for your novel, you should keep it. There are many novels with the same name in the market, which makes it a little hard to find a novel with smaller market presence written by unknown author. Thus why, it is only a problem if the novel you're writing has the same name with another novel written by an author with more ...


15

This probably should have been raised over on law.se, but I hang out there, and can answer. (See this question and answer from law for more on fair use.) The literary homage in which one alludes to another work has a long tradition behind it. In some cases it could be treated as infringement, but hasn't been. However, some authors choose to exercise ...


14

IANAL, and you should ask a lawyer (and in the future, please, never ever again sign a contract you do not understand), but for me it reads like this: You will retain all rights to the content of the Work. We do not own rights to your Work ... You haven't sold any rights. You still hold every right of your work. Which includes publishing it elsewhere. ...


14

I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. You do have (limited) legal rights to your own name and story. In this case, if the author used your father's actual full legal name, and other identifiable details, and if your father is NOT a public figure, you might be able to make a case against her. With that said, it may be in no way worth it, unless ...


13

If you want to obtain the copyright for any artwork, you must put it in writing. Otherwise, the artist will retain copyright, while you will merely have a license to use the artwork in the book for which they were created, and the artist may bar you from using the artwork in other books, or even other editions of the same book. Your contract should ...


13

Yes, at least you can in the United States. If you write under a pseudonym and do not want to have your identity revealed in the Copyright Office’s records, give your pseudonym and identify it as such on your application. You can leave blank the space for the name of the author. Reference: U.S. Copyright Office - Pseudonyms


13

The name of a product cannot be copyrighted it is trademarked. The appearance of the product can be copyrighted, trademarked or patented (trade dress). Video games need additional license due to the use of the possibly copyrighted visual appearance of the weapon models. Text, which only uses the non-copyrighted names, does not. You may need to look closer ...


13

The form for filing copyright has fields for both "Author" (the person whose name is on the work) and "Copyright Claimant" (the person who is claiming the copyright). Under Author, there is an option to check "Pseudonymous" to indicate that the Author is a pen name. If the Copyright Claimant and the Author are different names, there is space on the form to ...


13

To contradict the other answers there is a difference between copyright and trademark law. You may want to sell your YA novel to a major publisher or wish to see film & TV rights, merchandising or any ancillary revenue. In that case do not name your character the same as a major TV character. I guarantee they have trademark protection (registered or ...


13

I say, ignore it. Sort of. I think you're right that the primary characteristics aren't the problem but it's all in how you flesh the race out. If your goal is humanoid aliens with human levels of communication skills and intelligence and a culture that is mutually intelligible (aliens you'd bump into in Star Trek or Supergirl or any of a thousand other ...


12

In response to your specific question, I would say that ghostwriting is NOT illegal. However, I would say that it IS unethical, unfair, cheating, and a violation of academic policies. We had a discussion on this topic on the meta site a short while back after someone had asked about how to lower his writing standards to make it seem more like he was a ...


12

In answer to the first question, you need to keep in mind that each book has different terms that are negotiated between the writer and the publisher. In some cases, the publisher will purchase first print rights or first US print rights. This means that they have the right to publish the works before anyone else. Generally, once this has happened, there is ...


12

WHERE? It differs from country to country. In the US, you can register it with the Copyright Office. In other countries usually there's some counterpart to that. Note - you already own copyright for your book. It happened the moment you saved the final form, automatically. Still, if you want your rights protected, you need some means of proving that you ...


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