Who owns the rights to writing.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

19
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
214 views

Can a copyright be made in the name of a fictional writer?

Is it possible to copyright a work in the name of a fictional writer? For example, like Nicolas Bourbaki or some pen name of some author? Can I use my own fictional name to copyright the work?
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Are Names of Characters Copyrighted by Authors?

Are names of characters copyrighted by authors? For example, the character "Eragon" from the Inheritance Cycle series, or a name that you've generated using an online name generator that you'd like to ...
10
votes
1answer
608 views

What are those “countdown” numbers on the copyright page?

On the copyright pages in many books I find the following "countdown" numbers and I am wondering what the significance of this is? In a non-fiction book I have, "The Call of the Mild" it looks like: ...
10
votes
2answers
110 views

Problems with posting work on the web for feedback

Participating in writing-related sites (like this one, and critique sites) sometimes involves describing a plot problem or sharing an excerpt from my work. So I'm usually vague because of the fear ...
10
votes
1answer
154 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
644 views

What's “fair use” for borrowing someone else's invented term?

Let's say I'm writing a sci-fi novel. I want to use a word which another writer has coined, which has become well-recognized outside the original book, for the name of an alien species in my story. I ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

Is Academic Ghostwriting legal?

I recently learned of the concept of academic ghostwriting (see, e.g. this article) - by which I mean the situation where a student goes to another person, or perhaps a service, and pays them to ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Are music lyrics copyrighted?

I tried to find copyright information about music lyrics, but it is too confusing, because it is related to the usage. There are lots of websites providing lyrics, but it seems they are somehow ...
8
votes
2answers
676 views

Who is responsible for copyrighted materials (publisher or writer)?

Imagine that Writer A's book includes copyrighted material created by Creator B, and Creator B sues for copyright infringement. Will Writer A be held liable, or will the book publisher? I think the ...
7
votes
6answers
297 views

Is it safe to create a wiki for a book (or something featured in it) before the book is published?

I'm working on a sci-fi novel, and it contains a lot of fictional creatures, which are in some ways separate from the novel because I came up with them a while before I actually got the idea to write ...
7
votes
3answers
211 views

Copyright - Can I go to any other publisher?

I have a question. I have self-published a book through Partridge publishing. This is what my contract says - "1.4. You will retain all rights to the content of the Work. We do not own rights to your ...
7
votes
4answers
143 views

Is it legal to share an index you made from someone else's book?

There are some books published without a back-of-book index, which I feel is a dreadful shame. As part of my research I decided to create an index of one such book. Doing so is legal for my own use, ...
7
votes
3answers
333 views

May I use real weapon names in my book without copyright problems?

I would like to use some weapon names to sound familiar to readers, (AK47, M16, C4, Colt...), but as far as I have heard, using real names from weapons one must have the permission of the companies ...
7
votes
2answers
263 views

Which free licence to choose for my book (manual)?

I wrote a 50 page manual that I plan to release for free. I do not mind if the book is copied, translated, printed, shared, ... I just want two things: I am the only person who can sell a copy of ...
7
votes
3answers
170 views

Front-matter or back-matter?

I'm re-releasing a novella of mine as a self-published ebook shortly, and I'm wondering what to do with the traditional "front matter" of the book: copyright information, dedications, ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

Can a book be published by more than one publisher?

1) Some books are published by more than one publisher. For example, if you go to Amazon or Flipkart and search for 'The Interpretation of Dreams' by Sigmund Freud, you will see many of them from ...
6
votes
1answer
851 views

Can I Copyright My FaceBook Status Post?

Can I copyright my Facebook status updates? In the terms and agreements I didn't see a clear statement stating that Facebook owns my material. Secondly, if I can't copyright the material I post on ...
6
votes
2answers
257 views

Publishing a translation

I hope I found the right stackexchange site for this question. I'm in the process of translating a book (scientific publication) for private use. If I ever decide to publish it, what is the procedure ...
6
votes
2answers
582 views

How do co-authors' rights to a manuscript work?

When an individual writes a novel, he owns all rights over the manuscript until he starts selling those rights to others. What is the situation when the novel is a collaborative work? How are such ...
5
votes
3answers
903 views

On copyright laws and plots

I was pondering a lot on the issue with copyrights on plots. Is having an identical plot infringing someone else's copyrighted work? I am fully aware that the character names are copyrighted and ...
5
votes
3answers
125 views

Audio version of copyrighted written material

I want to do a free daily podcast of the Bible. Would I need permission of the copyright holder of the translation I am reading or would this be considered fair use? Would I need to state the source ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

How does copyright apply to illustrations and cover art?

Is a paid-up-front illustrator entitled to royalties? If I hire an illustrator for artwork, and I pay up front on a per-illustration basis, what copyright gotchas should I be aware of? Does the ...
5
votes
3answers
527 views

Why would an author not agree to license his book to a foreign language?

Recently one rather famous author wrote a new book in English. Since I'm a fan of his writing and know that he's quite well recognized I thought that it would be great to translate it and publish in ...
5
votes
1answer
127 views

Can a title be copyrighted?

Is there any such thing as copyrighting a title? A title of a novel / short story is usually short, up to five words or so. The words are chosen after much thought to reflect the contents of work. ...
5
votes
3answers
621 views

using ideas posted on social media: is it ok?

I have a question about copyrighting.I was scrolling through tumblr the other day and someone had posted an idea that said something about people seeing in black and white until they meet their soul ...
5
votes
2answers
153 views

Referencing, but not using, trademarked characters

Obviously, you're not allowed to use trademarked characters like Superman or Batman in your published works. If I wrote a novel about Superman fighting Lex Luthor, I could get sued. But what about ...
5
votes
2answers
68 views

How to tell if a fiction workshopping site protects my rights?

There are lots of websites for getting feedback for my writing. But since posting something publicly on the internet can count as "publication," I'm worried that posting my work there might prove an ...
4
votes
3answers
654 views

How can I get a copyright for my e-book?

As I'm a new writer, I don't know how to get copyright for my first book. Could anyone help me please? My book is an e-book in E-Pub format.
4
votes
3answers
538 views

Why doesn't everyone publish public domain books?

Are there any restrictions in publishing of material with expired copyrights? For example, Oliver Twist is a famous story by Charles Dickens, and people still buy the book. I would think that the ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

Is it legal to use an old painting on the cover of a book?

Can I put an old painting on the cover of my book without violating the law? AFAIK the copyright for a painting expires after 70 years. Hence, if a painting was creatd in 1874 and 70 years expired in ...
4
votes
2answers
202 views

Dealing with potential copyright issues: manga

I have been spinning yarn around Kuchiyose Edo Tensei, a reincarnation technique I came across in the popular anime/manga series Naruto. Further developing on that, the concept of bloodlines (or ...
4
votes
3answers
229 views

Can you reprint screen shots of a game application or program without permission?

It seems pretty normal to see screenshots of MS Word, steps for "this is how you generate a template". I don't think Microsoft would object. But I'm not sure about reprinting images from in-game ...
4
votes
1answer
441 views

Is Sherlock Holmes public domain for use in a story?

I am writing a short story and would like to name check Sherlock Holmes as a character; according to the ever reliable (?) Wikipedia the stories of Holmes are UK Public Domain. Does this mean I can ...
4
votes
4answers
772 views

Proper attribution of copyrighted lyrics in a story

If I put several lines of a copyrighted song in my text, and mention the band name, how can I be certain that my attribution is sufficient and guarantees against legal action? From what I've been ...
4
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
313 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
70 views

Write a book with “protected” characters/ideas without copyright?

I want to write a book about an idea/story I've had for many years that I find many will truly enjoy when furnished out; however, I don't want this to be "open-source"; I don't want anyone to be able ...
3
votes
2answers
104 views

How to use creative commons materials?

Creative commons materials are popular on the web, and people are using these materials for creating new websites, as there is no severe copyright restriction. How does creative commons copyright ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

How to publish public domain books?

It is known that the copyright permission is not needed for old books (usually 70 years after the author's death), because the copyright has been expired. However, I am not sure how easy a public ...
3
votes
4answers
97 views

What do I put on my copyright page when self-publishing?

The question is pretty much what the title is. I do know that all intellectual property is protected by copyright law from the moment of it's creation. I have backed up my work with several methods, ...
3
votes
2answers
74 views

Can I publish excerpts from a letter without permission?

It will be my pleasure to cite the author of the letter. I'm looking at perhaps ten sentences out of a four page letter. I have the actual letter, so the quotes will be accurate. The letter is from ...
3
votes
3answers
89 views

Does copyright law let me publish my detailed notes of someone else's speech?

I attended a speech that was open to the general public and took my own very detailed notes of everything that the speaker said. I would like to publish my notes as a report of the speech. Does ...
3
votes
2answers
398 views

What is first electronic rights?

I am unsure if I adequately understand the concept of first electronic rights. If I post a story on a writers' website for free but also publish it through Amazon, will it affect me?
3
votes
2answers
112 views

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

I wanted to use 'Dumbledore' as a part of my penname. 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 her ...
3
votes
1answer
153 views

Is Patent text copyrighted?

When using text from articles published in journals and magazine, we need to obtain copyright permission from the copyright owner (publisher or author). I wonder if we need copyright permission when ...
3
votes
1answer
54 views

copywriting question, error by publisher

I had a friend "publisher" help with organizing and publishing my children's book through a self publishing company. We have no written contract. He was to help me for gratis as he learned the process ...
3
votes
3answers
69 views

General copyright - How much is actually copyrighted?

I find myself seeking a lot of ideas for my alternate universes, novels, short stories, and so forth. Exactly what can be considered copyrighted, and what isn't? Let me give you some examples. Star ...
3
votes
1answer
41 views

Does the first sale doctrine invalidate non commercial licences?

I found this great question on wikipedia that I thought deserved an answer: If I understand this correctly, this could be used to circumvent the non-commercial clause in certain Creative Common ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

Renting my book?

I recently discovered that a bookstore is offering my book for rental. Is it legal for the store to rent out my book? Is the store infringing on my copyright? What the store is charging people who ...