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17

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 ...


16

Use of trademarked names in fiction does not violate intellectual property laws. There are a couple of things to be wary of nonetheless. Be careful with the light in which you depict real businesses. As explained here, if you have a character die from a bad hamburger at Burger King or hurt himself because of a defective pair of Reeboks, then prepare for a ...


16

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 ...


14

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


12

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. ...


11

IANAL disclaimer but generally character names themselves cannot be copyrighted. They may be trademarked but only if the literary work/movie/or a related product were named after the character. So, trademark would only come into play for secondary characters in widely merchandised works. In theory you'd be completely safe as long as your characters ...


11

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 ...


10

The closest fit would be Creative Commons "Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike". That will allow translations (and expansions, clarifications, electronic versions and so forth) but prevent commercial distribution of the original or any derived version.


10

Also: there are two ways you can indicate your pseudonym with the Copyright Office. You can either use just your pseudonym or you can use your real name and indicate you are "writing as pen name." Using the pseudonym as the copyright claimant can pose potential legal problems should such issues arise, so the Copyright Office rightly suggest that if you go ...


9

Technically you cannot copyright a plot. However, you can copyright a particular instance of that plot as long as it is not based on an older work in the public domain. In your Harry Potter example if every chapter had exactly the same incidents and more or less the same dialogue with slightly altered character names you would probably lose in court trying ...


9

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 ...


9

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 ...


9

I Am Not A Lawyer But in the United States, according to the U.S. Copyright Office, copyright protection is not available for "names, titles or short phrases" Source (PDF). But there are a few things you should take note of if you're concerned about accidentally using the same title as another work. For one, brand names, slogans and phrases can be ...


9

On the contrary. The copyright/royalties costs are relatively minor comparing to per-unit cost, marketing cost, distribution costs (per shop/point of sales), retailer's cut, taxes - generally the author rarely sees more than 20% of the retail price, often less than 10%, at least in traditional distribution. And the books, being old, are available from the ...


9

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 ...


8

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 ...


8

Define what you mean with "safe". If you invented them and publish them, then no-one can use them, if your creatures are specific enough to be recognized as your creation. I.e if you created a vampire, which looks like the standard vampire around the corner, then there is nothing worth to be intellectual protected here. If you create a vampire which carries ...


8

The copyright may have expired after 70 years. But, depending on the law of the relevant country, the owner of the painting (or any other object) may have the right to forbid the commercial use of reproductions of his property. Similar to a "model release", with which a human model allows a photographer the usage of her likeness, there is a "property ...


7

Kindall tackled the legal aspect. As for reception/perception considerations, here's the rule of thumb I'd use: If you're using the same word in the same way for the same thing, and your story is about that thing (or concept, or whatever) - you're crossing the line. That's like saying "I'm writing a story about the same Smeerps Albert J. Jones wrote about," ...


7

Up front, I must say "I am not a lawyer." Heed the advice given above and consult a lawyer specializing in copyright law. That said, it seems clear to me right now that publishing in the UK should be fine, but you could open yourself to a legal challenge from the Conan Doyle estate if you publish your work in the United States and do not contact the estate ...


7

The contributors own the copyright to the content unless they assign it to you in some form. Submission may or may not constitute permission for you to use the content. It certainly does not assign you exclusive copyright to the content. To prevent the contributors from claiming their contents, ask them to assign you exclusive rights for whatever duration ...


7

has anyone seen a similar situation which helps shed light on this grey area? I have in front of me two publications: Common LISP: The Language, by Guy Steele (et al.) and published by Digital Press, and Common LISP: The Index, by Rosemary Simpson and published by Coral Software Corp and Franz Inc. Both were published in the US in the 1980s. I was ...


7

DISCLAIMER: I am not a legal professional. The advice provided in this answer is not exhaustive and should not be considered complete. This information is worth exactly what you paid for it - nothing. If you want to do your own research, you may use this answer as a starting place, along with other research tools (search engines, etc.). If you are ...


6

It's going to be difficult to give an absolute answer to any legal question since laws and their interpretation vary widely by jurisdiction. Also, IANAL. But, in general terms - are you looking for a way to see it as illegal to sell the papers? I can see buying (and using) the essays being seen as fraud, as well as being against academic honesty policies, ...


6

The Bible itself isn't under copyright. A modern translation/interpretation may be, so just stick with one that's in the public domain, eg. The King James Version.


6

In fiction writing, it is common place to use real life businesses and location. It's also becoming common place to include a section in books that tells the reader who owns the trademark to those businesses. If you don't acknowledge trademarks, you can open yourself to lawsuits from businesses who are trying to protect their trademarks. If a business ...


6

Usually a wiki is used for collaboration. Is that really what you're looking for, or are you thinking about creating an online reference? If you're seeking collaboration, then yes that will impact copyrights. If you want to create an online reference for yourself and your readers/fans/friends then I would suggest using a blog engine, rather than a wiki. So ...


6

While I am not a lawyer, if you purchase a physical CD (bit of a rarity these days, I know) and look at the booklet which has the liner notes, you should see copyright notices for each song. If lyrics have been provided, the notice will be at the end of each set of lyrics. (KISS used to copyright theirs under an entity called "Opporknockity Tunes," which ...


6

Yes, it's certainly possible that posting on the internet could lead to someone stealing your ideas, here or on any other site. But will this actually happen? There are risks, however small, to showing your work to anyone. Most writers that publish know the benefits of peer feedback, and take the risk anyway. Many people have reaped benefits from posting ...


5

CAVEAT: I am not a lawyer. At the level you're describing, yes, this is copyright infringement. Basically, if it's easy to demonstrate that your work is "substantially similar" to another piece, to which you had access, then infringement can be proved. Working with similar themes, plot elements, and tropes generally doesn't constitute such extreme ...



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