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19

I am not a lawyer. The observations below apply in the US, I don't know much about international copyright law outside the specific area of software copyrights. Here in the US, if you wrote something, you own the copyright on it, period. All you need in order to assert that copyright is proof that you wrote something, and when. There are many ways to do ...


13

Officially, the reason to incorporate is to protect your personal assets if someone decides to sue you over your writing. If you're incorporated, they would instead have to sue the corporation, and your personal property can't be touched. My own reason for incorporating was to get access to only-somewhat-ridiculously-priced health insurance. Buying health ...


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

USB drives are notoriously unreliable. To use only USB drives for backups is enormously risky. Dropbox is great... for synchronizing files. I use Dropbox to synchronize files between my two computers, and to make my files available on my iPad and iPhone. I'm concerned about using Dropbox as the sole backup system, and here's why. A few months ago, the disk ...


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 thing is: Not all publishers wrote their contracts to revert the rights back to the author just because the book went out of print! The fact that they were doing nothing with the book does not necessarily mean that the rights revert to you. You need to have your lawyer look over your contract. If you can't get hold of your contract (you lost your copy, ...


10

Dropbox works also very well and it offers 2GB free (enough for most writers). It also stores old versions for 30 days for the free accounts...


9

Creative Commons licenses are about sharing your work. The basic right you grant with one of these licenses is, that every noncommercial user can copy your work and give it to others, even over filesharing. Other than that, CC-licenses have some restrictions, that can be applied: BY (attribution) - the creator has to be credited (all CC-licenses include ...


9

Before I give some suggestions, the best advice I can give you is speak to a lawyer directly about your personal situation. Unless there is one on the forum, I really wouldn't take any other advice as gospel, including what I'm going to say below. Also, legal issues will differ from country to country, so what's true in the US may not hold true in the UK ...


9

The name on the book is a brand name. It's a sales tool. It need not relate in any way to the author's real name. Another way to think of it: If readers enjoy one of your books, you want them to be able to find and buy more of your books. So choose a name helps fans remember you and find more of your books. You do not want them to have to scan past another ...


9

If you really think someone is going to use your book as a how-to, then write a preface which is a single large, comprehensive disclaimer. Put all the "don't do this at home" copy there, and if it's an e-book, throw in the occasional link back to it. (Also, don't publish genuine secrets, and you may want to have the number of a good lawyer on hand as a ...


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

Would it count as "previously published" if it appeared in your (print) newspaper, but it was three years ago and nobody is likely to still have old copies lying around? This seems like an analogous case. Your blog post, if it was at any time public, probably is still out there, in the Wayback Machine if nothing else. (And the newspaper might well be in ...


7

A simple solution is to send yourself an email containing important or recently changed files. If your email provider is something like Gmail then you have essentially limitless space for ever. Gmail doesn't (afaik) assert copyright claims on your email content beyond what is necessary to store and display your email. But if you ARE concerned, you can always ...


7

A nearly identical question appears at Stanford University's Copyright and Fair Use Center: Dear Rich: I have a question. I’ll be using a lot of screenshots from different websites in my book. Do I need to get permission for that or is it a fair use? The 'Rich' in question is Richard Stim, the corporate council for Nolo, which claims to be "one of ...


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 ...


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 specific issues you are dancing around are "Trade mark dilution" and "Libel and slander". Trade mark worries can be mitigated by: not using the exact mark, and not using it in the same industry. Pepsi and Microsoft do not write novels. Using anagrams of the mark is not the same mark. For example, Pepsi-cola and Coca-cola are different trademarks. ...


7

Be very careful. Just because 'everyone knows' something doesn't mean that it's actually true, or that there's enough evidence for you to convince a judge that it's true when you get sued for libel. If you're going to write something that could be seen as an attack against someone, make sure you have all your evidence to hand before you do so, and make sure ...


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 ...


6

"Similar plot points" is a little vague. Boy Meets Girl, Boy Loses Girl, Boy Gets Girl Back are "plot points" which have been used since Gilgamesh was a teenager. (ETA and Boy Meets Boy as well, as Gilgamesh himself proved. And Girl Meets Girl.) The question is whether your specific setting, characters, time, and action are similar to the movie which hits ...


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

As long as you address the ownership of the trademark and make it clear that you are not affiliated with the trademark owner, there shouldn't be a problem. Also, make sure you capitalize their trademarked names or brands. For example: Crisco oil or Fanta soda or Microsoft Office. Below is an example of a disclaimer you could/should include to ensure that you ...


6

That is a marketing ploy that they are using to claim that they provide royalties that might be considered to be higher than the average royalties paid by other publishers. Considering that these royalties are usually pretty meager at best anyway, that probably isn't much of a claim! As far as determining what the industry average really is, it would ...


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

There is no way to absolutely prevent lawsuits; if you're going to cover controversial topics and name names, there's a risk that people will get upset and seek to take action. But there are some things you can do to "write defensively", so to speak. Following are some things I was taught in college in a journalism context. Attribute claims to sources. ...


6

Your contract should spell out what, if any, rights you have to use the cover art and/or book excerpts for promotional purposes. Typically, smaller or independent presses will be more than happy to add in those rights during negotiation since they will typically have a much smaller budget for promotion and will rely on the author to do much of the ...


5

What are the legal issues when submitting work to publishers? Your work must be your work. Don't submit anything that someone else has written, not even if you just copied a few sentences. Even if you changed them. There are companies out there that can run automated checks on your work to see if they can find something in it that even remotely looks ...


5

Yes, this is violating copyright. You're essentially copying their book. And I'm guessing that you're doing it for financial gain, which makes it even worse. Check the inside of their book for the copyright blurb. I bet there's something about 'no reproducing, in whole or in part, without permission'. Your website would be reproducing without ...



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