Hot answers tagged legal
As long as you're just making references that don't portray them in a negative light, you're fine for brands and celebrities. Things like Jaguar or Rice Krispies don't really date a work, either. Fictional characters, however, are copyrighted for a long time. So no using Luke skywalker as a character. Your characters can talk about Luke, swing swords around ...
There's nothing---NOTHING!---in the detailed list given by you that's forbidden, if used, just as you described, in a "passing reference." NOR is there any problem with mentioning real businesses or hotels, UNLESS you do so in a derogatory way; such as: "I stayed three nights in the SOUTH NARK hotel, right off Broadway, in New York. And it took me three ...
Yes, you can, so long as it meets the criteria for "fair use." For more background, I recommend reading the following Wikipedia topic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use
This depends a lot on the context and scope. If you simply post excerpts from a copyrighted work without any commentary, criticism, or analysis, you're pushing your luck (even if you include attribution). If, on the other hand, you need to include some excerpts as a part of an article of your own that, for instance, analyzes the work in question (or compares ...
Shakespeare's plays are in the public domain. For more recent works, such as works produced in the past 100 years, check the copyright laws of the country where you plan to publish your works and consult a lawyer. To gain background in this area, I recommend reading the Wikipedia articles on Copyright and International copyright treaties.
Legally, in the US or the UK or countries with a similar legal tradition, the older the quote, the more famous the person quoted, and the more famous the quote itself, the safer you are. Quotations from works that are centuries old, as well as very famous quotes from the modern era, are held to have passed into the public domain. If you have specific reason ...
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