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9

You need to consult with a lawyer. This question overlaps with contract law and copyright law and seeing as you don't have any of the original contracts it will be difficult to establish what happened. Presumably, however, the author of the book has also lost whatever agreements were in place, or they could provide copies for you? I'm going to assume you're ...


6

There are two issues here: legal and literary. Legally, if the quote has fallen into public domain, there's no problem. If not, you're into the whole nebulous area of "fair use". Someone could conceivably sue you for copyright violation for stealing his quote. As we're presumably talking about quotes that are a sentence or two and not dozens of pages, I ...


5

Once you write something, you officially own the copyright to it. That basically means that nobody else can use your story, characters, or setting to create their own story, because it would be considered a derivative work. Basic copyright laws protect the owner from such acts. To help ensure that other people do not assume that your work is "open source", ...


4

I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. First, check any license terms that accompany Company S's documentation. They might have published it with the intention that other vendors will incorporate it (e.g. some Apache platforms), or they might not intend that but allow it under their license (e.g. Stack Exchange, or anything else that uses the ...


4

You really should be asking a lawyer rather than a group of writers. I am not a lawyer, but my understanding is that for something to be "libel": (a) It must be written or printed, i.e. not simply spoken (that's "slander"). (b) It must be about a "clearly identifiable person". (c) It must be false -- truth is an absolute defense against libel. (d) If it is ...


4

Copyright is free. Assuming you're living in a country that's a signatory to the Berne Convention, which you almost certainly are, your work is copyrighted as soon as you record your ideas. Registering copyright may cost something, depending on where you live, but it's of dubious value, really. In the US, for example, registering copyright allows you to sue ...


4

You'll need to check with the tax laws of the jurisdiction you're living in to be sure, but in general, you don't need to have any extra legal designations in order to publish, but you DO need to declare the income for tax purposes. Amazon sends out 1099-MISC forms to their author/publishers detailing the money earned in each tax year.One copy of that form ...


4

In the United States, a language, generally, is described as a "specification"; that is, as a set of facts. For a language, these facts would be a series of statements along the lines of "X is a word having such-and-such a definition". Facts, in and of themselves, cannot be copyrighted (or patented, for that matter). What is protectable is a specific ...


3

The set of licences that are creative commons allow for copying and distribution of the works, as long as some restrictions are met. These restrictions are represented by two-letter acronyms, that are added to CC, for example CC-BY-SA (the license Wikipedia uses). The meaning of the acronyms are: BY: Attribution - Credit the creator(s) NC: Non commercial ...


3

Only people can be libelled or slandered. Places cannot. Provided that you do not write in a way whereby specific public officials could make a case that you are attacking their personal behaviour and reputations, then whatever you think about a place is your own business. In most western-type jurisdictions, the dead cannot be libelled (that is certainly ...


3

After consulting the Meta question about answering legal questions, I've decided to post what I've found regarding libel in fiction. I am not a lawyer. I am summarizing from this blog post supposedly written by a lawyer, but the disclaimer at the end is maybe the most important thing to note: Libel law is fact specific. Further, [there] is no single ...


3

You own the copyright on your book. It's a good idea to include a copyright notice when you publish. In the copyright notice, you can claim the copyright in your own name. You do not need to invent a company or alias. You do not need to register the copyright (though that may be a good idea). Publishing is more complex than you might imagine if you want to ...


3

There are often similarities in plot. Some people make it obvious and acknowledge the source of their inspiration. "West Side Story," for example, is Romeo and Juliet set in New York City in the 1950s. Some authors steal unintentionally when they should know better. The plot in Woody Allen's "Small Time Crooks" (2000) is nearly identical to the plot in ...


2

I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me that, in the US, for books, the First-Sale doctrine allows the legitimate owner of a legitimate copy of a book to re-sell, lend, or rent that book. It is under this doctrine that libraries operate, for example. There are exceptions to this doctrine, for example, it appears to be illegal to rent audio recordings, but as ...


2

They purchase the right to be the first to publish your work in English anywhere in the world in those formats. You would not be able to sell first rights in English anywhere in the world after that. ETA: I am not a lawyer.


2

You are correct in your assumption that you do not need to have any type of company designation regarding a publisher, whether it be as a sole proprietorship or "doing business as". You simply operate as an individual publishing his own works, end of story. Some writers do choose to pursue some form of incorporation, but most don't need to bother with it. ...


2

As others have noted, no, you do not have to create a business of any sort in order to write and publish. Copyrights are usually registered in the name of an individual, not a company. Look at the copyright notice in the books on your shelf. Almost all will be a person's name, not a business. As a self-published author, the easiest way to get your books ...


2

"It was in newspapers." If the circumstances applicable to you were printed as "News" AND these newpapers complied with my professional association's Code of Ethics then whatever the author writes and publishes IS actionable as libel, but save your $, you won't win. It probably won't even get on the docket. Being a "work of fiction" is irrelevant in this ...


2

You're probably fine. In all actuality, they probably won't even be aware of your book. Instead of being afraid of being sued, worry about being called unoriginal. There are a ton of fairy-tale inspired books, especially around Snow white and Little Red Riding Hood. They're all technically derivative, but each has characterization, plot, and tone that makes ...


2

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 ...


1

Can you ask someone at the advertising company you worked for? Surely they know who owns the copyrights, and can give you their contact information. You do not want to get sued by a big company, so you'd better check up to make sure. Anything produced in your lifetime is still under copyright unless it was formally released into the public domain, which ...


1

Dictionary examples will take the form of either quotations from sources that have previously used that word. Or it will be a sentence that was constructed by the dictionary writer. So if you look for the word 'Example' in the Oxford English Dictionary, one of the example phrases is 1803 Pic Nic No. 4. 5 They must be made an example of. This is a ...


1

This answer is tangential because it is about U.S. law and not Brazilian law, but maybe it will be helpful. You can get an exhaustive list of court cases on U.S. "fair use" law here: http://copyright.gov/fair-use/fair-index.html I browsed through them trying to find something directly relevant, but I was rather surprised to find that I couldn't find quite ...


1

In The US this would be obvious fair use (even for commercial use), but this does not matter as you are in Brazil. There is a long history in international law that the copyright law of where you are not the copyright law that the original was produced under applies. Fair Use and Fair Dealing do not apply everywhere, and if I remember correctly Brazil has no ...


1

I'm also not a lawyer, and neither am I in the U.S. but I'll try a swing at this... The author of a derivative work (fanfic) certainly can register their copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office. The author is expected to only claim copyright on their original contributions; any other claim would be void. Only the separable, original parts can be ...


1

Adding to the answer by @laurenipsum: Her answer applies also to an original that is out of copyright. For example, anybody can make any story they want using the original characters and setting from Les Miserables, since that is out of copyright. The writers of Les Miz can't sue you for that (well, not successfully). But, if you use characters original ...


1

The reason your method works is that most people who make legally questionable threats are trying to scare you with their own fears. When you shine a light on something that scares them, they back off. This does not make your counter threat any more valid than theirs. It also does not work on people who are knowledgeable or not afraid of suit, except when ...


1

The best method of going about this would be to first contact Ed Greenwood, as he is the one who created the Forgotten Realms in the first place. I would ask him if you need to talk with him or Wizards of the Coast (WotC) to write in the Forgotten Realms. If Ed Greenwood, then find out from him what you have to do to get permission. If WotC, then read ...


1

I am not a lawyer. But ... I don't know how police and courts treat an autobiography. I've never heard of someone being convicted of a crime because he confessed to it in an autobiography. But a very common method for police to catch a criminal is that he tells someone else about the crime and that person reports it to the police. Many criminals seem to get ...


1

Disclaimer: This is the opinion of someone with no legal expertise. If a central part why you expect people to seek out your book is the enjoyment of the history and setting of a well-known universe, then you actually ARE seeking to profit off someone else's creative work and marketing, and you shouldn't do it unless they give you permission. If the ...



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