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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 ...


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", ...


5

I'd send the person an email apologizing for accidentally sending them the document and requesting them to ignore it and throw it away. The probability that a random stranger is going to be interested in stealing your work is pretty close to zero. Unless he's a writer himself, odds are he doesn't have the faintest idea how to go about publishing it. He ...


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 "...


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 ...


3

We don't. It's a blurred line and a fortune in legal costs on arguing where it lies. Of course there is a classification, but the lines are always blurred. On the "white side" there's alluding - when you make your own characters, but draw specific parallels, exploring what-if's of the other work, mocking its shortcomings, or referencing its most brilliant ...


3

I doubt you'd have any trouble. Here's an explanation from an attorney. The bulk of it equally applies to organisations. http://www.rightsofwriters.com/2010/12/could-i-be-liable-for-libel-in-fiction.html When in doubt you can do what the beat poets did and change names and places, or even make a collage of different ones, but they were generally ...


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 ...


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 ...


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

"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

Serious Edit: The lowdown, as pointed out by Lauren Ipsum, is that it's probably not a good idea. Since the Tolkien languages - among other constructed languages - are within copyrighted works, and are probably subject to copyright law. There haven't been any serious legal limitations to using a constructed language, but that's mostly because it hasn't ...


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

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 ...


2

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 ...


1

There are a lot of different things to consider. First, the picture itself if drawn would be your property so you don't really have to worry about that aspect of it, however it may depend on the type of property, and the type of ownership the property has. You could avoid the issue entirely by changing a thing or two about the building itself, such as an ...


1

You're probably safe in how you are using these references, however you have to be the judge of how much you are using and how you want your audience to view your work. Parody is fine, and is acceptable to the farthest extent as it is seen as being almost satirical and not taking away or competing with the original work, but highlighting and referencing it. ...


1

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


1

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 ...


1

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.


1

There is a case pending that may answer this in court: Paramount v Axanar. See http://conlang.org/axanar for more info, including formal legal briefing and a memorandum from Dentons on conlangs & IP law. (Disclosure: I direct the Language Creation Society's lawyer on this.) You could also just commission a conlanger to make a language for you, so you ...


1

I am not a layer, but I doubt the courts would recognize a copyright in an invented language. I'm assuming you're not actually copying complete sentences and paragraphs, but rather individual words, and applying the rules of an invented grammar. The publishers of an English dictionary certainly couldn't sue you because you wrote a book consisting entirely ...


1

To answer the questions as simply as possible: Yes it is too similar. No you won't be sued, with what you're worried about is a cease & desist and no that won't happen either. And I assume even though there's a question mark at the end of University that's not a question but to be thorough my answer is 'Okay.'


1

Lostinfrance is correct, but focuses on if you're going to writing about Henri going on snuff-fueled prostitute-beating binges. If he's just an incidental character portrayed in a neutral light and in line with his actual real-life behavior, in general you can write whatever you want. Keep in mind that when writing about people, non-public figures (like ...


1

I am not a lawyer, this is my non-professional opinion on the matter, and while the information is true and correct to the best of my knowledge it should not be relied upon in legal matters. In the United States (Which I assume you're writing about as the question is in fluent American English and your references are very American), quips like you ...


1

It's a bit shocking that someone teaching a media law course recommended "Poor Man's Copyright" - it's been generally discredited by pretty much everyone, including the US Copyright office. (http://copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html#poorman) - And, really, if you think about it - what's to stop someone from sending an empty, unsealed envelope to ...


1

You cannot be sued for slander, that is another category of tort and doesn't involve the written word. If you intend to use a real location, (a specific location as the question suggests, one that can be pinpointed down to an address), you CAN be sued for libel, but again, libel is also intended to protect people, their business and reputation; less so ...



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