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11

I own quite a few cook books full of mouthwatering images that contain recipes that do not work. So as a father who has to create tasty meals for a bunch of otherwise grumpy kids, I can only beg you to: Collect recipes from whereever you want. Cook them yourself, and then publish the instructions as you have found them to work. Because that is what I ...


7

I am not a lawyer. But it's my understanding that recipes, in their barest form, cannot be copyrighted, as they are a description of a method of accomplishing something. What IS copyrightable is the specific text that expresses those instructions, as well as any accompanying images, etc. There may be other aspects of the way the recipe is organized that is ...


7

If they're on the Internet, someone has a copy of them. They are free now, and you will never have full control of them again. I won't swear to it, but I think when EL James got her book contract for the Fifty Shades trilogy, she deleted all the posted versions of those stories (which were after all Twilight fanfic). I seem to recall that older versions ...


6

If your work is visible to the public, you cannot prevent plagiarism. You could reduce the likelihood of plagiarism by posting your work on a site that is protected by a password (and perhaps a user agreement). But this also reduces availability. You can perhaps increase your chances of detecting plagiarism by setting up a Google alert for one or more ...


6

Elves and dwarves are all over fantasy fiction. Here's one compilation found by Googling "fantasy novels with elves". They are generic mythological creatures. If anything these tropes are overused; Tolkien used them well so his works are the benchmarks against which others are often measured, but he didn't invent them. The question in your title is a ...


4

Work with reputable proofreaders and designers, who have proven track records with satisfied clients. Anybody with a reputation to maintain will have no profit from plagiarizing clients' work. First of all, a manuscript on its own isn't worth a whole lot (it takes a lot of work to earn good money off a manuscript), and secondly, they'll stop getting ...


4

Excellent question. The boundaries between different forms of derivative work are constantly being pushed and redefined. "Derivative" has come to be used mostly as an insult, but as you rightly point out, some works of fiction (I would argue 'most works') draw inspiration from preexisting sources. In a way, storytelling is an ongoing cultural endeavour. ...


3

Having a competitor with a poor web interface is not justification for plagiarism. However, it's clear that you understand this. To build your own library of recipes, seek used cookbooks that are so old that copyright no longer applies. Used book stores and thrift shops are a good source for this, as are online bidding sites like eBay. The challenge with ...


3

If your book is dissimilar enough from Roth's that it does not remind readers of her series, there is no problem if you use the same name. Her's wasn't the first time that name has been used in fiction, either. If on the other hand you are writing a Young Adult dystopia where teens have to undergo life or death trials and fight the rulers, you might want to ...


2

Your best bet is to break down the source into broad mythical elements and rebuild your story from that. Harry's tale is both a coming-of-age and a Hero's Journey, and you don't get much more archetypal than those. JKRowling admits she modeled Harry-Ron-Ginny after Luke-Han-Leia, and Lucas was working with Joseph Campbell's Hero With a Thousand Faces. (An ...


2

Almost never. Royalties apply to copyright, and copyright only applies to the literal text of the material. Anything you learn, you can use, so long as you don't use word-for-word quotations without attribution. Let's say you are writing a book about Lincoln and you read Team Of Rivals (the source material for the recent Daniel Day Lewis movie Lincoln). ...


2

In addition to "Work with reputable proofreaders and designers," as Standback correctly notes, you can also add a non-disclosure agreement to your contract. The language might state that the contents/cover/etc. of the book is to remain strictly confidential until official publication by X publishing house or Y printer. Honestly, I don't think this is ...


1

I have never heard of the 5-word rule you describe, and I would find it hard to believe that anyone in a serious academic environment would abide by such a standard. Its interesting you bring this up, I recently launched a plagiarism detection software, and one of the most important things I built into it was the ability to detect sentences and phrases ...


1

I assume, because you have a direct competitor, that your recipes would be quite specialised, for example, focused on using peanuts or Indian. Having bought a large number of cookbooks over time, I tend now to focus on particular series or 'brands'. One series we have about ten of is the 'Australian Woman's Weekly' because the instructions are clear, the ...


1

It is not clear from your question if you intend to publish your book with an established publisher or in an independent way. In scientific fields, proofreading is typically done, at least partly, by colleagues who know the subject. Here confidentiality is commonly guaranteed by trust. Then there is the publisher's editor. Here confidentiality is guaranteed ...


1

The already posted answers concentrate on the technical aspects. Although I am not a lawyer, I would like to dare to try to write an answer about the legal aspects. In most parts of the world (at least those parts which follow the Berne Convention), copyright is automatic. The moment you create a creative work, you have exclusive copyright over it. A ...



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