Can I use names of characters and groups that other authors/creators have used already?

Asked by: Amanda Love

Can I use someone else’s character in my book?

No, you almost certainly cannot use another person’s characters directly in your work unless your treatment of those characters could be considered a parody, satire, or somehow education or critical of the original characters.

Can I use the name of a character?

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.

Can you use someone’s name in a book without permission?

The First Amendment usually wins unless the work is purely advertising, including political advertising. Using someone’s name, image or life story as part of a novel, book, movie or other “expressive” work is protected by the First Amendment, even if the expressive work is sold or displayed.

Can you base a fictional character on a real person?

Using real people in your fiction—whether they are correctly named or not—can be legally hazardous. If an author includes enough details that a specific fictional character is identifiable as an actual person, that person could possibly pursue legal action.

Is it okay to copy characters?

A copyrighted work must be original. It does not need to be new. A work is original so long as it was independently created by the writer (as opposed to copied from other works), and it possesses at least some minimal degree of creativity. Even a compilation of facts entails originality.

Can you plagiarize a character?

Plagiarism is essentially taking the words of another and passing it off as one’s own. But it is not just the lifting of text. Ideas, plots, scenes, and characters can be plagiarized too.

What characters are not copyrighted?

Best Public Domain Characters

  1. Robin Hood.
  2. Zorro.
  3. Dracula.
  4. Sherlock Holmes.
  5. John Carter.
  6. Frankenstein’s Monster.
  7. Scarecrow.
  8. Dorothy Gale.
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Are names in novels copyrighted?

Copyright law protects the unauthorised reproduction of literary and artistic works, but how copyright protects specific elements of these works, such as the characters in a story, is less clear. Invented names are not protected by copyright law because the name itself is not an original literary work.

Can I use the name Harry Potter?

The answer to the above questions is yes, Harry Potter is protected under the Trademark law and it is also a registered trademark, and all these rights are owned by Warner Brothers.

Can someone sue you for using their name in a book?

Misappropriation of the Right of Publicity

Using someone’s likeness, name, or identifying information for advertising, promotional, or commercial purposes may get you sued. Whether the person is a private individual or public figure, you would be liable for damages, including punitive damages.

Can you get sued for writing a book about someone?

Understanding Invasion of Privacy

Even if everything you write about someone is completely true, you still need to consider her privacy. Invasion of privacy occurs when you publicly disclose private facts not related to public concern. As with defamation, only living people can sue for invasion of privacy.

Can you use a famous person name in a book?

The good news is that celebrity names are not copyright protected, just used as a name. If the name is only used to describe the person, it is not covered. However, we do need to cover something called secondary meaning.

Can you mention a Disney character in a book?

Fictional and cartoon characters are protected by a combination of copyright law, trademark law, and unfair competition law, and Disney has a reputation as one of the most litigious companies in the entertainment world.

Can you use band names in books?

I don’t think there’s a problem unless you’re writing something slanderous or libellous against them. It’s ok if one of your characters says he doesn’t like them. But don’t go into song lyrics, because those are copyrighted.

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Can I quote a famous person in my book?

If you’re seeking permission to quote from a book, look on the copyright page for the rights holder; it’s usually the author. However, assuming the book is currently in print and on sale, normally you contact the publisher for permission. You can also try contacting the author or the author’s literary agent or estate.

Can I use quotes without copyright?

How much of someone else’s work can I use without getting permission? Under the fair use doctrine of the U.S. copyright statute, it is permissible to use limited portions of a work including quotes, for purposes such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, and scholarly reports.

How much can you quote without permission?

What is the amount and substantiality of the material used? The American Psychological Association allows authors to cite 400 words in single- text extracts, or 800 words in a series of text extracts, without permission (American Psychological Association, 2010).

Is it legal to post quotes from books?

According to US copyright law, legal rights to a quote belong, by default, to the author or speaker. The quotes are considered intellectual property and protected under law. If you are not the original author of a quote, one of two things must be true to use it freely on social media.

How much can you copy without infringing copyright?

You may use up to 10%, but no more than 3 minutes, of a single movie, TV show or video. You may use up to 10%, but no more than 30 seconds, of music and lyrics from a single musical work. You must purchase performance rights to hold a live performance of a copyrighted work.

What is fair use under copyright law?

For example, in the United States, copyright rights are limited by the doctrine of “fair use,” under which certain uses of copyrighted material for, but not limited to, criticism, commentary, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research may be considered fair.

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What are some examples of uses that would be considered fair use?

Examples of fair use in United States copyright law include commentary, search engines, criticism, parody, news reporting, research, and scholarship. Fair use provides for the legal, unlicensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author’s work under a four-factor test.

What are the 4 fair use exceptions to copyright?

Since copyright law favors encouraging scholarship, research, education, and commentary, a judge is more likely to make a determination of fair use if the defendant’s use is noncommercial, educational, scientific, or historical.

What is not an example of fair use of copyrighted work?

Fact: While many educational uses are considered fair use, there are some activities that do not meet the fair use criteria. For example, a teacher can’t make copies of an entire text book so that students don’t have to buy it.

What types of creative work does copyright not protect?

Copyright does not protect ideas, concepts, systems, or methods of doing something. You may express your ideas in writing or drawings and claim copyright in your description, but be aware that copyright will not protect the idea itself as revealed in your written or artistic work.

Do you have to publish your original creative work before protecting it with copyright?

Build copyright registration into your workflow and you won’t have to play catch up later. File an application to protect creative work either before you publish it, or in three months after publication.

What are creations that can be subject of a copyright?

What can be the subject of a Copyright?

  • writing.
  • music.
  • lyrics.
  • choreography.
  • sculpture.
  • engravings.
  • photographs.
  • drawings.