I’m a writer blog

Guidelines for writing Poems, Stories and Tales

Is permission needed to use a fictitious character from another novel in my story as a point of reference?

Can you reference fictional characters in a book?

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.

Can you write a book about a character from another book?

Fan fiction, technically, is a copyright infringement. It is taking characters and stories owned by other creators and creating derivative works of them. There is no doubt that it’s a violation of the letter of copyright law.

Are fictional characters copyrighted?

Fictional characters can be protected separately from their underlying works as derivative copyrights, provided that they are sufficiently unique and distinctive. Fictional characters can, under U.S. law, be protected separately from their underlying works. This is based on the legal theory of derivative copyrights.

Can you use someone else’s characters?

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 you base a fictional character on a real person?

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. Therefore using a person’s life story as part of a book or movie will not be deemed a misappropriation of the Right of Publicity.

Can you write about real places in fiction?

Writing a book set in a real town makes research easy, and it gives you an interesting marketing hook. People like to read about places they know. A real-life setting for your story anchors your fiction in reality, and adds another dimension to your story.

How do I get permission to use a copyrighted character?

In general, the permissions process involves a simple five-step procedure:

  1. Determine if permission is needed.
  2. Identify the owner.
  3. Identify the rights needed.
  4. Contact the owner and negotiate whether payment is required.
  5. Get your permission agreement in writing.


What characters are not copyrighted?

8 Characters in the Public Domain that Crafters Can Use

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. …
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. …
  • The Little Mermaid. …
  • Rapunzel, Snow White, and Cinderella. …
  • Aladdin, Sinbad, and the Hunchback. …
  • Ebeneezer Scrooge. …
  • Classic Monsters. …
  • Sherlock Holmes.


How different does a character have to be to avoid copyright?

Copyright protection is available to both characters that have been solely described in writing, as well as characters depicted in a visual or graphic form. What is required is that the character in question possesses original or a set of distinctive traits, and visual representation is not essential.

How do I know if a character is copyrighted?

One common search strategy is to use Library of Congress files to identify an author, title, or publisher and then use that information to search the Copyright Office records online, as described below. If you are uncomfortable searching online, consider hiring the Copyright Office to perform the search on your behalf.

Can you use a characters likeness without permission?

Specifically, California recognizes both common law and statutory rights. California Civil Code, Section 3344, provides that it is unlawful, for the purpose of advertising or selling, to knowingly use another’s name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness without that person’s prior consent.

Are character names 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.

Is it okay to write a book inspired by another book?

Getting inspired by another author’s work is nothing bad. Just don’t end up writing the exact same book as the one that inspired you, because at that point it isn’t “being inspired by” anymore but plagiarism.

Can I write a story inspired by another story?

As we’ve said before, it is OK to be inspired by other stories you’ve read, but don’t make yours exactly the same. Use bits of that story to inform your own, give yours a unique twist, and a different perspective to ensure it doesn’t feel to same-y to your readers.

How do you write entitled characters?

To fully tap this potential, begin by reflecting upon the following real people in your life—jot down their names, fix them in your mind, remember a few details about their lives, their physical appearances, the effect they’ve had on you, and anything else you think would be important if you were to describe them to

Can you quote a TV show in your book?

No permission is needed to mention song titles, movie titles, names, etc. You do not need permission to include song titles, movie titles, TV show titles—any kind of title—in your work. You can also include the names of places, things, events, and people in your work without asking permission.

How much of a book can I 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).

Can you use quotes in a book without permission?

As a common practice, all quotes are copyright to the author, which means that legally you should get permission from the author you hope to borrow from. This can sometimes be very difficult if the author is deceased or a public figure.