Author Topic: How do you know...  (Read 5317 times)

Offline thecreativewriter

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Re: How do you know...
« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2014, 07:11:55 AM »
This might help you.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/oliverherzfeld/2012/11/08/protecting-fictional-characters-could-you-legally-write-a-new-harry-potter-novel/

The gist is, no, names are not subject to copyright. However, some are trademarked so cannot be used as far as I'm aware. Do your research.

When I was fairly new here, I was targeted by some guy passing himself off as a legal bigwig and the name I used for a story was subject to copyright by a singer. Some of you will remember. Anyway he was pretty horrible and not only argued on the threads sent me some pretty nasty pm's and also the mods at that time. It appears my story came at the top of a search engine and he was miffed his singer was below me.  ::)

The name I used was two members names put together. I was bricking it, as you can imagine, new writer with no clue about these things. Anyway to stop the fight that broke out, I changed the spelling of the name, but I was informed I didn't need too. I just wanted to fade out of the spotlight to be honest.

Please correct me if I'm wrong. ;)

I didn't see this post previously, quite interesting...I agree, being  newbie can be terryfying...I mean I have been writing for over 20 years but not for profit so now I am I have researched things and given what happened to my friends, its made me more wary....

I have quickly scanned the link...and it seems I would be ok...?

Lin

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Re: How do you know...
« Reply #31 on: February 22, 2014, 10:00:02 AM »
There are certain situations that occur  and re-occur all  day, every day of our lives.  There are bound to be repeated stories that are the same.  If your friend wrote a similar situation to Corrie, that would be a coincidence unless she had seen the episode beforehand and copied it.  I mean how could the writer of a TV programme know of her story? Unless she had published on the internet first and someone had grabbed the idea. Then that's her problem for being too open and trusting.  But I doubt if that really did happen!

Please don't worry about it, just get on with the job of writing your story and if it does worry you, change the characters identity and make it your own.  You see, being a writer is all about being unique and writing about things that you have developed.  Be clever in disguising your story. Use your characters as inspiration. 

Just do it and enjoy the moment, see how it turns out.   :D  If what you are doing isn't working for you - change it! 

Lin  ;)

Offline thecreativewriter

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Re: How do you know...
« Reply #32 on: February 22, 2014, 10:03:04 AM »
There are certain situations that occur  and re-occur all  day, every day of our lives.  There are bound to be repeated stories that are the same.  If your friend wrote a similar situation to Corrie, that would be a coincidence unless she had seen the episode beforehand and copied it.  I mean how could the writer of a TV programme know of her story? Unless she had published on the internet first and someone had grabbed the idea. Then that's her problem for being too open and trusting.  But I doubt if that really did happen!

Please don't worry about it, just get on with the job of writing your story and if it does worry you, change the characters identity and make it your own.  You see, being a writer is all about being unique and writing about things that you have developed.  Be clever in disguising your story. Use your characters as inspiration.  

Just do it and enjoy the moment, see how it turns out.   :D  If what you are doing isn't working for you - change it!  

Lin  ;)
Hi Lin

no, she unfortunately did what alot of fan fiction writers do - she uploaded to a forum dedicated to that programme and it had been known at the time that the producers and other people on the Corrie team looked at - they do it often to see how the fans are liking the stories etc....and the next thing she knew it appeared on the show.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2014, 11:27:14 AM by ma100 »

Lin

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Re: How do you know...
« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2014, 10:23:27 AM »
Well as I said that's her problem.  I never put my stories on any forum these days. As an author now, I find it isn't a good idea to do that before it's published.   Anyway keep up the good work Sharon. :D

Offline thecreativewriter

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Re: How do you know...
« Reply #34 on: February 22, 2014, 10:31:18 AM »
Well as I said that's her problem.  I never put my stories on any forum these days. As an author now, I find it isn't a good idea to do that before it's published.   Anyway keep up the good work Sharon. :D

Yeah well we all live and learn don't we? :( Nope, I have learnt that too after what I have heard!

Thankyou, replied to your PM by the way...

Wolfe

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Re: How do you know...
« Reply #35 on: February 27, 2014, 09:39:10 AM »
An all persons fictitious disclaimer is a disclaimer in which a work of media states that all persons portrayed in it are fictitious. This is done to reduce the possibility of legal action for libel from any person who believes that he or she has been libeled via their portrayal in the work (whether portrayed under their real name or a different name).

Allow me to answer your question and offer three examples well-known in publishing.

First, and with respect, you're putting the proverbial cart before the pony. Please don't worry about libel until your work is done. And even then, remember that intent is what's questioned in lawsuits. If you did such a thing, willingly and knowingly, that's another circumstance. We call that plagiarism. And even if it was, there are ways around that if your intent wasn't blatant.

1. Fiction implies false. Placing a 'warning' in your novel makes no sense . . . unless you did exactly what you claim you did not. It's a case of the more you deny, the less we believe. But a roman clef gets around this. It's where you write actual events or experience under the guise of fiction. A famous example of this is Weisberger's The Devil Wears Prada. It's well-known that 'Runway' and Amanda Priestly are Vogue and its editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, since Weisberger worked as Wintour's assistant much like the protagonist did in the novel.

2. Change names. And you should if you fear retaliation. Gemmell tells a famous story about his work Waylander. At the time, he worked as a journalist and used the names of his peers as villains. The editor, or director, called the work a "Poisonous attack on his persons" or words to that effect, and he fired Gemmell. Afterwards, Gemmell went on to become one of Europe's most famous fantasy authors. No lawsuit emerged because, well, none of the events occurred. Of course, using real names didn't help foster friendly feelings, but libel implies an actual attack. Again, fiction implies false.

3. Nonfiction muddies the waters. And let me tell you, even with the warning, if readers recognize themselves, they can still sue. Nonfiction means not false. So, watch your step. Burroughs discovered this the hard way with his work Running with Scissors. The Finch Turcotte family didn't find it funny . . . at all. And they sued the bejesus out of Burroughs. He and the publisher got around this by calling the memoir a 'book', which again implies false, and the case was settled in Burroughs' benefit. Or so he claims.

Now, let me tell you about the most famous case. This involves Brown's The Da Vinci Code. First, Perdue sued Brown due to similarities with Daughter of God. Long story short, the suit was tossed out. Next, Brown was sued by Baigent and Leigh. They also said Brown lifted material from their nonfiction work Holy Blood, Holy Grail and claimed Brown plagiarized. Now, this is key: The judge stated since Brown's work was fiction, again meaning false, Brown could use historical research within a novel. And that case was also dismissed. In fact, it lost on appeal too.

Finally, let me say spoofs or parodies allow you to get away with damn-near anything. So, if you're in doubt, there's that option too. Otherwise, Fifty Shames of Earl Grey and Bored of the Rings wouldn't exist.

Hope this response clears any confusion about what you can and can't do.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 11:31:25 AM by Wolfe »

Offline thecreativewriter

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Re: How do you know...
« Reply #36 on: February 27, 2014, 10:57:41 AM »
Thank you Wolfe :-)

Yes I did hear Ms James used the same characters of a famous tv show just changed the characters.

Wolfe

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Re: How do you know...
« Reply #37 on: February 27, 2014, 11:54:52 AM »
No worries. :)

Keep in mind, all the examples I provided were negative. When positive, people and publishers tend not to object. Case in point, we have Green's The Fault in Our Stars. It's fiction, but based around the life of Ester Earl and her struggle with cancer. Her journal was also published as This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl.

Both are outstanding and moving accounts.

So, if you write fiction based on fact, or about people in a positive light, you need not worry in most cases. Just be careful not to embellish, or place said persons, in a negative light even if your intend was positive.

Again, for example, Golden found this out the hard way when the 'real geisha', from Memoirs of a Geisha, didn't appreciate being made into a glorified hooker.

But that, as they say, is another story.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 09:40:58 AM by Wolfe »