1

I was recommended from MSE(math) to ask here. I'm creating a fun math book to sell and I don't know whether if I'm allowed to have these in my book due to copyright or not:

  • video game / movie references and names
  • common integration bee problems
  • names of a university / math competition organizers
  • integration techniques and formulas
  • using someone's Overleaf Latex package to format the book

Do all of these violate copyright or are they not considered copyright?

It's quite hard to explain, so here's a preview of how my textbook starts off.

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

5
  • 1
    I do not think the large image adds much if anything to the question, and it surely gets in the way. It leaves unclear just what you are concerned with. Please edit the question to remove the image, and replace it with text quoting just the parts that you are worried about. Images are not searchable, nor can they be handled by screen readers or translators. Text works much better for a site such as this. Feb 16, 2021 at 2:11
  • 2
    This question is not IMO asking for specific legal advice. It certainly does not require a lawyer; the answer is copyright 101. It asks "what does the law permit?" not "what should I do?" It should not be closed. Feb 16, 2021 at 2:14
  • This question is being dscissed on Law Meta. Feb 16, 2021 at 3:20
  • @DavidSeigel "I do not think the large image adds much if anything to the question" I think it does. There's something concerning that I spotted in the image that I addressed in my answer.
    – nick012000
    Feb 16, 2021 at 12:16
  • It could also have been closed as a duplicate: the asker did not appear to read the copyright tag description or look at the copyright FAQ.
    – feetwet
    Feb 18, 2021 at 16:28

2 Answers 2

7

Names of people, institutions, and events are not protected by copyright. Things that have occurred at events like math tournaments are facts, and may be recounted, in your own words, with no fear of infringing any copyright. Facts are never protected by copyright, although a particular description of facts could be, and so could a particular selection and arrangement of facts.

Specific math techniques and their names are not protected either, and may be described without infringing copyright.

The items you mention in the question are:

  • video game / movie references and names
  • No copyright issue here.
  • common integration bee problems
  • No copyright issue here.
  • names of a university / math competition organizers
  • No copyright issue here.
  • integration techniques and formulas
  • No copyright issue here, unless you copy an extensive description of a technique without rewriting it in your mown words..
  • using someone's Overleaf Latex package to format the book
  • This depends on the license for the package, but there is not likely to be an issue.

In short I think you are worrying over issues that are in fact non-issues.

0
2

Copying math tests would likely violate copyright.

I am not a lawyer, and this isn't legal advice. If you want actual legal advice, hire an actual lawyer with actual money.

In the examples you're showing, your Chapter 15 consists entirely of practice tests, each of which is labelled with the name of an event. If those tests are composed of tests from those events (or from any other event, for that matter), the copying of those tests would likely constitute a breach of copyright unless you got the permission to do so from the copyright owners of those tests.

If the named events aren't real events, but they do include the names of fictional characters or properties, they might not be copyright violation, but they might constitute trademark violation.

Additionally, there would be an academic ethics violation of plagiarism separate to any of the above legal violations if you have copied any material, and failed to properly cite it. While this wouldn't have any legal repercussions, it might result in you being fired from your place of employment and getting a significant black mark on your reputation in the academic world.

2
  • Oh dang, so fictional references from games and movies would be a trademark violation or is it just the name/title of it? Feb 16, 2021 at 19:45
  • @MetallicSilver What qualifies as trademark infringement is probably worth a question in its own right. I'm not a lawyer, but my understanding is that you can run into problems when your use of a trademark can lead to confusion about the business that owns the trademark having produced or endorsed your product.
    – nick012000
    Feb 16, 2021 at 23:39

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .