43

Using the setting and characters of an existing and current book would probably, indeed almost surely, make it a derivative work. Creating a derivative work from a work protected by copyright requires permission from the copyright holder, unless an exception to copyright applies. In US law 17 USC 101 defines a derivative work as: A “derivative work” is a ...


20

Voidable Contracts First of all, it is not generally correct that "minors are unable to sign contracts". However, in many cases, minors can disaffirm contracts. (This is also called "voiding the contract, and such contracts are called 'voidable".) This means that, up until the minor becomes an adult, and for a limited time after that, the ...


14

You can try but don't expect it to be easy. In the Western world at least. There is this Tanya Grotter precedent already.


13

The legal standard, evaluated on a case by case basis, when one firm uses a trademark that is similar to another firm's trademarks to market its goods or services in the same industry is whether the trademark is "confusingly similar" and in some cases whether it "dilutes" the first in time famous trademark. Many people writing fictional ...


13

As David Siegel explains in another answer, the contract may be voidable, not invalid, and whether or not it is voidable will depend on a complicated constellation of state labor laws. These are very important considerations which you must seriously evaluate, probably in consultation with a lawyer. But you asked about copyright. In general, under US law, ...


7

Copyright Your code, and the display it produces, is automatically protected by copyright the moment it is "fixed in a tangible form", which includes saving it in a computer file. In the US, a copyright notice has been optional since the effective date of the 1976 Copyright act, and in most other countries even longer. This is mandates by the ...


6

Copyright does not Protect Names at All Names and book titles and other short phrases are never protected by copyright, whether they are common or uncommon. The US Copyright Office Circular 01 "Copyright Basics" states on page 2: Copyright does not protect: Ideas, procedures, methods, systems, processes, concepts, principles, or discoveries Works ...


5

Yes. This is infringement. This infringement might be excused by a "fair use" defense but it probably isn't. At a very small scale tailor to a very specific educational program, for example, for just members of a thirty person English class that they are currently taking, it might qualify as educational fair use. But I get the impression that the ...


5

A phrase which is too generic or in too wide currnt use to be a valid trademark, may nevertheless be used as a business name or slogan. For example "Good Pizza" is so generic that I am reasonably sure that it could not be registered as a trademark, but a business could use that as a name or slogan. A business that did so would forgo any of the ...


5

A statement by a fictional character is part of the fiction, and so is normally protected by copyright. A short exclamation such as "You are not prepared!" might be ruled to be too short and not sufficiently original to be protected if it were used separately, but that would apply just as much to a short statement that was not a quote from a ...


5

Depends if the artist is a contractor or an employee Let's say I am the person who created Spiderman, but my artist came up with the design of the costume and everything Well, it certainly looks like you didn’t create Spider-Man - the artist did. If they are your employee then you, as their employer, own the copyright. If they are a contractor, then they ...


4

united-states Copyright First of all, copyright infringement is not, in the usual sense "illegal". That is, it is not normally a crime. (It can be in extreme cases, but not the sort of thing described in the question.) What infringement is is a tort, that is, it provides grounds for the copyright owner to sue the infringer, and perhaps collect ...


4

No, One cannot lawfully do this in Ohio Historic Common Law In English common law, granting a share of a future legal judgement was prohibited as Champerty According to the Wikipedia article just linked: Champerty (from Old French champart) is the financial support, by a party not naturally concerned in the suit, of a plaintiff that allows them to prosecute ...


3

You cannot safely rely on the US doctrine of Fair Use, except if the rights-holder sues you in US courts. In France, there are limited exceptions to the authors proprietary rights. Under Art. L-122-5, there are some relevant potential exceptions: 3ºa) analyses and short quotations justified by the critical, polemic, educational, scientific or informatory ...


2

The idea that clips under a certain length may be used freely is not correct, although in many cases short clips may be used lawfully. This is true when they fall under an exception to copyright. Most countries provide exceptions in their copyright laws, but the available exceptions vary significantly. The exceptions that matter would be those of the ...


2

This is what the contingency fees approach is, also known as "no win no fee". We were told by a lawyer in Tallahassee Florida that Bar ethics forbids an attorney to receive 100% the proceeds of a judgement. That's correct. From the linked Wikipedia article: Most jurisdictions require contingent fees to be "reasonable," resulting in a ...


1

Since you've also asked about UK law, I thought I'd cover some interesting direct contrasts to some of the US law concepts covered by @DavidSiegel's answer. The copyright considerations are much less straightforward, though even if successful in defending against a copyright claim, I do think this would fail on trademark concerns. Adaptation Much like the ...


1

Not really. In fact, there's an actual case that's almost exactly on point: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. v. RDR Books In 2000, Steve Vander Ark, a librarian from Grand Rapids, Michigan, created the Harry Potter Lexicon, an online encyclopedia of the Harry Potter book series that collected and reorganized various facts from the novels into a searchable ...


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