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Copyright and Trademark Questions

Tolkien

Minstrel
If any of you have Copyright or Trademark questions, whether relating specifically to Publishing or otherwise, feel free to post them in this thread and I'll answer. I'm sure other members of the forums will provide answers as well, which is good. It is nice to have a broad range of experience to bring to bear. Of course, I should point out that nothing posted by anyone in this thread will constitute legal advice :)

I'm also happy to entertain Patent questions, as well as questions relating to other areas of law.

I was told published books were open to authors to quote small sections from so long as they are sourced. Is this so? For example, I have a book going through its last round of edits that often quotes J.R.R Tolkien and his mythology. I assumed this was ok so long as the quotes were small sections. However, the publishing company has said nothing about it to me. Is there anything I need to do?
 

pmmg

Vala
Thats the rule far as I know it.

Are making a research material or thesis? I think I would pass on actual footnotes if it was a work of fiction. If, for example, I had a character who quoted Tolkien a lot, I dont think I would bother the reader with footnotes.
 

Tolkien

Minstrel
Thats the rule far as I know it.

Are making a research material or thesis? I think I would pass on actual footnotes if it was a work of fiction. If, for example, I had a character who quoted Tolkien a lot, I dont think I would bother the reader with footnotes.

It's a book about Tolkien and Middle-earth.
 

Devor

Fiery Keeper of the Hat
Moderator
It's a book about Tolkien and Middle-earth.

You should be okay then. Short passages, properly cited, are fair use, especially if it's like a documentary type thing. In fact it's kind of weird, but you can sell a book where JRR Tolkein himself is a character who goes into a parody resembling Middle Earth and gets excited about the silly languages and he can quote himself sometimes and it's all fine, but don't dare do that same thing with Frodo Baggins as the MC (at least, not if you want to sell it).
 

Tolkien

Minstrel
You should be okay then. Short passages, properly cited, are fair use, especially if it's like a documentary type thing. In fact it's kind of weird, but you can sell a book where JRR Tolkein himself is a character who goes into a parody resembling Middle Earth and gets excited about the silly languages and he can quote himself sometimes and it's all fine, but don't dare do that same thing with Frodo Baggins as the MC (at least, not if you want to sell it).

SO does each and every passage need citation to the chapter it is pulled from?
 

Devor

Fiery Keeper of the Hat
Moderator
SO does each and every passage need citation to the chapter it is pulled from?

You should use a proper bibliography to be safe. I don't think footnotes would be necessary. But an addendum saying "The passage quoted on page 72 is from...."
 

Tolkien

Minstrel
You should use a proper bibliography to be safe. I don't think footnotes would be necessary. But an addendum saying "The passage quoted on page 72 is from...."

Thanks for the help. But just wondering here, can I say all quotes from LOTR come from this edition.. all quotes from the hobbit come from this edition or do I really need each and every quote cited in a bibliography in the back.
 

pmmg

Vala
Well...my college professors would have said one citation per quote. But, I am not sure this is the same as a collegiate work.

I could make each citation point to the same reference. And you can use a type a shorthand for it as well and still be in the APA standard.
 

Tolkien

Minstrel
Well...my college professors would have said one citation per quote. But, I am not sure this is the same as a collegiate work.

I could make each citation point to the same reference. And you can use a type a shorthand for it as well and still be in the APA standard.

See the issue i am having is my MS is finished and on its last round of edits. The editors used the Chicago style of edit and i have not sourced my material unless it is in block quotes or needed for a specific purpose. So I might quote Gandalf from the hobbit, later from one chapter in FOTR, and next time from ROTK and so on. Can I site the book only for a source or is the chapter needed?

Further I qoute other sources as well in this manner. But they are used sparingly and not to the extent of Tolkien's writings. Would I need to cite these as well? And if I did a biography could i just cite the book only?
 

pmmg

Vala
Chicago has a similar style of shorthand.

You'll have to pull up their guidelines but I found this: https://www.libs.uga.edu/ref/chicagostyle.pdf

_________
Use the full citation the first time you cite the work in your notes. For subsequent notes use the author’s last name only and shorten the title if it has more than four words. If the work has no identifiable author or editor, start the citation with the title.

1. Andrew Gelman, Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008), 144.

5. Gelman, Red State, 160.
__________

You might use a citation machine to make it easier. There are a number of free ones online.

(And I swore I would never do citations again :~( )
 

Tolkien

Minstrel
Chicago has a similar style of shorthand.

You'll have to pull up their guidelines but I found this: https://www.libs.uga.edu/ref/chicagostyle.pdf

_________
Use the full citation the first time you cite the work in your notes. For subsequent notes use the author’s last name only and shorten the title if it has more than four words. If the work has no identifiable author or editor, start the citation with the title.

1. Andrew Gelman, Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008), 144.

5. Gelman, Red State, 160.
__________

You might use a citation machine to make it easier. There are a number of free ones online.

(And I swore I would never do citations again :~( )

Thanks so much for all the help. Seem i should go back and cite everything proper. Damit.
 

Tolkien

Minstrel
Chicago has a similar style of shorthand.

You'll have to pull up their guidelines but I found this: https://www.libs.uga.edu/ref/chicagostyle.pdf

_________
Use the full citation the first time you cite the work in your notes. For subsequent notes use the author’s last name only and shorten the title if it has more than four words. If the work has no identifiable author or editor, start the citation with the title.

1. Andrew Gelman, Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008), 144.

5. Gelman, Red State, 160.
__________

You might use a citation machine to make it easier. There are a number of free ones online.

(And I swore I would never do citations again :~( )


One last question and thanks once more for all of the help. Does the page number need to be included for fair use? That would take well.... a very impossible long time to track down the page numbers. Chapter, book, easy, page number after writing the entire 220 page ms with many quotes, holy Shi%
 

pmmg

Vala
Just sayin.... unless this is meant to be a true reference source material, I might look to fudge a bit on onerous citing.

But if you were a student in a class, I might have to say you need page numbers if you have them.
 

Tolkien

Minstrel
Just sayin.... unless this is meant to be a true reference source material, I might look to fudge a bit on onerous citing.

But if you were a student in a class, I might have to say you need page numbers if you have them.

I am only really doing it to prevent the chance of some form of violation on my part. I would rather not do one at all. To me citing LOTR one or twice in a block quote and later saying Gandalf said to treebeard ... is citing the material. People know the source.
 

pmmg

Vala
Well...give each qoute a number and then have one omnibus quote at the bottom like,


2,5,6,16,23,25,35,35 Gandalf....blah blah
 
Hi,

Well here's an odd wrinkle on this - save that it's not about trademarked names just names. My latest Barton Villa book features the criminal organization - Golden Dawn It's a fiction book and it takes their already bad name and makes up a whole bunch of BS about them - the sort of stuff they might actually have done along with much of the rest of the far right. When I started writing it, they weren't going to have a major role in the book so I didn't care. But as their role grew it occurred to me - they could get upset. Now this isn't a trademark issue - it's a libel issue. And the test for defending yourself against libel is whether someone could not reasonably believe that what is said is true. Unfortunately in this case apart from the sci fi parts, someone could believe that GD did all these things.

My solution in the end was to make up a new name for them _ The Liberation Front. (Yes I let the terrorists win!) But my point is this. If you're using someone's name, trademarked or not, consider the simplest option - not using it.

Cheers, Greg.
 

Tolkien

Minstrel
Hi,

Well here's an odd wrinkle on this - save that it's not about trademarked names just names. My latest Barton Villa book features the criminal organization - Golden Dawn It's a fiction book and it takes their already bad name and makes up a whole bunch of BS about them - the sort of stuff they might actually have done along with much of the rest of the far right. When I started writing it, they weren't going to have a major role in the book so I didn't care. But as their role grew it occurred to me - they could get upset. Now this isn't a trademark issue - it's a libel issue. And the test for defending yourself against libel is whether someone could not reasonably believe that what is said is true. Unfortunately in this case apart from the sci fi parts, someone could believe that GD did all these things.

My solution in the end was to make up a new name for them _ The Liberation Front. (Yes I let the terrorists win!) But my point is this. If you're using someone's name, trademarked or not, consider the simplest option - not using it.

Cheers, Greg.

I am not creating a new fiction in this case i am writing about both Tolkien and middle-earth in general. So I am not taking a character from him or a name without using Tolkien's own writings. So Gandalf said "you cannot pass" etc
 

Tolkien

Minstrel
Just sayin.... unless this is meant to be a true reference source material, I might look to fudge a bit on onerous citing.

But if you were a student in a class, I might have to say you need page numbers if you have them.

Just when you thought you had gotten rid of me...

Hopefully this will be the last question. Could I do something along the lines of "all quotes made by Tolkien characters derived from" and then list Tolkien's works I used. Than all quotes from Tolkien derived from and then list the sources. Would that pass?
 
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