1. Scot
    Offline

    Scot Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Messages:
    331
    Likes Received:
    272
    Location:
    Argyll, Scotland

    Ethically, morally and legally ...

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Scot, Aug 14, 2016.

    ... are there any issues in writing a novel based on a dead authors framework?

    Take Douglas Adams Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Eoin Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl series, was commissioned to write the sixth book in the Hitchhiker's 'trilogy' (and a damn good job he made of it too). But if an aspiring writer were to write such a novel, and submit it for publication, what would be the ramifications?
     
  2. Oscar Leigh
    Offline

    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2016
    Messages:
    4,425
    Likes Received:
    1,982
    Location:
    Australia
    Well, I think you need to get permission from the copyright estate, if the book is still copyrighted. Douglas Adams has an estate for his works, as a famous dead author. http://www.tdv.com/html/heavy_legal_stuff.html. Talk to these guys so they can approve or disapprove. They own the copyright.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
    Simpson17866 likes this.
  3. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,669
    Likes Received:
    5,162
    I'm pretty sure it would depend on copyright. @Steerpike can hopefully confirm.

    There have been unauthorized sequels to lots of classics that are no longer under copyright, for sure, but I think the expression of characters is copyrightable.

    There might also be trademark issues if the book is famous enough, has been turned into a movie, or whatever.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  4. Steerpike
    Offline

    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    11,123
    Likes Received:
    5,323
    Location:
    California, US
    As @BayView and @Oscar Leigh said, you've got potential trademark and copyright issues here. If you're writing a directly-related work, with many of the same characters, storylines, etc. - a true sequel instead of some work set in a similar universe - you're very likely to bring trouble to yourself. Of you're using the name Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on the cover or to sell the book, then you've got potential trademark and unfair competition issues. Not worth doing without permission, IMO.

    The above is with respect to the U.S.
     
    Oscar Leigh likes this.
  5. Scot
    Offline

    Scot Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    Messages:
    331
    Likes Received:
    272
    Location:
    Argyll, Scotland
    Thanks @BayView and @Oscar Leigh. It's pretty much as I suspected; you'd need to submit a draft to the copywrite holder for permission.
     
  6. BayView
    Offline

    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    5,669
    Likes Received:
    5,162
    If I were you I'd contact them well before the "draft" stage - you could spend a lot of time writing something for which I doubt you'll ever get permission.
     
    Link the Writer and Oscar Leigh like this.

Share This Page