1. chandler245
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    chandler245 Banned

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    Giving your book a name.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by chandler245, Apr 17, 2009.

    I know that you don't name your book until it is done and I am assuming because the title will be a word, paragraph, ect with in the book, but what if you come up with a name and then you look it up and there are 50 million other books out there with the same name. I have looked up different names for book titles and they all come up with already exisiting. Is that copyright infringment? How do you over come that? I have some titles that I want to try, but how do you go about doing a name of a book if there are already books out there named that?:confused:
     
  2. KP Williams
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    KP Williams Contributing Member

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    I've seen a few books with the same or similar titles. This is because book titles, to my knowledge, are not copyrightable. Sure, it's better if your title is at least fairly unique to avoid confusion, but it's not the end of the world if you take some else's unwittingly.

    Correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You could run into a problem if you named your book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but apart from such blatant infringement, book titles aren't covered under copyright law..
     
  4. chandler245
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    chandler245 Banned

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    Thanks. I am really new at all of this, so I have no idea what to do with any of it.
     
  5. Dalouise
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    Dalouise Contributing Member

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    I always name mine before I write anything else and it doesn't come from a word or paragraph in the book so I'm a bit confused by this "rule" you are assuming. The name I choose sets the tone for the whole thing, which I have as an outline in my head anyway.
    If you have already found *50 million* with the same name, doesn't that answer the question? :D
    Anyway, if it ever gets published there's a real possibility that the title will be changed at that stage so I wouldn't worry too much. ;)
     
  6. OneMoreNameless
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    OneMoreNameless Contributing Member

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    I named both of my completed novels before I started writing them ... but then renamed both of them after I'd finished the first draft because I felt they were kind of cliche and didn't quite fit the themes as well as I wanted. Go figure. (I'd ever so slightly incline towards picking a name before writing just because it would be easier to do an effective title drop.)

    And naming your book can't be any worse than naming a song. Just take a look at Wikipedia's disambiguation page for "Angel", heh.
     
  7. That Silly Welsh Guy
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    That Silly Welsh Guy Senior Member

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    I'm gonna be strange and say that I've already decided on my title, at least temporarily, even though my story is only it it's development/conceptual stages. I highly doubt that it shall remain being called 'A Tale of Broken Dreams: From Cardiff to Chicago via Kaitaia' because some would argue that it is a mite long for a novel title.
     
  8. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    I just searched my book titles and they are unique. tee hee. :-D Actually, I come up with titles during the initial idea part before I start writing.

    Anways, unless its apparent, you don't need to worry about titles. If you've found alot of books with similar titles, it's a sign that it's ok.
     
  9. jade's dream
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    jade's dream New Member

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    I usually come up with the title as I have written down what the plot is. After reading your post though I checked my titles and they are unique so I am lucky. If book titles are not covered under copyright law then I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    If book titles are not covered under copyright law then I wouldn't worry about it.


    ...they're not... see the legal details here: www.copyright.gov
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Maia, I have a question. I do know that copyright law specifically says titles are not copyrighted. But what about protects titles that are obviously misleading if applied to another work, like the above-mentioned Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? The dustcover art would be protected, but anyone who titled their book that would clearly intend to defraud purchasers.
     
  12. xxtake_controlxx
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    xxtake_controlxx Member

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    I was reading a bit into the copyright law to see if I could find an answer to the question. I, in all honestly, have never looked into it before, so I have no background in this knowledge, but I wanted to see if I could come up with an answer anyway.

    At face value, it seems as if that is perfectly legal. Titles, names, short phrases, and slogans are not protected under copyright laws. Since that is a title and contains a name, as long as the concept used isn't the same, it doesn't matter. For all we know, the half blood prince could be a prince in some random place during WWII that was half jewish and sent to a concentration camp and some englishman named Harry Potter who was having a sordid affair with this random prince helped him escape the Nazis. It is illegal to put J.K. Rowling's name anywhere in the work unless she agrees, though.

    In my rudimentary search, I found nothing that would expressly forbid the use of that title as long as the subject matter was not, in any sense of the word, Rowling's subject matter. I'm sure she would be able to fight it in some way, but I have not been able to find that. I do want to look further into it though, because now I'm curious.
     
  13. chandler245
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    chandler245 Banned

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    I don't intend to name it that, or any other popular names, I was going to name my bood soulless and a million of books came up.
     
  14. PS Foster
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    PS Foster Member

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    Is there any way you can change it just a little? Like add a subtitle, or Soulless: (something).
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Or leave it as is for now as a working title. When the book nears completion, you may come up with a name with a bit more snap. And if you don't come up with something yourself, your agent or publisher may suggest something with greater market appeal.

    It isn't that Soulless is a bad title, but it does seem a bit bland and generic, in my opinion.
     
  16. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    if i believe rightly in all j.k rowling' the names are coppie righted so you couldent put harry potter and the half blood prince in the title and you couldn't call a character hermiony granger or serious black so in some aspets if a name is coppie righted and it is in the title of the book then surley the title is partley coppie righten then
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Names would be trademarked, not copyrighted. Trademark, in contrast to copyright, does not apply automatically/ My question to Maia was whether she knew of a protection that would automatically apply in the case of clearly "ripoff" titles like the one above. Giving such a title to a a book by someone other than Ms. Rowling would clearly be fraudulent in intent, so I'm wondering what, if any, law would apply without the author having to file trademark registrations.
     
  18. chandler245
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    chandler245 Banned

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    Yeah it is punisable by law. How about forbiddin love? Demon Love. I don't know. What would be considered a title with a snap give me some examples please.
     
  19. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The best title is one selected by the author when the book is finished. Who better knows the story and all its facets?
     
  20. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    I named my book before I wrote it, that has now become a working title because goalposts have shifted.
     
  21. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    i am having the same problem at the moment and cant seem to find another
     
  22. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    Whats the basic idea of your book .... (if you can give anything away???). I'm usually good at titles. I've come up with loads of band names, fanzine titles, & company names and slogans in the past (graphic designer by trade, so its kinda my job :p)
     
  23. g1ng3rsnap9ed
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    Most of my titles are either haphazardly tossed on or I have come up with them before I've begun writing the story. My titles tend to be...unique...so I haven't had much trouble with that before, except I wanted to name my one story Phantasm, but didn't want it to sound like it had any relation to the (fantastic) film.
     
  24. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    a normal boy keeps having this dreem that the queen of this magical kingdom is in trouble, he then falls into a coma and ends up traveling to the magical kingdom finding out he is a changling who is next in line for the thrown but he has to save the queen from the sorcerer as he is the only one with powers strong enough to defeat him
     
  25. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    What did you end up calling it?

    I called one of my bands albums 'Phantasmagoria' if that helps???
     

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