1. Miller0700
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    Miller0700 Contributing Member

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    Question about my novel title

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Miller0700, Jun 30, 2016.

    I made a story called "The Newcomers" which is still a work in progress. I originally called it "The Fires of Spring," because the name came up in a random book title generator that I used a few years prior and I liked the name because it fit the theme of my story overall. Recently I found out recently that the name was taken:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fires_of_Spring


    It doesn't seem that this book isn't as well known as I originally thought it was and like I said before I had no idea that this book existed up until very recently. Would it still be plagiarism if I used that title for my own work prior to finding out about it's already usage or am I liable for plagiarism due to ignorance to research beforehand if I use the title now?
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    It's not plagiarism to begin with. It's also not copyright infringement, and trademark seems like a nonissue. I'd use it.
     
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  3. Miller0700
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    Miller0700 Contributing Member

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    Thanks.
     
  4. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    There are no less than 65 books with my book's title on Amazon's kindle store. That might be a problem for marketing (how will readers find MY book buried in that pile?) and the publisher might change it for that reason, but it's certainly not plagiarism.
     
  5. Gawler
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    Gawler Contributing Member

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    It is a non issue. The Lost World is a best selling novel by Conan Doyle and by Michael Crichton. If it is not an issue with 2 novels that have sold millions then you have nothing to worry about.
     
  6. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Um, why not call it "The Newcomers"? I like that name more. It's subtle, but powerful. "The Fires of Spring" is good but it sounds a little like bad pretentious poetry to me. Just a thought.
     
  7. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    The Doyle novel is over a hundred years old and in the public domain, so that comparison doesn't demonstrate anything in terms of legality. But outside of potential trademark issues, sharing titles is not a problem.
     
  8. terobi
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    terobi Contributing Member

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  9. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    They're not long enough to have substantial creativity or authorship needed for copyright, though in theory if you wrote a 500-word title for your novel, it would get copyright protection.

    But when people speak of "copyrighting" a title, they're usually mistaking copyright and trademark law. Titles can employ trademarks, and using those trademarks in your own title can cause trouble.
     
  10. terobi
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    terobi Contributing Member

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    True - but then that's also a bit weird; it's only protected if it looks like someone is trying to pass off their work as yours. Even though the word "McDonald's" is very definitely a trademark, you probably wouldn't have any real issues publishing a book called "Why McDonald's is Awful".
     
  11. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    What about Taken by the Ghost of Neopleon Bonaparte's Horny Little Brother, Jerome, at Niagara Falls? Because I'd love to use that for my next novel if I can.
     
  12. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    That gets into separate issues outside of the scope of this post. Famous trademarks, like McDonald's, aren't protected only against confusion/passing off sorts of claims (at least in the U.S.). They're also protected against "blurring" and "tarnishment." But in the case of the book you're talking about, the First Amendment interests in allowing the title would likely trump federal statute on blurring and tarnishment.
     
  13. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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  14. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I'm not sure his little brother was as hot as Jerome but okay.
     
  15. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Here he is:

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    The girlfriend was pretty:

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Holoman
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    I think as long as people will find it easy to find your book should they go searching for it, then it's fine. The problem could be if someone searches for it and its lost among several others with the same name.
     

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