1. Ritrezer
    Offline

    Ritrezer Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2013
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Mordor

    Screwed Or What?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Ritrezer, May 2, 2014.

    Well, my story is about Dragon Riders. So, as a paranoid pessimist I was wondering- Is writing about Dragon Riders considered plagiarism?

    Can the use of the concept of People atop Dragons be termed as plagiarism or infringement of Rights?
    I think that it should be free to use, as I feel it would be something like putting a hold on things such as Wizards, Vampires etc. The thought just fell into my head, so I'm kind of taken aback by this. Mine is urban fantasy with technology sci-fi and Fantasy with Magic.

    I've only heard or known of few works with Dragons Riders or a concept close to that.
    -Pern Books By Anne McCaffrey
    -Inheritance Cycle By Christopher Paolini- This is the only one I've read.
    -Termeraire Books By Naomi Novik

    The latter uses Dragons as tools of war with Aviators controlling them. The Series of Pern's books are about Dragon Riders(unless I'm mistaken- I haven't read them). Help in this matter is appreciated. :)
     
  2. Pheonix
    Offline

    Pheonix A Singer of Space Operas and The Fourth Mod of RP Staff Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Messages:
    5,716
    Likes Received:
    401
    Location:
    The Windy City
    I don't think that would be plagiarism...

    People have been (fantasizing about) riding dragons for thousands of years. It would be like saying that modern elves are plagiarisms of Tolkien (which they very well might be, but no one seems to care,) or that having a Jesus allegory in a story plagiarizes the Bible.
     
    Ritrezer likes this.
  3. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    unless the term is someone's registered trademark, you are free to use it, as long as you don't have your riders doing what some rich and famous other author has theirs doing and may sue you for plagiarism or whatever else their high-priced lawyers can throw at you...
     
  4. Moneica
    Offline

    Moneica Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    I don't think it would be at all. But I would check and make sure it isn't trademarked.
     
  5. Ritrezer
    Offline

    Ritrezer Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2013
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    10
    Location:
    Mordor
    Well, the Inheritance Cycle makes use of the term regularly and it had Anne McCaffrey's comment over the book and praise for it. So, I think the term* isn't exactly Trademarked or Anne McCaffrey did not mind Paolini using it.
     
  6. Moneica
    Offline

    Moneica Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Then I say go for it!
     
    Ritrezer likes this.
  7. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    i'd still caution you to check it out first... paolini's parents were in the publishing biz and could well have come to an arrangment with mccaffrey...
     
  8. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,528
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    There are dragon riders in my fantasy novels, but I named them serpent cavalry. If you're concerned, or there is a conflict due to trademark, consider something like that? Wyrm Riders, for example.
     
    Catrin Lewis likes this.
  9. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,967
    Likes Received:
    5,491
    I start this by saying CHECK WITH A LAWYER before you trust anything I say.

    But my belief is:

    1) Ideas can't be copyrighted.

    So, the mere idea of human beings riding on dragons should be something that you can use--that's an idea.

    2) The expression of ideas can be copyrighted.

    So you wouldn't want to write a book that too closely matches any of the Pern books, because that's the expression of an idea. Now, I've always been puzzled by the idea that a plot can be copyrighted--surely that's an idea, not an expression? But given that Pern made a lot of money, anyone protecting those copyrights will be able to hire bigger lawyers, so it's best to be extra extra legal.

    3) Short phrases can be trademarked.

    So the phrase "dragonrider" or variants of it could be trademarked. I have no idea whether it is. Remember, too, that the trademark only affects you if you're in a similar "trade" as the trademark. The existence of, say, "Dragonrider barbecue" wouldn't affect you. If "dragonrider" is trademarked in connect with the Pern books--that is, in connection with fictional works--then that might be an issue. You'd then have to find a different way to describe the people who ride on dragons.
     
    Ritrezer likes this.
  10. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    yup!... to all of that...
     
  11. Mike Kobernus
    Offline

    Mike Kobernus Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    127
    Location:
    Norway
    Put people on dragons. Tons of writers have done it. No worse that putting people on winged horses, or having magic elves, or using magic in a story, or any other fantastical element.

    Just try to create your own world. Don't be a slave to someone else's vision.
     
    Ritrezer likes this.

Share This Page