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Copyright question

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Thread: Copyright question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    2

    Question Copyright question

    I have a facebook group, kind of a virtual yard sale/ thrift store, That I want to call Needful Things. Also found a photo online of a closed storefront, may be a book cover, but not one I have seen before,
    that I want to use for the cover photo. Do I need permission to use that name and photo? If so, where do I get it? I am worried about copyright infringment. I am not publishing anything, or plagiarizing. I am a fan, and thought it was the perfect name for my group.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    14,080

    Default Re: Copyright question

    You're free to use Needful Things for your store name as far as Steve is concerned--there aren't any copyright restrictions for just the name. You'll, of course, have to check with your local licensing agencies to make sure it's not a problem in that regard. I can't answer your question about the photo without knowing more about it. If it turns out to be from a book cover for Needful Things, you would need permission from the publisher of that particular edition as they're the ones who own those rights, not Stephen.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, Ohio
    Posts
    17,667

    Default Re: Copyright question

    ...how about this one?...kinda struck me as an example of the Maine General Store feel he elicits in many of his novels....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    bye
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    967

    Default Re: Copyright question

    Titles cannot be copyrighted. The old saw is You can write a book about hurricanes and title it "Gone with the Wind", and that applies to any venture, whether a novel or a Facebook group name.

    You could run afoul of trademark, though, if you lead people to believe that your group is connected to or endorsed by Mr. King or his publishers. Saying that his novel is where you got the name of the group is fine, but saying that it's the "Official Needful Things" group or (God forbid!) "Stephen King's Needful Things" group would not be fine. I would avoid underlining the words Needful Things or putting quotes around them; appearing to refer specifically to the novel could get sticky.

    For the photo, you should ensure that it's either in the public domain or has been released for free use in commercial enterprises. Some licenses allow for that, but many allow only for non-commercial use. Of course, you could also just buy the rights to the picture. Even if the group, itself, isn't making money, it may (or may not) be considered for legal purposes to be commercial in nature. I'd cover my bases and find a photo that's OK to use no matter what.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    771

    Default Re: Copyright question

    I have a serious personal 'pet peeve' about selling the rights to your work as opposed to renting or leasing them for others use. It's like being the owner of a building. others might use your offices to do business out of, but the property still belongs to you. In this case intellectual property.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Copyright question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ebdim9th View Post
    I have a serious personal 'pet peeve' about selling the rights to your work as opposed to renting or leasing them for others use. It's like being the owner of a building. others might use your offices to do business out of, but the property still belongs to you. In this case intellectual property.
    OK?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Kansas City
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    3,847

    Default Re: Copyright question

    FYI, I'd be kind of afraid to buy anything from a store called Needful Things.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    771

    Default Re: Copyright question

    I just find it bothersome that a publisher claims ownership to something they didn't write just because the author needed to enter into a distributorship agreement with them in order to get their books out there and available to the reading public...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Cambridge, Ohio
    Posts
    17,667

    Default Re: Copyright question

    Quote Originally Posted by Todash View Post
    FYI, I'd be kind of afraid to buy anything from a store called Needful Things.


    ..."Well, aren't YOU the sissy type?"....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Default Re: Copyright question

    Quote Originally Posted by Ebdim9th View Post
    I just find it bothersome that a publisher claims ownership to something they didn't write just because the author needed to enter into a distributorship agreement with them in order to get their books out there and available to the reading public...
    Well, they don't claim ownership, except for the rights sold in the publishing contract.

    The alternative to selling publishing rights is, of course, for every author to supply the paper, ink, cardstock, and binding for each book they publish, as well as performing all typesetting, printing, quality checking, and storage. Then each author would need to promote and distribute the book out of their own pocket and hope that all that work and expense pays off in the end.

    Personally, I'd rather have Mr. King writing new novels than learning how to properly do leading and use a bonefolder.

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