What Writers Need to Know About Copyrights (FAQs)

We’re writers, not legal experts—and yet, every time we put words down on paper a number of legal questions arise. How do I copyright my work? Do I need to? Am I allowed to quotes song lyrics? Can I use someone else’s character in my book? And that’s just the tip of the pencil. Here I’ve collected a writer’s set of FAQs about legal issues that will help you navigate the basics.

Can You Copyright an Idea?

How Do I Copyright My Manuscript?

Can You Copyright a Pseudonym?

Can You Copyright a Title?

How Do You Regain Copyrights to Pieces You’ve Sold?

Can I Use Song Lyrics in my Manuscript?

What’s Considered Fair Use and What Isn’t?

Can You Use Someone Else’s Character in Your Book?

Using Famous Names and Proper Nouns in Fiction


(NOTE: When in doubt on anything it’s best to contact an attorney that specializes on copyright law.)

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2 thoughts on “What Writers Need to Know About Copyrights (FAQs)

  1. Ardent Muse

    Wow… Thank-you, Brian! This is stuff I’ve wanted to know (for sure/with clarity) for a long time! I’m so glad you posted it! You’re articles are always SO helpful! Thanks! 😀


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