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Is it copyright infringement for your book to be the same title as another book?

  1. ahostagesituation profile image79
    ahostagesituationposted 6 years ago

    Is it copyright infringement for your book to be the same title as another book?

    I know, I know. We all die a slow death if we don't feel we're original as writers, but you can not OWN a word or sentence.  That's just not how it works.  There are songs with duplicate titles, and there are books with duplicate titles on different subjects.  I'm hitting the wall on this, because I'm infautated with a title for my book that I just found was used for a book of speeches once.  That sucks!

  2. Bretsuki profile image79
    Bretsukiposted 6 years ago

    It would depend on what you want your title to be. Is it a common phrase? Such as "What's Up?" Then no that may not be copyrighted. It also depends on when the original title was used on a book, titles over 100 years old are in the public domain so could be used, more recent titles may be under copyright. Also was the title used for a US Government book or paper title? If so the US Government does not copyright its publications and so again they are considered public domain.

    If you want to have your book published a publisher or literary agent would be able to give you advice, there is no harm offering your book under your desired title as a working title to be confirmed later, plus a publisher or agent may come up with a better title for you. Hope this helps.

  3. MickS profile image71
    MickSposted 6 years ago

    There is no copyright in titles; however, you can be guilty of passing off if, say, your write a book about a find on an Egyptian archaeology site of a giant stone ring that turns out to be a interstellla transport mechanism and you call your story 'Stargate.'
    I once wrote up this idea, came down from my study, the kids had the telly on, it was showing the advert for a new film, Stargate.  There was my story, everytthing unfolding on tthe screen, I went back up stairs and put several long hours of work through the shredder.

  4. lmmartin profile image89
    lmmartinposted 6 years ago

    NO -- you cannot copyright a title. But why would you want to use a title already in use?  Particularly if it is a well known work. However, in your case, it is unlikely that a book of speeches has received much circulation. I hope this answers your question.

  5. nochance profile image90
    nochanceposted 5 years ago

    It really depends on the title and the genre you are writing in.

    It also depends if the title already in use is well known. Google the title in quotes, how many hits do you get. If all you find is amazon reviews and a few obscure mentions then don't worry about it. If you find thousands of major articles then you may want to reconsider.

    Also how recently was the last book with that title published. If it was written back in the 60's and no one has used the title since then it isn't as much of an issue compared to a book that was written within the last couple years.