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smiley10000
11-11-2006, 11:48 PM
I didn't know where to put this, so I thought I would try here...

My Grandmother published her memoirs in 1981 with a small Canadian publisher. We just discovered that a book has been published this past year on the same subject matter with the IDENTICAL TITLE.

Is this allowed?

Just thought I'd check if I should make a stink...
:Shrug:10000

scarletpeaches
11-11-2006, 11:51 PM
There's a copyright on books, but not on titles. There are many, many books out there with the same title.

However, if it's the same subject matter I'd look into the matter more closely. It would be difficult to prove anything, though, as like I said, there's no copyright on titles.

Tallymark
11-12-2006, 01:35 AM
Nope, you can't copyright a title. Otherwise, the world would have run the gamut of most reasonable (or concise) titles a long time ago! If its a very distinct sounding title ("Catching Black Fireflies at Dawn" as a made-up example, as opposed to something generic like "Dragon's Flame" or "The Killing"), the editor may be opposed to repeating the title, but I think they can if they wanted to, and after over twenty years I don't think they'd have any hesitations. I think that while a title can't be copyrighted, if the book is really big and sort of becomes a franchise, I think it can be trademarked--y'know, like you can't name your book "Harry Potter and _____" (unless it's a guide to Harry Potter). I could be wrong about the trademarking though, I just remember seeing that the Wheel of Time series was trademarked, and assumed that it applied in other places. That shouldn't apply to what you're talking about though.

smiley10000
11-13-2006, 02:37 AM
Thanks everyone! That's what I thought but I want to check it out.

It just struck me as odd that they would use the exact same name... hmmm...

:Shrug:10000

Maryn
11-16-2006, 12:25 AM
Smiley, flip through one of those fat paperbacks that list movies some time. There's an amazing amount of title duplication (other than remakes where it's on purpose). I'm sure it's the same with books.

Maryn, hoping nobody steals Carl's Bad Tavern before she writes a novel to go with it

MidnightMuse
11-16-2006, 01:27 AM
I promise not to steal that, if you don't take my book on night goggles and voyerism titled: Glad It's Night and the Peeps :D

Maryn
11-16-2006, 01:54 AM
I'm sorry, but I stole it the moment I saw it. I had to, because I love it so.

Maryn, who'd do anything for love--well, almost anything

Sean D. Schaffer
11-18-2006, 06:02 PM
I didn't know where to put this, so I thought I would try here...

My Grandmother published her memoirs in 1981 with a small Canadian publisher. We just discovered that a book has been published this past year on the same subject matter with the IDENTICAL TITLE.

Is this allowed?

Just thought I'd check if I should make a stink...
:Shrug:10000


I've seen books with identical titles before. One couple books that I remember were both entitled The White Dragon. One was an Anne McCaffrey book from her Dragonriders of Pern series, and the other, well, I don't even remember the author's name. I just know I was surprised to see this phenomenon in the local library.

Tracy
11-19-2006, 09:08 PM
It's a good idea, before you choose a title, to do a quick search for it. If it has been used recently then maybe think of another title. Not for copyright reasons, but for branding reasons.

(This doesn't apply to the original point, of course! But just thought I'd mentiion it.)