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Copywrite issue?

edited May 2012 in - Writing Problems
I took a break from revision today to revisit my novel.

I did a quick Google search and found that there is a small town in India with the same name of my novel which is also a place in the book. There is also a character from the World Of Warcraft games with the same name and the Roman Godess of brooms has a very similar name.

I'm not worried about the Roman Godess but if my novel is published will there be a copywrite issue? Please keep in mind that at the time I thought up the name I did not know of the character or of the Indian town.


  • Presumably the place is your novel is not also set in India? There are a lot of countries that have places with the same name- Birmingham for example.

    The World of Warcraft one may be more of an issue. Is the World of Warcraft character name trademarked?
    If the name is unusual and clearly associated with WoW that might create a problem later on, if the genre of your story is the same as theirs...
  • Much easier to change the name of the character than come up against a potential copyright or trademark issue.
  • I wouldn't worry. You're a long way from worrying. If the publisher thinks there is a problem, let them worry then. Keep the name that gives you inspiration until there is a problem.
  • But best to be aware of possible issues in case you self-publish.
  • I can't tell Carol. I think it would be but there is no TM next to the name. I don't really know what to look for. I think Liz is right, I think, let the publishers deal with it. I'm not sure if I can write knowing the name of the city and the book is going to change so it seems I need to change it. How disappointing...

    It wasn't World Of Warcraft it was a game called DragonAge. Looks like a good game. Anyone play?
  • I really wouldn't worry, Stf. If it's not the same name as theirs, you can say it is based on the Roman name - who is to know it isn't? No-one can copyright every name in the world, it's madness. Many books have the same name, you can't copyright a title - and I think if it is different there's not much they can do about it anyway.
  • I don't think place names can be copyright, so you should be OK using an Indian place name. If you were using it as a character name then there might be a problem.

    If you're still concerned, or if you don't want to use the same name as a real place, could you vary the spelling?
  • There is no copyright on facts
  • That’s true, but just in case... ©
  • I forgot to say thanks, cheers for your help!

    Another question but I think I may know the answer. I want to name a town( different story to my novel mentioned above) a name that is only one letter different to another fictional town in a very popular series of books. Once again this is not a example of copying ideas. I thought it was my own idea but turns out I heard it somewhere before. Would this cause an issue?
  • Why give yourself the potential problem? Pick another name.
  • StF, get a road atlas of Britain, and stick a pin in the Index. Change a letter or two, and there you are. If you are close to a name that has been used successfully, there will always be someone who thinks you are piggy-backing on someone else's work, even when you aren't.
  • Google it too.
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