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Writing Books/Libel Law...My idea may be plagiarism


I asked you a couple of questions about how to start writing a book about 3 months ago. At that time, i had an idea in my head, and now i have 200,000 words on paper. YAY

Anyway, my question is thus: I have given the nickname "Bel" to one of my characters, but there is a series by David Eddings called the Belgariad that uses this name to a massive extent. It is not an Eddings original, but a real name (it means "sun" in Gaelic i think). Anyway, i am using the name in the same context as Eddings has, but i did not do it intentionally, i just wanted a name that meant "sun." Am i able to use this name still, or is it better left alone?

Matthew Davies

Hello, Matthew!

I am not a copyright attorney.  Let me repeat that, I am not a copyright attorney.  That being said, a dramatic title or a character's name cannot be copyrighted, so far as I know.  I seriously suggest you visit the U.S. Government Copyright web site and study it carefully for your facts.  Again, I am not a copyright attorney. .

My best,
Youngbear Roth

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M.L. 'Max' Roth, Executive Editor


My specialist area is literary and philosophical fiction. I am pleased to answer all queries regarding story, plot, character arc and development, environment, structure, theme, subtext, and conflict.


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